Bar Beat: Hannah Flanagan’s

Go into long-time downtown-Asheville mainstay Hannah Flanagan’s just after work gets out and you’ll find an interesting sight: an assortment of well-decorated beer pulls for brews from around the world, lining the bar.

Natural friends: A pint of beer and a glass of Irish whiskey in front of the pulls for Hannah Flanagan’s impressive beer selection. Photo by Jonathan Welch

At the end of it, there’s a digital clock, counting down days, hours, minutes and, yes, seconds, to the next St. Patrick’s Day. Look above the bar and you’ll see the ancient portrait of the owner’s grandmother, who gave the bar her name.

It’s a different crowd at this hour than the throngs that tend to pack this venue later in the evening. There are a few regulars, mostly older folks, along with some of the better buskers in town, sitting down for a beer and some bar food after a long day.

At this hour, Hannah Flanagan’s manages to capture the best qualities of a local pub. The beer selection is staggering, featuring such delights as the Hobgoblin Ale (it’s the handle with the bloody axe) and Murphy’s Irish Stout (Guinness is divine, but you have to try this classic as well). They’re all well-poured in frosted glasses—a nice, thoughtful touch.

Of course, one lesson the Irish have brought to humanity is that beer and whiskey taste wonderful together. Here Hannah’s doesn’t disappoint either: It’s got a decent selection of Irish whiskeys, and pub-goers are advised to try a Michael Collins on the rocks after downing on the delicious stouts.

It’d be a shame not to mention the bar food as well, as Hannah’s dishes out some impressive old favorites like Fish and Chips or the unfortunately dubbed Leprechaun Poppers (actually some of the best jalapeno poppers around).

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