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“Beer Geek Paradise Forever”

Thirsty Monk Pub & Brewery
Ranked #120 of 788 Restaurants in Asheville
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Bar scene, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night
Neighborhood: Downtown Asheville
Description: Serving Asheville's most extensive selection of the finest beers... 36 Beers on tap, over 150 bottles.
Asheville, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beer Geek Paradise Forever”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Look, I'm not going to lie to you. I am a stone-cold beer geek. A homebrewer for decades. A total snob. And I don't care. Life is too short to drink mass-market beer. I'm willing to pay seven or eight bucks for a single half-pint of a rare and obscure beer, especially one from Belgium.

If you want to go drink pitchers of Bud Light and get hammered while watching the game, the Thirsty Monk is not for you. No, the Monk is something special--the ultimate mecca, the Shining Pub On A Hill, for beer snobs everywhere. They serve half-pours, and flights, if you just want to sample a little of each one, and the bartenders are knowledgeable and can intelligently discuss the history, style and characteristics of each beer they serve. If you ask nicely, they'll even let you try a little sample for free, so you know what you're getting into before you buy. It is, in short, almost too good to be true.

The first floor is all American craft brews from all over the country, and downstairs is a dim, spartan grotto that serves Belgian beer exclusively, and where you'll find some of the most interesting and obscure beers on the planet. The Monk is where you go to sample beers that you won't find anywhere else. The selection is dizzying, and exquisite in its diversity. The taps rotate regularly. You can go several times in one week and find new brews on the menu each time. The true beer geeks at the Monk, who are even geekier than me by orders of magnitude, go to great lengths to offer a diversity of brews on tap that you will not find anywhere else in Asheville, or anywhere in the Carolinas for that matter. (And that is saying a lot-- Asheville was, after all, recently voted Beer City USA.)

The Monk has gotten so popular that they are now renovating the third floor and plan to install a liquor bar there. They have a kitchen at the Monk too, and it's really quite good--they use beer as an ingredient in most of the recipes, naturally.

So, basically, what I'm saying here is that this pub, located right in the heart of a beer geek's paradise, where there are craft breweries popping up like mushrooms all over the place, nonetheless stands out above the rest, even by the empyrean standards of Beer City, USA. You must go there. You simply must. First round is on me.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dante_Recondo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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377 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, MD
Level 6 Contributor
348 reviews
266 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Bustling with Bountiful Brews”
Reviewed January 7, 2013

Stopped here for a quick drink one evening. It was very busy upstairs, with no seats available. Guys behind the bar were having trouble keeping up with the requests. Great selection of beers at pretty reasonable prices. Would definitely return to try more beer and some food items from the menu. Also wouldn't mind a look downstairs.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank westernfb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level 5 Contributor
96 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“One of the best beer selections you'll ever find!”
Reviewed January 2, 2013

The Thirsty Monk is probably my favorite bar ever. The beer selection is incredible, its amazes me why people don't get a flight or sampler and choose to drink just one beer. The selection is always changing, you're free to sample any flavor before you buy it and there's two levels for drinking. It's not a fancy place, but it is smoke free, everybody is usually friendly and the food isn't too bad either. I highly recommend this place to anybody.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank nghisus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
forsyth
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Goose is the best.”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

A fresh pale white ale with no aftertaste. If you like Blue Moon you will love the Goose. I wish I could buy some to take home.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank deniseForsyth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
547 reviews
343 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Two levels of beer heaven!”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

The main level has dozens of local and premium craft beers and a pub-like atmosphere. Head downstairs for the real treat as you are transported to Belgium. Beers from Belgium and Belgian style beers prevail in the lower level. If you are on the main level and it is a summer month prepare to be hot. The window AC units and fans do little to cool it down. Head downstairs when you do get too warm. Heard they plan to open another level above (Nuns on Top I think?). Should be nice!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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