Mountain weekends

As someone who often feels out of place in this big ol’ city of Charlotte, I talk a lot about my mountain roots. Let’s be honest, I miss Asheville and would probably move back there at the drop of a hat if the right opportunity came along.

Until then, though, I’ll be down here in the Queen City daydreaming of the rolling hills of Carolina and escaping on weekend getaways to my hometown when I am able.

This past weekend happened to be one of those special times. As I mentioned last year, Highland Brewing’s Cold Mountain Saturday has become somewhat of a tradition for Justin, myself, and two of our very best friends. If you follow me, you know that I am a North Carolina beer chaser. Therefore, when the holy grail of craft brews is released every winter, there is no way I am going to miss that celebration.

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Obligatory photo in front of “World Peace” wall. 

We spent Saturday hopping between breweries in Asheville’s South Slope district after enjoying a delicious lunch at Buxton Hall BBQ.

If you’re in Asheville and looking for some good comfort food, Buxton Hall is the place to go. Also, their bourbon Cheerwine slushy is a must order. Sip with caution, though, as this potent little drink has the potential to knock you on your backside.

After Buxton Hall, our group migrated next door to my personal favorite Catawba Brewing.

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The girls at Catawba Brewing. 

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Since becoming engaged, I have learned that people like to give you random gifts. Like my best friend who gifted me two cast iron skillets while we were sitting at Catawba Brewing. Clearly, I am so excited about this present that I couldn’t be bothered to open my eyes all the way for a picture. 

Even though the weather outside was in the mid-60s, that didn’t stop me from enjoying a pint of Catawba’s King Winterbolt winter ale. I came to the mountains for winter beers and by God I am going to drink winter beers. *slams fist down on table*

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King Winterbolt winter ale at Catawba Brewing. 

However, others in our group stuck to what they know and sipped on the always-satisfying White Zombie.

From Catawba we traveled down the hill to Twin Leaf Brewery where I had a Belgian-style wit known as White Noise. This was my first visit to Twin Leaf and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with their set-up.

While the tasting room was bustling with patrons playing giant Jenga, table tennis, and various board games, we decided to take our rowdy crowd to the picnic tables out back where we could sit under the warm mountain sun and laugh as loud as our hearts desired without disturbing too many bystanders.

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When we returned home on Sunday and were able to look at all the photos from the weekend, Justin’s exact words were “Are these seriously the only pictures we took together?” The disappointment in his voice rang loud and clear. 

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I believe I was saying “Smile, dammit.”

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God bless this man and his willingness to put up with my shenanigans. 

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We spent just enough time at Twin Leaf to enjoy one brew each and take 1,000 selfies before heading over to Highland Brewing  for the day’s main event — COLD MOUNTAIN.

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For love of beer and mountains is basically my life motto. 

Watching the sun set behind the mountains from the roof at Highland was the perfect ending to a perfect day I hope I always remember.

I can honestly say that this day was one of the best days I have had in a long time. Sometimes, you just need to go home — wherever that might be — and let what’s familiar comfort your soul.

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Justin and I crashed at my dad’s that night and woke up Sunday morning ready for a big, hearty breakfast.

Naturally, we visited our favorite breakfast joint in Asheville — Corner Stone. There is nothing more satisfying after a day of drinking than filling your belly with a breakfast bowl that combines sausage, home fries, cheddar cheese, and scrambled eggs.

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A visit home is not complete without breakfast at Corner Stone with dad. Why do I look confused in 90 percent of the photos taken this weekend? 

Like any good Southerner who still preaches that Sunday is a day of rest, we spent our remaining time in the mountains visiting with folks. Visiting my friend, her husband, and their newborn baby boy. Visiting my family. Just visiting.

Then, that night, we packed up our dogs in our Tacoma and headed back down the mountain toward Charlotte.

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Until next time, Asheville.

Follow Hali’s beer chronicles on Twitter & Instagram:@HaliDawnLedford, and on Untappd: @HaliDawn

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