We love Asheville! Despite being sick, we still managed to visit a few new breweries (and one old favorite), and of course we ate tacos. The scene around downtown on New Year’s Eve was festive and fun, but instead of reveling we took home salads from the French Broad Co-op, watched our basketball team lose, and were in bed by ten. Party!
(J cleaned the windows since this picture–wow, what a difference!) We stayed at a different campground this visit: Wilson’s Riverfront RV Park. Wilson’s is in the shadow of I-240 (and therefore a couple minutes closer to downtown), so Bear Creek (where we stayed last time) is quieter, but overall we preferred Wilson’s. Our campsite was perched on the bank of the French Broad, and a running/biking path passed through the campground literally at the end of our site, which we would have been thrilled to use, had we not been sickly and pitiful.
My notes on the beers we drank on this visit aren’t terribly useful—“beers ok,” “good beer,” etc. The upside is that my poor reporting gave J the push he needed to start doing the beer write-ups again!
One World Brewing – The beer was good and the underground space is small but dark and cozy.
Wicked Weed Funkatorium – Sour beers aren’t our favorite, but the two we tried were interesting and enjoyable. The problem with the Funkatorium, and also with the original Wicked Weed, is that it’s too popular: we had to wait in line for people to leave before we could get in. No other brewery we visited was at capacity.
Twin Leaf Brewery – The beer wasn’t especially memorable; we were excited to try a rosemary IPA, but the herbal notes we got were more like christmas tree than rosemary. It was a lively scene with crashing super-sized Jenga and popping ping pong, and my favorite part of the visit was watching the tiny dachshund puppy sleeping through all the hubbub on her dad’s lap.
Catawba Brewing Co. – As we looked around the revelers at this cavernous brewery around 4pm we wondered how they would make it to midnight. Oh to be young again. We shared an IPA flight.
White Duck Tacos for lunch on New Year’s Eve – After a short wait to order at the busy downtown location, the tacos were as good as remembered.
Wicked Weed for dinner (and beers) on New Year’s Eve Eve – we were a little turned off by the aforementioned wait to get in, but as busy as they were, service was still good. The food is tasty and interesting for bar food, but the primary reason for our visit was the beer–in our opinions, the best beer in Asheville and a contender for favorite brewery visited on our Big Trip.
Asheville is an artsy town, and we popped into a couple galleries as we wandered. Our favorite was Blue Spiral 1, featuring artists from around the Southeast.
Double D’s Coffee and Desserts is an Asheville landmark—a coffee, tea, and pastry shop inside a real London double-decker bus. We relaxed and nursed our colds with tea upstairs in the bus, until we were driven away by loose children whose parents were apparently sitting outside and using the bus as a babysitter.
The Funkatorium, Twin Leaf, and Catawba are clustered together, with Vortex Doughnuts strategically placed among them. We couldn’t resist a refueling stop there–but our house doughnut left us unsatisfied and dreaming of Voodoo Doughnuts. Maybe someday we’ll see you again, Voodoo Doughnuts… (spoiler: we found one in Austin last night!!!)