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Sipping Beer Now and Zen

I’m sitting at Thirsty Monk South sipping an IPA — hoppy goodness in a pint. Work was crazy and it’s only Monday. I take a slow sip and look off into the distance and take a long deep breath. It’s far from quiet here but the pressure and stress of the day seems to belong to someone else now. The sun is shining (for now) and fellow patrons are chattering and laughing. Outside, some birds are singing their songs.

I’m drinking alone today. I consider, for a moment, sitting outside but I can’t see if there’s table and somehow I realize I feel more comfortable up here at the bar. The bartender is friendly enough, I’m closer to the beer here, and I feel closer to other people. The differences between George Thorogood and I are plenty but right now, it comes down to a simple one – when I drink alone I prefer to not be by myself.

Soon enough, someone asks me about Green Flash. I’m wearing a Green Flash Brewery shirt – representing San Diego- my homeland. I’m a pretty new transplant so we talk about that for a minute. Then, we begin talking about the quality beers coming out of San Diego – Green flash, Stone, AleSmith among them. We move on to the local beers. I say how much I’m loving Pisgah and their West Coast IPA. I say how nice it is to sit out on their patio in the sunshine. For the millionth time, Wicked Weed is recommended to me. I stammer on about my two experiences and realize I really need to give this place another chance. I order my second pint and a refill on the water(hydration!). Somehow, we get to the topic of all the breweries I’ve not yet been – there’s no shaming only helpful recommendations .We talk about what’s upcoming – Twin Leaf, Catawba Valley, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium (oh Fat Tire, how I love thee).

There is a sense of community here, a sense of peace. The beer and the discussion of local breweries have brought us together some. The pressures outside the doors are momentarily forgotten. We are completely here and invested in this conversation, in these pints. Beer flows and unifies us that way. Beer is such a vital part of the Asheville culture. It’s definitely one of the many things that drew me to this great place. And now, I get to write about it.

I look forward to sharing with you all news and relevant beer related topics and my pint filled (and emptied) experiences.

About Carmen Ybarra

Carmen Ybarra lives in Asheville. She strings together words, takes photos, and drinks beer. More of her her photos and words can be found here: www.CarmenYbarra.com. More of her imbibing can be found here: untappd.com/user/sweetish

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