Going to do this one mainly in pictures…AND IN REVERSE!!
~12:30AM Sunday. Taxi from Asheville Brewing Company to the hotel:
Our cab driver, Robert, presented me and Erica with a set of watercolor bookmarks. I think mine is wonderful. Check out his work at Fine Art America.
I am ‘beyond words’ pissed that I did not take advantage of the recent addition of the “hop bar” at Asheville Brewing Company’s Coxe Avenue location. I had remembered reading/hearing about it earlier, be we took an (uncharacteristic) seat at a booth, and I neglected to inquire about it. It sounds like an awesome idea, and one that demands I go back to try it immediately. Also, Asheville Brewing’s other, original location is a movie theater.
It’s a shame I didn’t take a picture of the real star of the show: Popeye’s Spinach Burger, a “spiced spinach patty covered in sautéed mushrooms and red onions, melted swiss cheese and of course…special sauce!”
I often ask servers what they eat for lunch since eating from the same menu repeatedly can produce some interesting dishes. Ours recommend this ‘burger’ with a pita bread substitution. Man did it hit the spot! Crunchy toasted pita, savory sauce and cheese, and surprisingly composed spinach patty (new to me). I’m going to have to try this one at home!
I think Green Man is where all the cool kids go. Soccer on the tube, green mood lighting everywhere, beer. Pictures barely do it justice. Again, my apologies for not enough specifics about the beers…
Domestic craft upstairs, import craft downstairs. Any questions?
We headed straight for the basement (a tip we picked up from Wicked Weed), and ordered up an Itchtegem’s Grand Cru and some smoked trout dip. Both superb.
I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that for our trip upstairs might have been the place to be. Most Boston beer drinkers realize that the one-two combination of The Publick House and Lord Hobo is a special treat, and a near unbeatable combo for outstanding imported beer. Yeah, definitely should have gone upstairs, drunk as much local beer as possible, and taken at least one photo. Shame on me (and yet ANOTHER reason to go back). Still, Thirsty Monk was a fine stop, and they are doing a LOT to support craft beer (they even have flight-ordering instructions and beer notebooks).
According to the brewery website, French Broad Brewing Company is “a continental European-style production brewery.” Anybody have an idea what that means? Beats me, but I do know that:
- I tried Lusty Monk mustard here. I am a believer. Too spicy for many, though.
- The Gateway Kölsch and IPA we my favorite. And I mentioned in an earlier post, I got to drink all the IPA!
- The Worthless Son-in-Laws fit the bill for the cozy, family friendly taproom. I’m not the biggest music guy, but the room needed the folk, and I did too!
- They have Connect Four. So next time you’re there, go for it…
Right next door to Highland Brewing Company (our first stop of the day. Remember, we’re doing this one in reverse) is Troy & Sons Distillery. This was an unexpected surprise. I didn’t do the whole tour (actually I didn’t really do any of the tour :/), but my understanding is that Troy & Sons is the first legal Moonshinery (is that a word?) in Asheville. Charlie Ball, the man conducting the tour and tasting, was a showman of the highest order. It’s a shame that they don’t sell the bottles on sight (NC liquor is sold through state stores only), because he’d move a lot of them. Helps that the ‘white whiskey’ is daaaaaaamn good (yes Charlie, I know I’m not supposed to taste w/o the tour. Sorry?). Mark my words, you will be hearing more about Troy & Sons.
And the first stop of the afternoon:
Institution. Legend. Landmark. Killer concert venue.
Take your pick of titles for the granddaddy of Asheville brewing. The story of Highland Brewing Company is too interesting to leave at end of this post. Check out their website, ask any Asheville local beer drinker,
or and, as previously mentioned, pick up Anne-Fitten Glenn’s Asheville Beer.
It made a wonderful first afternoon stop, even though being slightly outside of town necessitated a drive. Some pictures should do the trick:
Solid beer and great conversation at Highland Brewing Company. I had tried the Oatmeal Porter earlier in the week at a bar in Wilmington, NC, and found it to be among the standouts at the taproom as well. Having heard countless people over the course of the weekend remark about Cold Mountain (BeerAdvocate review HERE), I am hopeful that I can try it when it is released again next years. People there spoke about it in a way very similar to the cult surrounding Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale (BA review HERE) (and yes, I am a member).
Oh, Highland also had an artisan pizza food truck on site too. It smelled delicious. Must have been torture for the parking attendants working the lot.
Four for the Buckeyes: