Tag Archives: ASHEVILLE NC

JACK OF THE WOOD PUBLIC HOUSE

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

Directly after visiting French Broad Brewery, August ’08, had lunch at JACK OF THE WOOD PUBLIC HOUSE, a Celtic-styled downtown hotspot serving Green Man Ales (crafted a few streets away and kegged for local distribution). Many fine local, national and international beers are also available alongside locally sourced food items on the fine pub menu.

Alongside galleries, bars, and small shops, the red-bricked mid-size space had front patio, tawny alcove at dark blue entrance, central wood bar, old cement floors, small stage, sided dining, sun god motifs, agrarian artwork, and upstairs space. Menu offered English-styled dishes such as shepherd’s pie and hempnut burger beside burgers, grouper, and salads.

Lemony honey-roasted cereal-grained hop-spiced cornbread-finishing English Bitter-styled Green Man Gold and dry-hopped peat-malted orange-quilted tea-honeyed rye-backed ESB went well with salmon salad. Green Man’s robust Porter countered coffee-stained stewed prune and sun-dried raisin souring with toffee-sweetened burgundy luster. Best bet: high gravity 9.2% alcohol Belgian Gold, a candi-sugared ale with bittersweet banana and red cherry illusions fortifying butterscotch malts.

www.jackofthewood.com

THE WEDGE

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

After making the rounds in Tennessee for a few days, returned to Asheville, visiting an old school brewery and two new ones, August ’08.

Hidden in the warehouse-laden River Arts District at an old brick building down stairs, THE WEDGE may look dank and rustic, but its beers are exquisitely crafted. Opened June ’08, this small tasting room with eight brew tanks and an outdoor porch served six different libations this evening.

I tried the buttery orange-peeled, lemon-candied, coriander-spiced, chamomile-tinged, floral-hopped, tartly-embittered Witbier and creamy banana-bubblegum-sweetened, sourly lemon-bruised, peach-syrupy, gin-soaked Golem Strong Golden Ale. Even better was maple-sapped, burnt-sugared, chocolate-roasted, cherry-pureed, hazelnut-skewed, cappuccino-espresso-finishing Community Porter.

125B Roberts Street, Asheville

www.wedgebrewing.com

PISGAH BREWERY

PISGAH BREWERYASHEVILLE, 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.

www.pisgahbrewing.com

ASHEVILLE BREWING COMPANY

ASHEVILLE BREWING CO.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.

www.ashevillebrewing.com

FRENCH BROAD BREWERY

FRENCH BROAD BREWERYASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

A cool mix of hippies, rastas, hillbillies, and mod rednecks make up the diverse populace of rustic western Carolina town, Asheville. On August ’08 journey, I became awestruck by the bohemian tree-strewn village’s extensive brewpub-microbrew scene.

First stop, FRENCH BROAD BREWERY, located close to impressive Biltmore Estate in railroad-bound commercial zone nearing Asheville’s yuppie southside, may be Carolina’s best microbrewery. Its warehouse tasting room featured small bar, tables, left side tanks, and small stage area (with ‘lagering disco ball’).

Alongside brewer, Drew Barton, enjoyed sun-dried fig-fronted peat-malted wood-toned black cherry-daubed Altbier, sweet corn-malted spice-hopped lemon-threaded wheat-dried Re-Session Cream Ale (labeled ‘economic stimulus beer’), and dryly citric mineral-grained Berliner Weisse. The latter German-styled lager was also offered with syrup options: lemon, lime, woodruff, and pomegranate. I chose raspberry syrup, which gave Berliner Weisse a sour-candied appeal, layering bittersweet raspberry above tertiary bruised lemon and distant banana.

Reviews for French Broad’s growing bottled-kegged selections (Wee Heavy-er; Wee Heavy-est; Dunkel-Witte; 13 Rebels ESB; Irish Stout) are listed in Beer Index.

www.frenchbroadbrewery.com