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It’s that time, folks. This week — Thursday, Friday & Saturday. The Asheville Wine and Food Festival is a happening. And thus far in our conversations about the fesival we’ve discussed wine, prohibition and liquor. So, what could possibly be missing from this equation (other than, you know, food)? Beer. The answer is Beer.

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North Carolina, and Asheville in particular, is exploding with breweries, both established and up and coming. North Carolina hosts the largest number of breweries in the South, and Asheville has been counted among the top 24 cities worldwide for drinking beer. Life was a little tough for North Carolina breweries prior to 2005, due to a law that mandated a 6% Alcohol by Volume (“ABV”) cap on beer. A group of North Carolina beer lovers gathered in 2003 and began the “Pop the Cap” campaign, which lobbied to raise the restrictive 6% ABV limit. Their efforts were successful and in 2005 the ABV cap was raised to a hefty 15%. (well, hefty for beer.)

Thus, it only makes sense that breweries make a good showing at the Asheville Wine and Food Festival. Large producers Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues both have breweries in North Carolina and will be present at the Grand Tasting Event on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

If you’re looking for a truly local experience, the Asheville Brewing Company and Burial Beer are also among the breweries to check out on Saturday. Also, Sweetwater, which hails from my hometown (Atlanta) and where I’ve spent many a pleasant evening. Rounding up the lineup are Foothills Brewing, Hi-Wire Brewing and The Traveler Beer Co..

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Disclaimer: inclusion of a brewery in this image does not guarantee that brewery’s attendance at the Asheville Wine and Food Festival. I just took pictures of a bunch of local beers.

So, if the wine, liquor and food aren’t enough to entice you to visit the Asheville Wine and Food Festival this week, all that delicious beer should get the job done. Because who wouldn’t want beer with their food and booze?

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The grand tasting takes place on Saturday, August 23, 2014 from 2-5 (1-5 VIP) at the U.S. Cellular Center | 87 Haywood St., Asheville, NC. Tickets are available via the Asheville Wine and Food Festival website.

This post is sponsored by The Asheville Wine and Food Festival, but, as always, all words, images and opinions are my own.