Letter: Thirsty in Beer City

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The other night, I went out with some friends to celebrate at a nice, upscale Asheville restaurant. The waiter brought us the menu, the page-long wine-and-cocktail list, and asked what we would like to drink. Now, I am one of those strange people who does not drink alcohol, never liked it. So I asked what they had to drink that wasn’t alcohol, and I was offered cola products, coffee or tea, and water.

Why would anybody think that I would want to pair a nice, expensive meal with a cheap, sugary soda? Even though I have lived here in the South for almost 30 years now, I have never warmed up to iced tea, sweet or unsweet. So, I told the waiter I was fine with just water.

I can’t count the times that I have gone to fundraisers or other events in Asheville that offered food and alcoholic beverages, and on my question about nonalcoholic options, some friendly volunteer would cheerfully announce: “Of course, we have water!” How exciting, to go to event after event and mingle with people drinking wine or beer while clutching my bottle of water.

A local independent movie theater has a whole refrigerator full of assorted local brews but, as a nonalcoholic option, only offers soda from a fountain or, you guessed, water. To add insult to injury, they charged me $3 for a small can of water. (This was not the Fine Arts Theatre. They are one of the few venues that offer a nice selection of nonalcoholic drinks.)

Why does it seem to be so difficult to put a few fun, nonalcoholic drinks in the fridge? There are so many options, from juices to ginger brews or locally made kombucha.

Can somebody please get me something to drink in this town?

— Monika Wengler


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.