SI contributer, Courtney Cobb, producing partner with Crafting a Nation, drops some musings from her recent trip to Asheville, NC.
I’m a Colorado girl and I have a love affair with craft beer. When someone says, how about a tour of Beer City USA? I’m in. Odell’s, Equinox, New Belgium and Funkwerks are sure stops on our trip to Fort Collins – Beer City USA. Wait. Not Fort Collins? Must be Denver. Yes, that’s it. New breweries are popping up in Denver faster than you can say, whack-a-mole. We’ll visit our old friends at Great Divide and Wynkoop, and then hit the circuit of Denver’s newest all-star breweries. Wits End, Renegade, Denver Beer Co and Strange Brew. No? Well, must be that we’re off to Boulder. I’m getting thirsty. Upslope, Boulder Beer Co, Twisted Pine, Crystal Springs. Here we come. No, again? Well, where then?
For three-years running, Asheville, North Carolina has been named by consumers as Beer City USA. A city of just over 76,000, Asheville is home to 10 craft brewers. President of the Brewers Association, Charlie Papazian, said of Asheville in a recent blog post about the Beer City USA poll, “The city is not only behind its small brewers, but behind local business. The BeerCity USA poll is about community pride. Not just beer…It’s about Main Street, grass roots, community support, not mainstream data and statistics.”
And so we set out with Crafting a Nation crew to capture just what and who is behind the Asheville craft beer scene. As it turns out, it is a familiar scene. Like here in Colorado, Asheville is home not only to a strong community of craft breweries and a beer friendly culture, but it is flush with large number of local farms and a robust agricultural economy. Small manufacturing operations are ramping up to serve these industries. This is an entrepreneurial town, growing and prospering alongside the craft beer industry.
During our stay the city was abuzz with all things beer. Asheville Beer Week was in full swing. We visited many amazing breweries and had the chance to film their stories and sample their beers. We even carved out a few moments to get a taste of the local outdoor recreation opportunities.
Bikers, boaters, farmers, brewers – passionate about their craft and building businesses integrated with their lifestyle – are putting Asheville on the map as a place to live, a place to start a business. It’s no surprise that Colorado’s top two craft breweries, New Belgium Brewing Co and Oskar Blues Brewery, along with California-based Sierra Nevada, would choose to make Asheville their second home, as they spread their respective craft brewing stories to the growing east cost craft beer community.
Cheers Asheville! See you soon, maybe in Colorado?
_For more on Crafting a Nation’s recent visit and filming in Asheville, visit: Crafting a Nation
If you are interested in finding out our day to day activities and who we interviewed along the way click here
And, for all the latest on the Colorado craft beer scene, including a calendar of summer events, festivals and tastings, be sure to check in with Colorado Brewers Guild [Insider’s tip: Be SOCIAL. Check it. Do it.]._
Courtney Cobb is a production manager at Free Mind Productions and producing partner in Crafting a Nation, a feature length documentary and new media project that tells the story about how the American craft brewers are rebuilding the nation’s economy one craft beer at a time. The film follows the stories of craft brewers from beer-lover communities in Colorado, Oregon, California, Texas, Missouri and North Carolina. Courtney is a born and raised Colorado girl, has penchant for travel and spreading the gospel of the craft beer economy.