On the way back to Florida from Pennsylvania, I knew I would need to stop and visit Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. That place is a spiritual haven for me and whenever the opportunity to go arises, I make every effort to do so. It had actually been longer than I like since I had last been there so I was definitely going there this time. I also knew that the Mountain wasn’t that far from several breweries that would be on my way home from there.
Asheville, NC is only about an hour and a half from Grandfather Mountain, and is home to several breweries, Highland Brewing, French Broad Brewing, Wedge Brewing, and Asheville Pizza and Brewing to name a few. But I decided to give Green Man Brewing a try. I had tried one of their brews before at a brew pub and remembered liking it, but I had also heard good things about their beers either online or through some other source. So I entered their address in my phone and started the drive there.
Once I arrived I saw that the parking nearby is limited, but that is true with a lot of breweries/brewpubs. Being located in downtown Asheville, parking is a commodity. I was able to find parking around a corner on a side street and walked back. The building itself looks like it may have been a garage at one time with the one large wooden door on the front. There is a porch on the entrance side surrounded by climbing greenery.
You enter and see a hodgepodge of bar tables and décor, with the central theme being the Green Man (you can learn more about and see more pics of him at their site – www.greenmanbrewery.com). And this takes up about half the building. The rest of the building is used for brewing.
I approached the bar an asked about flights. I was offered the Flagship or a custom flight. I asked for the flagship. I will usually order the brewery’s primary beers so that I can get a good feel of their craftsmanship. This is the product they have all the time so this is what they should be best at making. Their Flagship Flight includes their three year-round brews (IPA, ESB and Porter) and one of their seasonal brews (in this case Forester). If this is an example of the kind of brewing that goes on at Green Man, then I have one thing to say…
DRINK GREEN MAN!!!!
IPA – I am not as big a fan of IPAs as some folks are. Quite often it tastes like they are more concerned with adding hops than with balancing the beer flavor. This is not true with Green Man IPA. There is definitely hops present, but they are properly balanced with malt. Probably one of the better IPAs I have had.
Porter – On the other hand I do love Porters. And this is one of the better one. Smooth with hints of chocolate.
ESB – of the three flagship brews, this one is my favorite. This amber ale is well-balanced, smooth and has a great finish. I got a growler of this to take with me.
Forester – This seasonal is a Stout. Not just a Stout…. The Stout. One of the best I have had. Rich tasting, and smooth with a great finish. I also got a growler of this to take with me.
On their website they that they are building a new three story facility which will include packaging, a retail shop and a roof-top beer garden with a view of the Smokey Mountains. I look forward to going back to visit. Whether you visit them at their current spot or make it to the new one once it is completed, I recommend stopping by if you get the chance.