Asheville has quickly become known as one of the beer meccas of the nation, rubbing elbows with cities nearly twice its size. With nearly two dozen breweries in operation in and around the downtown area, taking part in a guided brewery tour is one of the many ways to experience the true craft behind the product.
BREW-ed founder Cliff Mori is one of the few certified cicerone’s in Asheville. Mori says he started the beer education tours as a way of offering the public world class tours of some of the best craft breweries in the nation.
“Our tours are more than just beer tasting tours where microbrewery tour guides shuffle you between breweries and pour beer into your glasses,” Mori noted. “Our tours take you inside Asheville’s craft beer culture.”
While on one of BREW-ed’s guided tours, guests will learn how beer is made, all the way from how the grain is grown to how the shape of the glass can affect the taste of the beer. Mori offers guests the proper technique in tasting beer to make sure the consumer enjoys it to the fullest.
“While Asheville’s amazing breweries have certainly made our city a hub for beer in the southeast, craft beer is a nationwide phenomenon,” Mori explained. “On our brewery tours, we take a look at the craft beer industry as a whole, and how it has grown from the microbreweries of the 1970s to the superstars and up-and-comers you find on beer store shelves in Asheville and elsewhere.”
BREW-ed’s tours are about more than the pitchers of beer you sample while visiting the different breweries; guests get a behind the scenes look at the brewing process.
“You will learn how to critically taste a beer, how to describe beer flavors, and learn which ingredients create them,” Mori explained.
There are five tour options offered through BREW-ed, beginning with a two hour tour on Thursday evenings to the three hour tour on Saturday afternoons. While on the BREW-ed tours, guests have a chance to visit Hi-Wire Brewing, Catawba Brewing, Green Man Brewery, Wicked Weed Brewing and Asheville Brewing Company.
“At each stop, our brewery tour guides will pour several beers to showcase what makes each brewery unique,” Mori said. “Variety is the spice of life, so we encourage tour participants to try everything.”
Mori has a great deal of both knowledge and experience in the craft beer industry. He helped develop the brewing sciences programs at both AB-Tech and South College in Asheville and now, in addition to offering tours of local breweries, works as an educator for the Cicerone Certification Program, an international organization dedicated to better beer service.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.