The excellent brewery located on Biltmore Avenue, just around the corner from Hi-Wire was packed for the last regular season Sunday of NFL football. Though that brewery is a great place, it is not the only place in Asheville for great beer thus my husband and I headed to Hi-Wire, the South Slope home of the former Craggy Brewery. It is right next door to Ben's Tune-Up, a popular new restaurant and “meet-up spot."
Hi-Wire’s tasting room is not fancy. It reminded us a little bit of the brewery located in the River Arts District, but this one has seating inside. Hi-Wire has four beers always on tap. They supplement their “approachable” beers with seasonal brews. When we were there, they had a Christmas beer which we found to be way too sweet to be a beer. Maybe some people like it, but we feel most beer lovers will forego this seasonal beer.
We entered this brewery that opened in June 2013 in time for the second half of the Carolina Panthers football game. It was being shown on a large flat screen television. Another NFL game that no one cared about was on a smaller screen. There were a few of the round high bar tables still available for beer lovers. Hi-Wire did not have anyone to wait on you thus we had to go to the bar to get our beers. The bartender was very friendly and helpful. She gave us a taste of the Christmas beer thus we knew to not order that. My husband ended up with their Bed of Nails Brown, an English-style, unfiltered Brown Ale (6.1% ABV). It was a very smooth beer that is not as strong as a stout beer, but was very satisfying to drink on a cold winter’s day. I ended up with the Hi-Wire Lager, a premium German-style lager (4.6% ABV). It reminded me of the excellent lagers I have had in Berlin. This is a true lager, not the stuff that is passed off by the huge corporate breweries in the United States.
Though we had just eaten lunch, we were tempted by Ricardo’s pupusas – a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla that is usually filled with a blend of cheese, pork meat ground to the consistency of refried beans or queso con loroco (a Latin American soft cheese). We understand that food vendors are at Hi-Wire on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Pho Ya Belly Vietnamese food truck is at their front door on Friday nights. We will have to make sure we come there next time with an appetite on those days. It certainly would make for an affordable meal with beers.
Unfortunately, Hi-Wire’s beers are not available right now in the Raleigh-Durham area – just 225 miles east of Asheville. Fortunately for us, we found Hi-Wire’s beers at Katuah Market (Please see our review for this great local grocery store). Before getting back on the road, a six pack of Beds of Nail Brown and a six pack of Hi-Wire Lager made it in to our car. For a while, we can reminisce about drinking some high-quality beer at 197 Hillard Avenue in Asheville.
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