Under the Tap

Craft Beer, Craft People, Craft Places

Tag: cocktail

The Geeky Bartender

One of my favorite places in Bryson City to hide out and enjoy a craft pint is The Cork & Bean Bistro. Their beer selection is always fresh and always centered around North Carolina’s finest. During a recent visit, while sipping a deliciously spicy brew from Mystery Brewing, the bartender asked, “Why do you always have a beer? When are you going to try one of my cocktails?” I believe my response was, “I’m a craft beer drinker and writer, and I think I found a way to write off beer as a business expense.” He asked how he could get me to write about him. I told him he would have to use beer or something from a tap. I wonder how long he thought about that…..

bank draft cocktailc&bBrad is a mixologist who prefers to be called a “geeky bartender”. With a curled up mustache and his knowledge of fancy bitters, this suits him well. We often find him entertaining guests with his drink knowledge and sparkling personality. He has tended bars in more places than most of us have lived, picking up new ideas for new drinks along the way. He invented the cocktail menu for Cork & Bean, and it is extensive. The names of the drinks play off of the fact that this bistro is located in an historic building that once housed Bryson City Bank.

The drink that finally puts Brad in my blog is the Bank Draft. Needing something involving beer, he used Duck Rabbit’s bank draft cocktailc&b rocksMilk Stout to cook up a new syrup, a salted espresso stout syrup! I tried the syrup by itself and loved it, so I made plans to come back after work and have a drink. Brad reserved two seats at the bar for me and my husband. Once seated, he mixed the drink right in front of us. Another couple sitting to our right began asking questions about Brad’s mixes and bitters. He is very knowledgeable and doesn’t mind sharing what he knows. Even with a packed house, the entertainment never stopped. The flavor profile of my cocktail was very complex, my palette and mind were doing flips. Not being a huge liquor drinker, I was impressed at how strong the drink was yet I could still feel all those different hits to my taste buds. The ingredient I had to look up in this cocktail was the Burlesque Bitters. The primary flavors are Hibiscus flower and sour berries, but there is definitely a peppery spice to it as well. Loved it!

Now this was just one drink on a very thorough list! I highly recommend going out and trying one for yourself. Call ahead for reservations and to make sure Brad is working. You won’t regret it.

Thanks to Brad, the geeky bartender for helping us expand our horizons. If you havn’t had the chance to enjoy one of his cocktails, it’s time to find your seat at the bar in Bryson City.

Derailed Bar & Lounge

beers and some 059In Bryson City, North Carolina, Anthony’s Pizza has always been a popular place for locals and tourists alike. I mean, who doesn’t love a New York style pizza? Plus, you can get a pie to-go and walk two doors down to enjoy it at Nantahala Brewing Company.

Now you don’t have to leave to get a good beverage. Last year, on top of an amazing makeover of the restaurant, they added a separate bar and lounge for the grown-ups. Dubbed Derailed, this lounge offers amazibeers and some 060ng cocktails, wine, and, of course craft beer.  Situated just across the street from the depot of The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, it’s in the hub of town making it a great place to people watch! Plus, the porch is kid and dog friendly and there’s live music on Saturday nights. However,  if you’re trying to escape the hustle and bustle, kids and dogs, then step inside and find yourself a cozy corner to hide-away. The lounge area is 21 and up. Seating ranges from bar stools and tables to velvet sofas and leather recliners.

I love this environment. A place where everyone can drink together regardless of their choice of beverage.  My last stop in found me at the bar enjoying a draft Green Man ESB and laughing with a stranger who was sipping a high dollar glass of wine. Her partner enjoyed a regular ol’ beer and a shot of whiskey.  Something for everyone.  I always scope out the craft beer bottle list, as their selection rotates. They also have a couple microbrews on tap. We’ve found beers from New Belgium, Green Man, Lazy Hiker, Sierra Nevada, Founders, Natty Greene’s , Brewery Ommegang , and more.

So, whether you’re looking to share a cold brew and a hot pizza with friends or enjoy a cocktail all by yourself, this is a great place to check out on your next visit to the mountains. This little town is full of surprises!

beers and some 052 beers and some 051 beers and some 053beers and some 054 beers and some 055 beers and some 050

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