I feel the morning air, it's light, calming, and cool. I see the haze on the water and the fog surrounding the mountains before me. My mind is clear and at peace. I've never realized how much nature has this positive and almost spiritual effect on me. The mountains have truly stolen my heart.
This month not only did I travel to Mexico but I was able to go to Asheville, NC. I know I always say my favorite city in North Carolina is Raleigh. This is not a lie but I have to make the correction that it's my favorite "quick trip." Asheville is by far my favorite city in North Carolina. This trip we stayed with friends in a beautiful house about 15 minutes from downtown. Last year we went to Asheville in Septemeber the leaves hadn't changed yet and it was still pretty warm. Although all the leaves weren't fully clothed in their fall beauty coupled with the fall weather made more a perfect trip!
Our first stop was the New Belgium Brewery. It was just around lunch time when we arrived so we decided to try the food truck, Belly Up while we waited for our tour to start. I had the shrimp tacos (shown below) and Alonzo had the chicken and waffles tacos. The shell was actually a waffle! Alonzo loved it! I'll have to take his word for it because it looked awesome.
The brewery is fairly new, it's actually only been open a year and a half. There is a beautiful taproom and outdoor patio, an area to play cornhole and other outdoor games, and an area for live music. Of course while we waited we also enjoyed some awesome brews. I tried the Fat Tire White which is my new favorite New Belgium beer!
The tour of the brewery was awesome! We had an amazing tour guide that was not only funny, entertaining, and knowledgeable about the company but so incredibly passionate. She was even emotional at the end of our tour as she thanked us for allowing her to share the story of New Belgium. What I loved most about this company is the fact that they are a employee owned company. What this means is that once you have worked at the brewery for a certain period of time you own part of the company. Also after a year they give you a bike and after 5 years you take a trip to Germany to see how it all started. So cool!
Alonzo and I really wanted to check out the SIerra Nevada but typically you have to schedule a tour at least a few weeks in advance. We lucked up and there was two slots available for the 10am tour. So yes, we had beer for breakfast. :) Sierra Nevada is still owned by it's original owner, Ken Grossman. He even has his daughter Sierra helping run the business.
The tour at Sierra Nevada was very thorough. It started with a video presentation and took us through each stage of the beer making process. The campus (yes it's that big that I have to call it a campus) is rich in history. Each highway has scenes and artifacts from when the company first started to the present.
The tour concluded with a taste of 10 different beers! Each one had an explanation and a story attached to it. I thought this was pretty cool!
Once the tour was over we decided we should grab something to eat. The restaurant was awesome! You could eat at the bar, outside, at the chef's table, or in the dining area. The outisde was my favorite part. There was a stage for live music, cornhole, bocce ball, lounge chairs, picnic tables, the works, and completely dog friendly!
The rest of our trip was full of good eats and great times with friends!
Until Next Time...