Thirsty Monk - Downtown
Taps: 35 / Bottles: 196
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 66 | Show All Ratings:
4.3/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I have loved this place for some time now, after having read about it in a local brewing publication a few years back. Wonderful atmosphere upstairs and downstairs, and by god if you can complain about the selection these folks have to offer, you should likely stop drinking beer altogether.
I call it reasonable price wise because you have to expect to pay for great beers that have come from all over the country and world. They have a wondrous selection that really allows to experience nearly all styles, in proper glasses and at the correct temps (for the most part).
I have also enjoyed the food a few times, and must say that the sliders are terrific and deserve to be recognized. As a chef, I can be a bit picky about chow, but when you are talking beer bar food, these kids are doing really well for themselves. Nice sophisticated food to match the top quality brews being poured and popped.
This is a must for anyone traveling in the SouthEast U.S.!!!
12-26-2009 21:08:09 | More by FreeTibet
4.14/5 rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
wandered in on an icy late December night to find the place mostly empty
the Thirsty Monk offers two different themes for the indecisive amongst us - downstairs you'll find the white stone-walled, cozy Belgian bar, while the more spacious upstairs features various micros from across the United States and tons of brewery paraphernalia, the big empty space and piecemeal decor felt pretty awkward, and the attempt at creating a Belgian bar downstairs felt somewhat lacking
upstairs selection: Asheville is local beer and seeking out and trying as many as possible should be the primary goal of any visitor to the city, and that's where TM falls short - the one local option was fresh out, with the other 15 taps quality but available almost anywhere...several He'Brews, Sierra, Smutty, Boulder, Rogue, Bell's, Stone etc.
downstairs selection: 14 Belgian taps with a few pretty tame - Chimay, Stella - but a solid 6 winter seasonals, I took the "beerfest" option and for $6 was served three small pours of three seasonals of my choice - a nice way to try a few but definitely not much of a value
the gent working the bar upstairs was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, the fellow downstairs not nearly as nice but on top of his beer just as well
a decent place but I'll likely never return unless the local scene receives heavier representation or some rarities show up on the menu
12-25-2009 04:38:49 | More by blackie
4.28/5 rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This was the last stop on a whirlwind one day tour of Asheville. Very nice place and we only visited the downstairs portion. They have a very good selection of Belgian beers, with more than a few that a person in the southeast doesn't see every day. I had a De Regenboog Vuuve which I have only seen at the Map Room in Chicago and The Brick Store in Atlanta. My girlfriend and I split a pretzel (w/3 house mustards -very good in house mustard) and a cheese sampler plate made with regional cheeses, also very nice. The place had a very nice feel to it. It was obvious that the patrons and the staff are knowledgeable about beer. Had a relaxing time there and I want to return to explore the place further.
09-30-2009 16:56:17 | More by TheEclecticGent
4.4/5 rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Have visited TM multiple times during my visits to Asheville.Seems like every time we are in town The Monk has something special going! This time around was BrewGrass eve and they had, a first east of the Mississippi cask of New Belgium, a keg of Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout, Ballast Point Sculpin and Duck-Rabbit Brown ale barrel aged in Raylin Cabernet Sauvignon. NICE!
This place is great, a quality Belgian bar downstairs and a quality American craft bar upstairs. Wow...this place has it all.
Service has always been solid despite the place usually being crowded and busy!
This is not a place to come and eat a meal....but if you get the munchies they offer a nice line of snacks---darn good pomme frites, and an excellent cheese plate.
If you are visiting Asheville and are looking for a one stop shop beer bar look no further than The Monk. Without question my favorite watering hole in a city filled with good watering holes!
09-29-2009 11:40:02 | More by Deuane
4.64/5 rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Came in here about 9:30 on Sunday night with the hopes that the website hours were wrong (they said they would be closed by 9). Well to my delight, they were open but empty. Bartender told me he would stick around for a while if my lady and I wanted some good brew and I thought that was quite awesome of him. I was only upstairs, but the taplist was more than enjoyable. I had a Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout and Tara had a Terrapin Gamma Ray. Just about everything on the tap list was something that I hadn't had or always wanted to try on tap, which is always a bonus.
Like I said, it was late and empty so I can't speak much for the atmosphere. We read some trivial pursuit cards that we found in a stack of board games by the bar and talked with the barkeep for about a half hour or so. The beer was suprisingly cheap considering what we ordered. Didn't stay long but was very happy about the visit. Would be a pleasure to go back and have a few more rounds anytime. The bartender sold me with his kindness and knowledge. Absolutely a fan of this establishment.
09-09-2009 22:37:23 | More by everetends
3.78/5 rDev -13.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
After reading the reviews here, and finding myself in Asheville for a night, I wanted to check this place out. I enjoyed the place well enough, I don't think it would make it my regular pub though. I think it may be a bit too laid back for me. We walked in to the upstairs bar and spent all of our time there. The service was good, just at a slower pace than I was used to. The crowd was full of young, hip people; my wife and I got a table to ourselves, played cribbage and stole a nearby wireless connection.
There were lots of good beers, just not much local to NC. Everything offered was of top quality though. I really liked the promo the run every Wednesday; one beer on draft comes witha free pint glass. After I finished my Coney Island Lager, the bartender brought me over a clean glass, which was very nice of him. I was prepared to stuff my dirty glass with napkins so I didn't get beer all over the inside of my bag.
Taking the recommendations of other reviews, we left before dinner, although we got a plate of pretzel bites. It was ok, but the mustards were too spicy for me and I expected more bites for the price I paid.
I would return here again, most likely in the afternoon. I don't think I would enjoy it as much if it were really crowded in here.
08-20-2009 13:33:13 | More by ToasterChef
4.05/5 rDev -6.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Thirsty Monk sits on Patton almost exactly across from Jack of the Wood. Patton St entrance takes you upstairs (craft section), with an entrance on the backside of the building for the downstairs (Belgian section).
The building gives off an industrial feel both upstairs and down. The Belgian cave has a bit of a softer feel due to the lighting and a very nice couch, but the bar area has a very univinting feel. Upstairs is just cold. The fully opening windows in the front help, but there's just not much of a vibe here.
All of that being said, if you want to drink beer and come to Asheville then you have to go here. The tap selection upstairs and down is excellent. The owners have done an outstanding job selecting the beers they pour. While they do provide the ability to flight their pours, the only downside is I was not able to find a truly sessionable beer pouring the day I was there.
This is not a place to eat a meal, as others have noted. The food they serve is very good, but the menu is not very deep. Plan on eating somewhere else, but plan on spending a couple of hours here checking out the taps.
8/10: Beer selection upstairs was not as good as it has been in past years. Very few Asheville-area beers represented. On the plus side, much better food offerings.
07-26-2009 00:37:22 | More by beer2day
4.46/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I came in tonight and really liked this place - if the recommendation from others isn't enough. This is a pure beer bar, and the downstairs has a really great vibe. The upstairs is kind of an average quiet and friendly bar type atmostphere. The quality is the greatest really. All of the beers are nice, and the downstairs bar is really concerned with quality. Each beer has a specific glass, and there's a special almost every night, which is nice and exiting. When I came, I was offered a flight of 3 beers for $5. When the average 12oz pour is 5+, this is really a good deal. The service was good, the bartender upstairs was very friendly, and the bartender downstairs was very into beer I could tell. There's an interesting contrast, but it makes it more pleasant in here. The selection was pretty great - there were plenty of interesting beers to choose from, though there aren't like 40 taps. The worst option available was Stella. I didn't try the food, but it looked alright. And the beers aren't overpriced, not from what I would expect for these beers.
06-16-2009 01:08:44 | More by taylorhamrick
4.5/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I can't remember what this building was before the Thirsty Monk, but I'm sure it is being put to better use now. As everyone has mentioned, almost 2 seperate tap rooms here. The downstairs cave for the Belgians and the upstairs for the Crafts, which if an American brewer has made a Belgian style, you will find it up there. A lot of interesting stuff on draft and some good bottles. Especially upstairs, which I prefer that style of beer, had some surprisingly hard to find beers on bottle, Dark Island is what sticks out in my mind. Had a Terrapin Scotch ale on draft, which was good. Best thing is the availability of half pints for their drafts. Service was very good, but the bartender was only so-so knowledgeable about the beer. The downstairs bartender seemed to be a little more knowledgeable. The front of the upstairs has windows that open completely, which is kind of nice, that is also where they allow smoking, so outside but near inside. After Barley's, I would say this is the second place to stop other than the brewers in Asheville.
06-13-2009 01:26:49 | More by Bung
4.14/5 rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Went there on a recent Asheville trip. Nice bar with two levels-first level has 'craft' beer and the bottom level is the belgium section.
Good selection of craft stuff and belgian beers on tap and in bottles. The prices were reasonable but the bartender on duty did not seem very knowledgeble about what he was serving. I went on a Tuesday night so the place was dead, but I can see how easily it gets packed. I wish that I had been their on Thursday because thats their 'cask' day every week.
Overall a nice place that I would frequent if this was in my town.
05-15-2009 01:07:26 | More by cbros
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Thirsty Monk - Downtown in Asheville, NC
96 out of 100 based on 77 user ratings.