Asheville is many things to many people. To outdoor enthusiasts, it’s a mecca of activity from rafting to biking and everything in between. To beer lovers, it’s a mecca of craft beer from Imperial IPAs to Lagers and everything in between. To food lovers, it’s a mecca of locally sourced, organic flavors from vegans soup to meat lovers pizza. It’s little wonder that all these things go hand in hand. Those who tend to love the outdoors, want to protect the outdoors, and spend most of their time outdoors, also love heady brews and local fare. This is no coincidence; the outdoors lifestyle we have cultivated in the 21st century encompasses all these traits. At least for most of us. This weekend, take that epic bike ride, that long run, that kayaking trip, then head over to the U.S. Cellular Center for the Asheville Wine & Food Festival.
The name of this festival is a slight misnomer. Yes, there will be awesome food, and awesome wine from around North Carolina and the greater Asheville area, but there will also be ample amounts of local beer, and even locally distilled spirits, on hand for those who don’t enjoy the vino – who are these people? The main event is the Grand Tasting on Saturday where they will be popping bottles and cookin’ up grub from 1pm to 5pm. We could go on, but the events press release says it all:
“Even for locals, it’s still almost impossible to sample every delicious flavor the region has to offer, but The Grand Tasting comes pretty close. On Saturday, August 24, the U.S. Cellular Center will house the largest gathering of its kind in downtown Asheville. This year, nearly 125 local and international wine distributors and makers, a bevy of local Beer City and area brewers, regional distillers, restaurateurs and chefs, farmers, and artisan food producers will line the concourse and ground floor of the arena. Meet farmers, chefs, cookbook authors, and artisan makers, as well as select nonprofits and regional crafters. Cooking demonstrations will take place throughout the day, as well as the Amateur Winemaker Competition. And you won’t want to miss the WNC Chefs Challenge finale, when the Best Chef in WNC will be revealed.”
So let your passions combine at the Asheville Wine & Food Festival, just be sure to get your ride in beforehand. No one likes a tipsy, food coma-y exercise partner.