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All Things Ale Trail

May 25th, 2016 by Diane Rogers

In the brief time that we have been innkeepers here in Asheville, we’ve had the opportunity to frequent any number of local breweries and to experience the city’s reputation as the “Denver of the East.”  With over 20 breweries in Buncombe County alone, it’s hard to even know where to start.  One of the great tools we used to navigate was the Asheville Ale Trail, available in several formats.  Booklets can be found around town in kiosks or breweries.  Their website can be found here and for those beer connoisseurs that need to know the closest brewery right around the corner, there’s an app for smartphones.

Although Asheville Beer Week is in its 5th year, we get to see it through all new eyes starting May 27th  thru June 4th, 2016.  More information about this event is available here.

Here’s the Ale Trail we took:

Lexington Ave Brewery Ale TrailLexington Ave Brewery (LAB)

Naturally, we started at the brewery closest to our inn, a mere mile away but still far enough to work up a thirst!  Open and inviting, we chose a seat at the bar and paired our beer selection with a choice from their full menu.  Since this brewery has restaurant service too, this is a great place to have lunch or dinner.

 

 

Green Man Ale TrailGreen Man Brewery

Although Green Man has updated and upgraded its presence on the corner of Buxton and Church streets, if you’re more comfortable having a beer in someone’s garage, head to the back to 27 Buxton Ave where they do beer and only beer.  The atmosphere is unpretentious as tables are located mere feet away from the tanks.  It doesn’t get much closer than this!

 

Asheville Brewing Ale TrailAsheville Pizza and Brewing

With multiple locations in the city, our favorite is on Coxe Ave.  The ever helpful wait staff are quick to bring a sample to the curious consumer, which led us to discover the Ninja Latte, which is a delicious combination of the best worlds of both coffee and beer!  Is there a more perfect food to pair with beer than pizza?  Our favorite was the Funky Chicken, a bbq sauce based pizza with chicken, cheese and bacon.  And before you knock it, we dare you to try the Sweet Pea’s Spinach Burger, guaranteed to be the best no meat “burger” known to man!

Bhramari Brewhouse Ale TrailBhramari Brewhouse

Don’t let the name confuse you!  Named after the Hindu Goddess of Bees, this newcomer to the scene brings an eclectic mix of food and beer to the Asheville scene.  From small plates to entrees, the food was spot on.  We highly recommend a flight to get the best sample of all the beers they have to offer.  In nice weather, head to the back patio where they often offer live music too.

 

Burial Ale TrailBurial Beer Company

Our last stop on the South Slope tour was Burial Beer Co.  Off the beaten path and seemingly a favorite of locals, this was the place recommended by multiple bartenders, so you know it’s good!  This place is best visited on a sunny day because there is no better spot to enjoy a flight than on one of their several patio spaces.  All we can say is we will be back!

 

 

New Belgium Brewing Company

Worth the drive to the River Arts District, don’t miss New Belgium’s brand new brewery that will eventually provide this brand’s beer distributed east of the Mississippi.  To get a taste of your favorites on tap, head to their Liquid Center.  This place was hopping even on a Monday afternoon, so anticipate large crowds if you plan to head there on the weekend.  Perched on the banks of the French Broad River, their patio had great views to have a sip and you can even bring your dog along.  If you get hungry, a different food truck is on site each day.  We were lucky to score with Appalachian Chic and their not to be missed tater tots.  Trust us, they’re not Ore Ida!  We are looking forward to the day tours of the facility are also offered.  Uber is convenient, safe, and worth it so keep it as an option if everyone in your group wants to taste a beer, cause after all, it is Beer Week!

New Belgium Ale Trail Dogs Welcome On Ale Trail

Asheville’s Newest Brewhouse

April 16th, 2013 by Diane Rogers

wicked weed1Asheville’s Wicked Weed Brewery

The Wicked Weed Brewery has been on our list for some time – we’ve been hearing a lot of good things, but just had not been able to find the time to make our way over.

This is not your ordinary brewery.

Their mission is to craft big flavor, hop-forward beers that push their creative boundaries. They believe in the wildness of beer, its’ nonconformist attitude and its’ ability to resist being tamed.

They also offer a respectable wine selection and full bar for those who prefer other adult libations.

Housed at 91 Biltmore Avenue, the building which used to be an auto-repair shop and, later, Asheville Hardware has undergone a complete transformation inside and seems a much better use of space as a brewery. While the large, glass garage doors remain, the interior feels both industrial and luxurious at the same time with its reclaimed, polished wood and exposed brick.

The bars on both floors are made out of a 200-year-old piece of Black Gum that was sourced from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Word has it that two musket balls, likely from the Civil War, are still embedded in the upstairs bar top.

Upstairs holds the restaurant and a full bar with 28 taps, a high-end liquor selection, indoor seating for over 100 people and an expansive, glassed-in kitchen. The roll-up, dining-room windows take up most of the front wall and overlook the Biltmore Avenue patio space just next door to the Orange Peel so you can have a full-experience date nite (without having to travel very far).

Downstairs is where the alchemy equipment is, where the brewing magic happens and the space also includes a Tasting Room. Brewery tours are available.

This is not your ordinary bar fare.

Jason Saunders, formerly of Table and Cucina 24, is a very talented chef and a local native who featureswicked weed2 seasonal fare that highlights high quality local ingredients. The menu is remarkable and creative and not a hot wing or bloomin’ onion to be found. Jason has succeeded in maintaining equal footing for the food — matching the panache of the brewery side of things – which is certainly no small task given the bold and brave offerings coming from downstairs. Saunders brands Wicked’s food offerings as “enlightened pub food.” Check out their menu and just try to keep your mouth from watering. Pay special attention to the Bison Burger with haystack shallots and blue cheese coleslaw or for those seeking a vegetarian option try the Black Bean , pimento cheese, crispy okra and chow-chow burger.

Wicked Weed Brewery, one of the latest breweries to be included on Asheville’s Ale Trail, encourages you to join the rebellion.

April is North Carolina Beer Month. Come explore all the unique offerings in one of America’s best states for craft brewing. Call or email this Asheville Bed and Breakfast to find out about festivals, special events, breweries, restaurants, beer tours and more. Cheers!

Fun Things To Do in Asheville in July

July 13th, 2012 by Diane Rogers

The latter half of July will be a busy time in Asheville.  Next Thursday July 19 the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands begins and goes through the Sunday.  This is not your local Church bizarre/craft show. This craft show features highly accomplished craftspeople from the Appalachian region. Each member is accepted into the Guild through a meticulous process.  Membership is open to artists living in the mountain counties of nine states from Maryland to Alabama. Visitors get to meet with these talented craftspeople, check out and even purchase their work.  This allows the visitor to learn more about their process and the inspiration behind their works.  Traditional and contemporary crafts highlight the fair. The fair includes scheduled demonstrations, individual exhibits, entertainment and local musicians honor traditional and bluegrass mountain music.

The following weekend Asheville swings wide the welcome gates to the city for Bele Chere the largest outdoor street festival in the south. Downtown streets will be closed to motor traffic and jam packed with good music, food and art.  Let’s just hope we get some relief from this heat wave we have been experiencing.  No worries though –there will be plenty of opportunities to satisfy any thirst or cool down.  The festival begins on July 27 and goes for two days with something for everyone.  This year’s musical lineup has changed a bit from years past and appears to be more focused on local and regional  bands, which in my opinion beats resurrecting Cheap trick any day, just sayin’…..no offense to the Cheap Trick fans out there.  Some of the local favorite acts appearing on multiple stages throughout downtown include: Yo’ Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Lucero, David Holt, Larry Keel, Stephanie’s Id and Michael Reno Harrell.  For a complete list of the performers, go to: www.belechere.com.

Asheville is fast becoming a renowned food destination and this year the festival will also highlight many of the local restaurants that have been a force behind the city’s successful farm-to-table and local food approaches.  At the Taste of Asheville, you can sample local creations and meet many of the local chefs responsible for lifting Asheville’s food scene.

As you may have heard, Asheville is also the reigning king of Beer City USA. The local brew scene is HUGE and getting larger with the announcement that New Belgium and Sierra Nevada are adding facilities.  Some of the region’s best craft beers will be represented at this year’s festival – all for your drinking pleasure.  Fun fact: Benjamin Franklin’s oft-misquoted saying that “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” has been altered through the years – no doubt by beer drinkers.  There is no doubt that this historical character did imbibe in a frosty lager on occasion, but what did cross old Ben’s lips between sips was actually a tribute to rain which nurtured grape vines to prosper and ultimately become wine.

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.

                                                             -Ben Franklin

Regardless of your leaning, you will want to sample some of the regions best craft beer or beverage of your choice while at the festival.  Take in the festivities  while staying at this Asheville Bed and Breakfast. Reserve your room online at www.pinecrestbb.com or call 877-811-3058 to book your room.

 

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