French Broad Brewing (Asheville, NC)

After lunch, we returned to the Biltmore Village area seeking out French Broad Brewing Company.  We found it across the railroad tracks in a non-descript building with a small parking area.Inside we found a couple of tables and a small bar – just a few square feet of space for pints, and the rest of the visible space was for making beer.  It is a great facility, and neat to see how they convert a small part of the brewery into a music venue. 

D had a conversation with the brewer while I talked to some other patrons (who, strangely, seemed familiar to both D and I, but neither of us can place how or why we would know them.)

Knowing we would have plenty to drink later in the day, we stuck with taster glasses of the six beers on tap:

Goldenrod Pilsner 4.2%

Marzen Amber Lager 4.5% – an Ocktoberfest style

Cellar Reserve Lambic-style Beer – blackberry, aged over 3 years and blended with Grand Cru

13 Rebels ESB 4.8%

Barley Legal Barleywine 10.5%

In my humble opinion French Creek has some work to do to keep up with all the other brewpubs in
Asheville.  This was the first place we didn’t see a crowd.  People weren’t coming in to fill growlers, and the only patrons were tourists (I’m guessing the crowd grows when the music starts playing, and there was a line-up of bands!) 

The beers were simply okay.  Nothing got me really excited, and I was especially unimpressed by the lambic attempt.  The ESB was probably the best of the low-alcohol beers, and the Barleywine stood out, but nothing was pint-worthy.  I’m all about the underdog – smaller, more intimate pubs are generally my favorite places, but this place just didn’t do much for me.


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