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May 30 2012 / Emily

A taste of Asheville Beer Week

I was in the Asheville, NC area over the weekend for a wedding, and some friends and I took advantage of our location and love of beer, and headed in to visit some of the bars during Asheville Beer Week (11 days really, but who is counting?).  I’ve recognized a dearth of “drink” themed blog posts here, so I’m going to attempt to rectify that slightly now.  🙂

We did some shoe shopping at Tops until the clock struck noon, also known as beer time.

First stop was the closest brewery, Lexington Ave Brewery.  We were hoping to get the beer flight and taste all they had on tap, but our server suggested otherwise, so we each got a pint of one of their 4 current beers while one girl still got the sampler flight.  I selected the Chocolate Stout, which did not disappoint.  I had a sip of the others and was pleased with my choice, though it was heavy for a noon beer!

Lexington Ave Brewery

Menu and dregs of Chocolate Stout

Next we headed down the road to Jack of the Wood.  They had a much wider selection of local brews.  I perused the menu of around 20 beers on tap, and decided to go a little wild and get a completely new sort of beer: Strawberry Rhubarb Berliner Weisse.  A low gravity session brew at only 3.2% alcohol, the unsurprisingly pink beer was actually quite tasty.  It seemed more like a wine cooler than a beer at first taste, but that was just the fruit talking.  It had a sour kick, which was nice.  I first tried sour beer a month or so ago at a friend’s party and it’s quite unique.

Jack of the Wood

can you guess which was strawberry-rhubarb?

Our final stop was The Thirsty Monk, ranked one of the best beer bars in the world.  We got there about 1:45 and it didn’t open until 2pm, so we had some time to kill, so we ventured around a beer & wine shop next door.  Upon returning to the door, we found some other eager drinkers milling around, also ready to have a pint.  My group was the first through the door, and we headed to the basement bar, which specializes in Belgian style beers.

Thirsty Monk for thirsty friends!

We were so excited to find a just-tapped cask of special Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break, with a nice little surprise.  It’s a very high gravity beer (reviews range from 11.5-13%) and was served in a Thirsty Monk Asheville Beer Week pint glass that we got to keep!  Often high grav beers are served in smaller glasses.  Boy was I glad we got a full pint – this was spectacular beer.  I could certainly taste that it was high gravity, but it was so drinkable and delicious.  We agreed that it was one of, if not THE, best beer any of us had ever had.  And there are some experienced beer drinkers in my circle.

Monk & Cheese and Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break

Oh – we also ordered lunch and the bar food there was spectacular.  Not standard pub fare, but a bit more sophisticated.  Okay, I got mac & cheese (monk & cheese), but my friends ordered fancy pants trout and pulled pork (separate) dishes that were nice-restaurant quality.  And the mac & cheese was made of many fancy cheeses, so it wasn’t entirely low brow.

As always, I felt sketchy walking out of the bar with my glass, but it was the deal so I happily took it.  My pint glass collection is getting out of hand.

We then headed back to Swannanoa where it was wedding time.  The spectacular day continued from there.  All in all, a great weekend.

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6 Comments

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  1. hinsone / May 30 2012 11:31 PM

    Wow those all sound great. I ate this past weekend (on my birthday) at the Foothills Brewing in downtown Winston. The food was amazing and the beer was phenomenal. Have you been? I tried two. The Carolina Blonde Cream Ale which was incredible, very smooth and crisp and light and refreshing. And the seasonal Maibock, was darker, very malty, almost sweet. Interesting, like the Cream Ale better. I have plenty of pint glasses from Sammy’s in Raleigh. Pint night was a special beer and you kept the glass. I also have a couple from micro brews (Carolina Brewing Co.) again, were free with the tour and tasting. And wineglasses from tours and tastings LOL so don’t feel bad, freebies are awesome!

    • Emily / May 31 2012 9:29 PM

      oh I love Foothills, go there a lot. Had a maibock earlier this week. hope you had a great birthday celebration!

      • hinsone / May 31 2012 10:02 PM

        I will definitely be going back! I loved the Cream Ale.

  2. Darrel Wells / May 31 2012 4:33 PM

    Nice AVL beer-tour… I would have definitely needed a nap after that!

    • Emily / May 31 2012 9:29 PM

      thanks! no time for napping – had to head right to the wedding. I chugged a Diet Mtn Dew instead. 🙂

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  1. Day 4 of my #beercation to #AvlBeerWeek @BeerCityFest ! « Ratchet Brews

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