Monday, August 20, 2018

Visiting Asheville, North Carolina


On a recent road trip with our daughter, Lisa, and son-in-law Pete, we spent a few hours in Asheville, North Carolina.  We had heard so many great things about this city and we finally decided we had to check it out ourselves.  We were actually going to Cherokee, NC but it was easy enough to stop by Asheville on our way there.  Lisa and Pete came along on this trip because Pete has been wanting to visit the Sierra Nevada Brewery for a long time and heard we would be stopping in Asheville.  We actually found out that the brewery is in Mills River which is so close to Asheville that people just say it's in Asheville.  So this is where we headed first.

We have a ton of breweries in our neighborhood in Wilmington, NC so I was expecting pretty much the same thing here, but, wow, Sierra Nevada's brewery is probably at least 10 times bigger (or more) than anything we have in Wilmington!


The first thing we did was sign in to do the free 45 minute tour.  If you wanted to tour the brewery on your own you could.  If you wanted a tour guide to show you around, you needed to have a reservation.  We could have, and should have, reserved our spots online ahead of time, but we didn't know that before this trip.


We were very lucky that there was room for us on a tour that day.  Besides for the free tour, there are other tours available that will cost you a few dollars but if you are a Beer Geek you may want to pay the $45.00 to go on the 3 hour Beer Geek tour.  (You can check out all the different tours here.)
So off we went.  We followed our tour guide down many halls, up stairs and into different rooms.


We peeked into a laboratory window we passed as we headed toward the first room on the tour.


The first room was so cold but it needed to be for the whole corn hops that was stored in it.  We were able to take a piece and rub it in our hands and smell it.  We were happy that we could wash our hands before we left the room.


The brew house was the most impressive room on this tour.  Here we saw the whole beer making process taking place.  The copper vessels were huge and they all had their jobs to do.  I liked how each vessel's job was labeled on the floor in front of them.  The whirling mash tun was pretty cool.


The packaging room was quiet when we passed by so we went to our final stop, the tasting!  The beer was good but I am not a big fan of really hoppy beer and there were a couple of them.  I had to pass them to Soko.  Lisa doesn't drink beer so she passed all of hers to Pete.  After our tasting we gave our tour guide a round of applause and parted ways with the group.


The Sierra Nevada's Taproom was highly recommended as having delicious bar food and it was lunchtime by the time our tour ended, so why not.  We were not disappointed.  Bar food is not what it was when me and Soko frequented them on dates long ago.  The peanuts and pretzels are rarely seen anymore and in their place are gourmet burgers and more.  We shared a farmhouse burger, the house and fungi pizzas and the duck fat fries with pale ale raspberry mustard.  Everything was delicious and the atmosphere was fun and comfortable.  Me and Pete needed to taste test a few more of Sierra Nevada's beer so we ordered a flight to share!

We had a fantastic tour, meal and time here at the brewery.  We had a such a great time that we decided we would head out of Cherokee early and stop in Asheville on our way home which is what we did.  There was another brewery Pete wanted to see so Wicked Weed Brewing was where we started our second visit.  It was lunchtime so why not compare bar food.  


We found a nice spot to eat outside and, once again, enjoyed a fantastic lunch with our beer.  I had a black bean burger with avocado crema and pickled jalapeno.  I didn't notice the jalapeno on the description of my burger.  I found out a couple of bites in and just slid them off my sandwich.  After that, my lunch was really delicious.  One of the best bean burgers I've ever eaten actually.  Pete really liked his falafel on naan.   Soko chose to have a hamburger which he has oftentimes when we are eating out because we don't eat them at home.  And I caught Lisa taking a picture of her Firewalker pimento cheese and pickled green tomato on Texas toast.  She said her sandwich was amazing!


I had one of the most refreshing beers I have ever tasted.  While looking at the menu, I spotted a cucumber beer.  Well, I do like cucumber water, so I had to try it.  It was the perfect beer to have on a beautiful summer day.



After lunch, it was time to walk off the calories and explore downtown Asheville.  



It is a really cute little town with lots of artsy shops, fun places to eat like this dessert bus and other interesting things to see like this row of houses.  They were just propped up against the wall of the building with no signage or clue to what they were all about.  


I will say that if you are into craft beers this is the place for you.  In addition to Wicked Weed Brewing and Sierra Nevada Brewery, we went to one more, One World Brewing and spotted a few more on our walk.  We played the best game at One World.  It's a Dutch table shuffleboard game called Sjoelbak.  You slide your puck down the board and try to get it in an opening that is only slightly larger than the puck itself.  It's challenging, but when you succeed, it's a cause for celebration which means another round of beers!


Pete had a couple more breweries he wanted to visit but me and Lisa were ready to find some ice cream so we decided on a time to meet back at the car.  We poked our heads into a chocolate shop and a couple of ice cream places and then found Sunshine Sammies.  You could have a cup or cone with your favorite scoop or scoops of ice cream or you could create your own Ice Cream Sammie which is exactly what me and Lisa did!  What you do is choose your cookie and your ice cream and you end up with an ice cream sandwich like you never had before!  I chose a chocolate cookie with salted caramel ice cream and Lisa had a sugar cookie with strawberry ice cream.  They were delicious!


So now Asheville, North Carolina is on our list of places that we want to visit again.  It's a good thing that we are retired and have the time to travel.  But if we keep going back to all these great places we have been finding lately, we will never get to the end of our travel bucket list!



22 comments:

  1. It looks you had a great time!

    https://julesonthemoon.blogspot.com/

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    1. Yes! It was as nice a city as I heard from people that it would be.

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  2. Very nice. Looks like a wonderful town to visit.

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    1. Yes. We would love to go back and explore some more.

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  3. I love Asheville so next trip I am going to visit the brewery.

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  4. This sounds like a fab day out. I love the US but never been to North Carolina. #BloggerClubUK

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    1. There are many nice cities in NC. Hope you get a chance to visit one day.

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  5. My husband and I are planning to move in Asheville, NC but we decide to check out there and see how we feel about this city. So I came to stop by your post here from Sew it, Cook it, and Craft it Linkup party. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. My son-in-law was ready to move there after we visited. He loved it that much. Good luck with your move! Thank you for stopping by!!

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  6. I have never been to Asheville but I would definitely consider visiting now! Looks like you had a great day. I've enjoyed Sierra Nevada beers on many occasions so I definitely would have enjoyed the brewery tour! Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Have a great weekend!

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    1. You will like the brewery especially if you like the beer!

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  7. Looks like an awesome visit. Share more of your tours would love to read it

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! We are going on a Mediterranean cruise in a couple of days and I will be sharing our tours all over Europe.

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  8. I love North Caroline! It helps that we have a daughter and two grandchildren there! LOL But it is beautiful.

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    1. Yes it is! I hope your family was not in the path of the hurricane. We were but we are OK.

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  9. Thanks for sharing at the To Grandma's House We Go DIY, Crafts, Recipes and More link party. I pinned this. Hope to see you again next week.

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  10. What a fantastic place, like a step back in time. Great post about a wonderful little town.

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  11. I hope the hurricane spared this city. The images we see on the news are horrendous...
    Thank you for participating in the Travel Tuesday meme.

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    1. I think it was. We live 15 minutes from Wilmington, NC and although our home was spared, our area is a mess. We are praying for all our neighbors who didn't fare as well.

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