The Bywater Bar

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Enjoy riverside libations and celebrations with a gathering of Asheville's adventure enthusiasts at The Bywater!

Written by

Steven Reinhold


Imagine this scene: your crew just floated down the French Broad River. After a scorching day on the water; the sun finally hides behind the distant Blue Ridge, offering a reprieve from the day’s heat. Your crew is tired, they desire rations and libations so you take out in the River Arts District of Asheville. Any day on the water deserves a celebration so you decide to kick back, relax, and enjoy local craft brews while grilling tonight’s dinner. As you scan the horizon you notice that all the other groups of river enthusiasts are following a similar game plan. Young, energetic people are playing lawn games and beside them a camp fire is starting to sizzle. The band is warming up and your friends are sharing stories of their most epic lines. Instead of the usual cooler filled with half melted ice and warm beer you have access to an array of frosty cold local brews on tap. The awesomeness of this situation overwhelms your senses like a dip in the cool Appalachian water… Life at The Bywater is good!

What Makes it Great This scene can be yours on the banks of The French Broad River at The Bywater. This place is a local’s favorite and the epicenter of the urban water scene in Asheville. The Bar area is carefully decorated with a unique rustic décor. The walls of The Bywater are designed to bring the outdoors in by incorporating outdoor equipment and iconic trail signage. Behind the bar lies the focal point of the building’s cozy interior. A unique, and visually stunning, double-diamond tap arrangement stands proud behind the bartender. Designed by a local brewmaster, this work of beer art has 18 stainless steel taps ready to pour out the local goods form Brew City U.S.A. According to The Bywater “from a spectators standpoint, they are as sexy as a set of taps can get.” I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment.

Who is Going to Love It< As beautiful as the interior is, the true beauty of The Bywater lies on the acre of land behind the bar. When you exit the building an outdoor oasis filled with lounging, grilling and gaming areas spreads out to the banks of the French Broad. The green area behind The Bywater can be attributed to the hard work of the owners and Brad Martin of Southeastern Natives Nursery. In stark contrast to the surrounding “urban” areas, the Bywater has a stand of 25 trees including, Autumn Blaze Maples, Yoshino Cherry, and Canadian Hemlocks. In addition to the growing tree population the land is home to 50 native shrubs. Mountain Laurel Rohdodendron, Red Twig Dogwood, Mountain Blueberry and various wildflowers bring the beauties of Appalachia straight to your bar stool. The Backyard at The Bywater is the ideal location to relish in the day’s adventure and tap into the local river scene.

Bring your own food and charcoal to grill out or enjoy a variety of food trucks that frequent the area

Be friendly with the locals. They may share some of the area’s secret water stashes in return for good conversation and a cold brew!

Directions, Parking, Fees The Bywater can be found off of Riverside Drive in Asheville's River Arts District. The Bywater is considered a private club, a one-time liftime membership can be purchased for $5. Visiting Asheville sans equipment and dying to get on the river? Asheville Adventure Rentals is a close neighbor of The Bywater. They have paddle equipment for sale and rent. They also offer daily shuttle services to upstream put-ins at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Let Asheville Adventure Rentals handle your day’s adventure and then drift on over to The Bywater!


The Bywater Bar

796 Riverside Dr.
Asheville, NC, 28801
35.610809, -82.576705

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