We had not really gotten on the cider wagon. Living in Asheville nowadays, you gravitate to craft beer for the most part. And rightly so. After Beer City USA happened, the craft drinking scene in our community was embedded in our hearts and souls, which led to our mouths and down our throats. Along with that, comes their cousin cider! After reading a recent article about the Top 25 Restaurants in Asheville, and seeing how Urban Orchard Cider Company made this list; we had to go again. Not only that, but when the Asheville Foodie page on Facebook tagged the restaurants on Facebook congratulating them, they were one of the few who responded. Social media counts, so that’s a few more clout points to them in our book!
The cider was delicious, perfect for the Sunday brunch meal that we had which was an Artichoke Dip plate and a Reuben Sandwich. Everything was so good. We sat in the open window seats and enjoyed the fresh air. If you have not been to Urban Orchard Cider Company, they are located on Haywood Rd East in west Asheville on what some call Asheville’s Sweet Slope. Other eateries in walking distance of this spot are The Hop Ice Creamery, Short Street Cakes, HOLE Doughnuts, and the new Taco Billy.
Also, remember that the NC Cider Fest 2015 is coming up on November 7, 2015 in Asheville. That event is going to be tremendous!!
I decided to do some research on the Asheville area, Breweries and Beer City USA. After our team has put in dozens of hours campaigning and trying to make sure our area retained the BeerCityUSA crown; we wanted to see what each brewery in the area was also doing to make this happen.
We decided to put our focus on Twitter since the Beer City USA polls opened on May 1st and here is what we found:
1. Wedge Brewing – does not have a Twitter account, so they do not have an audience to share with and push for the Asheville Beer City USA votes.
2. French Broad Brewery – On May 2nd, there was a tweet about people talking “smacktalk” on the Beer City poll page. Then on May 11th, they put our a tweet saying “Asheville neck’n’neck with Grand Rapids” with a link to the poll.
3. Sierra Nevada – Not one mention of voting for Asheville as Beer City USA.
4. Asheville Brewing – Only one mention of the poll “Grand Rapids getting fired up about the Beer City Poll, remember to vote and if you leave a comment ; keep it clean, keep it friendly” but no link to the poll.
8. Highland Brewing – Only one mention of the poll in a question type manner “Hello beer lovers, do you think Asheville should be Beer City USA this year? Vote here … Cheers” and they did put a link to the poll.
9. Greenman Brewing – No mention of the Beer City USA poll until today, May 13th, the last day of the poll. The 1st tweet about it was “Last chance… vote for Asheville today!…” with a link to the poll. The 2nd tweet about it was “Don’t forget to come in and vote beer city!!! We are close with Grand Rapids!” without a link to the poll.
10. Pisgah Brewing – One mention of the Beer City USA poll in the form of a retweet “RT @avlbeerguy: Grand Rapids, Mich. has the lead in the Beer City USA poll. Come on people,. time to vote for Asheville. #avlbeer” on May 11th, and they did not put a link to the poll.
11. Craggie Brewing – One mention of the Beer City USA poll in the form of a retweet “RT @bruisinales: RT @AVLBeerguy: Latest Beer City poll results: Asheville 29 percent, Grand Rapids 28 percent. Vote!…” and they did put a link to the poll.
Lesson: Next year have your tweeter, or marketing “guru” (lol) tweet this once a day… “Vote Asheville as Beer City USA 2013 http://…” and they can put it on their smartphone schedule as a recurring reminder once a day during the voting time. #DUH
I do not know what to say. I try to make excuses. I thought “maybe they are not tweeting or maybe they do not know how to put a link in their tweets” .. but after reviewing their Twitter stream, I see that is not correct. Even if your brewery has 2 or more hometown cities or many distribution points; vote for and promote the one in the big lead!! I know all of these companies benefit from the Beer City USA Title and Asheville being a brew and brewing destination, so why not support it? Maybe it is their marketing strategist who is not on the pulse? Maybe is the owner who is living high and heavy on past Beer City USA titles and does not care? Until Asheville loses of course… then they want to say “we tried.” BLAH! I see many of the breweries talking about themselves and their events; but when it came to Beer City USA, there was an apathetic silence of sorts. How are we supposed to support breweries who do not even step up and encourage people to vote for Asheville as Beer City USA? If local Asheville based breweries cannot get their act together to promote and support the movement, then my company and several others refuse to from here on!!
As far as the top Hotels in the area, the Hotel Indigo in Asheville was the ONLY one that supported the Beer City USA Poll. And they tweeted it at least 11 times! That is about as much as all of the AVL breweries put together. Really? No wonder why we are neck n’ neck with Grand Rapids.
What about Restaurants in downtown Asheville? Who supported the Beer City USA movement on Twitter? As far as we can see, it was Barleys Taproom & Pizza, 151 Boutique Bar, Strada Italiano, and also The Junction in the River Arts District. Sad, sad, sad. But thank you to them!!
What about the other Cities in the Beer City USA poll? Did their breweries support the Vote? What would happen if the AVL breweries really got behind this? Why don’t the Asheville Breweries support Beer City USA?
Great things happening in the Asheville foodie community! The area has become a Mecca of everything from food trucks to fine dining. There are so many restaurants that are constantly evolving, and also new places opening up. Here is some news and reviews for the month of April 2012:
The Mussels at Strada Asheville are simply amazing! We stopped by the other day to see if one of our favorite appetizers in the area had slacked at all, and the answer was NO! They are so delish. Add a glass of wine to go along with them, and WOW! You will be back.
Also see the new article on the Strada Asheville blog called Bread Talks in Asheville North Carolina. On any given day, they have a case of bread that is packed with fresh breads of many different types for you to choose from. Grab & Go!
While roaming around downtown Asheville, we stopped by the Battery Park Book Exchange. They always have fresh snacks and baked goods in case someone gets hungry, and they had this beautiful white cake ready to be eaten, preferably by me! I usually order a bottle of wine when I am here at meetings, checking out the vast selection of books, or playing hide and go seek on the upper maze level.
Rise N Shine Cafe gets lots of LOVE this month as their breakfast offerings, which are offered all day, made a HUGE impression on many of us in the Asheville community. See several great posts about this spot just 3 minutes north of downtown Asheville:
Oh.. if you are in downtown Asheville and looking for some Mexican food, beer, music, cocktails and some good people watching; check out TallGarys who just released a new menu packed out with many refined and new offerings!
And, if you want the BEST White Pizza in Asheville, we highly recommend that you try out Woody’s Pizza & Hoagies on Tunnel Rd in East Asheville, right behind Applebee’s in the Office Depot parking lot. Great food, people, beer, TVs and fun that NEVER breaks the bank. I have heard many people say they wish they had known about this place sooner because it is such good food & value.
While at the Hotel Indigo the other evening, I talked to Brad who was at the counter behind the snack area at the 151 Boutique Bar & Kitchen. He explained to me that all of the snacks, wraps & muffins they sell are made fresh daily and they are organic. Even the pasta they use here is made from scratch! Nice place to stop in a grab a whole meal, or to grab a delicious snack to stay or go. Coffee is very tasty too!
Had a great meal the other day at The Noodle Shop in downtown Asheville also. Take a look at this.. pork, peppers, onions and Jasmine rice. YUM!
And do not, I said DO NOT forget to get some Ice Cream from The Hop located in both North and West Asheville NC!
When you think about beer, people around Asheville are thinking about Craft Beer. With so many great breweries in town, the question is not “where can I find a good beer?” but more like “which brewery am I going to go to?” Asheville is Beer City USA!
All this was before Sierra Nevada and New Belgium ever dug their heels in this awesome town we call home. Now they too are a local NC brand with more beer power in the mix! Who’s next? Welcome! Beer City USA is a Title we have been pretty proud of for the past few years now. Critics of Asheville winning the title, living in Beer Cities several times larger, for some reason cannot calculate that per-capita, we have more breweries than them. We are like “do the math already!”
But it is not just about the beer that makes Asheville – Beer City USA. Atmosphere plays a big part in it. The beautiful mountains in one of the Greenest and Healthiest Cities in America is a huge contribution. Businesses also play a big part in this dynamic. Most restaurants, that are worth their salt, are featuring craft brew on many of their taps. Festivals help Asheville a lot too. Brewgrass, Beer City Fest and the Winter Warmer Festival have built a community of local and traveling brew lovers who gather at these great events. Craft Beer is King here!! I remember someone tweeting that Asheville was the only place where vendors sell only local craft beer, no Bud, out of the Budweiser carts.
Then we have the people in the area and the people behind the beer. Southern hospitality & common courtesy + craft beer = WIN! When you meet the brewers of Asheville, you meet a person who is putting their heart and life into their brewery, product, the Asheville WNC community; and they will stop in a moment to tell you all about it. New Belgium’s CEO Kim Jordan will fit in just fine.
The Beer City USA title for Asheville North Carolina is well deserved. It just didn’t happen by chance. Hundreds and thousands of people have been putting blood, sweat, hops and tears in this area for years for such a time as this. Now that time is come. Vote for Asheville NC as Beer City USA 2012.
Charlie Papazian of Examiner.com released the article “Nominate your city for BeerCity USA 2012 ballot – Poll open” the other day. Asheville will automatically be in the running, so a nomination is not needed! But May 1 – May 13, 2012 is when the official voting begins and we need people like you, our craft beer loving, brew guzzling community and other Worldwide fans to make this happen once again. I believe Charlie would then call it a four-pete.
We are already picking out our outfits for the 2012 Asheville Beer City USA celebration!
Beer and excitement is brewing as New Belgium Brewing, the 3rd largest craft beer brewery and 7th largest beer brewery in the USA, has chosen Asheville North Carolina as their East Coast location. NC Governor Bev Perdue came to Western North Carolina yesterday to make the official announcement and cheers were all over the place.
This will mean 150 new jobs for the area and $175 million dollars worth of investment over several years. The area that they have chosen is not necessarily the “ideal” place. New Belgium CEO Kim Jordan said that they want to be in a place where they can add value. She also said that NBB “could have chosen a “Green Field” site, but they wanted a quality of life, a walkability, bikability, live-work kind of situation that really speaks to how we like to show up in a community.” Kim also talked about the French Broad River and the potential it carries. Riverlink supporters were there holding a banner in big support!
Beer City USA strikes again. Congratulations Asheville NC!