Cheers to craft beers and the Mountaineers! The High Country celebrates the 10th Annual Beer Fest at the High Country Fairgrounds on Saturday August 26, 2017 from 3:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. There are plenty of tickets available, so be sure to get your ticket before tickets sell out!
The festival goers join in appreciation and excitement for craft beer, craft food, good music, educational seminars and games. The High Country Beer Fest seminars include food pairings, beer tasting and brewing education.
As the High Country Beer Fest celebrates its tenth anniversary, attendees are thrilled because this year will be the biggest and the best year yet! In addition to having a wide variety of vendors, there are several ticket options. Tickets can be purchased from Peabody’s Beer and Wine or from Benchmark Provisions. Ticket types include designated driver, general admission, VIP and Premium VIP. Tickets sell out fast, so we do not encourage waiting to purchase your ticket.
According to the High Country Beer Fest, up to 36 Premium VIP ticket holders will receive an exclusive VIP experience through a private tour of the fermentation sciences department. Ticket holders are also invited to attend a luncheon at Basil’s Fresh Pasta and Deli. The luncheon will serve eight courses of food and beer pairings. While at the luncheon, local venders Blowing Rock Brewing Co., Booneshine, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Lost Province will allow ticket holder to sample elusive specialty beers. These ticket holders will also receive a Beer Fest shirt, a tasting glass, and a meal voucher to use at the event.
This year three featured artists will perform. The bands include Earleine, Flow Tribe and Mission in the Rain. Earline is a singer songwriter whose lyrics send her listeners into a folk rock and soulful daze. Flow Tribe is a entertaining band that is full of life and movement through a wide variety of soulful styling. And the third act, Mission in the Rain is a local group from the High Country who enjoy honoring music from The Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band.
While the High Country Beer Fest serves as a curator of the quality and craftsmanship of beer, it does not encourage intoxication, even though it is likely to occur. Because of this, the High Country Beer Fest has planned a few safe ways to leave the event. The department methods include Uber and designated drivers, free towings of your car and up to four passengers from Bill’s garage until 9 p.m., and there will be buses provided by Mountain Alliance and River and Earth Adventures from Appalachian State’s Raley Lot to the High Country Fairgrounds from 2:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. The High Country Beer Fest encourages out-of-town visitors to get a hotel room from the Courtyard by Marriott or the Hampton Inn & Suites.
Beer unites the High Country and has dynamically boosted the local economy. Young professionals have become drawn to Boone because the local breweries provide entertainment that extends beyond a refreshing brew. This is shown through the journey of the High Country Beer Fest. From its inception, the festival was held indoors at the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center. However, due to the event’s rise in popularity it moved outdoors to the High Country Fairgrounds in order to allow a larger group of festival attendees.
Brett Taubman, associate professor of chemistry at Appalachian State University says, “The Beer Fest means a lot to me. I started the event 10 years ago with a few other local beer enthusiasts. We wanted to not only highlight the amazing products craft brewers are making but also raise awareness of the economic benefits of the craft beer industry in general, especially in regions like northwestern NC where these industries can be major economic drivers.”
This year there will be 57 breweries ranging from local areas to the West coast. 37 of the breweries are from North Carolina.
The Beer Fest is unique in comparison to other festivals found in Boone because it is a 100% nonprofit event that unites the High Country Community and beyond. The primary beneficiary of the High Country Beer Fest is the Fermentation Sciences Department at Appalachian State University, Taubman stated that the department receives around 70 to 80 percent of the total profit. The other beneficiaries are the vendors, and local nonprofits include the Blue Ridge Conservancy-Middle Fork Greenway Association, High Country Mommies, High Country Local First, Ivory Tower, Inc. and The Mountain Alliance. The Beer Fest boosts the local economy, while providing a fun experience to the festival goers.
Tauban, when asked about the growth of the festival, stated,“In the early years of the festival, we probably had a couple dozen breweries and a few hundred attendees. The next several years, we held the event outdoors in late summer at the Broyhill and saw steady growth in both the number of breweries and the number of attendees. For the last several years, we’ve held the event at the High Country Fairgrounds, have had 50+ breweries, and over 2500 attendees. Not only that, but we’ve expanded the music and food offerings so that now the Beer Fest is a premier outdoor festival in the High Country.
Appalachian added the fermentation sciences major through the department of chemistry in June of 2012. A degree in fermentation sciences extends beyond learning how to make beer and wine. It teaches students about bio-processing, agriculture, biology, chemistry, entrepreneurship, marketing, mathematics and writing through a structured and rigorous classroom environment. This major aims to prepare students with the opportunity to work hands on with biotechnology, facility design and operation, distilleries, breweries, wineries and vineyards in efforts of the students gaining out-of-the-classroom experience.
Appalachian Mountain Brewery, one of the vendors, is a sponsor of the Appalachian State Fermentation Sciences program. AMB’s head brewer Nathan Kelischek is an alumni of that program. This shows how the event has grown, and it’s alumnus are sticking around because of the rise of craft beer in the High Country.
Be on the lookout for tickets to the High Country’s 10th Annual Beer Fest. This is an event that you do not want to miss!