Brew-ED Beer News: Plaid Party at Highland Brewing, NC beers show well at World Beer Cup


By Cliff Mori

NC Beer Month Marches On

Heading into the third weekend of NC Beer Month, we are carried by the momentum of last week’s World Beer Cup in Denver. North Carolina breweries were awarded 8 medals, including a Gold to Asheville Brewing for Ninja Porter and a bronze to Wicked Weed for their Tyrant Double Red IPA. NoDa Brewing of Charlotte beat out 222 other IPAs to take Gold for their Hop Drop ‘n Roll in the most competitive contest of the event.

Other winners include:

White Street Brewing — Gold – Kölsch (Köln or Kölsch style Ale)

Mother Earth Brewing – Bronze – Endless River (Köln or Kölsch style Ale)

Outerbanks Brewing Station – Gold – Meyerbock (Heller Bock/ Maibock)

Olde Hickory Brewing – Silver – Irish Walker (Strong Ale or Old Ale)

This competition had over 1400 breweries from 58 countries competing in 94 different categories. The success of North Carolina’s small breweries helps explain why there is so much local pride surrounding beer. These brewers deserve it.

And what better way to show your support of NC brewers than by going out and buying some beer! Two events really stand out this week in the Asheville area, and I hope everyone has the chance to get out to both.

Sharpen the Blade Saison Fest- Friday April 18th 4pm- 10pm

Burial Beer is hosting the first Saison Fest in Asheville. Saisons are a style that originated in Southern Belgium and were first brewed by farmers as partial payment to their seasonal workers. The beers had to be high enough in alcohol to stay fresh from early spring to late summer, but they had to be thirst quenching enough to be desirable after a hard day working the fields. Every farmer brewed theirs a little bit differently based on what was available, and that freedom of expression is what drives modern day brewers of the style. Saison Fest will have examples from 15 NC breweries on offer this Friday. There is no admission charge, just buy the beer by the glass and enjoy. The best news is that Spring should be back in town by this weekend, so you shouldn’t need your coat.

Highland Brewing 20th Anniversary Plaid Party – Saturday April 19th 4pm-9pm (Doors open at 2)

Highland Brewing is celebrating 20 years this month, and they are offering a series of limited release beers to commemorate. Highland is the brewery that started the modern day craft scene in Asheville, and they remain the largest locally owned brewery in Western North Carolina. Show some support to these pioneers by heading out to the tasting room this Saturday to try beers that you haven’t had and won’t have the opportunity to try again. “Celtic Ale” the original name and recipe for Gaelic, a 20th Anniversary Scotch Ale, and two “NC only” beers including a lager and a Belgian Ale will be poured along with Highland’s usual line-up and other small batch beers. Live music, food trucks and to-go bottle sales round out the afternoon. They are asking that people carpool when possible, as parking is limited.

Cliff Mori is the owner and operator of BREW-ed, which offers brewery tours and a variety of beer training in Asheville.  He was the first Certified Cicerone in Western North Carolina (the beer equivalent to the wine world’s sommelier), then began working for the Cicerone Certification Program by traveling around the U.S. proctoring exams. Cliff also teaches a variety of beer-related courses at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.