Monday, July 02, 2007

A Challenge to Asheville Beer Bars

I have been contemplating making a public challenge to Asheville beer bars when I came across some news today. It’s not that we don’t have some fine places to drink. Barleys, Bier Garden, Hannah Flannagans, and others offer plenty of taps to choose from, not to mention our brewpubs. However, I have been disappointed in the lack of variety in their Belgian draft offerings. Well it looks like my dreams have come true. The Thirsty Monk is set to open in September at the current site of Hookah Joes, and they will be offering 8 Belgians on tap, and a large variety of bottled Belgians. To say that I am excited is an understatement of epic proportions. I have been to the Brick Store Pub near Atlanta which was a heavenly experience. They had a variety of Belgians on tap to choose from, such as St. Bernardus Abt 12, Saison Dupont, Cantillon Gueze, La Chouffe, and others, all served in their respective glassware. Let's hope that the Thirsty Monk is able to match the variety that I saw while at the Brick Store. My only concern about our new pub is that they will be serving only Belgians and not other beers. I'm crossing my fingers that there will be enough people like me to appreciate it.

And while I’m on the subject of challenging our local beer bars, I would love to see more beer events. We have the Brewgrass Festival, and Bruisin’ Ales has brought us beer tastings and beer dinners. But what I don’t see are beer themed nights at any of our pubs. There are bars in other places like Durham and even Greenville, SC that have special nights devoted to a beer or brewery. Tyler’s in Durham has a weekly pint night, where you get to try a new brew and take home a glass. Barley’s in Greenville has been having the occasional Freaking Firkin Friday, which features a cask ale from a selected brewery (I could probably start an entire new post on the need for more cask beer in Asheville). I would also love to see special nights for our local and regional brewers when they come out with a new or limited release. It’s these kinds of events that foster and perpetuate the growing beer culture here in Asheville.

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