Asheville is a regional Mecca for Southern beer lovers. There are more than a dozen breweries or brewpubs with an Asheville address, and many more nearby. Highland and French Broad have grown over the years to become major craft beer labels: their beers are widely distributed throughout the region and well known to craft beer enthusiasts in Nashville. New Belgium announced in April that they will build their $115 million East Coast brewery in downtown Asheville, Sierra Nevada will open a $108 million brewery in nearby Mills River, and Oskar Blues most recently announced that their new East Coast facility will be located in Brevard, 35 miles away.
Yet when confronted with a local beer bar that features two taprooms – one for American craft beer and one for Belgian style ales, many from Europe – I took advantage of the opportunity to try some rare Belgians I had never tasted before.