Thirsty Monk - Downtown
Taps: 35 / Bottles: 196
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 66 | Show All Ratings:
3.45/5 rDev -21.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | $$
Visited November 2013
We went to the thirsty monk around lunchtime on a Friday afternoon. We went downstairs first, which was dead. I liked the vibe downstairs, though it's not to be confused with some of the premier Belgian bars in the country. We ordered a beer and enjoyed it with some pretzels - the pretzels were ok, but the mustard could double as paint thinner it was so abrasive. Downstairs beer selection was pretty good, varied in style. I didn't really like that we couldn't order beers from upstairs, so we schlepped back upstairs.
The upstairs bar was disappointing to me. The tap list wasn't very interesting, and few locals were represented. The bar was generic too. Really glad I knew about downstairs, because we might have left had we gone upstairs first. Service in both bars was ok, nothing good or bad. I think I'd rate the two bars at least a point different if they were listed separately.
Thirsty monk is ok - I think it also suffers from being a bit older in a town full of great bars. I'd go back, but with lower expectations
12-12-2013 01:20:40 | More by jophish17
4.09/5 rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Atmosphere: upstairs is a classic multi-tap bar with a nice vibe and decorations. Head downstairs and your in the basement of a monastery drinking beer. Very cool place
Quality: they represent all beer pretty well and showcase some of the best North Carolina has to offer along with a good look into the Belgian style
Service: no problems they were friendly, but didn't look for much help with beers
Selection: they don't have the most taps but they do the most they could. Upstairs seems to have tap events that showcase the big guns. Along with a highly varied selection. Down stairs I like that they get a lot of Belgians on tap. I don't like to buy bottles at a bar which can be tough with belgian beers.
Overall: definitely a destination for a beer drinker. There's a lot going on here and you could spend many nights just to get through it.
12-02-2013 16:13:32 | More by SportsandJorts
4.5/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Surprisingly have not reviewed this joint, after many memorable (sans memory) nights spent in the basement here.
As many have indicated before, two levels, with the basement slanting towards Belgium and almost always more appealing from an atmosphere and selection standpoint.
Great bottle selection and selection of belgian and import taps are definitely wisely selected. There is no question this is the best 'beer bar' in Asheville. Unfortunately, it's not always the most Asheville-centric but you can get that at Barleys, if you can bear that place.
The vibe is great too - basement is sprawling with lots of room to sit, stand and fade into darkness
10-17-2013 23:34:58 | More by dirtylou
3.83/5 rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Narrowish 2 floor bar. Nice craft beer bar atmopshere. Upstairs domestic, downstairs imported beers, plenty of draft and even more bottles in both locations.
While the selections is quite impressive, during my visit I had a hard time picking something I wanted because everything there I could get locally in a store. The local selection was also no where as nice as Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria.
Service was also typical for a busy bar, know what you want or move out of the way.
The food was a little to barish for my liking. So, I passed but my mother had something which she seemed to enjoy.
Overall while a nice place and a place I would gladly go to locally if I was a resident, I didn't need to stop here and could have easily skipped it.
10-11-2013 14:48:40 | More by claspada
4.61/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | $$
I visit the "monk" on most of my visits to Asheville. By far, the best beer bar I've visited. Today they opened the roof top bar so now they have three levels. My favorite level is downstairs because of the mostly Belgian drafts. Upstairs has a great selection of craft brews but downstairs is classic Belgians like Duvel, Chimay, etc. Downstairs is dark and more quiet and upstairs more open with a good beer bar feel.
Incredible selection in both areas. Prices are good. Food is bar food. I'm not sure why food is a criteria for a bar anyway but the food is not the reason you visit the monk. With all if the great restaurants within walking distance I'm not sure why you'd eat there. For me it's cocktail hour at the monk and then walk down the street for the meal.
Service is good but when they're busy it can take awhile to get your order but not bad at all. Downstairs the Belgians are served in the appropriate glassware and I really like that. An expensive Belgian served in a pint glass doesn't get it for me.
Overall, if you like beers and I know you do, a visit to the Thirsty Monk is a must when you visit the beer capital of the southeast, Asheville.
09-29-2013 01:01:25 | More by dbell23
4.66/5 rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
Went to Asheville to visit my brother and used it as an excuse to visit downtown Asheville and enjoy the beer scene.
Buddy of mine told me this was a must when drinking in downtown Asheville. I happened to be there during Sour Week. very awesome selection of sours maybe 13-15 different. Went upstairs and a glass of Foothills Jade Ipa.
Very impressed with the selection of beers, it was kinda slow i think it was a monday or a tuesday night. Got some beer to go that was a bit pricey but nothing to whine about.
Overall very great place to visit in Asheville, i was very sastified.
09-12-2013 19:02:04 | More by kristougher
4.3/5 rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
A - I love the downstairs bar, and the bartenders are always very friendly. This is my "destination" whenever I'm in Asheville.
Q - Very knowledgeable - and helpful - staff.
S - Again, never been disappointed.
S - Great selection. One of the best Belgian beer selections in the Eastern United States (I can only think of a place in New York (Markt) and a place in San Francisco (La Trappe Cafe) that I personally have been to that have a more diverse selection of Belgians.
F - I've never eaten the food upstairs, and I hear it's good. The food downstairs is bar food fare, and nothing spectacular, but not bad at all.
V - Everything in Asheville is hipster-expensive. This place is just market prices.
08-10-2013 20:33:14 | More by zee3are0
3/5 rDev -31.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.25 | service: 1.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 1.5 | $$
Visited on a Wednesday night. It was a Dogfish head "take over" tap night. Ordered their version of brown ale. It was very drinkable for a 12% ABV. Next I inquired about their brown ale bottle selection. I was told they had none. So I took the bartenders recommendation...a French Road Brewery Wee Heavy-er Scotch Style Ale. It was good, I had a couple more.
Had heard great things about this place. I was disappointed. Although it was not overly hot outside, either they have no AC or it was on the fritz. The place seemed dirty. I did not visit the bar downstairs.
Quite crowded for a Wen. I was there around 7:00. Many were intoxicated.
Ordered the "not quite Philly Cheese Steak". No idea what the meat/cheese selection was but I could not finish the sandwich and I eat anything! The potato salad was very good.
I was in town on business and when I asked the bartender to split my check between beer and food, she looked at me like a had two heads. Evidently this was an unreasonable request!
Won't be back!
07-25-2013 20:43:26 | More by mwar
4.46/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | $$$
This joint has the best beer selection I've seen in Asheville and lots of Belgians you otherwise won't get to try. There are two bars, upstairs and downstairs, and the beer menu reads like a Grisham novel. I only stayed for one beer, but I'll definitely spend more time here the next time I visit.
The only down side is that the whole place was hot, not sure if they lack AC or if it was just underpowered, but I was sweating my balls off. And they're a little pricey. It's a full service beer bar as opposed to a bottle shop so I understand, but be prepared to pay for your experience.
07-07-2013 22:54:02 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
4.31/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5 | $$
My favorite beer bar in Asheville. Seasoned beertending, impressive draft selection along with decent bar food, all lead to an excellent opportunity for a great time. They are usually able to provide some rare draft offerings. A must when in Asheville.
07-04-2013 00:33:39 | More by WOLFGANG
Thirsty Monk - Downtown in Asheville, NC
96 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.