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.
Ten miles east of Asheville in the backwoods town of Black Mountain at an industrial complex just off Route 70, mint green-walled concrete-floored PISGAH BREWERY (opened ’round ’07) had a treasure trove of great finds. The line for beer at the tasting room never stopped this Thursday evening. Visitors also bought kegs and growlers at the brewery down the hall.
An L-shaped bar served mostly strong ales, including the sensational molasses-thick, candi-sugared, cherry-banana-mango-tangoed, stewed pruned, chocolate-malted, floral-hopped, barleywine-like Vortex and peppery orange-bruised, candi-sugared, raisin-pureed, pineapple-banana-twixt Solstice Tripel.
Milder thirsts will rush to Pale Ale, which flew off the tap handle, as well as corn malt-lacquered, dry-spiced, grassy-hopped, lemon-limed Endless Summer. Heartier quaffers should enjoy hazelnut-caramelized, peanut-shelled, stove-burnt coffee-influenced Jason’s Brown Ale. Soft-hopped, coffee bean-embittered, walnut-macadamia-ensconced, black chocolate-finishing Nitro Stout ranks even higher.