April — Why my favorite month is something to celebrate
Every year when I turn the page past March, I know good things are coming fast and furiously.
For starters, this is my 10th season wrangling carts and clubs at Maggie Valley Club.
April and May are the months the staff greets returning members, welcomes seasonal golf groups and (as a bonus) I get to reconnect with my buddies at the golf course.
Years ago, the golf pro at Maggie Valley Club used to equate the start of the golf season with opening day in baseball. Yes, by the time you are reading this, the 2017 Major League season has begun, and at the Viau household, we are singing at the top of our lungs — “Go Cubs go. Go Cubs go. Hey Chicago, what do you say? Cubs are going to win today.”
We are proud owners of souvenir Chicago Cubs World Champion pint glasses, and we will be raising our glasses out on the deck and cheering on the Cubs, keeping up with baseball — as well as the local craft beer scene.
Did you know? Friday, April 7, is America’s ‘National Beer Day.’
I thought that was every day, but it turns out that on April 7, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt took the first step toward ending Prohibition by signing the Cullen-Harrison Act — the tap-flowing law that allowed Americans to once again brew, sell and consume beer, so long as it was lower than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight or 4.0 percent alcohol by volume (ABV.)
On the first National Beer Day, thirsty beer drinkers across the country gathered outside breweries — starting the night before — and more than 1.5 million barrels were consumed.
It was the first time in 13 years that beer was legally consumed in America.
Surprisingly, this breakthrough day in American beer history was largely unheralded until 2009, when craft beer enthusiast, Justin Smith of Richmond, Virginia, started a National Beer Day Facebook page. The page caught the attention of the Colorado Beer Examiner’s editor, Eli Shayotovich. News of National Beer Day (not fake news) quickly spread through social media under the not-so-corned-beef hashtag, #NationalBeerDay.
I don’t tweet, but I do have the craft beer enthusiast app ‘Untapped’ on my iPhone, which will reward me with a ‘Badge’ when I check into any brewery April 7.
By the way, for those of you who might be otherwise occupied April 7, the night before — April 6 — has been deemed the official New Beer’s Eve. Practice makes perfect.
For even more beer celebration opportunities, North Carolina has declared the month of April “North Carolina Beer Month.”
Visit the Website — http://www.ncbeermonth.com — for a full listing of festivals, beer tastings, dinners and other events celebrating North Carolina’s state-of-the-art of beer.
Did you know? — You can also follow this column for highlights on the local craft beer scene.
For example, Asheville’s first and foremost craft brewery, Highland Brewing, is kicking off the outdoor season on National Beer Day (Friday, April 7) opening of both its Rooftop Bar and the Meadow. Both venues are dog-friendly, and hours will be extended for the summer so you can enjoy the great brews and sunset views from the roof. On April 7, you'll be able to drink Cold Mountain on the Rooftop Bar, while gazing at Cold Mountain — Way cool!
In Waynesville, Boojum Brewing Company is putting the finishing touches on its downtown tasting room expansion, and will have the opening of its second-story deck in April — perfect for spring deck-sitting.
The craft beer events will be coming fast and furiously all month long, so please remember to drink responsibly, watch out for the high-ABV beers that can sneak up on you and have a designated driver (Thank you, Carol Viau.)