OK folks, here’s the first in a new series Ashvegas is kicking off in cool new collaboration with the Mountain Oasis Music Summit and the guys from iwebxpert, a local web design company. Here’s how it works: I will be writing a series of blog posts like this, all aimed at folks planning to come to Asheville for Mountain Oasis. The idea is to help the tourists “live like a local” while they’re here, knowing that they’ll want to do more than just take in the awesome music. So the lists will cover the tried and true, such as local breweries and restaurants, as well as some other aspects of our great mountain metropolis.
Jacob Ballard and his crack team at iwebxpert shot, edited and produced the videos. His crew does great work, and has helped out many local entrepreneurs and small businesses with their marketing and web design needs. If you need help, contact him and tell him I sent ya. I can’t thank Jacob, Justin, Daniel and Mark enough for their help. You guys kick ass.
Here we go:
Ashvegas presents Mountain Oasis Music Summit: Live Like a Local and visit Asheville’s craft breweries
-Asheville Pizza & Brewing: These guys are making the official Mountain Oasis brew, called Electric Pale Ale. They’ve got two locations – the original spot on Merrimon Avenue just north of downtown and another on Coxe Avenue just south of downtown. Great beer, great pizza. Love me some Shiva. And owner Mike Rangel is a huge EDM fan, so expect to be partying with him at the fest.
-Wedge Brewing: The industrial cool factor is off the charts at The Wedge, with it tucked up next to the train tracks in Asheville’s River Arts District and located on the loading dock side of some of Asheville’s coolest artist galleries. Grab an IPA, a bowl of peanuts and a seat at one of the outdoor picnic tables. Marvel at the ironwork, tattooed artists and dog parties going down. Walk down the loading dock and work the controls of a giant moveable dinosaur sculpture that is the work of venerable artist John Payne, who sadly passed away a few years ago. And meet head brewer Carl Melissas, the mad scientist of local brewers.
-Burial Beer: I consider Burial my little South Slope hideaway, even though the beer tourists have already discovered the greatness of Doug and Jess and the delicious beers they brew up in their tiny tasting room. It’s a little on the dark side, with rusty farm tools on the wall and a little coffin (yes, a coffin) atop one of the coolers. But the beer is damn good, and my hound can roam and do all the tourist butt-sniffing she wants.
-Highland Brewing: Highland is the granddaddy of the Asheville brewing scene, and as such, it is a must-visit. It is located a short drive east of downtown, but you should make the trip. Get signed up for a tour. Hang in the massive indoor tasting room and catch whatever band is playing, or check out the sprawling meadow where kids run and couples hang. You’ll likely see owner a smiling Oscar Wong working the crowd. Give him a pat on the back and thank him for starting what has become a pretty incredible local craft brew scene in Asheville.
-Thirsty Monk: This brewery/Belgian beer bar is on a monster roll. With a prime downtown location on Patton Avenue, a new speakeasy upstairs, a south location off Hendersonville Road and two new locations in the works at Biltmore Park and Reynolds Village, these guys are killing it. Convivial atmosphere, deliciously varied beers, a beer-drinking monk for a mascot – nice.
-Wicked Weed: Wicked Weed on Biltmore Avenue will celebrate its one-year anniversary in December. The brewery is on track to sell twice the amount of beer the owners thought it would in its first year. The brewery opened with something like 17 of its own beers on tap – 17. This crew is amazingly creative, and the quality of the beer and the food is tops. The Weed is also right next door to The Orange Peel, making it prime meet-up territory for Mountain Oasis peeps.
-Hi-Wire Brewing: This South Slope brewery just opened a few months ago, but their remake of the former Craggy Brewing space has been a hit, as have their delicious beers. I love their Hi-Wire lager. They also benefit from location. They’re right next door to Ben’s Tune-Up, a popular new restaurant and meet-up spot. They’re also just down from the Mill Room, a new event space that will be rocking on Mountain Oasis weekend.
-Green Man: Down on Asheville’s South Slope, Green Man tries to keep a low profile. But the high quality of its beer, the fact that it’s home to a huge soccer-loving community and the fact that it was on the slope before the slope was cool all work to keep Green Man on the radar. Green Man is just up the street from Burial Beer, so you can hit both in an outing. And when they close, drop into one of coolest dive bars, The Prospect, also nearby.
-French Broad Brewing: French Broad also keeps a bit of a low profile in comparison to some of the other brewery players in Asheville, but they, too are worth your time. They’ve got a tiny tasting. They’ve got RR tracks nearby. They’ve got great beer. They also have all of Biltmore Village nearby, so the wife/girlfriend can get their shopping on while the dudes get their drink on.
-Oyster House: These guys recently opened on Haywood Road in West Asheville, after being located inside The Lobster Trap restaurant in downtown Asheville. Folks know and love Oyster House beer, and the new space has a chill neighborhood feel. It’s a great spot to get away fro the downtown buzz. It’s also right across the street from one of the best local restaurants in town – Sunny Point Cafe.
-Altamont Brewing: The realm of the West Asheville crowd, Altamont brews solid beer and sits right on the roadside, across from The Odditorium, another quirky bar/nightclub that’s worth a visit. The hipsters, freaks and geeks all have a nice interplay here. Check ‘em.
Special thanks to loyal reader Amy for the “live like a local” tag line. She rocks it at OX + CO.