Log in or Sign up
Extreme Beer Fest
returns to Boston on March 21 & 22, 2014.
Tickets are on sale now
BeerAdvocate mobile beta: Testers Wanted
. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Android or Google Chrome user? Get a
14 day free trial to BeerAdvocate magazine on Google Play Newsstand
today! (AU, CA, UK, US only).
Extreme Beer Fest
Google Play Newsstand
Thirsty Monk - Downtown
Taps: 35 / Bottles: 196
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
92 Patton Ave
phone: (828) 254-5470
(Place added by: thirstymonk on 05-03-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 65 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I love this place.
Not many good beer bars where I live so I wind up in Asheville with a group of friends about once or twice a month, and it's gotten to where I couldn't imagine a stop in Asheville without at least dropping in to the monk for a pint or three.
With an American craft centric upstairs bar and a Belgian/Belgian style bar downstairs with an always rotating tap selection on both floors, it really cant be beaten. In fact, sometimes its hard to leave. A month or so back, I went there twice two weeks apart and the tap selection was almost entirely different.
Upstairs has a vivid, funky restaurant vibe to it with a lot of 4 tops, some elevated window seats and a few outdoor benches with armrest sized bars for your beers. Downstairs has an almost medieval, earthy feel with stone walls and wooden bench seats.
My brother spent last summer in Belgium and from what he's told me, the downstairs is about as belgian as you can get in the states- they have appropriate glassware for nearly every beer, and even the water jet glass rinsing mechanism (I have no idea what its actually called).
Very knowledgeable bartenders and great food- sometimes they make dishes based on the beers they're currently featuring, such as rogue chipotle ale chili. The only 2 Things i would change would be more taps, and an upstairs restroom, but those things aren't even necessary. I highly recommend this place to anyone interested in beer, it even warrants a trip to Asheville just to go there- not gonna lie, I've done it.
UPDATE- Went back again this past weekend- I withdraw the wanting of an upstairs restroom. Just when I think I've seen all the new stuff downstairs I go down to use the restroom and I see something I didn't (or couldnt- beer goggles CAN be useful) see before that makes the experience even better.
04-05-2010 04:35:59 |
More by SmasNadroj
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
this place is great. the atmosphere is nice. very laid back, and was easy to find a place to sit at the bar or at a table. beers are pretty much all served in the correct glassware from what i could tell, especially the belgian stuff down stairs. it was pint night when we went, so they give you a pint glass to keep when you order the beer that is on special at the time, for us it was boulder's mojo risin' double ipa on cask.
service was good also, our bartender kept a watchful eye on our glasses to make sure there was always something in 'em. the selection was great, in fact it was a shame that i was driving and couldn't try more of their brews. we ordered a couple soft pretzels that came with some local mustard, it was alright, not the greatest.
overall this is an awesome bar to come visit if you're in town and want to find some great craft beer on tap.
03-11-2010 15:21:33 |
More by Bartrob6
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
(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: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
A - I love the downstairs bar, and the bartenders are always very friendly. This is my "destination" whenever I'm in Asheville.
Q - Very knowledgeable - and helpful - staff.
S - Again, never been disappointed.
S - Great selection. One of the best Belgian beer selections in the Eastern United States (I can only think of a place in New York (Markt) and a place in San Francisco (La Trappe Cafe) that I personally have been to that have a more diverse selection of Belgians.
F - I've never eaten the food upstairs, and I hear it's good. The food downstairs is bar food fare, and nothing spectacular, but not bad at all.
V - Everything in Asheville is hipster-expensive. This place is just market prices.
08-10-2013 20:33:14 |
More by zee3are0
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
Went to Asheville to visit my brother and used it as an excuse to visit downtown Asheville and enjoy the beer scene.
Buddy of mine told me this was a must when drinking in downtown Asheville. I happened to be there during Sour Week. very awesome selection of sours maybe 13-15 different. Went upstairs and a glass of Foothills Jade Ipa.
Very impressed with the selection of beers, it was kinda slow i think it was a monday or a tuesday night. Got some beer to go that was a bit pricey but nothing to whine about.
Overall very great place to visit in Asheville, i was very sastified.
09-12-2013 19:02:04 |
More by kristougher
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
We went to the thirsty monk on a Friday night upon the recommendation of a beer enthusiast that we happened to meet on the street in down town Asheville, and I'm glad we did.
There is an upstairs section that serves mostly American micros, and a downstairs section that serves mostly Belgians. We went downstairs and got a couple of the Belgians.
The place was almost entirely empty (including myself, three friends, and the bartender, there were maybe 8 people downstairs, and just a bartender upstairs). The bartender was knowledgeable and made recommendations for us. Since there was almost nobody in the bar, everybody got to talking and it was a friendly environment.
Although their selection wasn't huge, everything that was on the list was very good quality, including a Belgian IPA (a style that I had never heard of before).
All in all, the Thirsty Monk is a good place to hang if you are looking for Belgians, or if you are in the mood for a *quiet* evening in down town Asheville.
12-21-2008 19:35:14 |
More by morgan23
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
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
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: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Wow. What a lovely place to have tucked into Asheville (an already lovely place!)
Both the upstairs and downstairs are very well done, with the decided "atmosphere" advantage going to the Belgian-inspired cellar, it's dark wood imparting a cozy setting in which to indulge in some of the Old Worlds finest beers.
The drought beer selection is quite impressive, and even among the domestic offering upstairs, I'd only ever seen one or two available on tap before coming to the Thirsty Monk. And they were all quality beers which I fully intend to experience.
The beers seem well kept and the place gives an overall impression of loving competency. They even have a nice little practice of freshly rinsing each glass before drawing your beer. Probably one of the most appreciated details was that they keep the kegs on the same level as the taps, which results in a pleasing and reasonable level of carbonation the glass (instead of the gas bombs that most bars create as a result of having to push their beers up 12-14 feet from the basement!)
My criticisms and suggestions are few. First, the serving temperatures of the three beers I sampled seemed a little too cold. This is a common failing of US bars, but I suspect here it was done more to accommodate the variety of styles that are all housed in limited refrigerator space. Secondly, I was really hoping for a better food selection on the Belgian side of things. While the food at the Thirsty is head an shoulders above most bar food, they could still do a lot in the way of exploring more traditional Belgian bar foods, such as croque-monsieur, carbonade, and steamed mussels. Finally, the place is too noisy. Both the up- and downstairs need some "soft" decorations to cut down on the din--if you're in the Thirsty Monk alone it's fine, but even a few groups of people can make conversation very difficult.
08-04-2008 17:43:11 |
More by ExMachina1
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Visited in late August for a night of drinking with friends. We primarily did flights (awesome option, 4 small beers - your choice of anything on draft). The selection is excellent, with many beers on draft I can't get at home in a bottle let alone in a keg. The upstairs bar is nice, though the night we were in the front awning was up and the temperature was a bit hot (sweating inside with low airflow and drinking hi grav isn't the best combination).
Belgian bar downstairs is beautiful, and the selection there is as impressive as upstairs. Flights/half glasses as well there.
Staff was pleasant and knowledgeable, and very willing to answer questions.
A note: You can drink at both the upstairs and downstairs bar on one tab, but you do have to go up or down respectively on your own to snag something that isn't on draft where you're sitting.
A must stop imo for Asheville.
08-26-2011 04:13:45 |
More by Fulkrum78
Thirsty Monk - Downtown in Asheville, NC
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address