5 days in Charlotte/Asheville/Raleigh

Discussion in 'South-Atlantic' started by B_Horne, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. B_Horne

    B_Horne Aspirant (283) Jun 12, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    My wife and I will be flying into Charlotte (from California) in December for 5 days. I am trying to figure out how to best split up the 5 days and 4 nights between possible locations.
    I would like to limit driving, not sure if Raleigh fits into that. My wife doesn't drink beer but does like the laid-back brewery atmosphere and good food. So recommendations other than beer would be great as well.

    From my research it looks like top Beer prospects are
    Heist/NoDa in Charlotte
    Wicked Weed/Burial in Asheville
    Foothill in Winston Salem
    Fonta Flora in Morganton

    Musts-
    Visiting with friends who live in Mooresville.
    Visiting Sierra Nevada in Fletcher - hopefully to take one of the longer tours if I can get tickets.

    Thanks for your recommendations.
     
  2. nas4atu

    nas4atu Aspirant (208) Dec 3, 2011 North Carolina

    I’d personally switch out NoDa for Resident Culture to pair with Heist.

    If you must go to Wicked Weed, I would probably go to the Funkatorium over their regular location, especially if you enjoy sours.

    And I’d recommend Cúrate in Asheville, might want to look at making reservations as soon as possible though, they book up quickly and it’s nearly impossible to just walk in and be seated. Limones is an amazing upscale Mexican restaurant as well in Asheville.
     
    #2 nas4atu, Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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  3. NoMoreBeerBelly

    NoMoreBeerBelly Initiate (146) Dec 2, 2009 North Carolina

    For me, what I would do is something like this (I live in CLT for reference):

    Day 1: Hit the "east side" in CLT. Resident Culture, Noda, Heist Barrel Arts (in that order).
    Day 2: Drive to Linville Gorge, hit Fonta Flora Whippoorwill, continue to Asheville and hit the south slope in the evening.
    Day 3: Sierra Nevada and explore the Blue Ridge Parkway (what is open) and then maybe drop into Oskar Blues on the way down 276. Waterfalls all over this area in Pisgah. Evening get a great dinner in Asheville. More south slope breweries
    Day 4: Do something for your wife day (maybe Biltmore or Grove Park Inn).
    Day 5: Back to CLT and hit some of the "west side" breweries before going back to the airport. Wooden Robot, Triple C, Olde Meck, etc.

    In Charlotte, my favorite restaurant is Good Food On Montford (no reservations). Best thing in Charlotte to do is the US National Whitewater Center. Its $6 to park but otherwise you can explore the grounds (500+ acres with trails, ziplines, river, etc). I know they will have ice skating this winter.

    Near Fonta Flora is the Linville Gorge (the grand canyon of the east). Amazingly beautiful. Google the Shortoff Mtn trail from Wolf Pit Road. Its 5m or so hike. You can also just drive to Table Rock and Hawksbill for short 1m hikes to see the gorge. At the north end of Linville Gorge is Linville Falls (the canyon is way more impressive in my opinion).

    Asheville is a foodie heaven. Just google and see what is hot. I like The Admiral. Buxton BBQ. 12 Bones.

    And don't listen to the folks that might tell you to not hit Wicked Weed because they sold out. The Funkatorium is great (Im not a big fan of the brewpub however). Burial is the king in town and the crowds will reflect that...go when it is nice as there is much more room outside than inside.
     
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  4. B_Horne

    B_Horne Aspirant (283) Jun 12, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    Thanks for all the ideas, I appreciate the time you guys took regarding details.
    It looks like Raleigh doesn't need to be a part of this trip. Now I just need to find a way to pick up a replacement North Carolina Jersey without a stop in Chapel Hill...
     
  5. NoMoreBeerBelly

    NoMoreBeerBelly Initiate (146) Dec 2, 2009 North Carolina

    Raleigh is too far away to justify for a short stay (its a good 2.5hr drive from CLT and 4hr from Asheville). No offense to Raleigh, but there isn't anything there that you can't get between CLT and AVL. As for your idea about hitting Foothills...not worth the drive IMHO unless you are already in W-S. If there, its worth the stop (along with some others in town).

    Also try to book your Sierra Nevada tour ASAP.

    Also...hotels in Asheville can reach retarded prices. Check with AirBnb (and Uber is quick and easy in Asheville so don't fret over location too much).

    As for a Tar Heels jersey...you will zero problem with that. LOL. Charlotte is a meca of UNC basketball. Not sure about in Asheville but anywhere in CLT will be easy.
     
  6. Subcontrabass

    Subcontrabass Initiate (63) Jun 21, 2014 North Carolina

    Might get crucified for this, but...

    If you're going to Winston-Salem, skip Foothills and go to Incendiary instead.
     
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  7. nas4atu

    nas4atu Aspirant (208) Dec 3, 2011 North Carolina

    If you’re going through Hickory anyway to hit Fonta Flora and then on up to Asheville, you can get the same experience at Olde Hickory Brewery that you would at Foothills. Both are solid breweries, OHB is known for their barrel aged beers, many of which they still have on tap at their location called The Station. Plus The Station has a TON of other taps plus a small bottle shop inside as well.
     
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  8. Metnut

    Metnut Initiate (19) Dec 18, 2013 New York
    Trader

    If you're looking for a great dinner with world-class beer, then consider the Cellar at Duckworth's. Romantic restaurant, great food, always a great tap list, and a whole cellar full of aged bombers. Just a neat place IMO.
     
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  9. 2_Beardz

    2_Beardz Initiate (168) Apr 4, 2014 Florida
    Trader

    about two weeks ago, i spent a week on vacation in Asheville, and it was awesome. we had an airbnb near south slope, so we could walk to a lot of cool places. burial was cool and the beer was great, try to make time for White Duck tacos for lunch one day. i'll also put in a plug for Bhramari - really enjoyed their beer and atmosphere, but also White Labs. they had a ton of beers, both made in-house and guest taps, plus awesome pizza. sierra nevada was amazing. definitely plan on being there for several hours, especially if the weather is nice. i forgot to reserve tour tickets, but my wife and i went right when they opened and got on stand-by for a tour almost immediately, so if they are all booked up, just plan on getting to SN right after they open to put your name on the stand-by list.
     
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  10. NoMoreBeerBelly

    NoMoreBeerBelly Initiate (146) Dec 2, 2009 North Carolina

    Lunch and beers at the Station always gets skipped on mentions...and it shouldn't be. Great spot for both.
     
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  11. davedog_7

    davedog_7 Initiate (79) Jun 26, 2017 Georgia

    Many good recs for Asheville already, but check out Jack of the Wood. Really cool Irish/Celtic atmosphere (with an Asheville spin), nice local beer selection, really good food, and they often have non-overpowering live music and 'jam sessions.'
     
  12. EersandBeers

    EersandBeers Aspirant (218) Jan 16, 2013 West Virginia
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    I know you said you wanted to limit driving. I guess you are aware Charlotte is about 2 hours from Asheville? Pack for the cold there.

    I've been through a lot of that area. I love IPAs and Stouts. I spent the majority of my time in Asheville at Burial. It was hands down the best beer I had there, and for me the best brewery besides The Veil in Richmond. They may have a release while you are there so check out their Insta. Wicked Weed was incredibly disappointing. I also liked Green Man, Thirsty Monk and Ben's Tune Up if you want to try a variety of sake. The Sierra Nevada Brewery experience was fantastic I thought. Would def try and hit that. Tupelo Honey was delicious food

    In Charlotte I really liked Wooden Robot and NoDa. Heist I felt was ok. Other than that I found a lot of the beer there to be underwhelming. I second Duckworth's though. You can get a TON of options there!

    Have a blast!
     
  13. B_Horne

    B_Horne Aspirant (283) Jun 12, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    2 hours driving won't be that bad considering it will be new drive for us, I just wanted to avoid the 4 hours from Raleigh to Asheville.

    Is a hike in the Linville area or at Sierra Nevada likely or is the temp or precip going to make it unlikely?

    Rough Draft of my plan at this point-
    Thursday- Land in Charlotte (early), drive to Mooresville, spend day with friends.
    Friday- spend day with friends until early afternoon, leave so that we will hit Fonta Flora at opening, Drive to Asheville
    Saturday- In Asheville, Visit the Biltmore (Burial/Funkatorium)
    Sunday- In Asheville till noon (Burial), Drive to and tour SN. Drive to Charlotte
    Monday- Charlotte until early afternoon. (NODA/Resident Culture)
     
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  14. nas4atu

    nas4atu Aspirant (208) Dec 3, 2011 North Carolina

    I could be wrong about this, but I do not believe there are really any hiking trails at Sierra Nevada? I know there is a trail that takes you down to the river, where their river side tap truck is. Again, I’m not 100% sure on this, as I never want to leave the actual brewery/back patio. Their food is pretty damn amazing by the way.
     
  15. EersandBeers

    EersandBeers Aspirant (218) Jan 16, 2013 West Virginia
    Trader

    I'm unaware of hiking trails but I will agree the food is excellent. The trail to the river and taps were closed when I was there in June for some reason.

    I'd imagine the weather isn't too terrible? 40's - 50's maybe? Not sure.
     
  16. NoMoreBeerBelly

    NoMoreBeerBelly Initiate (146) Dec 2, 2009 North Carolina

    Pisgah is about 15 min drive from Sierra Nevada. The hiking options are limitless once you enter the national forest.

    As to OP question about weather. The top of the gorge is around 4000 feet of elevation and exposed. If the sun is shining and wind not whipping, it should be perfectly fine. A lot of the hiking in Pisgah is well above 5000', up to 6200' at Black Balsalm and greater care needs to be taken. A hike like Johns Rock or Looking Glass, are in the low end around 3500' (Johns Rock hike is great). I have been to Mt Pisgah in April and have it snow like crazy when I was hiking in shorts and long sleeve tshirt lower down the hill and froze my ass off.

    So in other words, just be prepared, and if hiking in Pisgah National Forest at higher elevations, do play close attention to the forecast.
     
  17. jmerizio

    jmerizio Initiate (108) Apr 17, 2008 New Jersey
    Trader

    Quick question...driving from Charlotte to Asheville...anything I should hit up on the drive?



    Looks like there are two possible routes...north along 40 or south along 74 to 26...

    Doing a quick look along both routes via the BreweryMap app these stood out to me but wasn't sure if there was one I should definitely not miss along the route for a quick one...thanks!

    South
    o Newgrass Brewing company
    o Dry Falls Brewing
    o Triskelion Brewing Company
    o Guidon Brewing Company


    North
    o Sidetracked Brewery
    o Fonta Flora Brewery
    o Mica Town Brewing
     
  18. Griffin2

    Griffin2 Savant (950) Aug 22, 2014 Virginia
    Society Trader

    Fonta Flora
     
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  19. nas4atu

    nas4atu Aspirant (208) Dec 3, 2011 North Carolina

    If you go the 40 route, a stop at Olde Hickory’s The Station won’t disappoint. Great selection of their own beers, with probably a total of around 50 taps, several of them being NC beers. Plus a nice little bottle shop to boot.
     
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  20. NoMoreBeerBelly

    NoMoreBeerBelly Initiate (146) Dec 2, 2009 North Carolina

    321 to Olde Hickory and then to Fonta Flora. The FF farm location is about 15-20min off of 40 and I like it a lot better than the downtown location if the weather is nice. OHB is just a few miles up 321 from I40
     
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  21. Subcontrabass

    Subcontrabass Initiate (63) Jun 21, 2014 North Carolina

    If you like hazy IPAs, sorbet-style sours, and adjunct stouts, go 74 and stop at Newgrass. If you like West Coast IPAs, farmhouse ales, locally sourced brews, and obscure European styles, take the high road and visit Fonta Flora. Both breweries are excellent, but have different niches.
     
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  22. jmerizio

    jmerizio Initiate (108) Apr 17, 2008 New Jersey
    Trader

    Thanks for all the help!

    one more question. Any good places to eat hour of town nfl games?
     
  23. NoMoreBeerBelly

    NoMoreBeerBelly Initiate (146) Dec 2, 2009 North Carolina

    Ya'll gonna have to speak slower...we can't understand your Yankee accent. LOL.
     
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  24. B_Horne

    B_Horne Aspirant (283) Jun 12, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    my guess is.... "Any good places to eat and watch out-of-town nfl games"
     
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  25. nas4atu

    nas4atu Aspirant (208) Dec 3, 2011 North Carolina

    In Asheville, if I remember right, The Bier Garden had a TON of TV’s with a multitude of games on. Pretty wide beer selection as well and the food was alright from what I remember. Definitely not mind blowing, but at least they should have a wide range of games on.
     
  26. jmerizio

    jmerizio Initiate (108) Apr 17, 2008 New Jersey
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    Cool. Thank you!
     
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  27. B_Horne

    B_Horne Aspirant (283) Jun 12, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    The trip is underway...
    Day 1-we hung out with Friends in Mooresville and ate dinner at Big Tiny’s BBQ, the only beers were bottles and I had a Foothills Hoppyum.

    Day 2-Headed towards Asheville with stops at The Station in Hickory to buy bottles/cans, (bottle shop nearby Craft Beer Cellar had a great selection).

    Stopped at Fonta Flora in Morganton and tried their Double Guns and Yuletide. I am not a huge fan of spice in beer or beers on nitro but this was both and very good. This brewery would be a good location for trying a beer style you haven’t had before.

    In Asheville we went to the Wicked Weed Funkatorium and tried 2 flights, great sours and not a bad one in the bunch. My favorite of the 8 was Medora.

    Day 3-After spending part of the day at the Biltmore (Good but pricy for the experience) we went to White Duck Taco for lunch and it was excellent.

    First Brewery of the day was Burial, great atmosphere and good beers, lots of cans/bottles available to take to go. It would be very limiting if the weather was bad but we hit it on a good day and hung out on the patio. I had the Occult Ipa and Nonesuch (peppermint) stout. Two bar areas but online only listed beers at one of the two bars.

    Resting at the hotel before dinner, can’t decide if I want to go back to Burial tonight to try more or head to another Brewery. Sierra Nevada tomorrow...

    https://ibb.co/y68dXTz
    https://ibb.co/80Tt8h7
    https://ibb.co/DDfgv2z
     
    #27 B_Horne, Dec 21, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
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  28. B_Horne

    B_Horne Aspirant (283) Jun 12, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    Started day 4 with breakfast at Biscuit Head (French toast was amazing, my wife loved the gluten free biscuit).

    Traveled to Sierra Nevada and it is like the Chico location on steroids. The road in is amazing, the parking lot it amazing, the building is amazing. (Food was amazing as well) The tour was actually very similar to Chico’s, very informative with a large focus on sustainability. One of the beers on tour was Wild Little Thing which is a sour/fruited beer that is coming soon to cans.

    Stopped by Oscar Blues to pick up a couple cans of Ten Fidy variants. Nothing exciting on tap and the location was a huge let-down after SN.

    Ended the night at Heist for dinner and beers, probably the best flight of the trip and some really good food to boot. It was pretty slow since it was Sun night, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the restaurant.
     
  29. Singlefinpin

    Singlefinpin Disciple (377) Jul 17, 2018 North Carolina
    Trader

    No trip to Asheville NC is complete without a tour of Sierra Nevada, and The Wedge.


    "B_Horne, post: 6742002, member: 805011"]Started day 4 with breakfast at Biscuit Head (French toast was amazing, my wife loved the gluten free biscuit).

    Traveled to Sierra Nevada and it is like the Chico location on steroids. The road in is amazing, the parking lot it amazing, the building is amazing. (Food was amazing as well) The tour was actually very similar to Chico’s, very informative with a large focus on sustainability. One of the beers on tour was Wild Little Thing which is a sour/fruited beer that is coming soon to cans.

    Stopped by Oscar Blues to pick up a couple cans of Ten Fidy variants. Nothing exciting on tap and the location was a huge let-down after SN.

    Ended the night at Heist for dinner and beers, probably the best flight of the trip and some really good food to boot. It was pretty slow since it was Sun night, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the restaurant.[/QUOTE]
     
  30. B_Horne

    B_Horne Aspirant (283) Jun 12, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    I have now worked through all of the singles that I brought home from different NC breweries and here are my opinions...
    Best beers, 1)Burial 2)New Grass (didn't visit, only cans) 3)Heist
    Best locations, 1)Sierra Nevada 2)Burial 3)Heist

    I was surprised with the cans I brought home from Fonta Flora, the beers I had on site were pretty good but the cans were forgettable.
     
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  31. EersandBeers

    EersandBeers Aspirant (218) Jan 16, 2013 West Virginia
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    Hells yea to Burial. Best down there.
     
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  32. treznor

    treznor Zealot (555) Dec 20, 2006 North Carolina
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    They have some pretty decent cans at times (Hulihe'e in particular I enjoy pretty well), but a lot of their cans are indeed pretty meh for me as well.
     
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  33. Piels25

    Piels25 Aspirant (200) Dec 17, 2013 Massachusetts
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    Heading to Charlotte for work later this week and looking to try out a few new spots. The Heist Barrel Arts location is at the top of the list. I also haven't been to Triple C Brewing, Wooden Robot, or The Unknown Brewing Co. I appreciate any thoughts on any of those breweries. Thanks in advance!
     
  34. cdinardo21

    cdinardo21 Initiate (41) Oct 29, 2019 Pennsylvania
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    Wooden Robot is a great vibe - warm environment - I rather liked my experience there - have only had the other two breweries when I was living in Raleigh. They're both fine. I liked The unknown quite a bit when I was in Raleigh, whose brewery scene leave a lot to be desired.
     
  35. Singlefinpin

    Singlefinpin Disciple (377) Jul 17, 2018 North Carolina
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    Lots of breweries in Raleigh, or The Triangle is a better way to put it. Carrboro's Steel String Brewery is not to be missed. Gizmo, just minutes from RDU is well worth a visit.
    Bhatsvana downtown Raleigh, great food and beer.
    Raleigh Brewing Company, and it has a Homebrew store as well as a great brewery.
    Just to name a few......
     
  36. miguel_loves_beer

    miguel_loves_beer Initiate (26) Feb 7, 2017

    Fonta Flora makes a lot of beer that just isn't popular.

    Most people aren't going to be "blown away" by a schwarzbier, brown ale or low 5.9% porter. But they are typically nailing these beers regardless.
     
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  37. cdinardo21

    cdinardo21 Initiate (41) Oct 29, 2019 Pennsylvania
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    I lived in Raleigh for a year - by myself - so all I did was go to breweries on my weekends - I've been to Steel String and Gizmo - if you like sours, I'd agree (sours aren't my favorite). Gizmo is also quite close to Lonerider, which is a nice experience, but I didn't love their beer.

    If you like IPAs, Bhavana is great (and singlefinpin is right - the food is as good as the beer), as is Funguys. I think Bond Brothers is another worth mentioning if you're into IPAs. But if IPAs are your thing, I think it's a big dropoff after those three, hence why I started making weekend trips up to Richmond to load up at the Answer, the Veil and Triple Crossing.

    Oh - also - if you're a sour guy, I pretty much left out the best option - Barrel Culture, which is in Durham - loved this place.
     
  38. hottenot

    hottenot Aspirant (268) Aug 13, 2018 North Carolina
    Society

    OMB is an actual German Bier Garden. Can't believe this wasn't mentioned.
    But you had better like German Beer if you go there since all the taps are house.
     
  39. Trinitron

    Trinitron Initiate (0) Friday

    Lived in Texas for 55 years. Now, North Carolina. I've been searching for decent BBQ since I got here in 2013. No luck.
     
  40. cdinardo21

    cdinardo21 Initiate (41) Oct 29, 2019 Pennsylvania
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    See, I lived in Raleigh for a year after spending most of my life in Pittsburgh, and the BBQ was great - because northeasterners can't do BBQ to save their lives. I guess everything is relative (and now i need to get to Texas).