Continuing the beer travelogue of my Spring Break road trip through the heart of Appalachia. After spending the first half of our trip near Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we moved on to Asheville, North Carolina, AKA Beer City, USA.
On our first full day in Asheville, we toured the Biltmore and then looked for a brewery or brew pub. Asheville is home to 12 craft breweries so I didn’t think one would be hard to find, and I was right – French Broad Brewing Company was conveniently nearby, practically across the street from the entrance to the Biltmore estate. (Thanks BreweryMap app!)
We entered a small tasting room that opened to the bustling brewery. I ordered a 7-beer flight of house brews, which we sampled at a picnic table in the patio out front.
- IPA (6.5%), a well-balanced IPA
- Gateway Kölsch (5.3%), a refreshing German-style Kölsch
- Anvil Porter (5.2%), a smooth and drinkable Porter
- Wee Heavy-Er (7.0%), this strong Scottish-style Ale is rich and full-bodied
- 13 Rebels ESB (5.3%), this complex ESB was named for the 13 colonies
- Rye Hopper (5.8%), an American-style Pale Ale with strong rye notes
- Barleywine (10.8%), this limited-release brew is deliciously strong
All of the beers were excellent and I grabbed two bombers to-go, for back at the campsite: Anvil Porter and Wee Heavy-Er.
French Broad’s description of its tasting room on the website is spot-on. They implore you to “come by our hyper-friendly, polite, unassuming tasting room and have a pint of our wonderful beers, or perhaps a dab of each, known as a flight.”
We could have lingered, but the afternoon would soon fade to evening and I wanted to make one more beer stop before heading back to the campground: Pisgah Brewing Company.