Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Second Best Beer in Asheville

There is one small problem with declaring The Best Beer in Asheville. It is that the next time you have something as delicious you feel as though you are cheating on the other beer.

I didn't mean to, Heresy Brown. It just happened. I'm sorry.

Last summer, we spent a lot of time at Wedge Brewery. It is such an easy summer place to be. The old warehouse in the river arts district right on the bank of the French Broad is the perfect place to enjoy a cold beer on a hot day. We would sit on the patio and be all carefree. I would wear my hippie skirts and tank tops and think to myself "I belong in a place like this." 

Then we went away for the winter. We spent two months bundled in layers of clothes as we enjoyed the company of friends and family for the holidays. By the time we got back, I had kinda forgotten about Wedge. 

The other day, Matt reminded me. It was a really cool day. Both cool as in awesome and cool as in cold. We spent some time visiting with Joe of Tennessee Tiny Homes while he was in Asheville on his tri-state tour. Besides beer, tiny houses are my other favorite thing. We were there for about an hour and half talking with Joe and another local tiny house enthusiast. We started to get hungry, though, and Matt said "Lets go down to Wedge." 

I was all like, "I totally forgot about Wedge on a count of it being winter and everything."
My goofy grin and an Iron Rail last summer.

So we said our goodbyes and headed down to the RAD to enjoy some beer.

It was freezing cold that day and not at all the kind of day that would bring someone out to the riverfront. The place wasn't packed but it had a fair amount of business for a cold February day. We bellied up to the bar and ordered "Two Iron Rails, Please." 

And that was when I remembered. This beer is SO delicious. Kind of Heresy Brown delicious...but I forgot about Iron Rail when I declared that Heresy Brown was the best beer in all of Asheville. Oh no!  

By the way, Iron Rail is an IPA. It is hoppy but not painfully so. It is really easy to drink. 

I felt caught. Like I was committing a horrible sin. I can't possibly say one beer is the best in the whole city when this other beer makes me feel so joyful at the same time. Can someone be PolyBeerMorous? Can I really love both of them at the same time? 

Asheville kind of makes us a little PolyBeerMorous. There is so much great beer in this town and new ones coming every day. By the way, I made that word up: PolyBeerMorous. You won't find it if you Google it. I know, I tried. 

So I want to raise a glass to ALL of the great beer in Asheville. Or, alternately, I want to raise a glass OF all of the great beer in Asheville. Don't worry, I'll call a cab.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sweeping Declaration: I know the Best Beer in Asheville

Okay, okay...I know. Beer taste is entirely subjective. You might prefer stouts or you might like hyper-hoppy double IPAs. That means making a sweeping declaration like The Best Beer in Asheville is really completely meaningless. That isn't going to stop me from saying it.

A couple weeks ago, Wicked Weed was unleashed on a pretty saturated Asheville beer scene. A couple of things could have happened. Either it wasn't all it was cracked up to be and would become a footnote on the pages of Asheville Beer History, or it would be awesome.

Spoiler - it's awesome.

The restaurant and casual bar upstairs is a great place to grab a pint and eat some delicious food. I might recommend the Caesar Salad which is made with Napa cabbage instead of romaine lettuce which makes it so much better that your average Caesar Salad. Downstairs is the practically steampunk themed bar serving half pints of some more experimental brews. After 4pm the place starts to get mega-crowded both upstairs and down so get there early if you can.

Which brings me to my Sweeping Declaration.

I am about to say it. Buckle up.

The best beer in all of Asheville is Heresy Brown Ale from Wicked Weed Brewery. 

You really need to try this beer. It is a dry hopped brown ale and the blend of malty goodness and the perfectly balanced hops is exquisite.

There is no other shoe to drop, either. Try anything else at Wicked Weed and you will likely be impressed. Most of the things they brew and serve are delicious. In fact, I shouldn't say most. I haven't had a beer there that I didn't like. I even had to admit that some of the styles that I don't normally like were very well done. If you want something more like a Trappist beer try the Abigail Dubbel. If you want an easy drinking beer with a surprising amount of complexity try their lowest alcohol offering; Sir Ryan the Pounder. But if you want something really special and you like hops and malt, seriously consider the Heresy Brown Ale.