A while back, Mike and I decided to visit a new brewery every weekend we could find the time. In case you don't know, Asheville's nickname is Beer City because, well, it keeps winning the BeerCity USA poll. All of this is to say, our social calendar stands to be filled up from now until Harlow gets her learners permit with all of the local breweries to hit up. You have to start somewhere, however, so we called up some friends in the know and landed on Catawba Brewing Co.'s South Slope location to kick things off.
I realize most of (if not all) of my profiles so far on local places to chow down and drink up are in the South Slope neighborhood. Don't blame me, it's just a great place to be. Catawba's downtown space occupies the middle of the Buxton Hall-Catawba-Vortex Doughnuts stretch. You may be tempted to go no further than the open-air patio in the very front, but do yourself a favor and keep exploring the space.
(Yes, please do get a beer first, then take your tour).
Now I realize my brewery tour is still in its infancy, but never did I expect to find kegs and crystal chandeliers so seamlessly integrated! You can glimpse these attractive opposites on your way to check out the food truck parked in the back. The brewery doesn't offer food service per se, but they do have a food truck on site most days and they're totally cool if you order and bring in Buxton Hall take-out. Beer and barbecue...it just works, folks.
Love these branded barstools!
Okay, so somewhere in here I should probably talk about the beer.
Quick backstory: rather unfortunately, when I was pregnant I could not stand the smell of beer, especially IPAs. It didn't help matters that right before we found out I was pregnant we got a behind-the-scenes tour of Sierra Nevada which subsequently started my husband's Torpedo phase. Bottom line: it took me awhile to get my beer legs back. Don't judge. Don't make me play my Asheville native card.
Beer flights are my J-A-M! I gotta say, some of the beer in Asheville is, shall we say, an acquired taste, so I don't always like to commit to a full pint. I prefer to sample multiple tastes versus just one - apps over entrees. I've got a bit of a Goldilocks thing going on with IPAs. IBUs don't really matter to me, it's all about the taste. I'm also really digging porters and some of the trendy citrus seasonal brews.
My top three Catawba beers are Firewater IPA, Mother Trucker Pale Ale, and the Black Dome Stout. All three are always on tap, so be sure to try one or more when you pop down there. The downtown spot is just one of their three locations; they also have spaces in Biltmore Village off of Sweeten Creek, and one in Morganton.
Even though we have a large number of breweries to visit, Catawba is one of those places we'll hit up regularly. It's just got those good beer-good people good vibes. Be sure to check them out next time you're around!