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Friday, February 21, 2014

Hometown Brews: Asheville Brewing Company

Asheville Brewing Company
77 Coxe Avenue | Asheville, NC

We made Asheville a stop on our way home from our holiday fun because of the great rep the town has. It's known for its art and brewing scene. We decided it was a great spot to spend NYE. The first night we got there, we walked around quite a bit. It was a straight drive from St. Augustine to Asheville, so we got there in time for dinner. The mountain air, and climate change from Florida, made the 30 degree temperatures bone chilling. The town was pretty dead that night before NYE. The restaurants were somewhat spread out once you got off of the main drag. 

We saw a theater and stopped for a cocktail at Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro. Storm had a limited menu, and I wasn't in the mood for anything on it. We headed out and kept going. We ended up at one of the breweries on our list, Asheville Brewing. We got a table right away. We got there just in front of the dinner rush. It was full the whole time we were there. Lots of people were regulars. They have a mug club. It was a fun spot to hang out.

It was bright and colorful, with yellow walls and a light oak bar. The merchandise was colorful, displaying their artistic labels with names to match. The brews were listed on the board lit up with Christmas lights; they had quite a selection of brews. They also had a full bar with wines and various liquors.

The menu was a mix of pub foods. Cheesy, fried, delicious. They had burgers, pizzas, salads, nachos, and quesadillas. They had pages and pages of options. A bit overwhelming when you're already hungry. We ordered a quesadilla to share and two tasting flights (10 total).

Overall, it was a pretty relaxed atmosphere and a fun spot to meet up with friends. Space is limited when the patio is closed, so it seems like a chance if you'll get a table at dinnertime. This might have also been because of the cold weather and holiday season. 

I have to visit again, when it's warmer and the town is more lively. 

The Beer
Between the smells of food in this crowded spot and with a bit of a sniffle from the cold air, I didn't get much of the aroma side in my notes. I was enjoying the time with Mr. K, so the notes are terse. Frankly I think took more notes than I should have!

828 Pale
American Pale Ale | ABV: 6% 

Look and Smell: It was amber with a thin white ring.
Taste: It had a bitter pith flavor with a candy sweetness. Interesting for a pale ale. Not so standard.

A beautifully colored amber ale, Roland's is loyal to the line of Extra Special Bitters from which it takes its pedigree. The effervescent head releases the spicy aroma and flavor of Cascade hops that accompany the big malty sweetness of Crystal malt and Roasted barley. The result is a complex, medium-bodied beer with a champion flavor reminiscent of cinnamon and caramel. | ABV: 5% | IBU:2.2

Look and Smell: This golden-brown brew has a white froth that sticks.
Taste: It has a bitter and yeasty flavor. It has a sugar sweet malt taste to it. It's almost like wort (unfermented beer).

Escape Artist
We believe beer is magic! Escape Artist Extra Special Pale will make you a believer as well. A light, medium-bodied brew, we use two classic American hops varieties. Centennial and Cascade create a concoction of mystique and complexity. No smoke and mirrors here. 
ABV: 5.5% | IBU: 30

Look and Smell: This gold brew had a white ring for head.
Taste: It was more sweet than bitter.

Fire Escape
Yep. You guessed it, it's the Escape Artist with a perfect mix of hops, malt and... JalapeƱos! We blend freshly roasted jalapeƱos post fermentation to create this fiery yet balanced pale ale. Amazingly smooth and addictive!
ABV: 5.5% | IBU: 30

Look and Smell: This golden beer had a thin white ring for head.
Taste: Wow, did it have a burn. Not actually looking at any description, just going off names, I didn't expect what I was going to get with this. It had a good malt balance. I really loved this brew. It wasn't just a capsaicin burn, it tasted like fresh peppers.

Stuntman Brown
This beer won’t kick you…(not hard anyway). Chocolate, roasted, and crystal malts give flavors of hazelnuts and mocha. Two big scoops of wheat make it a light bodied beauty that is easy to drink and easier to fall for. Put some danger back in your step. | ABV: 4.7% | IBU: 27.2

Look and Smell: It was light gold with a thing white ring for head that left a slick.
Taste: It was light and malty. There was a hoppiness to it. I wondered if this was the right beer. Didn't seem like a brown. Might be the wheat noted in the description

How is such a perfect combination of 3 hops possible? Part stealth power and part pure secret creates a rich, satisfying body and hard-hitting chocolate finish with notes of coffee and caramel. Let your inner ninja out!!
ABV: 5.25% | IBU: 26.2

Look and Smell: This was a dark brown porter.
Taste: This had a roasted chocolate flavor with a light aftertaste if any.

Oatmeal Stout | ABV: 5.5% 

Look and Smell: This black brew had a coffee-colored head that settled to a ring. I could smell the malt over the ambient smells.
Taste: It was creamy and grainy. It was as if I had a handful of black malt. It was slightly sweet. It matched the style.

Black IPA | ABV: 6.1% 

Look and Smell: This brown brew had an off-white head that left a layer on top.
Taste: It was musky and piney. A caramel flavor balanced it out.

All Night
American IPA | ABV: 4.3% 

Look and Smell: This gold brew had a white ring for head.
Taste: This was a light brew. It was lemony with lots of lemon pith flavor.

A crisp, citrusy Indian Pale Ale with a light color, Shiva will destroy all your preconceptions of an I.P.A. A transcendentally simple malt bill accents a generous helping of Columbus hops, lending an intense floral aroma with hints of grapefruit and a pleasant buttering quality. Your palette will be lifted to higher planes of consciousness with a bittersweet finish. 
ABV: 6% | IBU: 69.3

Look and Smell: This crisp gold brew had a thick, thick white head. It left thick lacing on the tasting glass.
Taste: It was incredibly sweet and had a floral bitterness.

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