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AVL Beer Week: Western North Carolina's Leading Beer Experience

Widely recognized as one of the most creative locations in the Southeastern United States, Asheville, North Carolina, is a scenic and friendly location, perfect for your next vacation. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or an antiquing aficionado, this city has something for you. The surrounding wilderness is perfect for almost any lover of the outdoors. Try fishing at one of the lakes, rivers and streams or hit the trails for some hiking, biking and photography. If you're a fan of art and/or live entertainment, you're in luck. You’ll find a comprehensive collection of art galleries, shows, exhibits and live entertainment venues to discover and experience throughout your stay. The restaurant scene here is great, with different options all over the city. Due to the level of historical preservation, Asheville is the ideal location to experience living history. You’ll have your choice of historic sites, landmarks and museums that paint a vivid picture of this unique city’s history.


Known throughout the region, AVL Beer Week has risen to the top of Western NC's beer event circuit in just five short years. Held in different locations throughout Asheville, this event encompasses everything from beer festivals to smaller tastings. One popular event during the week long celebration is the Beer City Festival which brings in roughly 2,500 attendees by itself. AVL Beer Week aims to increase exposure for local brewers, connect beer lovers and show how great Asheville is as a community. Make sure to keep in mind the majority of the activities are 21+. For a beer themed experience in a community unlike any other, head to the AVL Beer Week! got the opportunity to speak to Kendra Penland, Representative for AVL Beer Week, to find out all about this great beer celebration.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

KP: AVL Beer Week has been running for five years now. Our event is very popular with thousands in attendance over the course of the week at numerous event locations across Western NC. The Beer City Festival alone has around 2,500 attendees. Being that this is a beer festival, our patrons are mostly adults between the ages of 21 and 70. They come as couples, singles, some families and many groups of friends.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

KP: It is truly a homegrown event that highlights the internationally-recognized Asheville and Western NC craft beer scene.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can attendees expect to find for activities and guest appearances?

KP: A wide variety of events will be available each day from May 27th to June 4th. Some of the activities include: Beer City Festival, Rage Yoga, live music, bottle releases, beer and food pairings, beer education workshops, and more. See full listing of events on our website.


Our Asheville and Western NC craft beers are the real stars, but you can bet our local brewing celebrities will be out and about. With so many film productions in the area, there are almost weekly sightings of well-known actors enjoying our local breweries.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

KP: We have a number of new hotels, along with well-known favorites: Grove Park Inn, The Inn at Biltmore Estate, Crowne Plaza Tennis & Golf Resort, Hotel Indigo, and Aloft Hotel. Guests can find a variety of lodging options outside of the standard hotel.  Numerous  B&B’s are located within walking distance of downtown, and there are numerous economy and luxury accommodations as well. Our local Convention and Visitors Bureau is a great resource for anyone planning to visit and spend time in the greater Asheville area (


RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?

KP: We have secured a special hotel rate of $99/night at the Crowne Plaza Tennis & Golf Resort (1 Resort Drive, Asheville, NC 28806) for AVL Beer Week. This special discount is listed on the AVL Beer Week website, and the block will be available until 200 rooms are sold (and they will go fast). Don't forget to mention group name Beer Week 2016 to receive the special group rate.


RAL: Is there maybe one place in particular that guests have been flocking to since the event started?

KP: With events at numerous breweries, restaurants, and venues around town, it’s a lively scene pretty much everywhere. However, you’ll find about 2,500 folks at the Beer City Festival (May 28th, 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Pack Square Park). The South Slope has quickly become Asheville’s unofficial "brewery district" with a dozen breweries concentrated within a couple of blocks. Visitors to Highland Brewing in East Asheville (Asheville’s oldest local brewery), New Belgium's Brewery and Liquid Center (newly opened in the River Arts District), and Sierra Nevada Brewery (in nearby Mills River), are in for a treat.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

KP: AVL Beer Week is the major annual celebration to highlight our local brewing industry. Breweries look forward to sharing their craft with locals and visitors alike, as well as collaborating with other breweries and local businesses to host one-of-a-kind events that keep folks coming back year after year.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

KP: Absolutely - the brewing industry is our fastest growing local industry, with new breweries being planned on nearly a monthly basis in either Asheville or nearby Western NC communities. The ripple effect of the extra people in the community passes down to the educational institutions, businesses that provide goods and services to the breweries and the tax base.


RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?

KP: The craft beer industry has a fundamental culture of community-involvement and giving back - there literally isn’t a week that goes by that one of our breweries isn’t raising money or helping support a non-profit in some way. During AVL Beer Week, Beer City Festival donates a portion of their proceeds to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Just Brew It Home Brew Festival supports Just Economics, a local living wage advocacy group. The Asheville Brewers Alliance, a nonprofit trade association for the local brewing industry, partners with other area non-profits and/or connects them with breweries to help raise money to support a variety of community services and programs year round.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

KP: The quality and variety of craft beer, incredible dining options, and entertainment is unparalleled for a city of our size. Add to that a relaxed, casual atmosphere, community culture, and the option explore a lively downtown, makes our event a unique experience. In addition, just a couple of miles away, there is access to some of the most beautiful and diverse natural environments, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest, and French Broad River. These locations are great for hikes, mountain biking, paddling, kayaking, or just floating down the river in an inner tube, there just isn’t a better way to spend your leisure time than to spend it with us in Asheville during AVL Beer Week. Don’t take our word for it; you can reference numerous national and international lists that put Asheville right at the top as a Best Place to Visit, Best Place to Live, Best Place to Play Outside, Best Place to Dine, and our personal favorite, Best Place to find some of the World’s Most Incredible Craft Beer.

For more information about the AVL Beer Week, please visit their website.