WNC Nature Center launches its Brews & Bears series

Highland beer with bear in the backgound


On May 10, the WNC Nature Center will host its first Brews & Bears event of the 2019 season. Due to the popularity of this after-hours event, there will be four events in the series: May 10, June 14, July 12, and August 9. The events will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

There will be food, drink, music, and yard games, and guests will get to watch an enrichment activity for the Nature Center’s resident black bears, Uno and Ursa.

“Brews and Bears is the perfect happy hour fundraiser that lets guests explore the Nature Center after hours while supporting the wildlife they love,” said Kate Frost, Director of Development at Friends of the WNC Nature Center. “You can also take your pint with you and visit the newest addition to the WNC Nature Center — our red pandas, Leafa and Phoenix.”

Admission to Brews & Bears is $8 for Friends of the WNC Nature Center members and $10 for non-members.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at this link. Proceeds from both ticket and beverage sales go to the Friends of the WNC Nature Center and help support various programs throughout the park, including animal enrichment and habitat renovations. The event is intended primarily for adults, although children are welcome to attend with the purchase of a ticket. Children 2 and under are free.


The schedule

Beer, cider or wine, and food will be available for purchase at each event.

May 10

Beer: Highland Brewing

Cider: Black Mountain Cider + Mead

Food Truck: Brinehaus Meat+Provision Food Truck

Others: Blunt Pretzels, The Hop Ice Cream


June 14

Beer: New Belgium Brewing

Cider: Black Mountain Cider + Mead

Food Truck: Cecilia’s Kitchen

Others: Blunt Pretzels; Sun’s Out, Buns Out Hot Dogs; The Hop Ice Cream


July 12

Beer: UpCountry Brewing

Mead/Wine: Black Mountain Cider + Mead, Plēb Urban Winery

Food Truck: Gypsy Queen Cuisine

Others: Blunt Pretzels; Sun’s Out, Buns Out Hot Dogs; The Hop Ice Cream


August 9

Beer: Oskar Blues Brewing

Cider: Black Mountain Cider + Mead

Food Truck: Appalachian Chic

Others: Blunt Pretzels; Sun’s Out, Buns Out Hot Dogs; The Hop Ice Cream


About the bears

The American black bear, Ursus americanus, is the only bear species native to North Carolina. At the WNC Nature Center, Uno and Ursa continue to be ambassadors for the American black bears in this area. They were removed from the wild for unknown reasons and lack survival skills. Therefore, they cannot be released into the wild. They prefer to den separately in the summer but enjoy sharing a den for winter torpor. On hot summer days, Uno and Ursa splash in their habitat’s pool and enjoy enrichment such as frozen fish, fruit, and ice popsicles.


WNC Nature Center

Asheville’s 42-acre WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, is home to over 60 species of animals, including river otters, red and gray wolves, black bears, and a cougar. Its mission is to connect people with animals and plants native to the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation.  The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.   For more information about the WNC Nature Center, visit their website at www.wildwnc.org. 

The Brews & Bears events are presented by Festiva and The Biltmore Company. Additional sponsors include Brickstreet Equity Management, Landmark Landscapes, and White Oak Financial Management.


Bear watching photo
Bear watching is a fun part of the WNC Nature Center’s Brews & Bears events. The center is home to two black bears, Uno and Ursa.