Black, queer-owned brewery opens

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — An African-American queer woman has opened Black Star Line Brewing, located at 131 3rd Ave. W., and becomes the first one to do so in Western North Carolina.

L.A. McCrae opened Black Star Line in mid-November with a vision “to build a movement that creates opportunities for marginalized, disenfranchised people in the Asheville area for empowerment and liberation through collective economics.”

The entrepreneur has even opened her doors to organizations as a venue at which to champion and support the community and provide a safe space in which to do so.

McCrae told The Citizen-Times that original brewers were African. “We’re going back to what our people, what people with melanin, like,” she shared. She also added, “Our brewery is a chance to change that narrative and create space for women, people of color, queer folks, and other folks with marginalized social identities. It is the spot that is truly for us and by us.”

McCrae’s activist nature began in grade school where she staged a sit-in to demand equal pay for the lunch lady and custodian, as well as input on the menu from students. Her education took her to the University of Tennessee where she majored in African studies and political science, afterward receiving her Masters’ from Wesley Theological Seminary, along with a post-graduate certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


Lez group set to bowl

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Asheville Lesbian Social Club Meetup will head to the lanes at Sky Lanes, 1477 Patton Ave., on Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m.

Sign in and shoe rental begins at 6 p.m.

Participants are invited to bring a friend. And, bowling will continue on the fourth Friday of every month, organizers said.

For more information, call Betty at 828-273-2531 prior to the event.


PFLAG to meet

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — The Hendersonville Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays will hold its 2018 Kick Off and BBQ fundraiser on Jan. 8, 6:30 p.m., at 1898 Waverly Inn, 783 N. Main St.

Join friends and supporters for a full barbecue dinner with smoked side dishes. Beer and wine will be available for an additional fee.

A $20 contribution is requested for adults and $10 for students and children, payable at the door.

An RSVP is requested due to meeting room size constraints. Email to reserve a seat. The event is open to the public.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBTQ issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBTQ rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at and 704-531-9988,...