Brews, Food and Tunes at The LAB

Brews, Food and Tunes at The LAB

This is part of a Beerventure Series from Steph’s April 2014 trip to  Asheville, North Carolina. See the rest of the series here.

Lexington Avenue Brewery
39 North Lexington Avenue | Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 252-0212
www.lexavebrew.com

Lexington Avenue Brewery, or the LAB, located on Lexington Avenue in Historic Downtown Asheville, is a brewery, restaurant, and concert venue in one. Patrons can sip a brew on the open air patio, at the 92-foot curving bar, or at one of the custom built dining tables. LAB has a dark, industrial feel with brick walls, exposed ductwork, and touches of metal.

We chose to sit at the impressive curving bar and enjoyed a sampler of the beers brewed on-site in the 15 barrel brewhouse, which is visible from the bar. The brewers use regionally sourced ingredients based upon style. They try to source local ingredients as often as possible. Their spent grains also go to local farmers to feed the cattle which later become the beef products sold at the restaurant.

Beers

Here are the beers we enjoyed…

  • 1st Gear Cream Ale – 4.5% ABV 25 IBU American Cream Ale brewed with two-row and pilsner base malts, traditional German hops, and bit of corn added to give the drinkable brew a touch of sweetness.
  • Hop Burst Spring Ale – 5.2% ABV 46 IBU light, crisp pale ale with tons of citrus and tropical fruit flavor and aroma brewed exclusively with Amarillo, Centennial, Columbus and Nugget hops through “hop bursting” (continually hopping the kettle every few minutes) to compliment the light malt body.
  • American Pale Ale – 5.7% ABV 40 IBU pale ale combines hop bitterness with malty sweetness from a variety of American malts making this beer subtly complex and refreshing.
  • Waves of Grain – 5.5% ABV 38 IBU brew with balanced flavor between a slightly toasted malt body and hop aromas; very smooth, with a slight bitter finish.
  • Buck Mild (Experimental) – 4.6% ABV 23 IBU English mild “gone wild” brewed with toasted coconut and cayenne peppers with notes of roast and caramel from sweet English malts.
  • Three Threads Porter – 5.8% ABV 28 IBU porter with notes of dark chocolate and coffee to balance the sweet malt backbone. Chocolate wheat malt is used for body and roasty characteristics balanced with English hops.

BarIt should be no surprise that Buck Mild was my favorite of the bunch. The cayenne peppers offered a slightly smoky heat that balanced nicely with the malty backbone.

The restaurant offers some tasty eats to pair with these tasty brews. Appetizers include Belly and Brussels (caramelized Brussels sprouts with Heritage Farms pork belly and house-made lemon cheese), Beet Gnocchi (beet gnocchi served with truffled chevre cream, baby kale, marcona almonds, mushrooms and thyme honey), and Green Chili Pork Nachos (green chili ground pork, smoky red beans, queso blanco, fresh cilantro and scallions).

Some interesting sandwiches include Unlawful Falafel (curried white bean falafel with house made flat bread, chopped romaine, red onions, tomatoes, and raita sauce), Hawaiian Andouille Wrap (grilled sausage, romaine, spicy pineapple salsa, blue cheese crumbles, in a paprika wrap), and the BBQ Chicken Sando (buttermilk fried BBQ chicken served on ranch spiced texas toast with carrot-jicama slaw and pickled okra).

Entrees include Squash and Mushroom Ragout (spaghetti squash ‘noodles’ tossed in a rich mushroom ragout with kale, Looking Glass Creamery’s goat cheese and port wine reduction), Mongolian Beer Tacos (braised LAB beef on Mr. Suave’s tortillas with local goat feta, jalapeno-cilantro crema, and pomegranate teriyaki; served with smoky red beans and herbed rice), and Yemiser W’et (an Ethiopian classic; hearty, berbere stewed lentils, tomatoes, garlic, onions, peas, and spinach with house-made injera bread).

There is also a “back stage” area at the LAB. This sound proof live music venue offers a private bar and space for 99 music fans to listen to national, regional, and local music artists. The back stage can also be reserved for special events.

Whether you stop by for a pint, dinner, or a show, you are sure to enjoy the LAB!

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