Pisgah Brewing Company | Pisgah Pale Ale
When people think of the Asheville area with regards to craft beer, so many brewery names come to mind. Too many. Asking to list all of the awesome breweries leads down one hell of a rabbit hole, along with the famous special release beers from nearly all of them. What might not be so obvious to outsiders and even some locals is the answer to a question such as “What is the ______ beer of Asheville?” If that blank space says Pale Ale, there is an easy answer to it: Pisgah Pale Ale.
Pisgah Brewing Company’s Pale Ale (known by locals as a Pisgah Pale or even simply a Pisgah) has earned quite the reputation that predates Pisgah Brewing’s opening over 12 years ago. Dave Quinn, owner and founder of Pisgah Brewing, is a Charleston, SC native and was a home brewer while attending the College of Charleston. He would take his home brews to pot-lucks and all of his friends loved him for it! Eventually, after tons of encouragement, he was convinced by his supporters and submitted an entry into the 2003 American Home-Brew Competition. Out of the 3148 entries that year, Dave’s (yet to be named) Pale Ale won the English Pale Ale Division! This gold medal beer is the catalyst for not just the brewery overall, but the flagship beer of their lineup. With a roster of several delicious beers, Pisgah Pale Ale still accounts for roughly 70% of their sales.
The Pale Ale has a rich, white foam head. Its aroma is balanced, with nothing to jump out and attack the nostrils. Its color is a golden amber, slightly copper hue with nearly zero haze. The flavor leads with a mild sweetness that is quickly balanced with just the right bitterness. It is smooth and easy drinking, while still holding a bold enough flavor to keep from getting bored. It pairs great with some smoked chicken wings, a float down the French Broad River, or the side of a trail after a long hike. As of now, Pisgah beers are only available in North Carolina and are somewhat scarce depending on the part of the state. The only out-of-state expansion plans at this time are to eventually make it to Charleston, SC, where it all started.