Asheville :: Wedge Brewery

This wacky brewery’s beer garden experience is as if a tool shed, a beer keg and toy chest got dropped from a plane, landed down by the river in Asheville and a bunch of hillbilly artists assembled it in to their version of heaven.  Don’t even try to act like that doesn’t sound like somewhere you want to drink a craft brew!

One Man’s Experience

From their website:

The Wedge Brewing Co. is located in the lower level of the Wedge Studios situated in the River Arts District of Asheville, N.C. The building is a classic brick warehouse adjacent  to the railroad tracks. The original use of the structure was probably as a food warehouse. The space the brewery is in at onetime stored slaughtered hogs. 

We chose this location because it is in the last frontier of Asheville. 

I’m almost certain that I am not cool enough to go to Wedge Brewing Company.  It’s just so… so… cool.  Not trendy-cool or exclusive-cool, just cooool.  I mean, it is a craft beer brewery in the middle of the Art District of Asheville.  Does it get any cooler?!  I don’t think I’m cool enough to know either way.

We leave Asheville’s Highland Brewery and assemble our motley crüe that features a Mathematician, a Scientist, a Lawyer, a Teacher, an Investment Banker, a Psychologist, a CNN Documentarian, a Public Policy/Law Graduate Student, a Bum (hi!) and a Franc (sorry Mathilde, I forgot your profession so you just get to be professionally French).  I assume there is a joke in there somewhere about a bar or a deserted island but I think the lawyer always gets killed first in those and that is sad because we love Brooks and we need him to live.

We take our not-too-far drive from Highland to Wedge Brewing Company.  There we park next to a huge puddle in the decent sized but non-paved parking lot right along the river.  Walking to the entrance we pass many-a kayak strapped to car roofs.  At the entrance there are almost a dozen bikes tethered haphazardly to a rack.

The place is pretty packed but it might just feel that way because people are crowding into any shady spot they can find due to the blistering sun.  There is a little space right as we walk in that has a bunch of kids shooting off foam rockets and having a good ol’ time.  Too the left of them is a cornhole area for the adults to get their play on as well.  There is junkyard art all about and even a fenced made of old tractor parts.  Tables with umbrellas are strewn about the yard.  It feels a little chaotic.  I subconsciously recall going to a house party that I wasn’t invited to.

We squirm our way against the crowd into the serving room and the others get some pitchers of different brews.  The servers at Wedge are dead-adamant about ID checks.  We are asked not only when we get pitchers, for 1 ID for each glass, but also a little later when a server sees that our Scientist had been drinking beer out of a plastic cup reserved for water.  In this situation of adults, kids, and animals all flying around, I am totally understanding of their intensity of keeping everything on the up and up.

In addition to CIA-esque levels of identification monitoring, they are clearing away empty glasses with ninja-like quickness and secrecy.  I can’t drink because of the whole no-wallet-having thing, but I am totally digging the energy that is just pulsating out of this place.  And it isn’t manufactured energy from loud music or zaney staff, it is solely coming from the people.  There are laughing kids, adults with no shirts, pigeons and dogs everywhere.

The patrons are friendly enough to switch tables and chat it up with our table about politics over a bowl of free peanuts.  I just can’t help but think that is just the big backyard of bunch of crazy dudes who happen to brew craft beer.  I doubt the owners would disagree.  Wedge brewing gave me good vibrations and that was without a drop of alcohol from them.

I think that I have found a surprise aspect in each establishment I have gone to.  I find myself looking out for “space” or “features” too often and forget to just sit and feel the surroundings.  For my more introverted personality, a lot of the feelings at Wedge put me on edge a little, but nothing too strong that I couldn’t relax with friends over a nice water.  Thanks Wedge.

Check out Wedge Brewing’s Fact Page

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