Just the drive onto the property is impressive, but when you finally get to the end of the entrance road, the view of the new Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Fletcher NC (south of Asheville, north of Hendersonville) is more than impressive. It’s an architect’s victory as the facility, the drive in and the parking lot fit the surroundings in a way that's simply hard to describe. Beautiful, in a word.
And while the setting is terrific, inside is a tasting room that’s as impressive as the number of beers the Chico CA headquartered brewery offers. There are 22 offerings for pints, half pints and small glasses in flights. And the servers do not hesitate to give you a small sample just to make sure that what you order is what you like.
On this first trip there, the two beers selected were the Hop Hunter IPA (steam distilled hop oil, gathered in the hop fields, gives a mighty boost to the floral and citrus notes of traditional whole-cone hops for intense, inmatched IPA aromatics) and the Porter (brewed in the hop-forward American style and featuring a depth of malt flavor and complexity with roasted notes of black coffee and cocoa). Bother were delicious.
There’s a full kitchen with a limited but tasty menu such as the Chicken Wings (Frenched chicken wings, Torpedo hot sauce, blue cheese dressing) and the BPJ on thick white bread made daily on-site with an ample addition of peanut butter and grape jelly accompanied with homemade potato chips. When asked for a 7-Up to drink with the PBJ, the bartender responded, “No 7-Up but we have Sierra Mist!” How appropriate was that!
Asheville and the surrounding area is flooded with microbreweries offering varieties of beers, and the arrival of Sierra Nevada helps to solidify this part of North Carolina as an important chapter in craft brewing. When visiting the Asheville area and touring the breweries, include Sierra Nevada on your list of stops. It’s just off Interstate-26 south of Asheville just behind the Asheville Airport and along the French Broad River.
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