In my past articles, I have tried to detail various beer styles as well as encourage my readers to give them a try. I believe it is now time to add a new facet to the Globeertrotter blog: interesting places in which to drink! I believe that where you drink can have just as much effect on your overall experience as what you drink, and with whom you drink. Thus, I believe it is high time I share with you all some of my favorite places to toss back a few delicious brews, as well as open my blog for guest writers who have a favorite watering hole they want to share with the other Globeertrotter followers. If you wish to write a brief article praising your favorite bar, pub, or any other drinking destination, email or tweet me your article and I’ll publish it on the blog. So get drinking (and writing)!
DogFish Head’s Immort Ale, an English Strong Ale
I figured I would start the discussion of great beer bars and pubs with a bar/restaurant that may be small in size, but always comes up big in terms of great beers on tap. The place? Asheville, North Carolina. The bar? The Thirsty Monk. Not only does this bar sport a two floor set up with bars carrying different beers at each, it also features some of the best beers produced in the US and the world! As you would expect from the title, the Thirsty Monk’s European beers are typically Belgian. When I was there a few weeks ago, they were featuring sour beers—Belgian geuzes, Flanders Reds and Browns, and American interpretations of the distinctively Belgian style. If sours are not to your liking, the upstairs bar carried top American craft breweries like Dogfish Head, Avery, Ballast Point, and Bell’s. However they do not just carry the typical 60 Minute IPA or Bell’s Oberon that you can find at pretty much any beer bar. No, The Thirsty Monk carries small batch and special brews like Bell’s Expedition Stout and Schmaltz’s HeBrew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. (featured in my article on RyePA’s), among other tough-to-find beers. At the time of this publishing, the Thirsty Monk is about to start it’s Thirstyfest 2013, featuring “Rare, Obscure, and Wild” beers like Stone’s Expresso IRS (Imperial Russian Stout), Great Divide’s Oatmeal Yeti, and Allagash Confluence. Heard of any of those before? If you have, kudos to you. If you’re like most, you haven’t. Thus the beauty of one bar offering these and many more obscure beers all in one location. Thirstyfest 2013 kicks off September 2nd and last thru the 8th. So if you aren’t doing anything on Labor Day, get down to Asheville, NC for some beers you’re sure to never forget!
In addition to a uniquely diverse beer offering, the food at the Thirsty Monk is all beer based. Just take a look at the pizzas—all named after the beer it is designed to be paired with and made with New Belgium Fat Tire in the dough. The Stout, the Porter, the IPA, and the Tripel are the four speciality pizzas concocted by the chef and are all worth the drive down to Asheville, NC. In addition to their famous pizzas, the Thirsty Monk offers appetizers, salads, and sandwiches all made with a delicious craft beer in the recipe and guidelines on what beers to pair with what foods. You simply can’t go wrong.
If all these reasons weren’t enough for you to stop by the Thirsty Monk in Asheville, North Carolina, I have one more: it was rated the 3rd best Craft Beer Bar in America in 2012 by CraftBeer.com and the best craft beer bar in the South region. Cheers to the fine people of Asheville, North Carolina and the wonderful beer lovers at the Thirsty Monk—you’ve got one heck-of-a bar!