3/14/2012 - A Saturday St. Patrick's Day means big parties in Asheville and WNC
by Tony Kiss - Asheville Citizen Times
ASHEVILLE -- St. Patrick's Day is coming up Saturday, and so it seemed like a good time for the Beer Guy to take a week off. But with such an important beer day happening, I couldn't just leave without a few words on what it all means.
Old-timers will remember when Asheville had a big rollicking St. Patrick's Day festival, produced by my friends over at Magnolia's on Market Street. I don't remember what we were drinking, but it wasn't craft beer -- there was none back then. And Guinness stout had yet to arrive here on draft.
With St. Patrick's Day falling on a Saturday this year, you'll be finding green top hats and leprechauns in most every watering hole in town. Guinness will still rule the brew roost this weekend, but there are many fine local and out-of-market stouts to enjoy . We suggest buying them now, rather than waiting until Friday or Saturday, when the store shelves will be bare.
Almost all the local breweries make stout. One of my all-time favorites is the Nitro Stout from Pisgah Brewing, 150 Eastside Dr. in Black Mountain. It is filled with those tiny nitrogen bubbles and has that sme silky, creamy feel found in Guinness. The band Van Ghost will play.
Green Man Brewing, 23 Buxton Ave., is always a lively spot on St. Patrick's Day. Try the Dweller stout if you dare. You can find many Green Man beers at Jack of the Wood, 95 Patton Ave., which is ground zero for St. Patrick's Day parties.
One of the best Asheville stouts is the Moonestone oyster stout from Oyster House Brewing, 35 Patton Ave. Make a point to drink one this week.
Other grand St. Paddy's hangouts include Hannah Flanagah's, 27 Biltmore Ave., and Tolliver's Crossing, 733 Haywood Road.
The Thirsty Monk, 92 Patton Ave., will celebrate with a Pint Night special featuring Brooklyn Dry Irish Stout. This light brew is a rare throwback to the days when the style was made by man Irish breweries. Anything from Brooklyn Brewery is worth enjoying, no matter the style.
The Monk also has a fun event on Thursday with the local debut of Dark Horse Brewing from Marshall, Mich.
Make your own party
Some great beers can be found at the city's finest brew store, Bruisin' Ales, 66 Broadway St. One of the standout brews there is Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, making its first U.S. St. Patrick's Day appearance. This is a different brew from the Guinness sold in the groceries stores here.
Also at Bruisin and worth a check: Moylan's Dragoon's Irish Dry Stout, Moylan's Danny's Irish Red, both from California, and from Ireland, Porterhouse Wrassler's XXXX Full Stout and Porterhouse Oyster Stout.
Beer City Fest tickets
Ticket sales begin Thursday for the 2012 Beer City Festival, June 2 at Pack Square Park in Asheville. They're $40 and on sale only at the local breweries, plus Barley's and Bruisin' Ales.
Visit CITIZEN-TIMES.com/beerguy to read past columns and to explore the Asheville beer engine, a database of brews made in Asheville and Buncombe County. Follow Beer Guy Tony Kiss on Twitter at AVLBeerguy or on Facebook at Asheville Beer Guy.