Do you need a beer-cation?
Beer lovers will be on Cloud 9 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC with the more than 17 breweries and micro-breweries within walking distance of our town, just 15 minutes away from here. The words “South Slope” of Asheville will have “Beer City USA” meaning to you really quick as you learn about the big transformations that are happening in the old abandoned warehouse and car dealership section of town. On foot, you’re out for an exploratory adventure because it’s a little rough right now…a work in progress.
What started with Green Man, Asheville Brewing Company and Highland Brewing in the 80s and 90s as our favorite places to take guests we are now suggesting you take a few steps around downtown and find Hi-Wire, Twin Leaf, Lexington Avenue Brewery (LAB), Catawba Brewing, and Burial Beer, our new favorites and The Wedge Brewing Company in the River Arts District.
But it’s not just beer…It’s the farm-to-table foods that the many eclectic restaurants with creative chefs whip up to go with those beers.
And it’s the fun, experimental lagers, ales, barrel-aged sours and hard ciders with quirky names. One beer loving renter told us, “You haven’t lived until you’ve sipped a “Freak of Nature” (a double India Pale Ale) in the Funkatorium at Wicked Weed on Biltmore Avenue in Asheville.
And wait until you see how the National brands have set up camp here. Sierra Nevada, with a grand tasting room that seats 300+ sporting hoppy décor and a huge copper-clad brew house all with environmental sustainability (check out their solar “trees,” and their vegetable gardens.) Make a reservation on-line for one of the many tours because they book up fast. A 20 minute drive south of Asheville will take you there, past the Asheville Airport, in what seems to be in the middle of nowhere (but near a clean water source).
As locals, we have great respect for Colorado’s New Belgium who want to share the history of this city. They worked to deconstruct and salvage the former WNC Livestock Market buildings that stood for years. The old barn wood is being reclaimed by area artists and turned into siding, furniture, bars and tables in the brewery and Liquid Center. They are also sensitive to our pollinators by creating gardens that honey bees and others like. This waterfront brewery will be unveiled later in 2016.
Another short drive 20 minutes east is Pisgah Brewing that has free weekend shows as well as ticketed events that start early evening. Very popular.
Beside each micro-brewery’s flagship beers you will want the adventure of the craft beer scene. From malted rye to toasted coconut, pumpkin, cacao nibs, hickory smoked sweet corn, lemon verbena, dry hops, elderflowers, hyssop, and honeysuckle…you won’t believe what the non-conforming, creative minds can think of to put in the brews to make it “so Asheville.” (Although we can do without the peanut butter and jelly beer. Blah!)
So, do you need a Beer-cation?
And do you know that Asheville has claimed Beer-City several years in a row with the most micro-breweries in the US. Well, here’s where to start;
- Rent Cloud 9 Relaxation Home and come with 1 or 2 other couples or rent Heavenly Hideaway Cabin for the two of you for a Friday-Monday.
- Get here Friday and we’ll arrange for the Uber drivers we know to be available to take you to the Highland Brewing Company, Asheville’s first legal brewery and the closest one to us that makes over 50,000 barrels, just 12 minutes away. (Founder, Oscar Wong, has epitomized sustainable business with a conscious here… you’ll love his story.)
- Go on their free tour at 5:30 pm (visit the Brewery Tours page)
- Grab a Gaelic Ale in a souvenir glass with the handsome Bagpiper on it and a bite from the Food Trucks.
- Stick around for the free music show starting at 7 pm (out doors if the weather is nice) Check the calendar for special events.
- Stick around until 10 and get that Uber driver to bring you back, safe and sound.
- Jump in the hot tub on the deck and take in the constellations.
- Call it a night, knowing you’ve planned your next “Beer City” adventure using the NC Ale Trail map https://ashevillealetrail.com/trail-map/.
- But why plan it yourself? Just schedule a tour with one of the companies listed on the previous page like Asheville Brews Cruise.
- Plan to come for one of the many Beer City Festivals in 2016! https://www.brewgrassfestival.com/
- Take home some souvenir micro-brews to enjoy, but guess what? More of our Asheville craft beers are getting national and international distribution so you may be able to get some of Asheville where you live!