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Monday, October 7, 2013

Asheville Breweries

I drove to Asheville, NC to do a brewery crawl with my daughter, Caitlin and her husband George. I arrived at the cottage we rented for the weekend at 4:30 and they arrived an hour later.  We had dinner reservations for 8 at Cucina24. After dinner we went to Jack of the Wood to sample some local brews and to hear two Appalachian bands.
On Saturday we visited eight breweries and had dinner at Table.  Our goal was to sample their beers by ordering flights at each brewery. After breakfast we headed east to Lookout Brewery. This was a fun stop. The brewery opened on May 1st and had some very fine brews. The brew master gave us a taste of some future releases, which were good. Their amber and Jive Turkey were superb. Our next stop was Pisgah Brewery. This was a very impressive brewery with lots of space and a fantastic stage. We sampled a dozen of their beers. The most intriguing was the “wet” hops beers. The hops were grown right there. We had lunch and then drove on to Oscar Blues Brewery in Brevard. This was a wild place with great atmosphere, but the beer was disappointing. Dale’s Pale Ale was the only beer to merit mention IMHO. Our next stop was Brevard Brewing Company. Another new brewery like Lookout, but not with the signature taste. We were 50% as we headed back to Asheville and Highland Brewery before dinner at Table. Bingo we hit the jackpot. A spacious brewery with a great stage and music. The highlight was their Rye beer. Dinner was fabulous. After dinner we walked to three more breweries in Asheville. Our first stop was Lexington Ave Brewery (LAB). My favorite was their Rye. We drove to our next stop, which would include two breweries and a club with great music. The first brewery was Asheville Brewing which was a pleasant surprise. Everything on the flight was very good especially the Fire Escape. We sauntered over to Hi-Wire Brewing, which was another very satisfying brewery with a very good rye beer and IPA. We closed the evening around the corner at Ben’s Tune Up restaurant that had a fabulous band.
Woke up Sunday with no fog and warmer than yesterday. Because everything opened later today we hung out. We started the day in Asheville at Wicked Weed Brewery. A large establishment with a tasting room downstairs and a restaurant upstairs. The standout were their saisons. We then walked to Curate Tapas House for lunch before heading out west to continue our brewery crawl. We headed for Hendersonville and Southern Appalachian Brewery and enjoyed their flight and especially their autumn ale and Copperhead Amber. Heading bvack to the outskirts of Asheville found us at French Broad Brewery and their dogs. They had a particularly good Rye beer. In the neighborhood was Green Man, which was out of most beers except their delightful Rainmaker. Almost around the corner and down by the river was the most enjoyable family oriented Wedge Brewing Company. Good beers but a better ambiance and a brewery I would frequent often if I lived here. Closing out the tour at another family oriented neighborhood brewery, The Altamont Brewing Company was packed and offered a grand selection oftheir own beers as well as some other brews form other NC breweries farther from Asheville, which gave us a chance to taste beers we couldn’t get to, what a bonus. Completely exhausted we headed home for some cheese and crackers before dinner at The Admiral. Out of town, this quiet former dive bar has become a favorite haunt of locals for extremely fine traditional food done in unique ways.
We had a fantastic time in Asheville and plan to return in the spring to see how the seasonal beers then taste. We will visit breweries we missed this trip, visit some we saw now, and enjoy the food from other restaurants, which rank with those we did eat at. Next time the National parks will be open so we can do some hiking which we missed this time, GRRRR.
Bottoms up.

1 comment:

paul turtola said...

Hi Ted,

Sounds like you had a blast!

I went to a great Beer and Chili Fest this weekend where there were over 90 brewers in attendance. I make it a habit to attend 3-4 festivals each year.

I am also a member of the CT Beer Trail, which offers seasonal bus trips to breweries all over the state. Maybe we can get together and do this some time in the future.