Finally, a craft beer festival that is just the right size — Waynesville Craft Beer Faire
If you follow this column because you love craft beer, you know that my wife and I are also big fans, and we frequently attend beer festivals — mostly in our adopted home state of North Carolina.
After many years or painstaking zythological research, we have come to the realization that — there are more brewers and beer festivals than time and money allows, so we need to be selective.
A shorter way of saying this is, “So many beer festivals; not enough time.” But that’s a whole different column.
We have also discovered that after one or two years of some beer festivals, enough is enough. In this writer’s opinion, one popular Asheville craft beer festival (which will remain nameless) went from a great craft beer festival to an overcrowded beer festival to (what it is now — a Gen-X’er’s binge-drinking contest.
Contrast that with Hickory Hops — North Carolina’s Championship of Beer — which seems to get better every year. And WNC brewers are bringing back more medals every year.
Oh yes, it also helps that WNC ‘local’ breweries now include New Belgium, Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada. Yes, ‘Life is good,’ and it’s about to get even better, as one of our favorite annual beer festivals, Waynesville’s Craft Beer Faire, is right around the corner (both in time and proximity) Saturday, Aug, 20 from noon to 5 p.m. — close to our beloved downtown Waynesville Main Street.
What is it that realtors love to say? — Location, Location, Location.
Well, Waynesville’s Craft Beer Faire is within easy walking distance of four out of five Waynesville craft breweries, brewpubs and/or tasting rooms and an array of restaurants.
So just like Hickory Hops, you can take a break from the festivities, relax, get a meal then return to the Craft Beer Faire.
As for the festival itself, Waynesville Craft Beer Faire has: (1) just the right amount of participating breweries to make it easy to navigate, (2) a limited number of ticket holders to help keep the lines down, (3) an active group of local homebrewers to introduce you to their beers and their hobby (4) a variety of food vendors — something for every taste, and (5) live music to perfectly punctuate great beer.
Heading up the musical lineup this year is the award-winning country, bluegrass and Americana sensation, the Darren Nicholson Band. Daren is a Grammy nominee, and as a member of Balsam Range, shares the honors as last year’s IBMA vocal group of the year. Taking stage for the first time this year, is The Breeze Band — a high-energy, multi-faceted band the plays a variety of beach, oldies, soul, classic rock and R&B.
The brewery lineup for 2016 Waynesville Craft Beer Faire includes Waynesville’s “Big Four” — BearWaters Brewing Company, Boojum Brewing Company, Frog Level Brewing and Tipping Point Brewery and Pub.
Other breweries include Bhramari Brewhouse, Blowing Rock Brewing Company, Boondocks Brewing, Catawba Brewing Company, Foothills Craft Beer, Lazy Hiker Brewing Company, Nantahala Brewing Company, River Rock Brewery from South Carolina, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Sneaky Squirrel Brewery, Stooges Beer Club from Virginia and White Street Brewing Company from Wake Forest.
Additional breweries are being added as they come ‘on board.’ To get the latest list of participating breweries, visit www.WaynesvilleBeer.com.
One unique highlight of the Waynesville Craft Brew Faire is participation by local homebrewers.
This year, Beaverdam Homebrew Club will be ‘showing their stuff.”
Taste and enjoy — These ‘hobbyists’ just might be the next generation of North Carolina brewers.
Anyway, that’s the low-down on the upcoming Waynesville Craft Beer Faire. So mark your calendar, save the date, cancel all other plans. Be there, or be square.
Waynesville Craft Beer Faire
Saturday, August 20
American Legion Post #47 Ballfield
117 Legion Dr., Waynesville
V.I.P. Admission is from noon to 5 p.m.
General Admission is from 1-5 p.m.
Tickets are available at all Waynesville breweries and tasting rooms, and online at www.WaynesvilleBeer.com.
See y’all there.