boos + brews: date night asheville-style

Society says that fall started on September 22nd, but down here in South Carolina it was still in the triple digits that day – so, I’m calling bull on that one. Luckily for us though, Mother Nature turned off the heat (or at least turned it down) to head into October – aka perfect outdoor brewery weather.

It tends to be a little cooler in the mountains than it is down here in the Upstate, which made it the ideal place to celebrate moving in together on Saturday night!

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All smiles, because moving is DONE! (for another month, anyway)

I still had a little clean-up left to do, and officially turning my apartment keys over, on Saturday morning, so we didn’t get up the mountain until later in the afternoon. Because we couldn’t make it a full day affair, we decided on two breweries we hadn’t been to together yet – New Belgium and Sierra Nevada.

Side note: Asheville is seriously overflowing with AWESOME things to do and see – not to mention drink. Some of our other tried-and-true favorites include Thirsty Monk (I prefer the Downtown location to the Biltmore Park, but both have great atmosphere), The Bier Garden, and of course – Wicked Weed!

Anyway, we meant to get started at Sierra Nevada but sooomeone missed the exit (plot twist: he never lets me drive, so not me). It worked out perfectly though, as we were able to hit New Belgium for some day-time fun, then head to Sierra Nevada for dinner.


Pro-tip for New Belgium: There’s very limited parking.

Asheville is known for being a very environmentally-conscious city, so if you’re staying in the area, I’d definitely encourage biking there. But if you’re like us, and just there for a visit, be prepared for a bit of a hike to find parking. Don’t worry, not a literal hike (there’s a TON of those in and around Asheville!) – but definitely a little longer walk.

The whole atmosphere at New Belgium is very unique, and – strangely – a lot more family friendly than I expected. We didn’t take the tour, so we spent our time hanging out (and people watching) in the quasi-outdoor bar. The assortment of small and community style tables, indoor bar and outdoor Adirondack chairs made picking a seat fairly easy – and we slid into the end of a community table that we ended up sharing with a handful of groups. My favorite human bean that we shared space with was about a year old and loved my purse, go figure.

There is also a large lawn “park” out in front that boasts cornhole, additional seating, and (my favorite) FOOD TRUCKS! They feature a different food truck every day, everything from gourmet grilled cheese to Korean BBQ. What a win for small business!

the tried and true Fat Tire

Truth in advertising, we LOVE New Belgium. We drink it at home, at bars, and (obviously) at the brewery. They’ve got a huge selection, there’s definitely something for every palate. I won’t even try to pretend like I know a whole hill of beans about beer – but I’ll do my best!

I started off with a Fat Tire – which seems to be one of their most popular brews from my experience. It’s a Belgian Style Ale, with a bit of a sweet, almost fruity taste and a solid dose of hop bitterness. It’s light, clean, and balanced, so if you’re unsure how to feel about trying something new – this one is 10/10 a safe bet.

The other pour I had while we were there was the Citradelic Tangerine IPA. Before meeting LJ, I was an immediate hard-pass on IPA’s, and I’m so glad I warmed up to trying them! That being said, I’m a fan of fruity beers – if you’re not, you may want to steer clear on this one. Citradelic has a medium body, but a tart citrus flavor. It wouldn’t be the ideal winter beer, but it’s great from spring to that fall transition.

Plato once said, “He was a wise man who invented beer.” — AGREED

Two beers later, it was dinner time, and I was STARVING. So, off to Sierra Nevada we went. Making our way up the drive, if it weren’t for the arches and people directing traffic out front – I would have been convinced we were lost. The brewery is set back up away from the main road, unlike New Belgium which is right on the road (albeit not a “main” road). We got there just as the sun was going down, and man oh man did the view take my breath away when we rounded the last turn.


We managed to miss a tour at Sierra Nevada as well (leave it to us to finally make it up on their Oktoberfest celebration), and – let me tell ya – it was packed y’all. We weren’t terribly thrilled to wait 35 minutes for a table, so we again slid in at the end of a community style table in the open bar seating area.

Another side note: I LOVE community tables. It’s a very common practice in Germany, but we rarely see it here in the States outside of restaurants with a German influence. There’s just something so special about sharing space with strangers, breaking bread and barriers. We sat with a sweet couple from Huntsville, AL who were in town for the Quilting Show – I loved hearing their stories, and sharing laughs with them!

The menu consists of small-plates and shareables – perfect for a date night meal. We shared a plate of duck fries (I’m drooling just at the thought), and he went for the green chile pork with Carolina gold rice while I had the coppinger burger. The food was delicious – and was fittingly washed down with an Oktoberfest.

The Back Porch menu is a little different – so I’m anxious to get back up to take a tour, wander through the Mills River Estate, and try the bratwurst!


I may not be the beer snob connoisseur this photo would have you believe – but I can always be tempted with a good time. With fall just beginning to kick in down here, there’s plenty of time left for dates to pumpkin patches and apple orchards – but we couldn’t have picked a better way to kick off my favorite season.

After all, our love language IS ‘drinking beer.’  Prost!

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