Relax With a Drink in Hand: The Fine Art of Deck Sitting Returns with Spring

Highland Brewing's Rooftop Bar is sure to be a popular hang-out this season, with its 360-degree views. And, it's dog-friendly (Donated photo).

Ah, spring — It’s a time when the Earth comes alive and people feel revived. Everyone wants to get outdoors and take in the spring air.

Happily, there are many establishments in Western North Carolina providing outdoor seating with a view of nature, so people can kick-back and relax — with a drink in hand.

While there are hundreds of area spots to relax and refresh, here are a few with a view.

Highland Brewing Rooftop

Highland Brewing, Asheville’s first brewery since Prohibition, has opened its Rooftop Bar for the season. Visitors to the Rooftop Bar will enjoy taking in mountain air and 360-degree views.

“This season on Highland’s Rooftop Bar is going to be epic,” said Molly McQuillan, Highland’s marketing manager. “We’ve extended the hours so that guests can drink in the sunset from the roof. And dogs are now allowed up there. We’ve really elevated the whole experience.”

The Highland Rooftop is open from 3 – 9 p.m. daily, and is a 21+ venue for humans (dogs can be any age). Food trucks are onsite every day.

Highland Brewing is at 12 Old Charlotte Hwy., in East Asheville. Call 828-299-3370 or visit www.highlandbrewing.com.

New Belgium Liquid Center

To beer lovers’ delight, New Belgium Brewing opened its much-anticipated Asheville brewery and Liquid Center taproom last year. It was an instant hit with the community, both for its corporate culture and revitalization of its River Arts location. At the south end of the NBB campus, the Liquid Center taproom has a large deck overlooking the French Broad River. It’s a relaxing place to enjoy the River Arts District vibe.

“The deck is unique because it’s the only deck on the West side of the French Broad River that allows guests to enjoy great views of River Arts District — and offers the opportunity to witness the amazing river traffic that floats by during the warm summer day,” said Tyler Foos, manager of the Asheville Liquid Center.

New Belgium Brewing is at 21 Craven St., Asheville. Call 828-333-6900

or visit www.newbelgium.com/Brewery/asheville.

Green Man third floor outdoor deck

Green Man Brewery’s Green Mansion is beautifully designed, with multiple areas for tasting. Visit the third-floor tasting room and wander to the covered outside area to enjoy the view of McCormick Field.

Green Man Brewery is at 27 Buxton Ave., on Asheville’s South Slope. Call 828-252-5502 or www.greenmanbrewery.com.

Sierra Nevada back deck and grounds

The Sierra Nevada brewery complex in Mills River is sometimes called the “Taj Mahal of Breweries,” with its beautiful approach road, copper brewing equipment, taprooms (upstairs and down) and inventive gastropub. Visitors flock to the back deck and grounds, complete with comfy chairs on the deck, a fire pit, Bocce Ball and garden. The back deck is a therapeutic place to relax and take in the WNC scenery.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is at 100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River (just behind the Asheville airport). Call 828-681-5300 or visit www.sierranevada.com.

The Wedge in two locations

“Wedgulars” know the small deck in the back of the original Wedge location in the Wedge Studios building. Wedge opened a second location less than a mile away in the Foundation area in Asheville’s River Arts District. The new space has a large patio for people to enjoy in the graffiti-laden funky Foundation warehouses.

Wedge at Wedge Studios is at 37 Paynes Way and Wedge at the Foundation is at 5 Foundy St. Visit www.wedgebrewing.com.

Pisgah Inn Parkway observation deck

It’s hard to top the mountain view from the Pisgah Inn’s deck, which is why this family-style restaurant on the Blue Ridge Parkway is busy. If there is a wait, the outdoor wooden observation deck is the place to have a glass of wine with an amazing view.

“We have completely rebuilt and reengineered our deck,” said the Pisgah Inn managers. “The enlarged deck will provide you with more space to enjoy the unique views Pisgah has to offer.”

The Pisgah Inn is on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 408.6, in Canton. Call 828 235-8228 or visit www.pisgahinn.com.

And, there are many notable decks beyond Buncombe County. Here’s a sampling.

Boojum Brewing Taproom second floor deck

Waynesville’s Boojum has been a hit with visitors and beer lovers, since opening the taproom and restaurant two years ago. During the winter, the Boojum folks completed an expansion to the suite next door, giving Boojum new space for patrons — and opened an outside back deck this month. Deck sitters can gather round the artistic Boojum fire pit, hang out at one of the tables, or graba stool at the bar. The outdoor deck is dog-friendly, complete with a tongue-in-cheek photo guide to proper dog behavior on the deck.rab

The Boojum Brewing Taproom is at 50 N. Main St., Waynesville. Call 828-246-0350 or visit www.boojumbrewing.com.

Frog Level Brewing Richland Creek deck

There is no doubt that a great place to kick back is overlooking a rushing creek — and Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville has that spot. The large back wooden deck, shared with Panacea Coffee House Cafe, flows out to picnic tables alongside Richland Creek. The party lights make it a magical setting in the evening. Kids and dogs love the creekside location, with space to run around. Food trucks are on site on weekends and great musical entertainment is scheduled regularly.

Frog Level Brewing is at 56 Commerce St. in Waynesville. Call 828-454-5664 or visit www.froglevelbrewing.com.

Catawba Brewing Charlotte city-view deck

Catawba Brewing has two Asheville locations — at 32 Banks Ave. in Asheville’s South Slope and at 63 Brook St., in Biltmore Village.

And, there’s more news — Catawba is opening soon in Charlotte, with a 10,000-sq.-foot tasting room and brewery in the former Kellogg’s bakery building. Located about a mile from the Charlotte city center, Catawba’s outdoor deck boasts a view of uptown Charlotte.

“It has a lot of character, and a nice view of the Charlotte skyline from the patio and parking lot,” said Catawba Charlotte general Manager Tanya Birch. “We hope to use a portion of the parking lot as exterior space, where we’ll have food trucks, corn hole, and Eno hammocks.”

Catawba Brewing Charlotte is at 933 Louise Ave., in the Belmont neighborhood, near Plaza Midwood. Visit www.catawbabrewing.com.

Spring is here, so grab a pint or a glass of your favorite beverage and hang out on deck in Asheville and beyond. Relax and enjoy the fresh spring air. Cheers.

By Carol Viau

Kick-back and enjoy Sierra Nevada’s expansive back deck (Donated photo)