While Asheville may have ceded the Beer City, USA, title to Grand Rapids this past year, our humble town of drinkers is still receiving praise in a variety of different forms. In late August, the North Carolina Lodging and Restaurant Association (NCLRA) announced the winners of the third annual NCLRA Chef Showdown. The competition featured 21 chefs and six mixologists from across the state. Joe Nicol of downtown Asheville’s The Times at S&W won NCLRA Mixologist of the Year with his signature drink, Turn Left at Albuquerque.
New Belgium Brewing’s Asheville Facility also received recent recognition for its eco-friendliness. The League of American Bicyclists bestowed the brewhouse with its Platinum-Level Bicycle Friendly Business certification. “The bicycle has been at the heart of New Belgium from our very beginnings,” says Michael Craft, communications director for New Belgium Brewing. “We believe the bicycle is not only an iconic symbol of sustainability, it is a tool for it.” New Belgium’s Fort Collins facility was one of the first breweries to earn the designation in 2009. “We took all the good things we did right for bicyclists on our campus in Fort Collins and implemented them in our construction plans for our brewery here in Asheville,” says Craft.
The widely-recognized beverage scene in Asheville also means that locals and tourists alike have plenty of events to look forward to each month. This year’s Asheville Oktoberfest will be held at Pack Square Park on Saturday, October 6, from 1–6pm. Tickets include a stein tasting glass and twoounce samples from more than 20 breweries, wineries and cideries.
As apple harvesting season approaches, cider will be celebrated at CiderFest NC on Saturday, October 13. The festival will be held at Salvage Station from 1–6 p.m, with more than 15 cider and mead makers offering samples. The family-friendly event will also feature a kids zone, live music and food. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Green Built Alliance.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit AshevilleDowntown.org/oktoberfest or CiderFestNC.com