Events Spring 2016

Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest

By Brett Barest | March 08, 2016
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Photos courtesy of Cindy Kunst from CLicks Photography

Take a moment to imagine what your ideal cheese board would look like. Are there local cheeses of all styles and flavors? Are they accompanied by breads, charcuterie, jams, jellies and other spreadable goodness? Is there so much on the board to choose from that you do not even know where to start?

Now pretend the board is so large that you can walk around on it, and you’ll start to get an idea of what it is like to experience the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest.

This April, that giant cheese board will be at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville. Cheesemakers from all over the region will be accompanied by local food producers for a delicious spring afternoon supporting the WNC Cheese Trail, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the Western North Carolina cheese industry, building consumer education and encouraging tourism. Guests are invited to learn about, taste and purchase some of the best cheese being made in our region today.

Last year’s festival welcomed almost 20 different farms and creameries from Western North Carolina and beyond. Cheese from cow, sheep and goat milks were all represented, as true cheese lovers do not discriminate against milk producing farm species. In addition, farm fresh meats and locally sourced breads and spreads all served as the perfect complement.

In addition to meeting the makers and sampling their wares, the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest offers a host of activities the whole family can enjoy. Grown folks will love the cheese and beer pairings from host and sponsor Highland Brewing. Highland is Asheville’s oldest brewery and one of the largest in North Carolina, and cheese pairings with their brews guarantees to be one of the festival’s biggest attractions. There will also be workshops, demonstrations and children’s activities.

The Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest is the flagship fundraiser of the WNC Cheese Trail. Despite its modest ticket price, this festival goes a long way supporting that mission. Participating farms and creameries are spread wide across the Western North Carolina mountains, and the $12-15 admission is a bargain to have them all at one venue.

Now in its second year, the group aims to build on the resounding success of last year’s festival. “Success” is probably an understatement—the group expected around 500 attendees but approximately 1,500 showed up. The infrastructure held strong, however, and despite a few longer-than-expected lines, the festival went off without a hitch. Organizers expect this year’s festival to be an even greater success. Good, local people love good, local cheese.

April 24
Highland Brewing Company
12 Old Charlotte Highway
Asheville, NC

Photo 1: Photos courtesy of Cindy Kunst from CLicks Photography
Photo 2: Photos courtesy of Cindy Kunst from CLicks Photography


March 22-24
Do not miss this self-guided culinary tour of Greenville and beyond as local restaurants serve up special menus in small plate style. Get a sample of flavor from your favorite establishment or get to know someone new without having to commit to an entire meal. Enjoy tastes from an assortment of restaurants in a single excursion and taste the Upstate like you never have before.

April 23
Now in its fourth year, The Community Tap’s Craft Beer Festival features some of the best beer you can find in the Upstate. Sample from 40 plus breweries as they share old favorites, specialty brews, and some rarities you can only find here. Throw in some live music and food trucks and this is an event no craft beer lover should ever miss.

April 30
While we are on the subject of local cheese for these spring events, it is impossible to forget about the fine folks at Split Creek Farm. Their artisanal goat cheeses are as good as it gets and their herd is well worth celebrating. Their annual Spring Means Babies day invites you to welcome the farm’s newest additions and enjoy the farm first hand.

Presented by Our Carolina Foothills, these tours explore at least three or four local restaurants across Landrum, Tryon, Columbus and Saluda. These are perfect events for family or professional outings, wedding parties or just a group of friends looking to do something different for a weekend. Take a Taste of the South tour for a unique Foothills dining experience.


Organic Growers School 23rd Annual Spring Conference, Asheville
March 12 & 13

SpringQuinox @ Upcountry Provisions, Travelers Rest
March 18

Springfest in Uptown Greenwood
March 24

Organic Growers School’s Farm Dreams Workshop, Candler, NC
April 2

Spring Skunk Music Fest @ The Skunk Farm, Greer
April 7-9

SC Botanical Garden Plant Sale, Clemson
April 8 & 9

7th Annual SC Chili Cook-Off, Belton
April 9

Greenville Craft Beer Week
April 17-23

Project Host & Gardening For Good Plant Sale, Greenville
April 15-16

Greenbrier Farms Plant Sale, Easley
April 16

The SC Native Plant Society Plant Sale, Greenville
April 16

7th Annual Project Host BBQ Cook-Off & Festival, Greenville
April 29 & 30

Greater Greenville Master Gardeners Plant Sale
April 30

Asheville Cocktail Week
May 4-8

Travelers Rest Farmers Market Grand Opening & Plant Sale
May 7

Bovinoche @ Upcountry Provisions, Travelers Rest
May 13 & 14

Oconee Forever’s Rally in the Valley Bike Ride
May 28

Article from Edible Upcountry at
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