Recently my daughter Abby and her boyfriend were at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast and took advantage of one of the tours available to the some of the many microbreweries here in Asheville. I asked her to write a review for our guests and here is her report of the experience:
Asheville is known for its many breweries and my boyfriend and I, he being an expert in beers and me being more of a wine drinker, decided to check out Asheville’s newest brewery tour, Asheville Brewery Tours.
Before I tell you about the tour I am going to answer a question that has always been on my mind. Why is Asheville so famous for beer and why are all the breweries migrating to Asheville? This is because of Asheville’s water! Water is an extremely important ingredient in beer and, due to the mountain streams through underground caverns that remove almost all impurities, Asheville’s water is so amazing, according most beer connoisseurs out there, it makes the beer that much better!
Back to the Asheville Brewery Tour which started at Brusin’ Ales where we met our awesome tour guide, Eli. Since it was pouring rain we quickly jumped into the vans and headed on our way to our first brewery, Hi-Wire. Hi-Wire is fairly new to Asheville and started under Barley’s Taproom. It has a cool atmosphere and almost felt like we were invited into someone’s super fancy garage to have a beer. We started with a lager, which was fitting for Hi-Wire because they are one of the few breweries to brew a lager year round. Eli, our tour guide, then launched into his very informative and knowledgeable speech about beer. One thing that I found extremely interesting was how to taste a beer “the right way”. There are five things you need to look at when it comes to beer, color, clarity, the head of the beer, smell, and finally, taste. As Eli continued to tell us all about beer other tour guides were quickly passing out the second beer. We almost never had an empty beer in our hand. The 2nd beer we had was the brown ale, which was Joe’s favorite. Then we had a Pale Ale and the last beer we tasted at Hi-Wire was their IPA.
Then it was time for the second brewery, which was Green Man. If you are familiar with Asheville you will know that Green Man is a fairly famous brewery. (Fun Fact! When you walk up to Green Man the giant vine that you see outside is actually hops which is a crucial ingredient for beer.) We tried four beers here, the Oktoberfest, Buckston Beer, ESB (extra special bitter), and the porter. At this point Eli began to tell us about brewing 101. Since there is so much detail to brewing you must go on the tour to find out the process! People were starting to get chatty and the beer was clearly starting to go to everyone’s head so Eli decided to let everyone enjoy the beer and the atmosphere, making himself available for any questions we may have had. Four beers later it was time to head to our third and final brewery, Wicked Weed.
Wicked Weed is Asheville newest hot spot and personally one of my favorites. When we arrived the brewery was so packed that the downstairs area was at max capacity. However, since we were with the tour we got to skip the line and enter right away. Wicked Weed has a great outdoors area with a corn hole game, fire pits, free pretzels, and, of course, beer. One of the best parts about this tour was that the tour guides had tried to get a feel for what kind of beers everyone in the group would enjoy, so by the time we got to Wicked Weed they selected some of the best for our tastes. First was the Blueberry Saison, which was my favorite. After the Blueberry Saison we then had Brown Ale, Duke of Rochester, and a Belgium Golden Strong. One reason I like Wicked Weed so much is the unique and fun beer selection that they have. Wicked Weed brews 25 beers, which is a pretty impressive amount. Four beers later we were all having an extra good time and were enjoying meeting people and chatting with the tour guides.
Overall I would recommend doing the Asheville Brewery Tour! The guides were awesome and very knowledgeable. We tried some great beers and met some great people. If you visited Asheville and didn’t go to at least one of their breweries I would have to say that you need to come back and visit Asheville again!