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Brewgrass returns for another year in Asheville

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9/15/2011 - Brewgrass returns for another year in Asheville
by Jake Grove - Anderson Independent

COME TO THE FESTIVALS all over the mountains of Western North Carolina!

Way, way back in May, people all over the Upstate and Western North Carolina (and probably beyond) were readying themselves in front of their computers for one of the most sought after tickets of the year. This was not for a concert or a football game or the newest Harry Potter movie. This ticket was for the annual Brewgrass Festival in Asheville, N.C.

Somehow, someway, a beer festival that features hundreds of different beers from dozens of breweries all over the country and the world has become a must-have ticket for anyone with an affinity for craft beer.

The insanity that occurred when the Brewgrass website was inundated with requests for tickets was unreal. There were thousands upon thousands of people, many trying for tickets from multiple computers and smart phones, working to get the approximately 2,500 tickets sold for this event. Buyers tried for hours to get in and get on, and eventually everything had to be sorted out by the organizers.

Even with all the drama and the difficulty of tickets, Brewgrass is here for another year. It's sold out (except for a few designated driver tickets that are sold at the gate), but that doesn't mean someone doesn't have a spare ticket or two to sell. For those with tickets, this Saturday is sure to be a happy day.

"I spent six hours on the computer trying to get into the site," said Manny Garces, a Greenville resident who has been to the last four Brewgrass Festivals. "There were plenty of times I thought I was stupid for taking so much time to get them, but now that I have them I'm glad."

Part of the reason for his good feeling is that Brewgrass offers up a little of everything at the festival. Bluegrass music plays all day long during the event, there is plenty of food to be had from local restaurants setting up shop there and the breweries are well represented.

Not only will local breweries like Thomas Creek, Highland, Asheville Brewing and RJ Rockers be there, but regional favorites like Foothills Brewing and Coast Brewery will be represented alongside national players like Stone, Dogfish Head, New Belgium and more.

"There are beers there that you can't get many places and this will be one of the only times to try them," said Mark Weems of Anderson. "Every time I go I find something new that I absolutely love."

This year's Brewgrass will be on Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Ball Field in Asheville. The event is sold out and designated driver tickets will be sold at the gate. A few tickets have been found, however, on sites like StubHub.

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