Asheville is quickly turning into a craft beer lover’s dream come true. This charming mountain city is home to some of the nation’s most impressive breweries, where you’ll find not only a vast selection of quality brews, but also a trendy, yet laid-back ambiance. No two breweries look or feel quite alike; this only adds to the excitement of exploring the region’s many options. Keep the following hot spots in mind as you plan your next Asheville brewery visit:
1. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
The full brewery experience is available at Sierra Nevada, where you’ll find a beer garden, an enticing tapas menu, and yes, even a wine list for those less fond of beer. The main attraction, however, is the taproom, which offers a selection of nearly two dozen brews. You’ll also want to set aside time for at least one of Sierra Nevada’s tours. That’s right, multiple tours are available, with each offering a slightly different take on what makes this brewery so special.
2. Wicked Weed Brewing
One of Asheville’s most recognizable labels, Wicked Weed brings West Coast sensibilities to Asheville’s brewpub scene. As with the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Wicked Weed offers a variety of experiences designed to delight every type of beer enthusiast (or skeptic). Hit up the original location on Biltmore Avenue to enjoy a delicious meal in the restaurant or a bit of patio-based relaxation with your canine friend. Self-avowed fans of sours may prefer the Funkatorium, which offers several unique draft and bottle options.
3. Green Man Brewery
Green Man was an Asheville staple long before craft beer became trendy. As one of North Carolina’s oldest breweries, Green Man continues to maintain its strong reputation by offering a blend of innovative and classic creations in its tasting room, which is intuitively integrated with the greater brewery. Green Man has also proven a clear trailblazer as an eco-conscious brewery, with sustainable initiatives allowing it to maintain a minimal carbon footprint.
4. Asheville Brewing Company
Whether you love beer or are happy to do without, you’ll enjoy your time at the Asheville Brewing Company, which boasts multiple locations throughout the city. Sampling beer is just the beginning at these venues, which also offer pizza, arcades, and movies to keep visitors entertained. While all locations are worth visiting, the North Asheville edition is arguably the most impressive. No matter which location you hit up, you’ll definitely want to grab a crowler (a can-based version of the traditional growler) or a six-pack for the road.
5. New Belgium Brewing Company
The New Belgium Brewing Company may not be exclusive to Asheville, but its Fort Collins location pales in comparison to the brewery’s North Carolina edition. The riverside location makes this Asheville hotspot especially worth visiting on a pleasant day. Grab your favorite brew and settle outside with a meal from one of the many food trucks that stop by on the regular. Feel free to take the brewery’s 90-minute tour, which delves into essential tools and techniques before offering sizable samples.
6. Wedge Brewing Company Studios
Founded by acclaimed metal artist John Payne, Wedge Studios brings a blend of historic beauty and modern sensibilities to the River Arts District. Payne’s legacy is on clear display within the studios, which currently provide working space for some of the region’s most promising artists. On the dock level, Wedge Brewing supports this artistic vision while also providing a welcoming space for community members to gather and bond over their love of craft beer. This location is not a distribution center, so any beer you want to enjoy will need to be consumed onsite.
7. Ginger’s Revenge
Go beyond the typical brewery experience in a unique venue that appeals most to fans of ginger beer. Originally launched as one of the Just Brew It Festival’s many promising homebrews, Ginger’s Revenge is now a sensation that allows those less enthused by beer to enjoy the brewery experience. If you’re determined to drink traditional beer, you’re welcome to peruse the selection available at Ginger’s; you’ll find plenty of options sourced from local Asheville breweries. Otherwise, you’ll want to stop by often to check out the limited edition ginger beers, which are rotated regularly.
8. Archetype Brewing Company
A relatively new addition to the Asheville brewery lineup, Archetype Brewing Company is already shaking up the scene with its unique takes on Belgian-style beer. Currently, Archetype offers locations on Broadway and Haywood. In addition to an impressive beer menu, you’ll find a few locally-sourced snacks on hand, including hummus from Hickory Nut Gap Farm and pretzels from the Asheville Pretzel Company. The courtyard at the Haywood location is also shared with multiple restaurants; you’re welcome to grab takeout to enjoy with your beer.
9. Highland Brewing Company
The very first Asheville brewery to open following Prohibition, Highland Brewing Company holds a special place in the hearts of longtime residents. Despite its classic appeal, Highland continues to provide innovative beverages capable of convincing beer skeptics of the value of sampling brews. Highland regularly collaborates with other esteemed breweries to create impressive beverages that truly exemplify Asheville’s iconic brewpub spirit.
10. Burial Beer Co.
Burial Beer Co. represents the brewery version of a rags to riches story. The brewery has evolved over the years to become a mainstay of the Ashevile brewpub scene. Burial’s industrial vibes appeal greatly to those who enjoy exploring the South Slope Brewery District. a unique agricultural element is subtly integrated into this aesthetic; take some time to glance around the brewery as you enjoy your classic or experimental beverage. Frequented by a loyal group of locals, the brewery has a family feel that appeals to both locals and tourists.
11. Fonta Flora Brewery
Fonta Flora brings a whole new meaning to the concept of local beer. Located in the tiny town of Morganton, this unique brewery partners with the region’s top farms to craft tasty brews from regional veggies, fruits, and herbs. Foraging also supplies many of the brewery’s ingredients, while its grains come from the esteemed Riverbend Malt House. Stop by during the evening for live music as you enjoy a flight of Fonta Flora’s finest brews.
Hi Wire Brewing
Situated just half a mile from the famed Biltmore mansion, Hi-Wire Brewing is known for its industrial-chic setting and its friendly atmosphere. Hi-Wire invites beer aficionados and casual drinkers to join in the conversation at its inviting tables. While a variety of the brewery’s beers are worth sampling, you’ll definitely want to check out the impressive assortment of small-batch sours, which tend to sell out quickly.
As you tour Asheville’s range of breweries, pay attention to the unique elements that set each location apart. There’s no better way to get a true sense of the diverse, yet connected community that makes up Asheville’s vibrant brewery scene.