I hadn’t realised while being ferried around by Gabe (she was dedicated driver while Mike and I indulged) how far Fletcher is from Asheville. It’s a fair old drive on the motorway. Why am I staying all the way out here? Because my hotel is where the shuttle bus to Charlotte airport picks up. I need to get the bus at 6 AM. Staying at the hotel saves me having to get up before I go to bed and a nerve-jangling dash across town.
Now there’s an indication this is a small town. My taxi driver conscientiously fills in all the fields in my receipt. Never had that happen before. They usually just give you a blank form.
I’ve come to Green Man to drop off books for this evening. Hopefully, I won’t have to take many back to my hotel.
My plan? To troll around some more breweries. There are a few I didn’t get to yesterday. The ones at the top of the hill. Time to sort that out.
Food. It’s a recurring theme with my stomach. Can’t stop pestering me about it. To escape from its endless nagging, I ball up with the place most likely to shut it up: Wicked Weed. It’s up the hill. But I’ve no choice.
Considering the early hour – it’s not yet noon – there’s a decent crowd in already. But still a seat at the bar for me. “Give me the food menu, but I’ll order later. I need to work up an appetite first.” And torture my effing gut a bit.
Let’s get some beer.
Lil Heresy Brown Ale 5.2%
Nice Mahogany colour, little head. Quite roasty. Is that brown malt? I shouldn’t guess about ingredients. It only makes you look like a prat. Not a lot of hop character, but I can live with that. Makes for a nice change of pace.
I really like Asheville. Cool. Cool town with friendly people. And, being quite high up, it isn’t too effing hot. Nor humid.
Should I tell the barman there’s no evidence Henry VIII ever said the phrase “wicked and pernicious weed”? Maybe I’ll keep that for this evening. After I explain what Ale and Beer meant.
I’m still recovering from the walk up that hill. A wimp, I know.
Time for another beer.
English Bitter 4.8%
Very pale yellow, little head. Nice earthy Goldings aroma (see above the dangers of guessing ingredients). Bit light on malt character.
Not too thrilled by that. Probably would have impressed more on cask.
More beer. Bit light on the casual observations of my fellow boozers today. Sorry. Other things on my mind. Like where’s my next beer.
Don’t Tread on Maize
Crazy name, crazy beer. American Pale Ale with flaked maize. Sounds like an AK. Very pale amber. Oddly, it’s darker than the English Bitter. (Someone need to lay down a framework of precise style definitions to prevent this sort of confusion.) Quite bitter, without being hugely aromatic. There’s some citrus zest bitterness at the back end. A pleasant enough beer. Sidles down my throat supply enough.
Time to up the octanes.
Conquistador 9.1% ABV
[That's enough beer snaps. Instead the scene to my right.]
Mezcal, smoked malt, lime juice and grapefruit zest. Happening disaster to a? I expected something dark. Smells like lime-flavoured antiseptic. Interesting. Surprisingly, in a good way. Though not as nice as the smell of mashing wafting up from the brewery downstairs. Not the car crash you might have expected from the ingredients.
My bison burger has arrived:
Very nice it was. As it’s my first (and possibly only) meal of the day, I eat all the chips. There aren’t that many.
Here's the weed guy at the end of the room:
My stomach is now moaning about the quantity of beer coming its way. Mithering twat. It should see what's coming. I wonder if Henry ever had this sort of trouble?
More Asheville brewery crawling next time.
27 Buxton Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
Wicked Weed Brewing
91 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
You really should buy my book. To halt my mithering.
The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer