12 Oct 2018
Asheville boasts more breweries per capita than any other city, so you'll never be in danger of running out of good times and local beer when you're in Beer City USA. One of the great aspects of
Asheville's innovative beer scene is that brewmasters are always experimenting with new recipes - brewing beer in bourbon barrels, infusing flavors such as cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, cinnamon, coriander, coffee beans....the sky is really the limit when it comes to beer!
Most popular breweries like to keep a host of seasonal brews on tap so that you'll have a nice beverage to accompany the mood of the season. For many, Asheville's fall seasonals win the day with releases of pumpkin beers, Oktoberfest beers or Highland Brewing's Thunderstruck coffee porter.
Asheville Fall Beer Festivals
- German-themed Oktoberfest events are plentiful in October, including Asheville's Pack Square celebration (October 6) which incorporates keg-rolling competitions, live oompah music and tastings from local breweries. Sierra Nevada Brewery hosts an Oktoberfest (October 13th with food, costumes, dancing, and music -- don't leave your lederhosen at home!
- Brewgrass Festival's 2018 event takes place on October 27th at Memorial Stadium in Asheville and showcases more than 120 beers from 40+ regional breweries and bluegrass musicians. USA Today 10 Best nominated Brewgrass as one of the nation's best beer festivals in 2017.
- Burnpile Harvest Fest is hosted by one of the Asheville leaders in brewing innovation, Burial Beer. The November 3rd Harvest Fest celebrates with live music and fall-themed beers from more than 20 breweries, many of which are brewed exclusively for the event.
- CiderFestNC started in 2013 and showcases the best in hard cider. The 2018 CiderFest takes place at Asheville's Salvage Station event space on October 13th.
Fall Beer Releases
While fall beer releases can vary by year and demand, here is a sample list of Asheville beers released during the fall season:
- It's released every year for a limited time around the fall season by Highland Brewing - Thunderstruck Coffee Porter. Brewed with organic fair trade coffee from Dynamite Coffee Roasters, this coffee porter is a local Asheville favorite. The 2018 release party takes place Friday, October 12th.
- Highland Brewing hosts a beer release that is arguably one of the most popular releases of the entire year - Cold Mountain Ale, with notes of vanilla, hazelnut, dark fruit, and cinnamon -- this beer will be released during a release party on November 8-10th. Typically the beer is distributed to stores shortly after this, and it usually sells out locally the same day.
- Burial Beer releases a couple of beers during their Harvest Fest. In 2018 they are slotted to release Ceremony of Exhumation 2018 Cuvee, a 7% sour saison aged in wooden containers with notes of citrus fruit, mild tropical aromas, and "Feast From The Slaughter Double Barrel Barleywine," a 13% barleywine that was aged for over 15 months in Willet Bourbon Barrels and then again in American Pinot Noir Barrels and includes notes of caramel, toffee, vanilla bean and sherry.
- You can count on Wicked Weed Brewing to keep the experimental beers flowing. During this time of year, they release a whole host of pumpkin beers including Pumpkin Up the Volume, a pumpkin ale brewed with pumpkin, spices, vanilla, and others like Smokin Pumpkins and Chai Pumpkin Stout.
- Black Mountain's Pisgah Brewing has a Chocolate Pumpkin Ale brewed with heirloom pumpkins, raw cocoa nibs from French Broad Chocolate Lounge, an Oktoberfest brewed with Munich malts and they also release their popular Coffee Stout, the Valdez, in October. This year, it will be released on 10/12.
While fall beers tend to range from a variety of types and flavors, in general, we see the return of porters and stouts which pair well with colder evenings. No worries if you're not a porter or stout lover, Asheville breweries typically keep their staples on tap year-round, and there are always exceptions to rules of brewing in Asheville.
Want some more inspiration? Check out our post on visiting Asheville in the fall!