Log in or Sign up
Taps: 30 / Bottles: 150
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
92 Patton Avenue
phone: (828) 254-5470
Now have an Upstairs American Pinthouse in Addition to the Downstairs Belgian Bar.
All together, they have 30 (constantly changing) draught lines and 150+ bottles.
next › last »
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$$$
Overall, a C-
What upsets me most is not that the service was totally lacking in welcoming spirit, but that after paying exorbitant prices for common Belgian bottled beers, they refused to give us a taste of anything on tap.
I had traveled from Denver to Ashville on the advice of a beer enthusiast from England who was staying in the Ashville area. 1700 miles later I found myself inside the Thirsty Monk on a very quiet Friday evening. The many taps and stocked coolers of Belgian ales was exciting. We pulled up to the bar and stood there looking longingly at the manager and two bartenders as they went about their business of ringing things up on the register, tidying up the bar, and asking those already sitting at the bar if they needed refills. It was painfully obvious we were not being noticed. My English friend borrowed a tap menu from someone sitting at the bar and we looked it over. All of us had questions, but when the manager/bartender arrived she seemed in no state to answer questions. What she did do was correct us with her incorrect pronunciations for the names of some of the beers. (Side note: I may spend every year in Benelux tasting the beers from the abbeys and breweries but I'm not about to be a stickler on pronunciation. I mention it here because the points against the Thirsty Monk were rapidly adding up and we had not yet received our first drink.)
Add to the smug and unfriendly service the exorbitant cost of their overchilled beers (more than double what I would pay from a local retailer and served way too cold) and you have a recipe for disaster.
But If you think this is why I had a horrible time at the Monk, then hold on. Remember that I drove 1700 miles to drink here. I purchased two rounds (6 beers) for the three of us and had the total up to somewhere in the area of $53. I returned to the bar to order two bottled doubles and asked for a taster of the Three Philosophers Triple Chocolate they have on tap.
"We don't do that," said the manager.
"We don't give tastes anymore."
I asked again and again no.
Feeling dejected I returned to my table in and told them we were not allowed to taste anything on tap. My English friend's jaw about hit the table. I then went up to the second bartender and asked again, very nicely, for the slightest taste of the Three Philosophers, letting her know I was leery of the chocolate following my last ale.
Again: "Sorry, we can't give tasters. That's our new policy."
"Please," I said. "I just want to know if it's what I'd like to drink next and I've driven a long way to be here tonight."
She just stared at me like she didn't have the time for this or me. "Then kindly give me back my credit card, total us out, and we won't spend another cent in here," I told her coolly. And without so much as a blink of apology she did just that and we left.
This is the famous Thirsty Monk!?! What a stupid experience and a classless place. Never, in all my years of visiting bars and breweries around the world, have I experienced such cheap behavior....and at a place tauted as the best of the best in the Paris of the South.
We returned to the monk over christmas. They were totally dead downstairs. There were seven of us together who were ready to have 2 or more beers per each. I told the bartender that 5 of us were drinking bottled beers and the other two, the two who were paying, were drinking beers on tap and wanted the ability to taste the beers before we drink. He said no problem. We sat down and made ourselves as comfortable as possible in that somewhat cold environment. When I asked to test a specific beer on tap he suddenly became confused.
We don't do that he said. I was so confused. Why? I asked him. Because we feel it's not right to the beer. He then went on telling me they feel it impossible to understand the complexity of a flavor etc. etc. When I told him that sounded like a bunch of B.S. he told me they do it because they're trying to save money. When I mentioned that if they didn't offer the two of us the ability to make up our own minds about the beer first that we would leave he simply shrugged and all seven of us filed across the street.
12-01-2008 15:29:22 |
More by Amsterdam
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
My first trip to Asheville and to the Thirsty Monk this past weekend certainly didn't disappoint. While the downstairs Belgian beer bar seemed to be more popular, the main floor bar was more my style. It was surprisingly empty for a Saturday night. The bartender was very friendly, not overly chatty, and very knowledgeable. The selection is what impressed me the most. The beer cooler just outside the bar (available for takeout) was incredible... first bottles I noticed were Hopslam, Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, and Nemesis. Bell's Batch 9000 was on draft. They'd just tapped a cask of Two Hearted Ale. They were also doing a Rogue theme, with close to 10 Rogue beers on tap. Very good local NC selection as well. If I lived locally, I don't think I'd every leave. I'll be back!
03-31-2010 13:04:09 |
More by HopSlamHokie
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
It's been a few weeks since I was in Asheville. So I figured I'd better write this review while the memory is still semi fresh.
I planned to visit the Thirsty Monk based largely on the reviews on this site. I was not disappointed.
As mentioned in other posts, the upstairs bar focuses on US craft brews. The tap selections are pretty decent. I enjoyed a Foothills Rainbow Trout ESB, while my wife had a New Belgium Ranger IPA. Neither of these is available to us at home in South Florida. My one gripe would be the service. While it was adequate, it did seem that the bartender was somehwat disinterested.
After our first beer we ventured downstairs to the sample some Belgian brews. I have to say the service was much better down there. Since I am more of a fan of US craft beer as opposed to Belgians, it was necessary to seek the counsel of the bartender when choosing what to drink. Again, the selection here was great. Plenty high quality selections on both tap and in bottle.
The food appears to be quite good at the Monk as well. While downstairs we enjoyed a selection of quality cheeses with our saisons. Very good indeed.
While there are many great spots in Asheville to enjoy top notch brews, I'd venture to say the Thirsty Monk ranks near the top. I plan on going back the next time I visit Asheville.
07-28-2010 01:23:24 |
More by APNumber3
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
My Girlfriend (now Fiancé) and I visited Asheville back in July of 2011 for her Birthday. it was our first time together. We considered going on a paid bar crawl but decided against it because we consider ourselves BEER EXPERTS, and it wasn’t worth the price they were asking, so we made our own Bar Crawl adventure. It was our goal to have a Beer in every Bar. Which we accomplished I think!!! Now, as we walked along the streets of beautiful downtown Ashville we noticed the Thirsty Monk from across the street, we decided to cross over and check it out, to our surprise it was not open yet. (I don’t remember what time it was because we were well lit at this point) As we got closer I remember telling her that this place looks crappy and I was glad it was closed. The appearance from the outside looked run down and old, with what seemed like a small doorway leading into a place I wouldn’t visit. So onward we walked, It wasn’t until about four hours later we happened to walk past the Thirsty Monk Again which was now open so we decided to try it out, so against my better judgment we walked inside.
First impression... WTF. (Sorry Thirsty Monk)
The bar was well lit and very long, the bar on the left and one row of tables along the wall on the right. What to our wondering eyes did we see at the first table.... A young couple with a baby in a car carrier on top of the table (that’s my WTF) we walked quickly passed them only to notice two other babies at two other tables. (WTF X2 again)
We decided to stay anyway and sat at the way end of the bar away from the small children. We were handed a menu of all these great beers and to my Fiancé’s surprise they had her favorite Belgium Beer KWAK. We ordered it promptly. The bar tender said if we wanted that beer we had to go downstairs. (we had no idea there was a downstairs in the Thirsty Monk)
We walked down these old creaky wooden steps that looked like they belonged in a dungeon. To our surprise the downstairs bar was the Highlight of our visit... First off no kids, secondly the atmosphere was so F...ING amazing. Dark, Quiet, friendly people, and staff. The downstairs bar should be its own entity, and not be associated with the upstairs bar.
So Many Beers to choose from we decided on the KWAK to start. Served in the correct flute with wooden holder and ICE COLD. WOW!!! The Bartender was this amazing bearded guy who took interest in all of our questions about all the different beers and my beard that I had just started to grow. We stayed here for quite a few hours and had lots of laughs with the bearded man. Bartender of the Year should go to this guy. Hopefully we will see him again as we are going back next week.
All in All... DO NOT MISS VISITING THE THIRSTY MONK. ITS IS A BLAST!!!
Atmosphere... We gave a 4.5 because of the 3 babies in the upstairs bar.
Quality... Great selections of Beer
Service... Outstanding. Thank you Bearded One
Selection... Disney World of Beers
Food... We had 2 pretzels. and they were great.
Prices... We don’t care about... Great beer is worth the price.
09-13-2012 18:47:42 |
More by MattN373
next › last »
Thirsty Monk in Asheville, NC