Last month my husband AJ and I attended the opening of New Belgium’s taproom in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC. It was Tuesday, May 2nd and even though it was a weekday, I knew everyone was looking forward to this so I wasn’t surprised by the turnout. We visited in the mid-afternoon and while the place was packed, the open layout kept it comfortable. The sign at the door told us they loved us and when we entered the taproom, we really felt the love. The folks on staff were grooving and did an awesome job keeping up with the masses. Table and bar service alike were excellent. There seemed to be no first day hiccups. I was thrown off by there being no place to leave tips, not on the card and not in a jar. Then I remembered that New Belgium is an employee owned company. That was the only logical explanation I could come up with. It also helped me realize why everyone was in such high spirits. This is more than just a job to them. It is their life. They care about the company and the company cares about them. To the consumers this translates to happy, knowledgeable, and caring bartenders serving up a quality product. Serving up something to be proud of.
We enjoyed our beers in the grassy yard next to the taproom. The porch was full and the sun was out, but we were the first to brave sitting in the new, thick grass. Soon others followed suit. We all watched as, in the distance, the brewery’s production facility was being finished. Enjoying craft brew and watching a brewery come together. I love that feeling.
Deciding to stay true to what I like, I had the Citradelic Tangerine IPA. Aj ordered the Botanical Imperial IPA. Both were tasty. Aj’s beer had a nice spicy, citrus flavor and aroma. Glad he went with one we hadn’t tasted. I almost ventured into the watermelon lime beer, but decided against it. Although, it does seem intriguing. Maybe I should have…..
New Belgium Brewing has done well, not just for themselves, but for the communities surrounding their breweries. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is glad they chose Asheville as their second home. And they chose a beautiful spot too! A nice place along the river. You can see the artwork from businesses on the other shore from the deck. While the landscaping was mostly still under construction around the brewery and taproom, you could tell a lot of thought and concern were going into the planting and planning of watershed areas.
We are excited to come back with friends and tour the facility. We are also looking forward to future events and releases. Thanks for having us!