Three Standout Beers You Have To Drink
Okay, you hit the breweries we mentioned above. Good for you. Now carry on with these three must-drink Asheville standards.
Technically, Pisgah Brewing operates out of nearby Black Mountain, but sessioning Pisgah Pale on a hot day has become an Asheville tradition. And now, you can find it in a can.
Oyster House Moonstone Oyster Stout
Silky, smooth and slightly briny, this low ABV stout is made with oysters.
Asheville Brewing Company Shiva
ABC’s Shiva has all the citrus, grapefruit, bitter goodness you expect from an IPA, but somehow comes off a little bit creamy out of the can.
Big Beer Gathering
Each season brings a different beer festival in Asheville, but there’s one event all beer lovers should experience at least once. The Brewgrass Festival blends craft beer and bluegrass, jamming 40 breweries and a handful of bands into an open park on the edge of downtown. All the local breweries are there, but big boys like Allagash, Founders, Terrapin, and Breckenridge also typically pour. It’s also a good chance to sample some of the smaller breweries from around the region with tiny distribution footprints. A single ticket gets you unlimited pours. Look for it in September, and get your tickets early. This thing sells out faster than Miley Cyrus playing an “intimate venue.”
The Hard Stuff
While Asheville hangs its hat on beer, the craft spirits scene is alive and well. Add these two stops to your Asheville tour.
Troy and Sons
The distillery uses a unique strain of corn to make a few different moonshines. Pick up the Oak Reserve, which hangs out in bourbon barrels giving the shine a bit more complexity. And you can’t beat the distillery’s location, which sits next door to Highland Brewing. Take a distillery tour on Friday or Saturday then saunter over to Highland’s tap room.
The Imperial Life
The Imperial Life kick started Asheville’s craft cocktail scene. Bartenders in bowties whip up classic cocktails in a dimly lit bar in an office building above Table, a restaurant with killer fries. Order the Negroni.
Fill Your Belly
You can’t turn around in Asheville without running into good grub. For thoughtful Southern, hit up Early Girl Eatery and order the fried chicken (the chef is set to open a separate chicken and waffles joint soon). Curate is all about the small plates as envisioned by one of the South’s most promising chefs (James Beard nominated Katie Button). Get a bunch of different plates, but make sure the Spanish ham and the Canelones de Carne (pasta filled with pork, beef, and chicken liver) are in the mix.