Festival attendees sample SweetWater beers at last year’s first Tryon Beer Festival. (photo by Samantha Hurst)
Festival attendees sample SweetWater beers at last year’s first Tryon Beer Festival. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

Tap into Tryon again with 2013 Tryon Beer Festival

Published 3:32pm Saturday, October 19, 2013

The second annual Tryon Beer Fest is just around the corner.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9 from noon until 8 p.m. in the Tryon Depot Plaza.

Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success with more than 500 participants. This year’s festival is expected to draw an even larger crowd since there will be extended hours, more brewers, beers and wine as well, a larger festival area under a tent, and the addition of an all-you-can-eat oyster roast in the evening hours.

Beer festivals reflect the interest in the growing national trend toward small brewing companies, microbreweries and brewpubs that first emerged in the 1980s.

The idea was picked up from the United Kingdom, where in the 1970s brewers successfully marketed ales made in casks rather than in large quantities of beer manufactured in massive vats.

Today there are an estimated 2,075 craft breweries in the United States while the 43 major breweries in the country still sell the preponderance of beer by volume, mostly mild-tasting lagers.

Small brewing companies thrive due to a nation’s desire for quality and diversity in their beverage of choice even though the cost might be slightly higher. For this reason the beer festival serves to showcase dozens to more than 100 craft beers in one place. This allows a person to sample a range of beers to find one or more that agrees with his or her taste without having to purchase six full bottles of each.

Of the country’s craft breweries, about 800 are labeled as microbreweries. To maintain classification as a microbrewery, annual production must not exceed 15,000 barrels.

A barrel contains 31 U.S. gallons. There are also 90 or so regional craft breweries that produce slightly larger quantities but in general do not have national distribution.

A ‘lesser’ category of beer maker is the brewpub. While some may offer beer-to-go, the brewery is on-premise, usually associated with an attached restaurant. In Germany, for example, some brewpubs have been in business for well more than 100 years. There are approximately 1,100 brewpubs in the United States. Most brands of this beer do not come bottled to you; you have to go to it.

At this year’s event more than 30 local/regional craft beers will be on tap, chilled and ready for sampling. For those who prefer wine over beer, German wines will be featured as well for sampling.

Juicy brats, German potato salad and sauerkraut along with various German desserts will tempt and delight your palate. New to this year’s event is an all-you-can eat oyster roast 4-7 p.m. (available as a pre-sell only), delicious Brezels from the Underground Baking Co. in Hendersonville and pizza by the slice from Bucks Pizza of Tryon.

For more information about the festival, visit tryonbeerfest.com. You can also purchase tickets there and with local merchants.

– article submitted by Joe Pullara


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