Craft brewing - Explore Asheville 2021 - Magazine | Monocle

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Raise a glass 

Be it somewhere to knock back a beer, nurse a glass of wine or sample a finely mixed cocktail, Asheville is full of welcoming watering holes – every one with its own unique appeal. 

Where to eat
Leo’s House of Thirst 
Arrive hungry at this intimate wine bar in West Asheville. The food ranges from bar snacks (the devilled eggs are a highlight) to heartier homemade pastas, including a pitch-perfect braised rabbit casareccia topped with hazelnut crunch, dates and pecorino. There’s also an extensive orange-wine list and a selection of regional beer and cider.



Where to sample homemade spirits
Cultivated Cocktails Distillery 
Located in the 1920s Grove Arcade, Cultivated Cocktails offers patrons the chance to try spirits downtown. Favourites include the bottled-by-hand Hazel 63 Rum, made with select molasses and the region’s mountain water; and Shades of Rosé gin, inspired by F Scott Fitzgerald, a frequent visitor to Asheville.

Where to drink with the locals
Little Jumbo
This neighbourhood cocktail bar is the place to meet the locals. Come for the spicy dead lady – a smoky, bittersweet concoction made with mezcal, velvet falernum and habañero bitters – and stay for the live jazz, which you’ll hear every Monday from 19.00 to 22.00.

Where to watch the sunset
Edison, Craft Ales + Kitchen
Many downtown rooftop drinking and dining spots offer mountain views but few are better to watch the sun go down than Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen. Located inside the historic Omni Grove Park Inn, the expansive terrace faces the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. Chilly? Curl up next to one of the outdoor fireplaces.


Where to soak up old world-inspired décor and ambience
This atmospheric cocktail bar offers three storeys of an early 20th-century aesthetic – think polished wood, a piano and mood lighting. For something different, order the velvet underground, a mix of mezcal, gin, bright-red beet shrub and peppercorn topped with whipped honey, goat cheese and a cracker.




Good cheer

Fans of craft breweries are spoilt for choice in Asheville. They are great places to spend time and to try a few innovative beers – here are some recommendations. 

Nightward Nimbus
Bhramari Brewing Co
Aged in Blanton’s & Willett barrels, this imperial stout has a sweet kick, provided by a blend of black mission fig, Vermont maple syrup, Madagascar vanilla bean and toasted cinnamon. Delightful.

La Bonté Rosé
Wicked Weed Brewing
A highlight of Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium – the East Coast’s first taproom dedicated to sour beer – is the sweet-sour tasting La Bonté Rosé, a Brettanomyces Farmhouse ale fermented with d’anjou pears. Although delicate in colour, it packs a punch.


Thunderstruck Coffee Porter
Highland Brewing
The taste of coffee and bourbon permeates this seasonal pale malt, which is available from October to December and is an Asheville holiday favourite. It’s brewed with 0.6kg of Dynamite Roasting coffee per barrel so brace yourself for a caffeine hit.

The Farewell to Foes We Neversaid
Burial Beer Co 
Burial Beer Co is known for its bold label art and lyrical names – and this blend of four different imperial stouts is no exception. Mixed with house-roasted hazelnuts, lightly toasted coconut flakes, vanilla beans and Bulls Bay sea salt, its sweet-salty combination will only leave you wanting more.

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