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Asheville celebrates Beer Week with tasting, quirky events and two festivals

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5/18/2012 - Asheville celebrates Beer Week with tasting, quirky events and two festivals
by Asheville Citizen Times

The timing couldn't be better for Asheville's new Beer Week celebration. Just days after the city's latest victory in the Beer City USA online poll (a tie with Grand Rapids, Mich.), Asheville's brewing community will host its first Beer Week - series of tastings, festivals and other lively events, many of which are free to the public. Beer Week will actually cover an 11-day span.

"Every week is beer week in Asheville," said Asheville Brewing president Mike Rangel, who helped organize the celebration. But with dozens at of events on the schedule and more popping up every day, Asheville Beer Week will be the biggest brew-relelated celebration ever held here.

Beer Week begins on a serious note, with a Thursday fundraiser at Highland Brewing, 12 Old Charlotte Highway, to assist the family of Ben Harris, an employee at Redhook Brewing in Porstmouth, N. H., who was killed in a keg explosion accident. Local breweries are donating beer for purchase and beer gear for auction. There's no cover charge, but donations in any amount are welcome.

The festival is bookended with two brew festivals. The Brew It home brew festival is May 26 outside Wedge Brewing Co., 125-B Roberts St. in the River Arts District. Area homebrewers will serve samples of their ales and lagers. Admission is by membership in Just Economics (a basic membership is $16, a bronze is $25 and a VIP is $75, both which includes some perks). Get more information at http://justeconomicswnc.org).

The Beer Week finale is the third annual Beer City brew festival, June 2 at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park downtown. This festival features many of the area's finest breweries, plus live music . Tickets are $40 and on sale only at the local breweries and at Bruisin' Ales and Barley's Taproom. Get more at www.beercityfestival.com/.

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