Some of what’s going around:

-Breweries and blankets: Asheville Pizza and Brewing on Wednesday afternoon announced via social media that it would give a $10 gift card to anyone who brought in an adult coat or blanket to any of its three Asheville locations. Dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills were forecast for Wednesday night and early Thursday. Asheville Pizza challenged other local breweries to join in. Hi-Wire Brewing and Highland Brewing immediately took up the challenge, as did Barley’s Taproom, Burial Beer, Oskar Blues and Wicked Weed.

-Still sketchy: The T-shirt printer Image 420 designed this T-shirt in the wake of the uproar in Asheville caused by the comments of Pauline Frommer of the popular travel guide Frommer’s regarding New Belgium Brewing’s influence on Asheville’s River Arts District. Go by the Haywood Road print shop and get you one. There are bumper stickers there, too, I believe. Order the T-shirt online here. Here’s the latest update from Image 402:still_sketchy_shirts_image_420_asheville

First up, the ladies shirts are in, and are now an option in our online store.
And second, after filling all of the orders that have been flying in, we’re already out of some sizes of the unisex shirt today. But we have a HUGE shipment of shirts coming in tomorrow, and will have lots of them available by tomorrow afternoon.
If you’re ordering online, feel free to go ahead and order, and we’ll send your shirt to you as soon as it’s printed. But, if you’re planning on coming by the shop, and you’re looking for a men’s shirt, your best bet will be to wait until tomorrow.
And lastly, THANK YOU, ASHEVILLE!!! This has all been so much fun! Everyone that has come by the shop to check out our work has been delightful.

-Deadline for entrepreneurs: The deadline is January 15 for the Western North Carolina region’s entrepreneurs to apply for the new ScaleUp WNC program, designed to help high-growth existing small businesses.new_belgium_whirlpool_tank_2015

-New Belgium tanks arrive: Giant brewing vessels are arriving this week at New Belgium Brewing’s new brewery site on Craven Street in Asheville. @newbelgium tweeted the above photo and this:

Pieces of our #Asheville brewery are arriving in town, almost ready to brew some beer. Here’s the whirlpool. #AVL

-New Belgium jobs: One of the most popular employers represented at today’s Asheville job fair was New Belgium Brewing. Two friends on Facebook noted the long lines at the New Belgium booth. From FotoJennic:

At the Ag Center for the job fair…. the line just to drop off your resume for New Belgium Brewery goes out the door, down the hall & out the door.

-Final food review: The Asheville Citizen-Times today published the final review by its food reviewer, Steven Doherty, who wrote under the pseudonym Drexler McStyles. Doherty died on Jan. 4. The restaurant reviewed was Mary’s Burritos. The review came with a special note, which reads in part:

His approach verged on the outrageous, with swear words and literary flourishes sprinkled in. But his reviews were also very well written, and food writer Mackensy Lunsford knew a good writing voice when she saw it. Doherty’s writing was, and is, as you can see on these pages, wildly descriptive and nothing short of entertaining. He never held back his emotions, whether he was feeling effusive, or frustrated by a kitchen’s incompetence.

Sadly, Doherty died unexpectedly on Jan. 4. We will miss his witty writing style on our Dining Review pages, and our thoughts are with his family and friends. A benefit has been set up to help his family.

-Today’s Asheville history bit: Comes from www.chickenhillnc.com, and offers great information about the Chicken Hill neighborhood above the River Arts District.

-Asheville Tourists ready for big year: Craig Biggio, who at age 21 began his pro baseball career in Asheville in 1987, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday. If that wasn’t a great way to start the new year of baseball, I’m not sure what else is. The Tourists this year are also hosting the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on June 23, reports ballparkdigest.com. The baseball stadium is getting some upgrades, too:

Most dramatic: seating at McCormick Field will be upgraded. Aluminum bleacher-style benches, which were first implemented at McCormick Field in 1992, are being replaced in favor of individual reserved theater-style seats. …

A new premium area, Bojangles’ Dugout Suites, places fans adjacent to both the first and third base dugouts in comfortable, oversized chairs with unlimited complimentary Bojangles’ Chicken Sandwiches and other ballpark food. Another premium, Press Row, is located in front of the Press Box with a view right behind home plate. The actual seats are oversized stadium seats with armrests and cup holders. Fully protected from rain by the overhang, fans can also take advantage of a personal Seat Server to purchase designated food and drink items from for every game.

-Star gazing: UNCA Asheville’s Lookout Observatory is hosting a free public star viewing session beginning at 6 p.m. on Jan. 23 on the campus of UNCA. From the press release:

Pre-registration for this event is required, and is available at lookoutobservatory.unca.edu where updates regarding cloudy weather and possible postponement will also be posted. In the event of poor weather conditions, the viewing will be held on Jan. 24. Special accessibility needs can be accommodated with advance notice.

To reach Lookout Observatory, park in the Reuter Center parking lot, lot P10, on UNCA’s campus, where shuttle service at regular intervals will be provided from 6-9 p.m. The observatory will be staffed until 10 p.m.

This event is sponsored by UNCA’s physics department and the Astronomy Club of Asheville. For more information, email lookout@unca.edu or call 828-250-3958.

-Free show at the One Stop: There’s a free show on Thursday at the One Stop in downtown Asheville. Atlanta-based duo Skymatic, Floating Thought and Live Animals will play. Looks like an interesting show. From the release:

Skymatic is a culmination of years of classical training and experience writing and performing in a wide variety of musical genres. Consisting of Phil Ross (Production/Synth/Guitar) and Hannah Wilder (Violin/Vocals), the duo’s sound is best encompassed by the description “melodic electronic,” but it blends elements from a wide range of genres.

Skymatic is currently touring the U.S., with dates in Colo. and Calif. coming up in early 2015. The duo has supported renown EDM artists like Figure, Minnesota, EOTO, Wick-It, ill.Gates, and most recently, the Floozies.

Hailing from Charlotte, Floating Thought is the ambient dance project of producer Richie Skaggs. Floating Thought is playing alongside Skymatic at their stops in Charlotte this Wednesday, in addition to the show in Boone, N.C. on Saturday.

Live Animals sets out to explore new soundscapes and expand the consciousness of sound. Between his West-coast hip hop influences and his entanglements in modern bass music, he creates a sound that transcends boundaries and blends genres, creating his own space on the map of the electronic dance music scene. With a background in percussion and music theory, Asheville native Josh Stone fuses melody and harmony to create pure sonic force.

Live Animals will also be the local support for the Thriftworks and Russ Liquid show at Asheville Music Hall on Feb. 12.

The tentative music schedule for this Thursday’s free show is Live Animals from 10 to 11 p.m.; Floating Thought from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Skymatic from 12 to 1 a.m.

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