Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mountain Spirits: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co Tasting Tonight at Brusin' Ales

April 30, 5 PM to 7 PM at Brusin' Ales, 66 Broadway Street in downtown Asheville NC: FREE Sierra Nevada Tasting with a five beer flight.

Pale Ale: "The beginning. A classic and  most popular beer. Pale Ale began as a home brewer's dream, grew into an icon, and inspired countless brewers to follow a passion of their own. Its unique piney and grapefruit aromas from the use of whole-cone American hops have fascinated beer drinkers for decades and made this beer a classic, yet it remains new, complex and surprising to thousands of beer drinkers every day. It is-as it always has been-all natural, bottle conditioned and refreshingly bold."

Hop Hunter: "Intense wet hop flavor year round. Hop Hunter IPA harnesses the complex flavors of just-picked hops through an all-new method of steam distilling wet hops before they even leave the fields. This revolutionary technique captures and intensifies the natural flavors, creating a unique and intensely aromatic beer. The custom process gathers pure hop oil which, when combined with traditional whole-cone hops in the brew kettle and makes for an incredible IPA experience."

Ovila Saison: "Complex yet rustic farmhouse ale. An homage to the monks' noble work, this unique farmhouse ale is incredibly complex with notes of lemon, pepper, straw and herbs balanced by the tang of Mandarin oranges and a spicy kick of pepper. The Mandarin oranges used to make this beer were locally grown, including a portion grown on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux and picked by hand by the community of monks living there. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale."

Rain Check Spiced Stout: "A specialty beer brewed for Western North Carolina and several surrounding states. Rain Check was inspired by the tropical flavors often found in other favorite foul-weather drinks-fresh ginger, brown sugar, molasses, and tangy lime."

Barrel-aged Bigfoot: "Aged in oak whiskey casks for nearly two years, this barrel-aged Bigfoot is incredibly complex. The assault of resinous hops has mellowed, and the influence of the wood has shifted focus toward the malt-with rich burnt-sugar flavors and notes of vanilla, toasted coconut, and raisins."

Friday, April 17, 2015

Smoky Mountain Oyster and Seafood Festival this Weekend in Maggie Valley NC

April 18, 2015   Smoky Mountain Oyster & Seafood Festival   This one day event, held at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, boasts all types of oysters, fried, steamed and raw by the dozen or half dozen, as well as fried or steamed shrimp by the pound or half pound, shrimp and grits and a low country boil platter. 

Food will be prepared by J. Arthur's Restaurant in Maggie Valley. There will non-seafood items as well.  Live music from Mile High Band and Steve Weams and the Caribbean Cowboys and a free kid's zone will round out the day. Admission is $5 in advance, $8 at the gate. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival this Week in Blowing Rock NC

April 16-19, 2015   The Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival   Now in its 10th year, this festival celebrates the excitement of spring in the Blue Ridge with the best in cuisine, wine, and beer. Enjoy pairings, dinners, seminars, entertainments, and the Grand Tasting.

According to Festival officials, "Some tasty tweaks to this year’s festival include the Downtown Wine Down, from 3-7 PM on Friday. Shops downtown will have wine tastings to encourage participants to stop, sip and shop, and at least one distillery and the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) will be included.

Thursday evening’s restaurant showcase Taste!, will include not only North Carolina wines and food products, but also the State’s beers and distillers. The big-tent Reserve Tasting on Saturday will feature Riedel glassware, so participants can best experience high-end wines offered.

A new seminar this year will be Build Your Own Bordeaux, hosted by Christopher’s Wine & Cheese, a popular local seminar offered for the first time at the festival this year."

Find links for lodging and local attractions on the Blowing Rock NC Visitor Guide.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2015 Asheville Wine and Food Festival Offers "Amuse" and "Essence"

AMUSE and ESSENCE - the newest artesian experience in Asheville. Distilleries, Mixologists and Chefs. The chefs are bringing their best culinary talents and the mixologists are presenting their best creativity. You taste and judge the best chef and best mixologist. 

The top chefs move on to the GRAND TASTING at the US Cellular Center and the top mixologists get to expand their performance at ELIXIR. 

What is AMUSE? AMUSE is culinary artistry and showmanship preselected by the chef and mixologists, intensified by the competition and emphasizing smaller, more intensely flavored courses. “The amuse-bouche is the best way for a great chef to express his or her big ideas in small bites.” May 1, 2015 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the Morris Hellenic Cultural Center. 

Why ESSENCE? Essence of Food and Drink can be found in the fusion of flavors making each dish and cocktail unique. Fresh local ingredients are presented for your enjoyment. June 26, 2015 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the Morris Hellenic Cultural Center. The list of renown mixologists will again compete to give you the most creative and flavorful spirits to lift yours. From the aperitif to the nightcap, samples will be provided by competitors to give you a taste of regional talent. 

The list of renowned mixologists will again compete to give you the most creative and flavorful spirits to lift yours. From the aperitif to the nightcap, samples will be provided by competitors to give you a taste of regional talent including:
  • Ambrozia Bar and Bistro Restaurant 
  • Asheville Social Lounge & Tapas 
  • Blackbird Restaurant 
  • Buffalo Nickel Asheville 
  • Chestnut Asheville 
  • farm burger 
  • King James Public House 
  • LAB 
  • Nightbell Restaurant &Lounge 
  • Omni-Grove Park Inn 
  • PULP 
  • Sovereign Remedies 
  • STORM Rhum Bar & Bistro 
  • Sunny Point Café 
  • Top Of The Monk 
  • Zambra  

Meet the distilleries in North Carolina, including moonshine from Troy & Sons in Asheville, Cardinal Gin from Southern Artisan Spirits in Kings Mountain, Rum from Muddy River Distillery in Belmot, Apple Moonshine from Petzold Distilleries, Howling Moon in Asheville, and TOPO Organic Spirits from Top of the Hill Distillery in Chapel Hill and more. 

Come and enjoy the food and sample wonderful drinks and spirits. Chefs and Mixologists will compete to see who will be represented at ELIXIR and at the GRAND TASTING. The 2015 ELIXIR event is on Thursday, August 20 and the GRAND TASTING is August 22 at the US Cellular Center. Think of this as Theater. Purchase your tickets today: 

Boilerplate: You will be noshing on award-winning amuse-bouche small plates provided by acclaimed Asheville Chefs for your pleasure. Meet the distilleries producing regionally and national brands and sample their spirits. A host of area bars and regional distillers will be on hand to serve samples of their latest and greatest concoctions. Watch locally recognized mixologists step out from behind the bar and into the spotlight for a mixology competition of craft spirits. 

During AMUSE (May 1) and ESSENCE (June 26), the competing Chefs and Mixologists will be judged by you, the attendee, to determine who will get a chance to be at ELIXIR. You get to enjoy the spirits, the food, and the action. 

Buy your tickets on-line or Contact: Kris Kraft, Festival Director (828) 200-1502 and Melissa Mathews, PR/Marketing (828) 545-2511 or find more information at:   (adults 21+ only).

Friday, April 10, 2015

Mountain Spirits: Wine and Beer Tastings this Weekend

April 11, 2015 at Appalachian Vitner, 45 Biltmore Avenue Suite #121 in Asheville NC: 
 Sour Grapes Wine FREE tasting.  The focus of Sour Grapes Wine is to bring wine that is as unadulterated and natural as possible from the farmer to our table. This means that they travel and taste and have first hand experience with the growers and makers of the wines that they strive to bring to us. Natural means no pesticides, synthetic materials, or additives. Natural means giving us the true experience without all the manipulation.

April 10,  5-7 PM at Hops and Vines, 797 Haywood Rd, Ste 100 in Asheville NC: 
Victory Brewery FREE Beer Tasting. Victory Kirsch GOSE - A bold and bright step outside the norm, the flavors of a unique, old world German brewing process excite your senses with the sharp and sweet burst of fresh cherries. Effervescent and sublime, this session ale has an enticing cherry-fruit character. European tradition and American ingenuity come together in the truest sense as you Taste Victory in Kirsch Gose. Victory Summer Love - There are plenty of reasons to love summer, and here is one great one! German hops and pale malt blend beautifully to create this refreshing taste of summer. This light-bodied ale casts a golden hue reminiscent of the summer sun shining high above the City of Philadelphia. Victory Anniversary 19 session IPA - As our gift to you, we’ve brewed this crisp and easy drinking session IPA – full of hop flavor – for you to enjoy all night long. So put this beer to your lips and start shakin’ what your mama gave you – the party is just getting started.

April 11, 3 -  6 PM  FREE tasting of NEW Wines:  Sant Evasio, Gavi di Gavi, Italy, 2014: Made from the Cortese grapes, this is a bright fresh wine. Flowery, delicate, with hints of pineapple and peach. Although fruity this wine is full bodied and has just the right amount of acidity. We carry several wines from Sant Evasio and they are all exceptional quality at great prices. $14.99.  Dom Fenouillet, France, 2014: This lovely "bargain" is a blend of the hybrid grape “Marsellan” Grenache and Syrah, a curious concoction that produces a silky wine redolent of red fruit mingled with earth. The grapes are crushed, destemmed and then macerated and fermented for a week or so before being racked into cement cuve for six months before bottling. Excellent value! $10.99.  Vinaceous, Snake Charmer Shiraz, Australia, 2012: Founded in 2007 and located in Western Australia, Vinaceous is the brainchild of winemaker Michael Kerrigan and marketer Nick Stacy. Michael has over 17 years of winemaking experience and his contacts with farmers ensure access to superior fruit. The Snake Charmer is sourced from renowned vineyards in the McLaren Vale. Intense black fruits, dark chocolate and mocha flavors, perfect for a summer BBQ.  $15.99.   10% off all featured bottles on Saturday.

April 10, 5:30 - 8 PM at Maggie B's Wine Shoppe, 10 C South Main Street in Weaverville NC:
FREE wine Tasting - This week pouring brand new wines for Maggie B's. These are new gems of juice that just arrived including Lafage Miraflors Rose,  Cuvaison Chardonnay,  The Path Pinot Noir,  Sinello Garnacha.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Cradle of Forestry Celebrates Opening Day with Old TIme Plowing and Folkways

April 11, 2015    Opening Day Celebration: Old time Plowing and Folkways at The Cradle of Forestry   Step back in time to the early days of the Biltmore Forest School. Meet David and Diane Burnette and their incredible Percheron draft horses. Weather permitting, watch the horses plow the Cradle’s vegetable garden and try plowing the old way yourself.

Visit with living history volunteers as they bring traditional Blue Ridge culture to life. Event times are 9:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

Event admission is $5.00 for ages 16 and up, free for youth. America the Beautiful and Golden Age passports are honored. Included in admission: everything the site has to offer that day,  historic buildings, indoor and outdoor exhibits, trail tours as available and over 3 miles of paved trails fit for wheelchairs and strollers that allow the forest to be accessible to all.

The Cradle of Forestry is a place of people, nature, history and the future. The story of the birth of forestry in America is told through exhibits at the Forestry Discovery Center, the Biltmore Campus trail and the Forest Festival Trail. There are nature programs and special events throughout the year for all ages of nature lovers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Annual Herb Festival this Weekend in Old Fort NC

April 11 - 12, 2015  11th Annual Herb Festival  Savor the smell and taste of fresh-grown herbs with a  selection including several unique medicinal, cooking and ornamental herbs. The herbal combination planters include the Scarborough Fair Combo, the Indoor Herbs Combo, and several other attractive and useful assortments. 

Browse over 25 talented local artisan's booths, including handcrafted herbal soaps and herbal blends, handmade jewelry, woodcraft and handcrafted furniture, paintings, photography and more. 

Food vendors offer delicious treats ranging from vegetarian quesadillas to gourmet sausages and hand-squeezed drinks (you can also sample Painters own homemade pesto). Talented local musicians will be performing all weekend. 

The event is held at Painters Greenhouse, approximately 5 miles south of I-40 at exit 73 near Old Fort NC.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Wilson Family Performs at the John C Campbell Folk School

April 10, 2015   Music Events at John C Campbell Folk School: The Wilson Family from Brasstown has been singing as a group for about nine years. Jimmy Wilson grew up around traditional gospel music, listening to his father and uncle, The Wilson Brothers, winners of a North Carolina Heritage Award.

Jimmy sings lead and harmony and plays guitar. His wife, Karen Wilson sings lead and harmony and plays bass. Their daughters Jessica and Anna both sing lead and harmony while playing mandolin and guitar respectively . 7 PM - FREE admission, but DONATIONS WELCOME.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Brevard Music Center FREE Monday Concerts

April 6, 2015    First Monday Concert  This month's concert from The Brevard Music Center's Porter Center starts at 12:30 PM  and features Violinist Jason Posnock . The concert program includes: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sonata for Piano and Violin in C major, K.296 Alfred Schnittke Suite in the Old Style and Johannes Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108.

First Mondays series at the Brevard Music Center is partnering with local charities to highlight the challenges and needs facing the community. April's local charity partners are Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and Oskar Blues CAN'd Aid Foundation.

The Brevard Music Center has been one of the country's most renowned summer training programs and festivals since its inception in 1936. The same exceptional music experiences are offered through its First Monday Concerts and now Sundays with Brevard Music Center Sunday, performed at the Reuter Center at UNC Asheville. Get a complete concert schedule and performance details online. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Weekend Event: Last chance to Ski NC at Appalachian Mountain's Easter Ski Benefit

April 4 - 5, 2015  Easter Ski Benefit Weekend at Appalachian Ski Mountain   ASM will stay open an additional weekend to raise funds to help build the Middle Fork Greenway. 

Ski and board all weekend or choose a $50 package for a day or skiing plus admission to your choice of two local attractions such as Grandfather Mountain, The Blowing Rock, Mystery Mountain and Doc's Rocks Gem Mine.

Appalachian Ski Mountain is located in Blowing Rock NC.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Easter Weekend Events: 60th Annual Easter Sunrise Service at Chimney Rock State Park

April 5, 2015     60th Annual Easter Sunrise Service   Celebrate Easter with song, scripture and spiritual music as a spectacular sunrise ascends over Lake Lure. Chimney Rock’s annual Easter Sunrise Service has become a legendary event in WNC, attracting more than 1,000 early risers from around the Southeast each year. 

photo courtesy of Chimney Rock State Park
This free, non-denominational Easter celebration features live instrumental music, spiritual songs and breathtaking scenery. The 60th annual inter-denominational community worship service is a special tradition and a memorable event for the entire family.

Guests are invited to eat breakfast at the Old Rock Café and stay to enjoy the Park all day.