navigating the normal




A Wicked Weed Sour
Last summer’s Wicked Weed light pinkish beer that I couldn’t get enough of was the Berry Pi. This year, it appears to be Medora. I’m not big into sours, but I’m big into fruity, refreshing, not-overly-sweet beers. And Wicked Weed’s Medora hits all those notes.

I made the mistake of first ordering the Black Angel. I hadn’t had on in at least three years, and I had forgotten how dark and heavy it was. Medora is the exact opposite. The description on the menu gave it the exact same numbers for sourness and fruitiness, but I neglected to look at the descriptor for color. To me, color is ery important in ordering a beer.

I had a Cerise Morte at the Funktorium a few weeks ago. It was good, but a little too tart for me. And it came in a tall wine glass, which I’m not into either. The glasses beers are served in are also important to me. Because I’m a particular weirdo.

But back to the subject at hand, Medora is definitely a beer I will fight the Wicked Weed touristy crowd to drink again on a sweltering summer afternoon.


Tangerine Soul Style

Green Flash’s Summer IPA
I adore San Diego, and I dig their beers. Beers from San Diego seem to be less sweet and so much stronger. I really like Green Flash. I’ve been lucky enough to go to the brewery which is simply a warehouse in an industrial park in the suburbs with patch of green space adjacent to the parking lot and many, many beers on tap.

The only mistake I made in picking out this brew was buying only one instead of the whole six pack. This beer is right down my alley. It’s a bit of fruity flavor that is fresh and not overpowering. It’s also no cloyingly sweet. It’s barely sweet at all, thanks to all the hops from the IPA part of it.

I was seriously sad when I finished this “zesty and bright” beer with no more to drink.

Black Hole

Urban Orchard’s Seasonal Blackberry Cider
The cider at Urban Orchard isn’t always my top pick, but the blackberry cider they currently have on tap is tart, refreshing, and drinkable. Out with a friend last week, he wanted a cider and we both wanted to head to Bold Rock’s new tasting room to check it out. Unfortunately, we had taken the embarrassing detour of trying out the trampoline park in Arden. While we quickly realized our mistake, we did not realize it quickly enough to make it to Mills River before Bold Rock closed for the evening. So forward we marched to the only other readily available cider in town.

Because I’m not crazy about Urban Orchard’s ciders, I had already made up my mind to be the weirdo getting a beer at the cidery. Then I saw they had a blackberry infused cider on tap. I’m always up for a fruit-infused cider or beer. They just scream summer! and refreshing! to me. I’m glad I did. Apparently, I enjoyed it so much that I made a stop on my back into town after a hike on the parkway two days later. Enjoying my book in one of Urban Orchard’s eno hammocks with a Black Hole going too-easily down before the rains came was the perfect way to end an active and unexpectedly pretty Saturday.

Pisgah Pale: My Favorite North Carolina Beer
What’s my biggest fear about moving away from Asheville? That Pisgah Pale isn’t readily available on tap anywhere but here. It’s refreshing and super drinkable. Pisgah Pale is probably the reason that I’m not more into IPAs and pales than wheats and belgians that I used to be. When I can get a Pisgah Pale on draft, I know I’m home.

AVL Date: Yoga, Burgers, & Beer

A $20 Date Idea!
Last night I went on a fabulous date with three people whom I love dearly. We drank beer; we ate the best burger in town; we made plans for the future. And it cost less than twenty bucks.

It started with a little exercise and ended with a lot of indulgence. My favorite yoga class in town is Michael Greenfield’s Warm Vinyasa Flow at Asheville Community Yoga. It’s a sliding scale where you can choose what you want to pay from $5 to $15. It’s the best workout in town. You leave hot, wet, and healed.

From there, head to the Bull and Beggar. Only on Monday night they offer a $6 burger with a purchase of a drink. It can be any drink a beer, wine, Coke, or even one of their homemade sodas. If there aren’t seats at the bar, put your name on the list and head to The Wedge.

An Ironrail Rail at the Wedge will only set you back $3.50 before tip. Tip people! Absolutely the cheapest, yet tastiest, IPA in town.

Then get cozied up the bar back at Bull and Beggar. People. This is absolutely the best burger in this town. It’s like if In-N-Out’s Animal-style decided to be high art instead of lowbrow fast food. There’s melty cheese and caramelized onions atop two thing and perfectly (read: medium rare) cooked hamburger patties. The bread and butter pickles shoved in are sweet and tangy. The fries that come with are perfectly crunchy and salty.

Do it all on a warm, cloudless spring evening. This is what it’s about.

PS: To all the single dudes out there…the first time I did this excursion, the bar at Bull and Beggar was brimming with ladies. Not one man in the bunch. Looked like an excellent place to pick up the fabulous women of this town–eating burgers and drinking beer.

Napoleon Complex

Wicked Weed’s Hoppy Pale Ale
I did not drink this at Wicked Weed nor in Asheville. No. I had to travel to Raleigh (specifically to Poole’s Diner) to order a comfortable, drinkable, refreshing beer. I sucked down two of these from the 12 ounce glass the bartender served it to me in. Disappointed at having lost four ounces of the beer but added two dollars to the price, it was an I’m-not-in-Asheville-Right-Now moment. Like most Wicked Weed pales and IPAs, it suited my palate perfectly. Highly recommended for those who enjoy not overpoweringly hoppy sessions.

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