After leaving Highland I drove back to my hotel, parked the car, and proceeded to walk the mile or so down to Wicked Weed to grab some dinner and a glass of beer. After that I set out for Wedge Brewing, which is located down by the French Broad River in the River Arts district. The walk from Wicked Weed to Wedge is just over a mile. It was a beautiful Friday summer evening and I while I was anxious to get there I enjoyed the walk. I passed very few pedestrians on the route.
- Website: http://www.wedgebrewing.com/
- Address: 125B Roberts Street, Asheville, NC 28801
- Hours: Mon-Thur 4-10 pm, Fri 3-10 pm, Sat-Sun 2-10 pm
- Food: Peanuts (and food trucks)
- Flights/Samplers: No
- If you can only have one beer – Creature Belgian-Style Imperial IPA
Wedge is located in an old warehouse that sits between the base of a hill and the railroad tracks. While the brewery occupies the lower level of the building the upper floors are an art studio. “Beer is Art” is the philosophy of the brewery and pieces of art are featured prominently both inside and out.
It’s a pretty small space on the inside. Brick walls featuring a number of attractive paintings, big windows that let the light stream in on this June evening, and an L shaped bar in the corner. While the inside space is small they have a lot of seating outside. There is a beer garden on the side of the building, and several long tables were set up in front of the brewery. The place was busy, but not completely packed. There was a food truck parked in front. It was a festive atmosphere buzzing with people of all types, including some families and a few dogs.
They offer 9-10 beers on tap across a wide range of styles. Interestingly their IPA was sold from a window on the outside of the brewery, rather than at the main bar. I assume that was for efficiency because the bar was busy and the IPA is obviously a popular choice.
I ordered a 10 oz snifter of their Creature Belgian-Style Imperial IPA and retreated to the beer garden to enjoy the sunny Friday afternoon, watch the crowd and enjoy the beautiful summer evening. Creature is a hopped up version of their Belgian Trippel (Golem). Over the years I’ve found that mixing the fruity esters of a big Belgian beer with the citrus bitterness of American hops can be a sweet bitter mess if not executed correctly. Thankfully here the two complement each other beautifully. It has the fruitiness of a Trippel, enough hops to keep most hopheads happy, and a dry finish. It went down pretty easy so I was very surprised to later find out that this beer weighs in at 11.3% abv. If you visit Wedge I highly recommend Creature, but approach this dangerously drinkable beer with caution/respect.
I finished with a pint of the Derailed Hemp Ale, which is a brown ale brewed with 150 lbs of toasted hemp seeds added to the mash tun and served on nitro. I was too busy soaking up the atmosphere to take notes on this beer, but as I remember it was a unique and enjoyable beer.
Tasty beer, festive atmosphere, probably the best place I visited for hanging out with friends and having a good time when the weather is nice. It was worth every step of the 2 mile round trip walk. If I lived in Asheville this would be a regular hang out without a doubt, at least during the summer.