Monday, August 9, 2021

Lookout Brewery, Black Mountain, NC

A couple of weeks ago we escaped to western North Carolina to disconnect for a week of relaxation. We ensconced at a bed and breakfast for the week, which made for a nice base of operations. We would eat a hearty meal in the morning, then head out for a day of hiking, sight seeing, and brewery visits. 

We were treated to an appearance by the local bird feeder bandit one evening as we enjoyed dinner on the patio. The hungry bear stepped out of the woods, stared at us for a moment, then retreated back into the trees.


Naturally, I was looking forward to enjoying cigars at local breweries during the trip. Surprisingly, the NC breweries we visited were, with one exception, less than accommodating when it came to that pleasure. Of course, there are dozens of breweries in the Asheville area, so maybe we just hit the wrong ones. As so many of our local breweries allow cigars, many even having humidors onsite, I was shocked by the restrictions at breweries in our neighboring state.

One notable exception was Lookout Brewing in Black Mountain. We stayed right outside of the town, so it was just a short drive to the brewery. That was fortunate as this was the only brewery that we opted to pay a return visit to, as much for the beer and atmosphere as the chance to enjoy a cigar.


We ordered a couple of beers, and grabbed a table on the side patio in the shade. I quickly lit a Liga Privada Sun Grown Maduro to enjoy with the Toasted Hazelnut Dunkel. The Dunkel had notes of coffee and a pleasing nuttiness. It was a refreshing foil to the rather warm temperature and as expected paired well with the cigar. The resident food truck was not open so we grabbed two delicious wood fired pizzas from the shop right across the street. (We were enjoying the leftovers at the B&B when the bear paid a visit.)


We returned later in the week for more good beer, food, and a smoke. This time the food truck was open and we gorged ourselves on some tasty, and large, hot dogs. This time I opted for Curren's Cloudbreaker Hazy IPA. For my smoke I lit one of my favorites, the Powstanie Broadleaf, in the Belicoso format.


The Hazy IPA was very well done. There was a refreshing fruitiness, without being overly sweet, and balanced with just the right amount of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was creamy with a clean finish and the moderate 5.7% ABV made it easy to go for a refill. 

I was struck by the friendliness of the patrons at the brewery. The crowd seemed be mostly "local" rather than "tourist" like us. In fact, Lookout Brewing reminded me a lot of my favorite local haunt for enjoying beer and cigars, 1781 Brewing, where so many of these Musings originate. The patrons and staff were friendly, the beers delicious, there was food onsite, and they had no objections to the enjoyment of cigars. In fact, small ash trays were placed on many of the tables.


I talked to the bartender for a bit to express my delight with finding them, and shared how much we enjoyed ourselves. "We are just a small business trying to be welcoming," she replied. I think they are succeeding. If you are in the area, and want a break from the larger, more well-known, and crowded, local breweries you won't go wrong with a visit to Lookout Brewing in Black Mountain, NC.

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