ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
After making the rounds in Tennessee for a few days, returned to Asheville to visit an old school brewery and two applauded new ones, August ’08.
Inside a converted brown-bricked warehouse close to the center of town, ASHEVILLE BREWING COMPANY (and its older ASHEVILLE PIZZA & BREWERY located a few miles away) offered affordable $7 lunchtime buffet of pizza and salad bar plus seven reasonably priced soft-focus brews. Right side miranda provided open air dining to counter the indoor section’s left side laminated oak bar and wooden booths.
Rear brew tanks served gentle-hopped maize-dried wheat-chaffed corn-cobbed Rocket Girl Golden Ale, politely grain-malted corn-syrupy butterscotch-candied orange-grapefruit-apple-dabbed Old School Pale Ale, buttery hop-spiced nut-backed Scottish Brown Ale, and fig-spiced rye-soured Rolands ESB. Docile blueberry-soured floral-spiced wood-hopped Shiva IPA and its just-as-mild alternative, Red Light IPA, with its juniper-grapefruit-embittered peach-twinged timber-soaked moderation, were approachable for lighter thirsts but maybe too easygoing to suit hopheads. Dry-bodied coffee bean-fronted roasted hop-charred black chocolate-coated Ninja Porter should satisfy middlebrow tastes.