It was our last chance to enjoy Spring Break because the next day we would be breaking camp and driving home to Maryland. We decided to spend the day walking around lively downtown Asheville and exploring the local beer scene. The highlight of our day was our visit to Wicked Weed Brewery.
It was mid-afternoon on a Saturday and Wicked Weed was packed. It was a good thing we had already eaten lunch at Lexington Avenue Brewery, because there was a long wait for the tables in the upstairs restaurant. We were there for the beer, so we headed downstairs to the tasting room. It was busy there too, but we scored a table by being in the right place at the right time.
The beer chalkboard was almost over-whelming, with 14 different house beers on the menu. I was a little disappointed to see the notice that read “Flights Available Sun-Thurs Before 7 pm.” I wanted a flight so I could sample the large selection of hop-centric and Belgian beers. But there was a long line at the bar and the bartenders were hustling, so I understand the need to move things along by not pouring flights.
But their strategy back-fired on me – I built my own flight by ordering four half-pints:
- Freak Double IPA (8.0%)
- Zealot IPA (6.9%)
- Cardinal Sin Belgian Red (7.6%)
- Lunatic Blonde (6.7%)
Wicked Weed was my favorite Asheville brewery because the beer menu was focused on my two favorite beer styles – India Pale Ales and Belgian Ales. The next time I’m in Asheville, Wicked Weed will be my first stop! The beers were outstanding and I wish we could have hung out at Wicked Weed all afternoon.
But I was having March Madness withdraws, so we walked a few blocks over to The Bier Garden to watch the Elite Eight basketball game and try more local brew. I had a pint of Devil’s Britches IPA from Highland Brewing Company, my second Highland brew of the trip – I’ll make a trip to the Highland brewery during my next visit to Asheville. I also tried a Porter from Green Man Brewery, my third Green Man of the trip – in addition to the pint of IPA I had in Charlotte the day before, we enjoyed a six-pack of Green Man ESB at the campsite. Green Man Brewery is yet another destination during a future trip to Asheville.
There’s a recurring theme here. During our short time in Asheville, I sampled 37 beers in two breweries, three brewpubs, and two beer bars. And that’s not even 50% of the Asheville beer scene. So you can bet that I’m already planning my return trip.
Besides Asheville, I sampled 12 beers in two breweries and a beer bar in Charlotte, and 17 Tennessee beers – 9 in a brewpub along with bottles at the camp site. It was an epic Spring Break beer tour through the heart of Appalachia.
Totals: 66 beers, 4 breweries, 4 brewpubs, 3 beer bars, and multiple bottles.