As promised, I made a trip out to Tolliver's for a beer. The beer list is what you would expect from an Irish pub, with Guinness leading the way, along with Beamish, Smithwicks, and several other brews from Ireland and the British Isles. I had a Twisted Thistle IPA from Bellhaven, a Scottish brewery. It was good, but don't expect it to be an American version of an IPA, as the hops were more muted in this one. They also featured Highland on tap and had several micros in bottles. The menu was also what you expect from an Irish pub, but I did not get a chance to sample the food. Other features of the bar include two or three flat screen TV's, darts, and a foosball table that is presently out of order. Smoking is allowed inside during the later hours of operation (I think after 9).
Not only did Tolliver's open up last week, another bar in West Asheville has also opened up. The Admiral is located across the street from Harvest Records, and it is definitely a unique place. I would describe the interior as 'dive bar chic', with old school stools lining the bar on one side, a small sitting lounge in the corner, and booths and tables for eating. This isn't a beer geek destination, but they do have some micro bottles to choose from. The menu is fantastic though, and we sampled the Gaelic Ale pimento cheese spread and the steamed mussels, both being very good. As far as drinking, I actually gravitated to the Admiral's Grog, a tasty concoction featuring rum and cheerwine. Overall, I really liked the place, even if they don't have the greatest beer selection.
And lastly, I did walk by the Thirsty Monk downtown, and it does appear that progress is being made, so I am optimistic that we will see it open sometime in the near future.