Time to put some miles on the speedometer, wind in the sail and ground beneath my feet. I’m heading down south on a 10+ hour drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the beloved small city nearby, Asheville, North Carolina.
The main reason for the trip is that it has one of the best beer scenes in America with 20+ within the city limits and well within walking distance of each other. It’s not bad for a town with a population of 87,000.
Not only local breweries like Wicked Weed, Burial and Green Man make their own name in town, major players Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Oskar Blues builts production facilities outside of town.
It’s for these facts that they earned the title Beer City USA for four years running, until Grand Rapid, MI took the title. Duly noted and will head there eventually.
While there’s so much beer and so little time and room in my stomach, there’s much more. For the non-beer drinkers, Asheville’s major draw is the Biltmore Estate. The largest house in America, it was built by the Vanderbilt family during the Industrial Revolution. It’s one of the best example of Gilded Age architecture.
Besides it being a living museum, there’s the elaborate grounds, a rotation of art exhibits, a winery and concerts. Even though it should be high humidity in the summer, I plan on wearing a vintage three-piece suit, top hat and monocle.
If there’s two things that North Carolina is known for its the Blue Ridge Mountain and BBQ. If you want to add a third, it’s that stupid bathroom law. In any event, I wouldn’t mind a quick walk if the weather permits (me and high head/humidity don’t mix).
With BBQ, sooooo much BBQ. Drool. One of the big names in the Asheville scene is 12 Bones, where the Obamas visited in 2010. A more recent entry that became an instant hit is Buxton Hall, which is housed in a former rolling skating rink. Why former? Keep the party going1 The site also has their own bakery, while the restaurant has their own cookbook.
I’ll be there for four days, three nights. I originally planned on driving on, but might have to be back at homebase for business. If I can voyage on, it will be spontaneous, which will make it more interesting.
Heading out the 17th, reports to follow.