While I don’t expect a trip to Asheville, NC, aka the East Coast Mecca of Craft Beer, to necessarily become an annual occurrence—there are just too many other great places to visit—it was my chosen destination for several days last month. The visit was centered around a show by a favorite band of mine in Asheville that week, but I also checked out a handful of new breweries, checked out the Beer Geek tour at Sierra Nevada’s Mills River facility, and visited a few old favorites or places that didn’t get much attention last time around.
After the obligatory stop for a BBQ lunch, the first place on the agenda was Hillman Beer, located near the Biltmore Estate and Village just south of the city.
The space is fairly industrial, with the production area easily viewable from the tasting room, though some nice woodwork in the bar and other areas set this tasting room apart from others. Where Hillman truly excels, aesthetically, is in their outdoor spaces, which includes a partially-shaded roadside picnic table area out front (shown below) and a small seating around in the back shaded by trees and sitting near a creek.
Two notes to take away from their tap list: the Great American Beer Festival medals, and the fact that they tend to like pushing things in a decidedly Belgian direction, as a unique Belgian Pale Ale joins a number of more traditional Belgian styles. The ESB lives up to its Silver Medal status, and the previously-mentioned BPA and the Wampa Wit are also quite good.