What a week, what a year.

We were feted, hosted and made to feel SPECIAL by the very gracious Grossmans (yes, the Chico Grossmans), who flew us’n’s and other Asheville-area brewers out to their brewery for a few days of R&R. Words can’t describe the generosity, openness, and class Sierra Nevada has extended to the Asheville brewing community: They are, as the kids say these days, the tits.

It’s a Willy Wonka place, Sierra Nevada is, testament to the grownup homebrewers most pro brewers reveal when you scratch them. Every gadget and gewgaw, really beautiful equipment. We toured. We drank. And we brewed some beer.

The Asheville contingent brewed a couple of batches, and we think we’re going to be getting a couple kegs or so to pour at the tasting room so y’all can see what we did on our summer vacation. And we’ll be donating proceeds from pint sales to New Clairvaux Abbey, a Cistercian monastery not far from Chico. Our visit there was truly inspirational.

Anyways, it was a great trip, but it’s even better to be home, back in the city that every brewery in North America will eventually choose as its next site.