High Country Beer Fest returns Sept. 4
Now that we have your attention, consider the High Country Beer Fest this Labor Day weekend.
Featuring 40 regional and national breweries, the third annual tasting event hits Appalachian State University's Broyhill Inn & Conference Center on Saturday, Sept. 4.
About 1,200 people attended last year's festival, and organizer Brett Taubman expects an even larger batch this round.
"We're expecting around 1,500 people this year, and we'll be ready for them," he said. "We've already got the order in for great weather, so that shouldn't be a problem."
In addition to Taubman's guaranteed weather, folks can also enjoy live tunes from three bands - BPL, the Switch with Laura England, and the Henhouse Thieves - and an expanded menu from the Broyhill Inn's highly acclaimed kitchen, like bratwurst, pizza, chicken, pretzels and vegetarian fare.
Admission also includes a souvenir tasting glass, which patrons take to each brewery's booth to sample their wares.
"Every brewery has about three or four of their finest beers, so you can go around for the festival's four hours and taste any of the beers you like," Taubman said.
Expect names like Highland, Big Boss, Boone Brewing Co., Craggie, Catawba Valley, Duck Rabbit, Foothills, Lone Rider, Natty Greene's, Old Hickory, High Country Homebrewers and ASU's own student-run brewery, Ivory Tower, among many others.
And there's more. Since the High Country Beer Fest focuses on education, festival-goers can attend complimentary seminars on topics like beer and cheese pairing, cask-conditioned ale tasting, and beer and food pairing.
"Those are free, and, apart from admission, the only other thing you have to pay for is food, though Stick Boy (Bread Company) will be there handing out some bread samples, and Earth Fare will be handing out some chocolate," Taubman said.
And for designated drivers or festival-goers in need of a pick-me-up, Bald Guy Brew will be on hand with plenty of coffee.
Designated drivers are admitted free, and for those without, Tipsy Taxi is offering its services for free rides home, Taubman said, adding that a few tow trucks will also be on hand to tow people's cars home with them, for a small fee.
Tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door, though Taubman said last year's sold out.
"We definitely encourage people to buy them beforehand," he said. "It's the most you'll get for $25 these days. It's a great time, not just a great beer fest where you can learn a ton about beer with the educational seminars, but with the live music, great food, it'll just be a great festival in general."
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.hcbeerfest.com.