Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Asheville, NC: Site For Serious Beer Appreciation

 Just returned from a week-long trip to SC (Greenville mostly) which included a side trip to Asheville, NC, which is only an hour away. Asheville enjoys a special significance in my (and Kay's) craft beer education: we first heard of Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA here at Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria. This time I tried two new ones, French Broad IPA (7% abv), brewed locally and Duck Rabbit Hoppy Bunny (?) Black IPA (7.3% abv) which features eight separate hop additions. Both were outstanding brews and I can heartily recommend them.

 Behind the first floor bar at Barleys. There is another one upstairs with more than a dozen taps!
Another find in Asheville was the Wedge Brewery:
Located in the River Arts District, in a somewhat difficult to find location, this small production brewery was a real treat after a long day of playing tourist. Wedge opens at 4 pm weekdays which, according to one local artist located in a gallery upstairs, is good cause otherwise they would never get any work done! Pictured is the Iron Rail IPA (probably named after the railroad tracks adjacent to the property) which is described by the brewmaster thusly:

"English Style India Pale Ale, Maris Otter 2-row, Canadian Honey Malt and Belgian Crystal. Centennial, Kent Golding, and Cascade are added five times during the process, including Dry Hopping. Aroma: Earthy, Citrusy, and Resinous. Tasting/Flavor: Orangy and Sugary Apricots. Finish: Malt Sweetness Balanced by Dry Hops"

Iron Rail IPA in the outdoor art garden
Open as 4 pm so the local artists can get some work done!

All photos: M Parker

Back in Greenville, I found this new eating spot, which has some very interesting new beers to try.

Located in the West End district, downstairs from the Mellow Mushroom, this hideaway resto had some very tasty food and even more importantly, two beers on tap from a previously untried brewery, Westbrook Brewing from Mt. Pleasant, SC. I tried the Westbrook IPA (6.8% abv) which was very tasty, tho the hop flavor was more restrained than our West Coast style. Kay tried the Gaffel Kolsch, from Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co., Germany. It is described as having hefty bitterness in this kolsch with pale grains, floral hops, and a dry apple ester following from the ale yeast. 4.8% abv. Kay liked it's refreshing qualities and light body on a warm day.

Unusual flavors for wheat beer but it was very drinkable, tho I would choose the food accompanying it very carefully.
One final comment about our Greenville stay: Mac's Speed Shop, fantastic place for variety of beers on tap (see website link) one could spend hours here trying to make it thru all the pulls. I highly recommend this establishment both for the incredible variety of beers and for the live music, not to mention the friendy and educated beertenders!
One third of the pulls at Mac's. See any favorites?

1 comment:

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