Quick Asheville trip over Memorial Day Weekend

Discussion in 'US - South' started by John_M, May 26, 2022.

  1. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Greetings all! The wife and I will be visiting family in Johnson City Tn. over the memorial day weekend, and we're planning to do a quick trip over to Asheville on Sunday or Monday (Sunday is more likely at this point). As we won't have much time, I don't think it probably makes a lot of sense to try to visit too many breweries in town (though I'm open to suggestions if I'm wrong about that). So ideally, I'd like to be able to visit a tap house in town that will have a strong selection of local and regional beers. I haven't been to Asheville in over 10 years, and the last time I was there the places to visit included the mellow mushroom, Barley's and the Thirsty Monk. I'm assuming a lot has changed since that time and that more than likely these are not going to be the places I'll want to visit this time around (if they're even still open).

    Are there any particularly outstanding tap houses that you all would recommend? I like pretty much everything (other than sours and AAL's), but am particularly fond of WCIPA's and BA stouts. Is there a place in town someone can recommend that will have a strong selection of highly regarded loca/regional IPA's and BA stouts?

    Would love to visit Incendiary if we had the time (based on previous thread comments), and burial as well, but I just don't think that's going to be in the cards this time around. However, it would be great to find a tap house in town that has beers from those breweries on tap.

    Thanks in advance for your help and advice.
     
  2. bubseymour

    bubseymour Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Befor even getting to Asheville pit stop at Zebulon on the ride down from JC and then Zilicoah just outside of Asheville both are en route. I really like the vibe at Zilicoah especially sitting outside on a nice day. They have a great variety on their taplist usually as well. If you want efficiency to grab local beers without hitting too many breweries, check out Appalachian Vintner bottle shop. Other breweries I’d recommend are Burial and DISSOLVR. I like both of them a lot. Sierra Nevada in Mills River is an amazing place to visit, it’s beautiful and enormous.
     
  3. Thirst_trappist

    Thirst_trappist Jan 18, 2016 Florida
    Trader

    I don't know TN at all....but if you're close to Xul brewing....you should go
     
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  4. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    Appalachian Vintners usually has a pretty solid tap list (not sure if they have re-opened for on-premise consumption) and is a good beer store for take away.

    I hear good things about The Whale AVL but have not been personally.

    I have enjoyed Burial Forestry Camp in the past but you should check current tap lists on somewhere like Untappd.
     
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  5. dbl_delta

    dbl_delta Sep 22, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Go to SN. Amazing place. Just freakin' gorgeous.

    I don't know how "quick" your trip to Asheville is gonna be, since Johnson City is more than an hour away, but if you're willing to commit that much time to finding great beer I'd also visit Oskar Blues in Brevard NC. OB Brevard is in a pre-engineered metal building at the bitter end of a cul-de-sac in an industrial park. That having been said, it's a really gritty, funky, end-of-the-road brewpub with a lot of character - all the more amazing because it's in a totally characterless building in a totally characterless environment.

    But....

    The brewpub is upstairs (relative to the working brewery on the ground floor) and (when I was there) offered a complete selection of all the OB brews. They have a barrel (yes, a real BARREL) of spiced peanuts for free, ostensibly to get you to consume more of their beer. They're pretty spicey. Good strategy.

    Asheville and environs is an amazing beer destination. I envy you. Enjoy.
     
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  6. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thanks guys. Lot to mull over and think about.

    Everything else being equal, I'm not sure visiting SN makes sense. I've been to the Chico facility many times (my neice lives there), and while it's undeniably a terrific facility, I'd prefer to visit places unique to Ashville and NC. Unless there's something particularly unusual and/or unique about the Mills River location.

    We're staying in JC for roughly 3 days, and my wife's uncle wants to take us to Asheville one day. I'm all for that. I'm aware that Asheville is a bit over an hour from JC, but that doesn't seem like all that great a distance to me (we drove from Portland Oregon to get out here). Depending on what our plans are in JC, I'm tentatively thinking of possibly driving over to Asheville both Sunday and Monday. Even so, we have to drive back after our visit to Asheville, so there's only so much "day drinking" I can engage in. If we were staying in Asheville my plans would be different.

    In any event, I appreciate all the recommendations and suggestions so far. Thanks everyone.
     
  7. TGBooks

    TGBooks Jan 8, 2022 North Carolina

    AVL: Cellarest (all wood-fermented lagers, almost all low ABV, including ~4%, unique + special), Zillicoah, Hi-Wire (RAD or South Slope), Zebulon (Weaverville, 10 mins), Sideways (Etowah, about 25 mins). Burial does what it does well -- mostly high ABV hazies that taste similar and candy stouts. Their lower ABV stuff is more unique, depends on the list on a given day. Bhramari is hit-or-miss (and a weird visiting/attempted visiting experience), but the hits are big.

    /s/ a local
     
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  8. BikeChef

    BikeChef Dec 27, 2007 District of Columbia
    Society

    The Mills River location is pretty unique. It's like beer Disneyland-- in a good way. A must-go for me when I visit Asheville.

    Nice top 15 list posted a couple days ago from the beer writer at Paste:
    https://www.pastemagazine.com/drink...sierra-nevada-wicked-weed/#zillicoah-beer-co-
     
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  9. bubseymour

    bubseymour Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    If you are spending a day in Ashville, hit 2 breweries (just have 1 beer at each) space them apart several hrs and Appalachian Vintener to stock up, and fill the rest of your day with non-beer site seeing. If you are heading into Ashville early, do site seeing, go to the beer store, visit 1 brewery in town (Burial) around mid day, then stop at Zilicoah on the way back to JC. I still love Funkatorium, their wild ales are still top shelf/world class IMO and it’s just a cool spot in town to hang.
     
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  10. MonkeyBread

    MonkeyBread Apr 26, 2014 Nevada
    Trader

    I think Burial makes the best hazies bar none. Would go there over all else assuming like that style. Did a side by side this week of equally fresh Monkish vs Burial and clear cut winner was Burial.
     
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  11. IMFletcher

    IMFletcher May 2, 2014 Kentucky
    Trader

    Place an online order and pick up the Seasoned Skillet over at Burial if you like BA stouts. It was still available last time I looked
     
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  12. carolinabeerguy

    carolinabeerguy Oct 10, 2005 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Just so you know for future trips, Incendiary is in Winston-Salem which is a little over 2 hours east of Asheville.
     
  13. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thanks. I did know that. Sounds Ike exactly the place I'd want to visit, but given the location, I don't think it's feasible. Unfortunately.

    Part of the reason I asked about a good local taphouse. I was hoping I could find some of their ba stouts on tap locally. Thank you though.
     
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  14. PEBKAC

    PEBKAC Sep 4, 2006 North Carolina
    Trader

    Great weather today. Outside seating is a must. I'd focus on a walk-able neighborhood & hit three spots before grabbing bottles at 604 or Appalachian. I've already settled in on the porch, but good luck to ya.
     
  15. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thanks. Completely agree about the weather. 3 places is what I think we've settled on. We're downtown at Wicked Weed now, grabbing lunch. This has allowed the wife to do some shopping, which has helped to keep peace and harmony so far. Beers have been a mixed bag so far. The pernicious IPA on tap has been good, but was not hugely impressed with the ba milk and cookies. We started the day at Dissolvr, based on it's location and the top 15 review posted by @BikeChef. The impy stouts there were terrible and the WCIPA fair at best. The tone death was so bad, I'm not sure it wasn't infected.

    Anyway, after this we plan to hit burial and call it a day.
     
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  16. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Now at Burial, enjoying a glass of portal into non existence and seasoned skillet. The Portal is a bit sweeter than I care for, but that's small potatoes. Both beers are outstanding and are head and shoulders better than anything I tried at Dssolvr or Wicked Weed. Not surprisingly, the place is packed!

    These beers are so good, I feel like I have to stay and try one of the IPA's. So ordered a cosmic integration. Surprise, surprise... it's quite good as well.

    I appreciate the fact they do 4 ounce pours of everything. So can order several beers.
     
    #16 John_M, May 29, 2022
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
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  17. PEBKAC

    PEBKAC Sep 4, 2006 North Carolina
    Trader

    Curses Keme has their 13% Doppelbock on right now. Keme-> New Origin -> 25 minute walk to Hillman & Catawba -> 10m walk to Hi-Wire.
     
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  18. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thanks. Would have loved to try it, but 4 breweries would have really been pushing my luck with the wife.
     
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  19. PEBKAC

    PEBKAC Sep 4, 2006 North Carolina
    Trader

    Been there, feel that. If they have good food, it's a destination. Cheers.
     
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  20. MonkeyBread

    MonkeyBread Apr 26, 2014 Nevada
    Trader

    Nothing worse than taxing the liver and stamina on subpar breweries. Stay at Burial. Try the tap list top to bottom. Better than playing Russian roulette on the average breweries’ tap list.
     
  21. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Completely agree. Unfortunately, I really didn't know Wicked Weed and Dssolvr would be... ummm... not all that? Until I'd already ordered beers at both places. Otherwise, would definitely have done exactly what you recommended. Skipped Dssolvr and WW and tried everything on the Burial list from top to bottom. So I tried what I could at Burial; grabbed a couple bottles to go and called it a day.

    Next time I'm in town I'll do one stop shopping at Burial.
     
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  22. NoMoreBeerBelly

    NoMoreBeerBelly Dec 2, 2009 North Carolina

    The Funkatorium is something that is "unique" to Asheville but the WW pub? I can't imagine another blander place in all of Asheville to go. Sorry you got bad intel on that one.
     
  23. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Bland is exactly the word I would use to describe the WW pub experience. That being said, it was on the way and our group was hungry, so I figured "why not?" Plus I'd heard about WW beers for years. It wasn't an awful experience, but it wasn't anything to write home about either.
     
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  24. Macsimus

    Macsimus Feb 19, 2014 North Carolina
    Trader

    Wicked Weed was a once great spot prior to them being acquired by big beer. The original Freak of Nature DIPA was great and one you would have enjoyed!!!
     
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  25. BikeChef

    BikeChef Dec 27, 2007 District of Columbia
    Society

    Sorry! I think that list is pretty solid, but I should have noted that I was not impressed by Dissolvr on my visit there last year.
     
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  26. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Nothing to apologize about. Convenience was the primary factor in deciding to visit Dssolvr (much like Wicked Weed). It was a block from where we parked, and so I figured "what the heck".

    Most every place we visited that Sunday was packed. Dssolvr was nearly empty. That should have been a tip off about the place, but unfortunately it was the first place we visited.

    Still had a great time and I appreciate your post/input. Weather that day was gorgeous.
     
  27. bubseymour

    bubseymour Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    That is so strange because when I visited I thought Dssolvr was the best brewery we visited in summer of 2020 when in Asheville (Burial is always solid but variety of styles was lacking). Something must have happened because even their big Baltic Porter at Dssolvr was outstanding as was the Kellerbier, Kolsch and several IPAs were solid.
     
    #27 bubseymour, Jun 7, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2022
  28. Immortale25

    Immortale25 May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I too am surprised at the DSSOLVR beers being subpar. They're my 2nd favorite Asheville brewery next to Burial and I've only ever had beers ranging from solid to excellent from them. I guess it's the ol' YMMV
     
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  29. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    When DSSOLVR first came out, I had a ton of excellent beers from then in a variety of styles but over the last 2+ years I have had a number of duds from then including some fairly awful porters/stouts (borderline infected - exploding can, super fizzy pours, and a definite tart/sour element in the background).
     
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  30. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    That's what I encountered last week. The two BA stouts I sampled, I'm pretty certain those were beers that no one would have enjoyed. They were truly awful.
     
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  31. Metnut

    Metnut Dec 18, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    Heading over to Asheville for an overnight on Saturday and don't want to start a new thread. Already have dinner plans.

    Probably have time to hit a couple breweries and/or beer bars. Burial is our top priority, so we'll definitely head there. Anywhere else easily walkable from/in downtown that we should check out? Looks like a lot of nice recommendations on this thread, but I'm not really familiar with the geography/layout of the city. We're staying at the Cambria hotel.
     
  32. Griffin2

    Griffin2 Aug 22, 2014 Virginia
    Society Trader

    There are numerous places within walking distance from Burial. Green Man, Twin Leaf, Cawtaba & Wicked Weed come to mind. There are more if you want to walk a little further.
     
  33. dbelford

    dbelford Nov 7, 2017 Illinois

    Road tripped to Asheville from Chicago several times the past few years - here's my unsoliciated list of my favroites:
    Beer:
    -Burial (Forestry Camp is cool too)
    -Zillicoah (my fav spot, love the vibe there)
    -Sierra Nevada
    -Funkatorium
    -Pick up some beers at Appalachian Vintner
    -The Whale / Haywood Common is a cool little spot as well for a beer bar and food - usually a great taplist

    Food:
    -Buxton Hall
    -12 Bones
    -Curate
    -Ukiah
    -Chai Pani
    -Plant (Vegan)
    -Late night big ass slice of pizza from PIE.ZAA after some beers (seriously, they're huge)
    -Biscuit Head - may be touristy and long lines, but I dream of the country ham biscuits
    -Ultra Coffeebar
     
  34. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Feb 7, 2010 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Honestly all 4 of those are awful. Hi Wire, Eurisko and Zillacoah are priorities
     
  35. Metnut

    Metnut Dec 18, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    Any preference as to Hi Wire or Eurisko? Both look to be walkable to the downtown area/Burial it seems.
     
  36. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Feb 7, 2010 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Hi Wire is one you can hit in a number of cities as their model has been to build multiple taprooms. But they make a wide range of beers, all excellent. Eurisko is much more ma and pa, and equally outstanding. You can't miss
     
  37. carolinabeerguy

    carolinabeerguy Oct 10, 2005 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I’d go with Eurisko, hands down. Hi-Wire is fine, but I’d rather give my money to the little guy if you’ve only got time for one or the other.
     
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  38. Immortale25

    Immortale25 May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Had the Tone Death a couple nights ago with a couple beer buddies (one of them being an advanced Cicerone) and, while it was overly sweet and very one-note with the Oreos and marshmallow conditioning, we didn't detect any acetobacter or anything indicating infection. Not trying to come down on you or your palate, just felt a duty to taste for myself and give my .02 since I have a lot of homer pride in our beer scene. DSSOLVR can definitely be hit or miss with their stouts and sours but their hazy IPAs are always on point.
     
  39. Immortale25

    Immortale25 May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Haven't ever experienced anything like this from them and I have bought their beer semi-consistenly ever since they opened. Will definitely be on the lookout though
     
  40. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    Eat the Rich 4-pack - my local shop had issues with exploding cans as well.
     
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