High Country Association of REALTORS News

Things to do on a weekend - Enjoy some locally brewed brews

High Country Beer Fest logoBeer is always popular. Not just for its taste and sporting event connectivity, but also for how it's made. The past several years have seen a boom in the popularity of small market labels. And that growth has led to a number of beer festivals across the country. One of the best - it's made one national top 10 list - is the High Country Beer Fest in Boone.

The event is a showcase for tastes made on a small scale.

"We definitely have the most local and regional breweries we've had in the past four years," (founder Brett Taubman) said.

"We have two dozen Carolina breweries, which is pretty sweet. We try to get as many from around the state and immediate region as possible. Once we do that, we work with some of the local distributors to bring in some of the bigger craft brands that people know and love." ...

Although its offerings are diverse - and the attendance has nearly tripled since the inaugural event four years ago - the High Country Beer Fest remains comfortably intimate.

"It's small enough so people can still interact with the brewers," Taubman said. "And that's the key, teaching people about all the great styles and beers that are out there. If there were just a lot of long lines like there are at other beer festivals ... where brewers don't have time to chat with anybody about the particular beers, where's the purpose in that? We're trying to support the industry and really bring beer awareness to the community. If we're not able to facilitate that, it's really not worth it in our eyes."

The Beer Fest is a seasonal bookend of sorts, coming five months after the Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival in Blowing Rock. Two more intoxicating events unique to the annual High Country social calendar.