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Thirsty Monk - Downtown
Taps: 35 / Bottles: 196
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
92 Patton Ave
phone: (828) 254-5470
(Place added by: thirstymonk on 05-03-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 65 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I just got back from my first trip to Asheville and the Thirsty Monk was my favorite bar. The upstairs bar features American craft beers and the downstairs bar serves only Belgian ales. I spent all my time in the downstairs bar. The server was extremely nice and helpful. I could tell she really cared about the beers and the customers enjoyment of them. They have a nice tap selection and a huge bottle selection. Many of the beers are hard to come by in N.C. This is definitely the place to come have some special, hard to find Belgian beers. I wish I had been able to spend more time here and hope to go back. It is a must stop in Asheville.
06-18-2011 16:04:55 |
More by thegodfather2701
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
the thirsty monk is my go to bar when i am in asheville. i love the atmosphere of a slightly open air bar upstairs with a cool belgian bar downstairs. everything's quality with the taps rotating all the time. the service is good as well, and the bartenders are willing to help with anything. the selection is great. they always have really good stuff on tap, whether local or from other places. ive been in there when theyve had cantillon bottles, which is prettty cool. also this place usually isnt that crowded so you dont feel cramped or rushed inside which is always good. this is a great place that everyone in asheville should stop by.
06-03-2011 17:10:49 |
More by dbhall
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I've been stopping in regularly since moving into the area and there is always something good on tap. The upstairs bar has mostly American micros and usually one or two Euro micros thrown in the mix. The bottle selection is ok, there's a few gems in there but overall it doesn't seem too exciting.
The downstairs bar is all belgian style ales and definitely has its own vibe going on with some couches and being darker. The taps down here are always solid and the bottle selection can be even better. A ton of good beer here.
I've only eaten here once, and it was pretty good. I had sliders, lamb and beef w/bleu cheese, and both were good. I always take a look at the food menu when I'm here but most of the stuff on there doesn't stick out so I usually move on to liquid bread.
Overall this is a great bar, with good service. Just be careful if you plan on heading out late night early in the week because they'll close early if it's slow.
05-11-2011 17:07:33 |
More by tclapper
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $
This place is ok.
The physical atmosphere is really quite nice, especially downstairs where there are large sofas and a dimly lit cave-like bar featuring a good selection of Belgian beers. The vibe though, is not as appealing. Upstairs, there can be a large population of douchebags in the bar at times who like to think they know their shit. Normally I wouldn't blame this on the bar but in this case the Thirsty Monk tends to facilitate this type of drinker. Many of the bartenders are this type of person and so droves of like-minded friends take to the bar and get pampered while other customers wait with empty glasses for their chance to be grunted at in response to their order.
The selection is usually pretty good, and they focus on out-of- state breweries more than anywhere else in Asheville while still keeping the worthwhile locals in rotation as well. The upstairs bar has many good choices but the Belgian bar downstairs is where the selection is above and beyond. The service downstairs, I should add, is NEVER like it is upstairs. Downstairs they are serious about beer and what it tastes like as opposed to how rebellious they are serving you cans of Dales without a glass to pour it into. (FYI check the freshness info on bottles..I was served a can of Gordon that was more than 18 months old once)
I don't eat at the Monk. They changed the menu a while back and it's not very appealing anymore. It used to be great, but now it's one of those menu's that I've looked at dozens of times and nothing ever sounds like something I want. The Bentons ham sandwich is pretty good but I don't get it anymore because it just isn't worth the price. And, I don't really want a ham sandwich with most of the beers I drink.
The prices at the Monk are great for beer. Not quite worth it for the food that they serve, however. Food-wise, it isn't that the plates cost a lot, it's just that the stuff isn't worth the 8 or 10 bucks they want for it, and I'm not cheap when it comes to food. The beer prices though, are great and they pour full pints of many things that most places would be pouring 10oz of, like Sexual Choc, Smutty Imperials, 10-fidy etc. and also offer half-pours of all of it, which I love. I'll be nice and rate value taking no consideration of the food since I don't go there for food.
Overall I really wish the whole place was of the same quality as the downstairs bar, but I still like it and go regularly.
04-23-2011 15:31:00 |
More by commis
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$$
I love this place. Rotating domestic craft brews upstairs and an outstanding selection of Belgian bottles and drafts downstairs. There's always a great selection. The atmosphere is low key unless it is a big event like a tap take-over. The food is OK, some of the appetizer type foods are best - cheese boards and olives, etc. - but you didn't come here for food. I've been exposed to a lot of the best brews I've ever sampled at The Thirsty Monk, so every time I go it's always a bit suspenseful until I can see what is on tap.
03-14-2011 04:06:00 |
More by raszputini
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This is definitely the best bar in Asheville. The upstairs has about 20 taps and one beer always on cask, all American craft which cover a huge diversity of styles and come from across the country. The downstairs is designed like a Belgian pub with around 12 taps of all Belgian or Belgian-style beers. There are coolers both upstairs and downstairs packed full of beers to either take with you or drink there. There is beer paraphernalia everywhere, whether it be signs, coasters, empty bottles, glassware, etc.
The beer selection is amazing and constantly changing. Every time one keg is kicked, a different one replaces it. You can go every week and find a completely different menu each time. When there, I usually wish my liver were larger or my time longer because I can rarely try everything I want to try. There are also tons of special events like tap takeovers, pint nights, discount nights, and even nights to bring your kids. Beer is always served in its proper glassware and often its branded glass. Orval comes in an Orval chalice, Delirium comes in the pink elephant tulip, etc. You can also get half pours or make your own flights of beers to sample more.
Service is usually good, though it's also been crappy a couple of times depending on who's running the bar and how busy it is. If they're not too busy, the bartenders will often stop to talk to you about beers, make recommendations, and let you sample any beer for free.
I've not gotten the food there often, but when I have it's been pretty good. Their cheese platters are good as well as their pretzels and different mustards. I don't often get them though since they're not cheap and normally cost more than I'm willing to pay for what amounts to little more than a snack. I know some like pairing cheeses with beers, but I want something a bit heartier while I'm drinking.
The main drawbacks of the bar are that it becomes a bit cramped at times, especially during their events. The prices can also be a bit steep, especially for the Belgian beers. Paying $4 for a 4 oz pour of a Belgian beer is a bit much, though to be fair some of these beers either aren't bottled or are >$10 per bottle, so it's a bit better than dishing out for an entire bottle if you don't like it. The prices on the American craft are usually better and the flights are normally pretty good deals as well.
02-13-2011 10:55:08 |
More by n2185
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
(My wife and I sat on the american level, not the belgian level.)
This is the perfect little beer place. The selection wasn't great quantitatively, but it was quality. They had a number of the local breweries represented as well as Rogue, Avery, Stone, etc. I don't expect every beer spot to wow me with numbers. Sometimes, I just want a good beer, and the 12-20 beers they had were good beers.
We went about 4:00-5:00 because we had a late dinner reservation and wanted a little snack and beer before going back to get ready for dinner. The pretzel appetizer we got here with 4-5 different kinds of mustards was incredible.
Again, this is the perfect laid-back drink-a-beer, have-a-snack kind of place. Other reviewers compared this to The Brick Store in Atlanta. Being from Atlanta, I naturally do that everywhere I go. It's not The Brick Store. It doesn't really try to provide the same environment. It's a different category really.
10-21-2010 02:21:28 |
More by trecker
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This was my ninth and final stop on a recent trip to Asheville. Ah yes, the infamous Thirsty Monk that I had been hearing so much about from friends... The location is very easy to spot from the road even at night. I took a seat at the upstair bars and looked over the beer menu. I had really gone here for The Bruery Autumn Maple cask they had downstairs but it had already kicked. Sigh... So I opted for a Cottonwood Spiced Pumpkin Ale. Also sat down to some food while I was there as well. The food was quite good that I had. This is a must stop while in the area for sure.
10-18-2010 17:21:34 |
More by thagr81us
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
When you work in a tavern within 100 miles of Asheville you are frequently going to hear about the Thirsty Monk. Since we were in Asheville for Brewgrass Weekend, we made the Monk our second stop on Friday afternoon as we explored the downtown beer scene. It is really hard to rate this location following the six topics above since there are really two very different pubs in one building at the Thirsty Monk.
Upstairs is a very casual, no particular theme, tap bar with a good selection of microbrews from Atlanta's Sweetwater, Athen's Terrapin as well as Rogue and other well respected breweries. No local NC beers which may be a deliberate decision since other tap bars in Asheville specialize in the local beers. However, if you drink at any decent tap bar in Greenville or Clemson,SC you won't find anything really special in the upstairs Thirsty Monk. Service was good.
Downstairs is a dark sort of wood and plaster basement designed to look like a bit of an old monastery or at least to make you think that it looks like an old drinking establishment. Excellent belgium beer selection with several US beers that represent the belgium style well. We had the Belgium/Terrapin collaboration beer and it was excellent. Opus, the bartender had a great personality and was very knowledgeable about the beers both on daught and in bottles. If you have never visited the upstairs at the Brick Store in Atlanta, the downstairs at the Thirsty Monk will be at the top of your list of American Belgium tap bars. However, The Brick Store beats the Monk for atmosphere in a big way and is a bit better in the diversity of beers available.
09-27-2010 21:32:06 |
More by Kenyon
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
The wife and sought out the Thirsty Monk after reading about it in BA. Well I sought it out and my wife humored me. It was early afternoon when we arrived and there were two other people in the bar. Still it took several minutes to get service. My wife ordered a Lindeman's Pech and I ordered a Kwak. They had the appropriate glass ware as would be expected from a Belgian Bar. We also order food a platter of Cheese and Sausage. The food was good however the order came out wrong. The order was made right very quickly. We enjoyed the bar but the décor was average, nothing that truly stood out. Beer selection was good. The only thing we had issue with would be the service. The bartender seemed to prefer working on the menus to waiting on customers. When one customer said she did not "catch his name" he said "that's because I did not throw it". He never gave his name and remained rude the entire time. When I asked to purchase a Thirsty Monk glass I was told he did not have any and that I wanted one I had to go upstairs to the other bar and get one.
I short good stop for a few beers but the service can be hit or miss.
09-26-2010 07:11:25 |
More by kwdavis
Thirsty Monk - Downtown in Asheville, NC
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