When I moved to Asheville in 1997, Highland Brewing Company, Asheville's true beer pioneers, was just about the only local beer in town. Jack of the Wood (Green Man) had opened just a couple of months prior, and their Wee-Heavy had me hooked on getting fresh, local, good beer, and I never could have imagined how far it would go. As more breweries began to open up, North Carolina finally popped the cap on its archaic beer laws, and the scene was set for what we have today. This past year has seen Asheville and Western North Carolina land three major craft breweries that saw what was going on in our little ol' town and liked it. It is a testament to the brewers, beer store owners, and beer drinkers of Western North Carolina that allowed this to happen. One of the many endearing qualities that Asheville has is an emphasis on locally made and grown products, and supporting your neighbors business. This quality is the main reason we are able to have such a great event like Asheville Beer Week.
So please, if you can, get out there and support Asheville Beer by attending one of the many events that will be taking place over the next couple of weeks. Here's hoping that Asheville Beer Week is a smashing success, and an event that will last at least until the sun decides to grow into a red giant, at which point we will have to move the event elsewhere.
As an aside, yes, this is my annual post to the beer blog. When I took over this blog, one of main reasons I did so was to promote the local beer scene. Well, it no longer needs promoting from me, and it speaks for itself. Twitter has become the go to source for beer news in the area, so it is really hard to write about anything that hasn't already been said (same goes for this post). It has been great seeing all the growth in this industry, and I look forward to what lies ahead. As for me, I may occasionally post here, and I have contemplated starting another blog that is not limited to one subject (of course I have been having that thought for at least a year).