"City of Asheville North Carolina Flag" by Subman758 at English Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

“City of Asheville North Carolina Flag” by Subman758 at English Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Asheville, NC is more than just a town, it’s a beer haven.  That’s why Matt and I, the brains (and we’ll sue that term loosely) behind ModernThirst decided to celebrate our 40th birthdays there with our wives.

Three times selected “Beer City, USA,” Asheville boasts a horde of new and established brewers ranging from small brew pubs to the massive Sierra Nevada brewery that distributes nationally.  Throw a rock in Asheville, and you’ll hit something to do with beer: A bottle shop, brewery, pub, drunk hippie on the corner….you get the point.  It’s awesome.  And aside form what’s made there, a bevy of hard-to-find beers brewed all over the country seem to be available in bottle shops.  If Louisville, KY is Bourbon Central, USA, then Asheville is the City of Suds.

Regardless, ModernThirst spent three days in Asheville and came away fairly impressed with both the quantity and quality of the offerings…as well as a lot of bloating form so much carbonation, but that’s beside the point.

Black Angel

Black Angel

Matt and I agreed that the standout was Wicked Weed.  That may not be fair, as they actually operate not one, but two breweries in Asheville.  the Main facility is simply Wicked Weed, and is the home to the regular brewing operations.  It’s larger, serves food, and boasts a lot more space for mingling and sampling.  Not far away is Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium, the site of the brewing operations for their range of sour beers (separate to avoid contamination of yeasts between sours and standards).  The Funkatorium regularly boasts drafts of most of their sour offerings, the highlights of which were clearly the Black Angel barrel-aged cherry sour and Oblivion.

At the main facility, revelers can imbibe in over 20 different wicked weed products on tap, including offerings from the Funkatorium.  And we tried all of them.  Not a one was anything but tasty.  Cheers to Wicked Weed for some great work.

Burial was another highlight, with a cool industrial atmosphere and a range of really nice beers.  We also enjoyed Catawba, Green Man, Twin Leaf (if the MDXXI Imperial Mexican Chocolate Stout is on tap, try it), Hi-Wire, Thirsty Monk Brew Pub (the Coconut IPA was a highlight of the entire weekend), Asheville Brewing Company, French Broad Brewing Company, and more.  To find out what we thought of all sorts of beers we tried, check us out on Untapped.

Hop heads out there take note:  Asheville is your Mecca.  Go there.


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About Author

Bill is the Co-Founder, Editor-in Chief, and official Bourbon-o-Phile for ModernThirst.com, and the President and Chief Blending Officer for Four Gate Whiskey Company. He is a native of Louisville, KY in the heart of Bourbon Country. He attended the University of Kentucky in the mid to late 1990s. He has also been published on Liquor.com. He has conducted various bourbon and whiskey tastings in cities across the country, and consulted for multiple national labels. He is married with two daughters, and lives in east Louisville. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BillStraub and email him at Bill@ModernThirst.com.

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