On June 30th, I and the family had planned on leaving for the Chattanooga, Tn area. We had a 10am t-ball game and a 1pm birthday to get by first. Then around 5 we were going to head out and drive roughly half way before stopping at a hotel. Mother Nature had a different plan. Some of the worst storms in decades rolled through the areas from West Virginia all the way our place. While the brewery never once lost power millions of other people were not so lucky. All hotels were booked solid being as they were the only ones with power. So instead of rolling out Saturday evening we left on Sunday morning for what turned into a 14.5 hour drive.

For this post I will be focusing on the beer related portion of the trip. While Chattanooga is home to more than a few good breweries I was not able to make it to any due to family obligations. Had a blast in one of the towns I will always call home. The beer started to flow once we had reached the area around Asheville, NC. Our first stop was in the beautiful town of Hendersonville. It’s located about 25 minutes south of Asheville. The new Sierra Nevada Brewery will stand about 15 minutes from here. Needless to say, Hendersonville is in what appears to be the begining stages of a possible craft brew renaissance as well. We visited Southern Appalachian Brewery located seconds outside of downtown Hendersonville.

SA Brewery has a great feel to it. It’s an inside/outside type of establishment. There was some good music playing when I got there. I found a nice spot at the bar and ordered a flight. They currently produce six beers. I tried them all except for the IPA. All the beers were good. In my opinion the Pilsner and the Belgian Artisan were the standouts. We had to leave a bit earlier than we would have liked. Weather was not cooperating and the kiddies needed some sleep. I did take a growler of the artisan with me. It went down very well. The prices were very fair and according to their calendar, there are a lot of good bands playing the brewery in the near future. Southern Appalachian Brewery is very family friendly (pet friendly as well). There are things for the kids to do as well as the adults. If you are near Hendersonville, NC do not pass this place by. Pay them a visit; you will be glad you did.

We left Hendersonville and headed a few minutes up the road to the city of Asheville, NC. The number of things to do in and around Asheville is staggering. You could spend months there and not eat at every amazing restaurant, visit every unique art gallery, or drop into each pub/brewery. It really is a magical town with so much to offer. If you have never been to this city, you must take a trip.

We immediately road into the heart of downtown to meet up with a great friend and amazing person. Her and her two little ones joined our two little ones and the water started flying. Those kids spent a long time playing in the fountains and pools. This whole town is so kid and pet friendly its almost shocking. We hung out downtown and then went to a great noodle place for lunch. After that we headed back to our friends place and waited for her husband, my brother to arrive. He got there, said hello to us and gave his kids and wife a big hug, then it was off to Pisgah Brewing for some beer and good times.

Located 15 minutes or so outside of Asheville near Black Mountain, this little gem is well hidden to us out of town folk. The locals know right where it is of course. As with most things in this area, the atmosphere is very laid back and comfortable. There is a nice size bar inside and some picnic tables located outside. There is also a game room for the kids and a large stage and concert grounds that bring in some large acts. There were too many beers for this brain to recall. Everything was great. Just order the 7 sample flight and you will get just about everything. We even got a surprise visit from a friend we had not seen in years as well as his lovely lady friend. This place had the kind of atmosphere that makes you want to stay all night. Unfortunately that was not in the cards for us. We left after a few hours and headed off to see more family.

The final stop lasted a few days and we had an amazing time visiting the beautiful State Parks of North Carolina. We met some beautiful and inspiring people; some for the first time and others for the second. It was a great trip. While the road does seem long sometimes, what waits at the end is almost always worth it. In our case, it was most definitely so. Thank you to all the people that put up with us for the last 2 weeks. We love you all. CHEERS!

P.S. more pictures will follow once we get them.