Appreciation of craft beer is growing at an incredible rate. It seems like every week a new brewery pops up on the otherside of the mountains in NC (where the laws make it easier then here in TN). It also seems that every week I learn about a new beer festival as well. Just today I found out about Asheville Brews Cruise’s new “The Best Firkin Beer Festival” taking place April 28th. So many festivals, so little time. I understand that beer festivals taking place almost every weekend is just a part of craft beer becoming so popular. As I think about it though, even if had unlimited money and zero responsibility I would still pick and choose which beer fest I go to. If I went to one every weekend, I’m sure I’d find myself getting burnt out. A “festival fatigue” if you will.
Because of the amount of festivals taking place, it really takes something different and special to pique my interest. The upcoming Thirsty Orange Brew Extravaganza is one of those. This inaugural festival has been in the planning for over a year. It’s brought to you by the same crew that puts on the Kingsport Oktoberfest. I’m in constant communication with the main organizer, Aaron Carson, who gives me updates. Everytime a new brewery is added and everytime a special cask conditioned ale is made for this festival, I get a call from Aaron. I can hear the excitement in his voice as he lays out the new details. Him and his crew have worked really hard to bring a one of a kind experience to the often overlooked Johnson City, TN. There is a lot more I could say about this festival, but honestly my man Don of the Knox Beer Snobs has already said it better than I could at his post here.
That being said, here is a list of festivals that I plan on attending this year, with a quick note about each.
Thirsty Orange April 14th, Johnson City. I’ll be serving my Orange Ginger Pale Ale, A Chocolate Ale, my Hop Boom! IPA and a homemade cream soda. The Orange Ginger Pale Ale will be infused with shredded fresh ginger, mandarin orange slices and whole leaf Citra hops.
Beer City Festival, June 2nd in Downtown Asheville. The wrap up to Asheville’s first annual beer week. I’m actually planning on staying in Asheville for the last 4 days of beer week. There are many events planned and even a smartphone app being developed. Tickets are almost sold out, so if you plan on going, you better get one quick.
Knoxville Brew Fest, Saturday June 23rd at Southern Railway Terminal in Knoxville. I’ll be serving here as well. I plan on having a wild flower wheat beer, a stout on nitro, a Maibock and my Rauchbier. I should have my merchandise for sale as well.
Kingsport Oktoberfest, September 21st and 22nd, the streets in front of the Chamber of Commerce, Kingsport, TN. Last year’s event is still one of my favorites. This year it’s going to be bigger and better. I plan on serving my beer at this event, same as I did last year.
Great American Beer Festival, October 11-13th, Denver Colorado. This is the Grand daddy of all of the American Beer Festivals. 3 days, 450+ breweries. I’m saving now for this. The only drawback is that I’ll miss the Asheville Oktoberfest which is scheduled on the same Saturday this year.
Knoxville Brewer’s Jam, October 6th at World’s Fair Park. Knoxville’s first and premier beer festival. I always serve beer at this event as part of the Tennessee Valley Homebrewers club. There is an idea kicking around to team up with a few other Knox Beer Crew homebrewers and getting our own tent this year. We’ll have to see. Either way I’ll have some tasty beers to share.
These are all the beer events I plan on attending as of now, but it’s subject to change.
Report on the Knox Beer Crew meeting last weekend.
Thanks to Jason and Beverley Anderson for hosting the tasting at their house. We had many new members show up and there was a great selection of beers shared. I brought a 2012 bottle of Sexual Chocolate that I traded for. We also got to try Brooklyn Black Ops, Founders Curmudgeans Better Half 2012, Dogfish Sah’tea, Mikkeller 1000 IBU, Avery Samael’s Oak-Aged Ale, Nantahala Trail Magic Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Southern Tier 2X Stout, Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout, Ommegang Adoration Ale, Great Divide 17th Anniversary, Founders Imperial Stout, Cigar City Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale and a giant 3 liter bottle of Stone 10th Anniversary Ale opened as seen in the below video:
Also some really cool pictures as well (click to make big).
Well I took my ABC course and should have my card soon. This means I’ll legally be able to pour high gravity beer at events. This is something that Johnson City’s attorney is requiring in order to serve beer at the Thirsty Orange. If you are going to work in a restaurant or bar in TN serving alcohol, this is required by the state. I learned quite a bit in that class including how sophisticated fake ids are now.
Large corporate macrobrew has long been known for it’s rampant sexism. Because of this, women haven’t always been treated equally in the beer industry when it comes to pay and respect. Thankfully this is changing. Craft beer is for everyone (of age), and there is a new group in town of kick ass women who want to spread knowledge, love and understanding of craft beer. They are the Barley’s Angels and they their first meeting coming up soon. For more information about how you can join and/or support this righteous group of sisters, and what they are about, check out Knox Hop’nings.
One last thing as a reminder. This Wednesday I’m teaming up with The Casual Pint for our first beer infusion night. We’ll be running Woodruff’s Porter through my infuser packed with cocoa nibs and shredded coconut. If this event goes well, we plan on doing an infusion once a month. Please come out and support. I hope to see you all there.
More next week,