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Rhythm and Brews concert series on tap downtown

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is teaming up with the city of Hendersonville and the Friends of Ecusta Trail to bring a summer concert series downtown.

The California-based craft company, which has fast-tracked brewery construction on the French Broad River, plans to start making beer at its new Mills River plant by this summer. The company has been active in promoting smaller craft breweries that have proliferated in the Asheville area.
If it's approved by the Hendersonville City Council next month, the Rhythm and Brews concert series will feature R&B artists on a stage between Main and King streets and Third and Fourth avenues. The city has lined up Sierra Nevada as a partner. The concerts will benefit the Friends of Ecusta Trail.
The new music shows join Friday night Music on Main and the Monday night street dance and they will be new in more ways than music genre. It's the first wet music series among the regular summertime offerings.
The event will feature local craft beers and local wines from the county's new wineries, Chris Burns of Summit Marketing said during a talk at the Hendersonville Kiwanis Club on Thursday. Burns is also one of the organizers of the Friends of Ecusta Trail, the group promoting the proposal to convert the abandoned Hendersonville-to-Brevard rail line into a greenway.
Brews and Blues is not meant to compete with existing music offerings on Main Street, said Lew Holloway, the city's Main Street coordinator. Four shows would be staged one Thursday a month from May through August at the Azalea parking lot between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue East.
The Tourism Development Authority sponsors the Music on Main series on Fridays. The Flat Rock Playhouse has scheduled nine Music on the Rock tributes at the Playhouse Downtown through November. There's the Monday night square dancing.
"We're still developing it," he said. "We'll be bringing it to the council next month."
Councilman Jeff Collis made several references to Holloway's next big event when the council was talking about downtown art last week.
Holloway said he has talked to the TDA and to the Flat Rock Playhouse about the idea and has not received objections from either. The idea behind the once-a-month series is to broaden the pool of people who have a reason to come downtown, adding one more night to the choices.
"We've talked with the Playhouse, and a couple of the dates do conflict with Music on the Rock but both are the second week" when sales are usually higher, he said. "We think we're going to appeal to a broader demographic."