Breweries in Bruges

While in Bruges I was able to stop by a couple of breweries.

Bourgogne de Flanders

The brewers throughout the ages

Got to try some wort…it wasn’t the best tasting
Brewer talking to us about the beer making process

I already tried their flagship beer before the tour so I didn’t feel like getting a flight so ended up getting lambic to finish my visit.

The second brewery I visited was Halve Maan Brewery (no tour).

For my first beer I tried the Seasonal Wild Ale. It was very good but very strong. I would have gotten another one but I wanted to be able to walk back to the train.

I also tried one of their flagship beers the Blond. It was sessionable at 6% (ok maybe not but it felt like it was).

I ordered some beef stew (local classic) to help soak up the alcohol just before the kitchen closed.

I was done after 2 breweries. Belgium beers are no joke and I don’t have the drinking endurance to try more for the day. It is back to the train for me and back to my quiet Gent.

I am Gruut

While in Ghent I visited the funky brewery called Gruut and lost an hour or two sampling their beers

I liked all the beers I sampled but I really liked the Bruin and the Inferno. The Inferno had good flavor, but watch out since it is 9%!

What was also cool is that the brewer is a female who comes from a long line of brewers. It is good to see women out there making good beer. In addition, her take on using herbs instead of hops is spot on. I’m a fan.

Greenville Fun

As part of our southern vacation we stopped by Greenville, SC to visit some friends. While there we checked out the Blue Ridge Brewing Company a local brewpub in downtown Greenville. We had a good time sampling the beers.

Later on we met some friends at Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria. This place was amazing. Pizza and great craft beer in one place? Yes please!!!

If you are a huge craft beer fan the secret is to go to the upstairs bar to get beers that are not served downstairs. The upstairs was closing soon for a private party but before then I got to sample some awesome beers. I even got to order a pint of the coveted Westbrook Mexican Cake. It was very good. Too bad it is next to impossible to get a bottle of that to take home, especially as a non-local.
The Palmetto beers I tried are highly recommended as well. I will need to visit the Palmetto and Westbrook breweries on a future trip to Charleston.

Later after dinner we went out to see some local music at Smiley’s Acoustic Cafe.
The band that was playing was pretty entertaining and it was a packed crowd. Definitely a fun night. Greenville, SC you may have made me change my opinion of you this trip!

Asheville Breweries Part 2

Before leaving Asheville we made a couple more stops to try some more brews. First we went back to Wicked Weed brewery to get a flight. The downstairs tasting room was not open yet so we only got to choose from the selection we could get at the bar upstairs. I got to try a wide variety of their beers.

Brazil Caipirinha Ale

I took back a growler of one of the session beers.

Lastly we stopped off at Lexington Avenue Brewery (LAB). Again we found out that Jude Law had also visited this place a day or so earlier. Such a shame we kept missing him. It was a nice establishment with good mood lighting. In the evenings you can see musical acts here.

We walked around a bit to get one last look at this great city that we got to enjoy for a few days. It has been a great trip. We have added Asheville, NC to our must return list.
See you soon Asheville…

Asheville Breweries Part 1

Cider from Noble Cider

After we arrived in Asheville our friends took us straight downtown to start experiencing the wonderfulness of Asheville. We started by getting a brew from the tasting room of Wicked Weed. The world cup was on so we got to watch a match while trying some great beers.

Soon the kids were hungry so we decided to get some pizza from Asheville Brewing Company. It is a great place to take the kiddos. The outdoor area comes equipped with lots of activities to keep the little ones occupied while you are trying to eat and sip your beer. The boys I visited with had fun playing there.
Look at this guy. Isn’t he adorable!

Then we went back a couple days later to check out the breweries in Asheville’s South Slope district. There we started with a visit to Green Man Brewery.

Our visit once again coincided with the world cup. We got to watch soccer while we sipped beers.

I really liked Green Man’s selections but my favorite was the ESB. It was easy to drink and full of flavor. We brought home a 6 pack of 2 ESB, 2 IPAs and 2 Porters. I really wish we would have brought home some more ESB.

It was a fun place to hangout in a warehouse type building.

 After Green Man we walked over to one of the newer breweries in town Twin Leaf Brewery.

We tried a number of their regular offerings and seasonal beers. A standout was the Luminosity.

The tasting room has adopted the rustic look that is very popular now with tasting rooms and farm to table restaurants. It was very welcoming as was the friendly beer-tender. The only complaint is it got quite warm inside. They tried to offset it a bit with fans. Should be very comfortable to visit in cooler months. We were told there plans to open it up a bit to let more of a cross breeze in. Even as is I would visit again. I liked it there.

 Because we were old it was time to go.  Luckily we had one more day in the city to try a couple more breweries.

Asheville River Arts District

During a recent road trip to visit an old friend she suggested we spend a day doing the Asheville River Arts District studio stroll one Sunday.

 The river arts district is an old industrial area of Asheville near the French Broad River that was re purposed into studios for local artisans. Every second Saturday the artisans open up their studios for guests to come in and watch them work. We attended during a twice a year event that opens the studios all weekend.

We hopped on a trolley that took us from studio to studio.

We also made a pit stop at the Wedge Brewery which was surrounded by metal artwork.

After a beer we walked over to watch a glass blower in action.

More studios

We got impatient waiting for the trolley so decided to walk a bit. Saw some interesting graffiti and fairy-tale house on our way.

I ended the afternoon with this light and refreshing local cider at a nearby cafe.

Visiting the studios was a great way to spend an afternoon. If you ever make it to Asheville I suggest you do your own Studio Stroll.