Great Beer and Great Music at the 2015 Brewgrass Festival

On Saturday, September 19, 2015, the 19th annual Brewgrass Festival takes place in Asheville, NC. In case you can’t tell from the mixology behind the name, it’s a celebration of craft beer and bluegrass music.

With its start back in 1996, this is western North Carolina’s original craft beer festival. Today, more than 100 microbreweries and brewpubs call North Carolina home, with Asheville’s burgeoning craft beer scene being central to craft culture in the state; this scenic mountain city has even been named “Beer City USA” four recent years in a row.

The festival is held at the Memorial Stadium in downtown Asheville. Parking is limited, so ride sharing with a designated driver (who gets discounted entry for $35) or taking public transportation are good ideas, and allow you to indulge and get home safely. General admission tickets are $55 per person, and includes access to tastings from all participating breweries, all live music, and a souvenir tasting glass.

Drink for a Good Cause

Proceeds from the Brewgrass Festival benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina, and the event is the organization’s biggest individual fundraiser. This United Way organization chapter, which serves nine counties, started in 1982 and in the ensuing years has matched almost 12,000 children ages 6 to 14 of single-parent homes with adult mentors.

The Tunes

Four bands offering their takes on traditional and contemporary bluegrass, country, folk, and American roots music provide the live soundtrack for the 2015 Brewgrass Festival. The lineup this year includes The Jeff Austin Band, Truth & Salvage Co., Big Daddy Love, and Packway Handle Band.

The Beer

More than 40 breweries are participating in the 2015 Brewgrass Festival. These include a dozen from Asheville, 16 from other North Carolina cities, and the rest from other locations around the U.S. Below are the breweries bringing their various craft beers to festival attendees.

Asheville breweries:

• Asheville Brewing
• Catawba Brewing Company
• French Road Brewing Company
• Green Man Legendary Ales
• Hi-Wire Brewing
• Highland Brewing Company
• Lab: Lexington Ave. Brewery
• New Belgium Brewing
• One World Brewing
• Twin Leaf Brewery
• Urban Orchard Cider Co.
• Wedge Brewing Company

North Carolina breweries:

• Aviator Brewing Company
• Big Boss Brewing Company
• Blind Squirrel Brewery
• Boojum Brewing Company
• The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
• Fortnight Brewing Company
• Granite Falls Brewing Company
• Howard Brewing
• Lazy Hiker Brewing Company
• Lost Province Brewing Company
• Mother Earth Brewing
• Naked Apple Hard Cider
• Nantahala Brewing Company
• Pig Pounder Brewery
• Pisgah Brewing Company
• Southern Appalachian Brewery

Breweries from elsewhere:

• Bold Rock Hard Cider (VA)
• Crazy Mountain Brewing Company (CO)
• Florida Beer Company (FL)
• Founders Brewing Company (MI)
• Goose Island Beer Company (IL)
• Hardywood Park Crafy Brewery (VA)
• Oskar Blues Brewery (CO)
• RJ Rockers Brewing Company (SC)
• Rogue Ales and Spirits (OR)
• Samuel Adams (MA)
• SweetWater Brewing Company (GA)
• TrimTab Brewing Company (AL)
• Terrapin Beer Co. (GA)
• Thomas Creek Brewery (SC)

Eric Mohrman is a freelance travel and food writer. Coincidentally, he enjoys traveling, eating, drinking, and writing. He lives in downtown Orlando and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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