My husband has restrained me from returning the Monk South, so this review is based on my opening night experience. I would not post this if my experience on opening night had not been pleasant because opening night is when the bugs are discovered and dealt with on the fly. However I had a nice time drinking good beer in South Asheville; although there are a few good taps or bottles in a few restaurants in this end of the county, I had to take minutes to decide which beer to have not because nothing really struck my fancy but because there were so many that struck my fancy and that I have not previously imbibed.
I should’ve tried one of the three beer flights (East, West, and Local); $5 gets you three sample pours. I started with the Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, which was hoppier than I prefer. The hoppy Bells made the Kwak seem bland, but I was also turned off by the wooden handle that cradles the glass. On my return I made the big blunder of ordering the Sierra Nevada tripel; I don’t care what Sierra Nevada beer I have be it pale, porter, or tripel I always get that bitter hop aftertaste. My French Broad Zepptoberfest was marred by it, and I didn’t try my honey’s Maudite because of it.
Monk South seems to be a bit of a combo of the Thirty Monk and the Pint House, with four or five local beers (Highland, Pisgah, French Broad, and Wedge were represented), a few Belgian beers (Chimay, Kwak, Maudite) with the rest on tap being American breweries (Terrapin, Sierra Nevada, Bells, and somewhat local Duck Rabbit). However, I did drink a fair amount between my two visits (most being consumed with my DD in tow in the later part of the evening hence the first truncated post) and my memory is relatively poor to begin with (plus add my beer snob knowledge deficit). I only payed attention to the taps, but they also have several bottles (and for the DDs Orangina!)
The limited food menu makes up for its size with its quality. I did not have a chance to try to the olives, but the cheese board, pretzels, and monk nuts were great. The nuts start sweet and then end with a spicy bite; the pretzels are soft and lightly salted with Lusty Monk mustard on the side, and the cheese board had five cheeses (goat, drunken goat, smoked gouda, aged gouda, and Chimay which is made the same monks that make the beer) with a nice portion of grapes, chutney, and crusty bread. The mustard is quite spicy so if you have a milder tongue start really small, but if you love the heat they sell the mustard at local grocery stores.
Dogs and smokers are welcome on the patio with its great view of Gerber Village; the bar is long with plenty of stools, and Monk South has plenty of cute little two tops for date night. The back bends around to dart boards and board games, and there is a couch with its own coffee table. I love the chalkboard menu board with its promise of constantly changing inventory.
I did not ask about all the events (e.g. Babies and Beer), but I do know that Pint Night will be held at Monk South too. Pint Night gets you the glass for the cost of a pint (including the beer), and I believe it occurs every Wednesday. Regardless of the events, the bar is open until midnight on weeknights! Not that I will be doing much bar drinking that late on a weeknight, but now if I have to pick my honey up from work in the late evening I can demand he drive me home after I knock a few back.
If you live south get down to the Monk South and spend some money so that we can all have a place to drink great beer within a five minute drive.
Please note the Google map location is incorrect; I’ve created a map of my favorite Asheville spots which has the correct location.