CHEERS!: Tryon Beer Fest celebrates craft beer, community spirit

Published 12:08 pm Monday, November 6, 2023

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Dozens of local, regional beers represented at event on Saturday


TRYON—Warmer weather returned for the weekend to welcome the 12th annual Tryon Beer Fest back to downtown, held at the Depot Plaza above N. Trade St. 

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One of the event’s founders, Kim Nelson of Tryon, spoke about how the Beer Fest has grown each year and how the community comes together to enjoy a local tradition. 

“I think we’ve done the best pre-sale tickets ever; this event has really grown in popularity. We wanted to create an adult-friendly event in Tryon, that’s how the event was born,” she says. “I’m just proud to be a part of something that brings so much to downtown Tryon. We appreciate all the volunteers and sponsors that make this event possible.” 

Some volunteers have participated every year since the event began in 2012. One such volunteer, Amy Waldner from Atlanta, said this is a fun event not to be missed. 

“It’s a blast,” Amy says. “We’re always excited to volunteer each year!” 

Craft beer has been on the rise over the last decade. With dozens of breweries from the Carolinas represented, beer lovers from across the area enjoyed the live music, the atmosphere and, of course, the libations. 

This is one of our favorite events in Tryon,” said Jennifer Zaragoza from Hendersonville. “We love how it’s set up, the people, the beers, it’s fantastic!”

Attendees enjoyed games, such as Giant Jenga and the ‘Hammer Nailing’ game, where participants try to drive a nail one-handed into a log with the small end of a hammer before their opponent, as well as a photo booth with props and accessories in line with this year’s Wild West-inspired theme, “High Noon.” 

Live music from Tryon’s Rich Nelson Band and Atlanta-based alternative rock band Suburban Angst kept the good times rolling, and a VIP section featured exclusive beers, complimentary appetizers and an indoor lounge area. Rhema Soul Food, Blunt Pretzels and Bullhded Peanut Co. were onsite, offering comfort food for guests. 

Locals said the setup and variety of beers and ciders available for unlimited tastings couldn’t be beat. Many folks traveled from across the region, and from across the country, to enjoy the fall colors and mountain views along with the beer tastings. 

“It’s an incredible event,” said Lucas Kowalski, traveling from New York. “Great beers, great weather, great times!”

“We just absolutely love the Tryon Beer Fest,” said Cody from Greenville, S.C. “We attend every year!”

Familiar Asheville-based brewing companies such as Wicked Weed, New Belgium and Hi-Wire were offering up some of their flagship beers, along with regional favorites like Birdsong Brewing from Charlotte, Dry Falls Brewing from Hendersonville, and Innovation from Sylva. 

Columbus’ own Iron Key Brewing Company was on site as well, offering up beer brewed right here in Polk County. 

“Being part of the Tryon Beer Fest was always a dream,” said Chris Balliew, co-owner of Iron Key. “We’ve been here for 3 years now, we look forward to it every year.”

Tryon Beer Fest was presented by the Tryon Downtown Development Association and New View Realty was the title sponsor of the event.