by Madison Fisler Lewis
Aug. 8, 2014. The Avery County Chamber of Commerce hosted the second annual Spirit of Avery event last night, once again to a massive success, sponsored by Eseeola Lodge and the High Country ABC Store.
The Spirit of Avery event allowed participants a chance to taste local distilled products, offering samples in favorite spirits like rum, brandy, gin, bourbon and more.
“We had at least 100 people attend, which is more than we had last year,” said Teresa Bledsoe of the Avery County Chamber of Commerce.
This year, the event featured seven distilleries and three wineries providing tastings and four restaurants; The Lodge at Eseeola, Gadabouts, Sisterly’s and Cameron Bay; offered hors d’oeuvres to hungry guests. The event also featured live music courtesy of The Johnson Brothers.
This year’s participating distilleries included:
- Tobacco Road Distilled Spirits – Clinton
- Broadslab Distillery – Benson
- Johnson Bros Distillery
- Carolina Distillery – Lenoir
- Blue Ridge Distillery – Golden Valley
- Petzold Distillery – Marshall
- Muddy River Distillery – Belmont
This year’s participating wineries were:
- Grandfather Vineyards
- Linville Falls Winery
- Banner Elk Winery
Attendees milled about from 5:30- 7 p.m. at Camp Yonohnoka, enjoying tastings from the distilleries and wineries, delicious hors d’oeuvres and company and conversation from the other guests in attendance.
Aside from the tastings and refreshments, guests were treated to the educational side of the distilleries and learned about the history of the local distilleries from the experts. Liquor production has a rich and interesting history, especially in the south.