I spent my time in this place in the Belgium bar down stairs. Didnít have the food or frankly spend much time upstairs. Bar had five or six tap handles, a couple were Belgium imports. It had lots of Belgium style bottles. Ambiance was rustic, very low lighting. Years ago I would have given this place a much higher rating, but now it just doesnít stick out like it might have 5 to 6 years ago. Iíd still recommend a visit, but there are lots of breweries in Asheville and I probably recommend going to them first.
Final destination one night during our long weekend in Asheville. We opted to go downstairs to the Belgian bar. The bar had a darker íBelgianí atmosphere with a long bar and some tables. Obviously the focus was on Belgian beers; some imports, US made and even Monks Cafe made. Sharing two flight the beer was great and so was the service. Downstairs seemed more laid back and quieter than upstairs. Overall a great experience and would love to come back.
The Thirsty Monk is a well-loved downtown craft beer bar and was the first stop on my recent Asheville Beercation. You cannot miss it: located on the busy corner of Patton Avenue and Coxe Avenue (the latter will take you a few short blocks to the South Slope District and several breweries), the Monk does business in a quaint lavender brick building complete with a large painting of himself on the outside. Upon entry is the first floor bar area, a single room furnished with several hightops and tables comfortably surrounded by the inevitable array of beer paraphernalia. At the far end of the moderate-sized bar is the open kitchen, where eclectic and cheap grub can be had and enjoyed. There is also a water station from which thirsty patrons may hydrate themselves. (I noticed plenty of these throughout San Diego Ė a good idea, too!) Downstairs is the more intimate Belgian bar Ė and the restrooms. And if you seek whiskey or a cocktail, there is another floor upstairs (through the elevator door) called ďTop of the Monk.Ē
As of late, they now brew their own beer a few miles south near the Biltmore Estate and offer about 36 taps (20 upstairs, 16 downstairs) and a worthy choice of bottled brews. During my visit (upstairs and downstairs) I enjoyed: Thirsty Monk Autumnal Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Highland Thunderstruck, Stillwater Brontide, Ommengang Valor and a rarity to the East Coast, something wonderful from Coloradoís Crooked Stave. The Monk has a pretty reasonable pricing system for a full pour or a half pour dependent on the beer (of course!) Ė I mean, címon, $6.00 for a pint of Founderís Breakfast Stout!
In any case, the Thirsty Monk is a MUST when in Asheville.
decent place, Upstairs gets the benefit of daylight, service has been mixed for me here, this last trip had no problems, other visits, been slow. selection is good, though maybe not as unique as it once was. no food, prices are inline with area, Iíve havenít had the chance to sit outside here, could be good people watching, first floor has a section autographed by various brewers that have done eventís there, kind of cool. fine place, good place to start a crawl as they open earlier than most of the breweries.
Rather big bar divided into two. American and Belgian bars. For me the Belgian one wasnít that interesting so I hit the American one. Nice selection of no so common brews, friendly service and rather cozy atmosphere. Not a bad combination.
chinchill (198) South Carolina | September 13, 2014| Updated September 16, 2014
Two bars in one place, but the Belgian bar in the lower level largely accounts for the fame of this outstanding pub. Limited but tasty food selections. The downstairs Belgian bar is quieter and more sedate than upstairs. The service people are very knowledgeable: good thing given the number of strange and rare beers that come to their taps. They have up-to-date printed lists with descriptions for the beers on tap. Acceptable but not low pricing in a city with fairly low priced beer.
Stopped in for a quick beer and a snack. They were a little busy with all the craft beer activities going on. Right down the street from our hotel in the heart of downtown. Great location, and a downstairs we did not visit, just didnít have time. Worth the stop.