Prohibition made participating in the public enjoyment of alcohol illegal from 1920 to 1933. Regardless, the art of the cocktail thrived during this time, as underground establishments known as “Speakeasies” continued to operate. The South gets a lot of credit for being innovators in modern era cocktail creation. From New Orleans to North Carolina, mixology is alive and well. And Asheville is no stranger to the adult beverage.
Asheville is known for beer. You can’t walk two blocks downtown without hitting a popular watering hole or local brewery’s tasting room. There is no better destination in the Southeast for beer enthusiasts. The Thirsty Monk is one such destination. Locals and tourists alike have been enjoying craft and hard to find beers there since 2008. Last fall, the Monk embarked on the new, yet old, cocktail trail.
Top of the Monk specializes in cocktails and they’re doing it old school. There are no mixes or blenders. Everything is homemade, fresh squeezed and a work of art. From the Bloody Mary to Bourbon based and Gin with Absinthe, there is an element of mad science in the execution. The recipes are true to a bygone era, but with a signature all their own; the drink list is impressive but the women behind the bar are not limited to it.
As if the drinks weren’t enough, the establishment is a beautiful piece of nostalgia, complete with roof-top seating offering both urban and mountain views. The skyline of downtown Asheville hasn’t changed all that much in the last hundred years. Top of the Monk is a welcomed piece of Americana that reaffirms a time when drinks were hand made and patrons appreciated the process.
The weather is getting nice and everyone is eagerly awaiting the outdoor festival season here in western North Carolina. Last year, Rhythm & Brews was introduced as a new summer festival in Hendersonville. Combining great music and great local beer from breweries such as Southern Appalachian and Sierra Nevada, Rhythm and Brews was a great hit. Back by popular demand, I give you the 2nd annual Rhythm and Brews 2014.
The venue is located between 3rd and 4th Avenues one block east of Main Street and starts at 5:00 pm. A stage featuring regional rock and bluegrass music provides the free entertainment, while tickets can be purchased for some delicious craft beer and wine. Blue Ridge Bicycle Club and Sycamore Cycles will again be offering a “bike corral”, which provides free valet parking for people who wish to ride their bicycles and not worry about leaving them unattended. Dancing is encouraged and if this year’s event is anything like last year, there will be no shortage of participants.
The current music lineup is as follows:
- May 15 – The Broadcast
- June 19 – Balsam Range
- July 17 – The Fritz
- August 21 – Sol Drive Train
- September 18 – Blue Dogs
For more information and/or any changes, visit http://downtownhendersonville.org and https://www.facebook.com/RhythmAndBrewsHendersonville
In addition to a great public school system, Hendersonville is a great location for high school graduates looking to further their education. Hendersonville is home to Blue Ridge Community College and now, Wingate University has added a Pharmacy school campus in downtown Hendersonville.
Wingate University to expand pharmacy program in Hendersonville – News – Wingate University.