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Sierra Nevada beer festival sold out

MILLS RIVER — If Sierra Nevada officials had any doubts about the reception they'd receive in once-dry Mills River, they need not have worried. The big public debut is sold out.


The California-based craft brewer made Mills River the final stop on its seven-city Beer Camp Across America tour that is promoting its own and other craft brewers' beer. The event takes place on Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of the brewery. Shuttle parking is available at the WNC fairgrounds.
"We're really impressed by the turnout. We're impressed by the other beer makers that have poured alongside us," Bill Manley, product development manager for Sierra Nevada, said in an interview on the way to the Beer Camp festival at Portland, Maine. "We couldn't ask for better circumstances."
Sierra Nevada has the stop in Portland, then a festival in Philadelphia on Saturday before it ends the tour at its first East Coast brewery, in Mills River. The tour started in Sierra Nevada's hometown of Chico, Calif., and traveled San Diego, Denver and Chicago before its East Coast cities. Mills River is by far the smallest town on the tour but the event will draw from Asheville, a three-time winner of the Beer City USA crown and a hotbed of small and highly regarded craft breweries.
The smallest drew just under 2,000 people and the biggest has been around 5,000, in Chico. Mills River might have been the biggest if organizers had not cut off ticket sales.
"Sold out means sold out," said Ryan Arnold, Sierra Nevada's communications manager. "We've kind of been observing how other events have flowed and dropped it down to about 4,200 or 4,300 tickets. Taking stock of how the other events have flowed and the space we have available in front of the brewery we feel like that will be a comfortable level."
One-hundred southeastern brewers have signed up for the Mills River festival, including 63 from North Carolina. At the festival, people can purchase food from 15 area food carts, including 3 Sun's Bistro, Avery's Dogs, Doc Brown's BBQ, Dogs, El Kimchi, Farm to Fender, Little Bee Thai, Pho Ya Belly, Root Down, Smash Box, The Hop, The Mobile Marlay, Tin can pizzeria , Underground Baking and Yellow Submarine Sandwich Co.
Oregon-based MarchFourth Marching Band will play a live set from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

 

AT A GLANCE

Beer Camp Across America
Sierra Nevada Brewery
Mills River
1-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3
Sold out
A $65 ticket includes souvenir tasting glass, unlimited samplings, band concert, free bike valet and drinking water (bring water bottle), free shuttle from WNC Ag Center in Fletcher and North Pack Square in Asheville. (Designated driver tickets are $30.)
What to bring: Cash for food and gift shop, rain gear, sunscreen, water bottle.
What not to bring: Anyone under 21, guns.