Asheville has never really been short on great stuff. There's the lush scenery of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the cascading falls at Sliding Rock, the history at the Grove Park Inn and the Vanderbilts' Biltmore Estate and a whole lot of hiking, biking and brewing to be done.
Speaking of brewing, though, 2013 is the year Asheville transforms from a really nice little beer town to a great beer city and a beer industry hub. It's provided a great home for brewers such as Highland, Craggie, Oyster House, Green Man and French Broad for several years while drawing in beer lovers from across the country with its beer-and-bluegrass Brewgrass festival.This year, however, its much-talked-about influx of brewers from the West becomes a reality. Though Chico, Calif.-based Sierra Nevada and Fort Collins, Colo.-based New Belgium aren't expected to open their breweries here for at least another year, the can-crazy folks at Oskar Blues in Lyons, Colo., are cranking up their East Coast operations in Asheville later this year. The brewer is expecting to produce 40,000 barrels in Asheville alone in 2013, which is fairly impressive since it took Oskar Blues nearly 13 years to start producing that much brew in Colorado. There's been a lot of big beer talk in Asheville up to this point. By the end of 2013, it'll have at least one big brewery that can back it up.