Full disclosure: I am writing this in the afterglow of a few beers enjoyed at Mount Airy’s newest bier haus, Thirsty Souls. This fine, friendly establishment opened Saturday, and downtown will never be the same. Or as thirsty. Or as boring. Or as uncomfortable. Or as lonely. The founding Kriska family, a cornerstone of the community, and has officially etched themselves into a cornerstone of Market Street.
Saturday, Thirsty Souls marked a milestone for Mount Airy by selling the first craft beer EVER brewed on site: A perfect Hefeweizen they dubbed “White Ghost.” Try it. You’ll like it. Unless you don’t like beer, in which case … they sell WINE!! They also sell a limited menu from the Old North State Winery, which can be delivered for $2. If you want something lighter to nibble on, they serve meat and cheese trays, nuts, chips, hummus and salsa. There are, of course, other beers (I tried a delectable IPA) and an assortment of sodas.
The atmosphere is comfortable in a way that is sort of hard to define. There are two overstuffed leather couches, designed for sinking into. The couches are flanked by upholstered chairs, completing relaxed conversation circles. The front has a huge garage door that opens in fair weather, with a patio-like sitting area. Even the bar area, which has an industrial look, is softened by round hanging light fixtures at alternating heights.
The entire idea of this establishment sprouted from the hoppy (hopsy?) mind of brew master Jan Kriska. He has been brewing his own beers, in his home, for 10 years. A few years ago, he elevated his hobby up a flight of steps, and put a bar, complete with beer taps, in the family basement. I wasn’t there, but In my fertile imagination, I hear Jan exclaiming, “Eureka! … THIS is what downtown needs. THIS is what everyone needs.” Fast forward four years, and the Kriskas delivered. And I got my beer. And I wrote this silly blog post.
But seriously, Thirsty Souls Community Brewing is everything you want after a long day: Comfortable couches, good beer, and good neighbors. Jan with his wife Maria, and their daughters Paulina and Anna, (as well as a host of supportive friends) have birthed exactly what their name implies: A community that whets thirsty souls. I will be back. Who am I kidding … I might just carve my name into that comfy couch….