May 13, 2013

5 Places to Take Beer Lovers Visiting Asheville

For everyone who visits Asheville, checking out the beer scene is imperative. My girlfriend and I have been very fortunate over the past several weeks to have a number of friends and family in town to visit and it's been a blast sharing the new city with our guests. Here are a few of the spots we've taken people so they can see -- and taste -- the Asheville beer scene:

the wedge brewing
Afternoon chillin' -- The Wedge Brewing Company

Located in the River Arts District, the Wedge has fantastic beer, a great outdoor patio, and usually food trucks on site to pair with your brew. It's the perfect place for kicking back on a sunny afternoon. The day we were there, El Kimchi was serving up their Mexican/Korean fusion deliciousness. Hopheads must try the Iron Rail IPA. Be sure to check out the Wedge's outdoor cinema series this summer and the Just Brew It homebrew festival on May 25th.

Family friendly -- Highland Brewing Company

Highland has great vibes, tours, and usually have live music, too. Keep an eye on their calendar to catch one of their outdoor concerts. Appalachian Shakedown is this Saturday from 2pm-10pm. By the way, there's a distillery next door. Get back to back distillery/brewery tours if you can.

Hike, then drink -- Looking Glass Rock, Oskar Blues Brewery

For those looking for an adventure, I highly recommend driving about 45 minutes south and climbing Looking Glass Rock. There's a trail off of National Forest Road 475 that takes you to the top. It's intense -- plan on an hour and a half to two hours of solid climbing, at least half an hour on the rock, then another 90 minutes or so on the way back down. Drop by the new Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard afterwards to re-hydrate.

Looking Glass Rock is a Pisgah National Forest landmark.

Great beer, great food -- Wicked Weed Brewing

When it's time to feed your beer loving vacationers, take them to Wicked Weed. Start in the downstairs bar for some pre-dinner drinks (try some sours if they're on), then head up for some high quality grub. The Market Plate is a good place to start. My guests devoured the steak and the pork chop, while I really enjoyed the sunburst trout with bacon-caraway potatoes.

Nightcap -- French Broad Chocolate Lounge

If you've managed to save any room for dessert, I highly recommend walking over to the award-winning French Broad Chocolate Lounge for the "beer a la mode" -- a scoop of locally made ice cream served in a pint of locally made beer. Try it with the Highland Mocha Stout or Green Man's Nitro Porter.

So wrong, and yet so, so right.

This list just scratches the surface of the amazing places worth visiting in Asheville. What are some of your favorite spots?

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