One Asheville-based brewery that always ends up flying below my personal beer radar is Hi-Wire Brewing. Typically, they don't end up being my first choice, which was my own personal mistake until the Craft and Draft birthday event, when I led off my afternoon of drinking with Hi-Wire's Citra-Hopped Gose. The ABV falls in line with most goses and sours at 4.2%, and it pours a fairly clear golden yellow color. As would be expected by the hop varietal used in dry-hopping, along with the style, citrus fruits lead the way in the flavor profile. Lemon and lime are the primary fruits, along with perhaps a hint of grapefruit. I was also getting a decent amount of what I thought was grassy or grainy notes. This gose is separated from most others in that there is almost zero sweetness and a very slight amount of saltiness. I found it to be a decent enough gose, but I would have liked to have seen SOME flavor aspect be bolder and move to the front, whether that means an increase in citrus flavors, or more saltiness, among other options. Still, an overall mild option isn't a terrible starter for an extended drinking session.
Next up is the Lime-a-Peno Blonde Ale from local brewer Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company. I got this despite my general distaste for pepper beers--there have been very few that I have legitimately liked. Still, I'm willing to give them continual chances, especially pepper beers from different breweries. Brewed with jalapenos AND lime (in case the name wasn't obvious), this 5% ABV Blonde brought a fairly clear pale yellow hue. I found plenty of green jalapeno in the aroma, and it followed into the flavor with plenty of pepper and other vegetal notes. Despite the peppers used, there was very little spiciness to the beer, which to me was surprising but not unwelcome (I find many pepper beers will overdo the spicy angle). A mild amount of citrus sweetness rounds out the flavor profile. I said I'm typically not a fan of pepper beers. I probably wouldn't call myself a fan of this one, either, but it's probably the closest I've been to legitimately enjoying such a style. So, a net win in my book for Swamp Cabbage.