Monday, January 21, 2013

Wedge Brewing Company

The other brewery we visited while in Asheville was Wedge brewing. This time Jo decided it would be easier to just drop me off there and go do something else rather than sit there watching me drink. Probably a good idea I'd say considering the whole not drinking thing. Wedge wasn't located in an industrial park like Pisgah but it still didn't seem located in an active part of Asheville. Also, slightly hard to find since the entrance is behind a building but I found it so most people shouldn't have a problem. It has a large outdoor area and a tiny bar area. Again, during the summer, I bet it's super cool considering it had a whole bunch of games like cornhole and other stuff out there.

When I arrived just after opening, there were already quite a few people there and in line. It was Friday, but it was just before New Years Eve, so I'm guessing a lot of people had the day off. I settled into a seat near the taps and ordered their Vadim Bora, a raspberry imperial stout on nitro.
Huge raspberry, chocolate nose like a candy. Invitingly sweet. The body was more balanced between the two flavors. Chocolate and roast mixed with the light raspberry flavor to make a solid stout. Easy drinking for its strength, too. As I've said before, I'm not a big fan of nitro pours as I think it kills the body and some of the flavor and this wasn't really an exception. The beer was good enough to get past that issue, but I still wonder what it would be like not on nitro. I really think it would be way better. Oh well. This is one of their more well known beers, I think, and it deserves to be. Quite good.

As I sat around drinking the Vadim, the lines came and went, sometimes stretching out the door. I can't imagine how busy it is during the weekends. Must be crazy. Luckily my seat was close enough to the bar that they could accommodate me without having to wait on line again. Pretty handy for me! Helped that I was talking to a nice couple that seemed to visit quite often so the bartender was willing to help me out for them. This is a shot of the bar from where I was sitting. Gives you a decent perspective though the bar stretches out a tad more to the right of the picture.
As you can see they only had about six or seven drafts. Still, the brewery area itself didn't look too big from where I was sitting so that's not too bad.

The other beer I ordered was their 3rd Rail, a triple IPA coming in at 11.5%. BeerAdvocate has it at 8.8% but I think that's wrong. Whatever it is, it's pretty strong.
Grapefruit nose with a decent amount of sweetness. But just looking at that picture, doesn't it look sticky sweet? Yum! Pretty sweet up front, a sugar and caramel mix, followed up by a lightly floral finish. Some bitterness which mellowed into a very smooth beer. I quite enjoyed this though I will say I'd label it as an American Barleywine instead of a triple IPA. The latter should be way drier than this in my opinion. Style arguments are never worth the energy though and since Wedge calls it a triple IPA, that's what it shall be.

And that was Wedge. I could have spent a couple more hours there, but, again, pregnant wife so you know how it is. Still, the two beers I had from them were quite solid in their own rights. I got a growler of the IPA, too, which was also pretty decent. Cool looking tap room, nice employees, and a great crowd made for a great two hours, that's for sure.

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