At Catawba Brewing the primary focus is on the local handcrafted brews tapped on site. Here you will find hoppy faves like Peanut Butter Jelly Time alongside seasonal beers like the Scotch Ale called Hooligan. There is also low-key entries like the cream ale of Farmer Ted and the Brown Bear brown ale. If you want to sample top rated local beers, Catawba has something for you.
The atmosphere of Catawba Brewing has that laid back beach vibe you would expect to find a little more east on the Atlantic. If you make it on a warm summer day, the brewery opens the bay doors and visitors get the full Asheville breeze.
The beer tasting room is more utilitarian than flashy, and you will not find typical bar foods and snack options. However, that beer has been what has kept Catawba Brewing in business for more than 19 years.
The brewery sold their first kegs of local brew to the Asheville Mellow Mushroom, Barley’s, and The Bier Garden back in the 1990s. Today they have nine flagship beers, four locations in North Carolina, and four tasting rooms. Catawba Brewing also sells its beer retail, using eco-friendly kegs and cans in some states. When visiting the South Slope location you can purchase beer flights, cans, pints, or growlers and they also ship some beers.
Choose from among these top favorite beers as part of your first flight at Catawba Brewing:
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
This specialty brown ale with 5.7 ABV is a huge hit among tasting visitors. The Peanut Butter Jelly Time tastes of raspberry jam smashed with roasted peanuts. It is dessert in a glass for nostalgic adults. Yet the process to make it is far more complicated than making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After the fermentation, the brown ale soaks up all of the raspberry and peanut goodness as it ages for several weeks.
What started as a Halloween specialty brew has fast become a four-season staple. The White Zombie is available on tap, by the can, in the bottle, or by the box. It is a Belgian Witbier or wheat beer and light in body with a white sheen. Orange coupled with coriander make this a refreshing summer beverage.
This India Pale Ale is big in citrus flavors matched by a hearty 6.5 percent alcohol by volume. North Carolina pine seeps into the citrus base of this blooming brew. Perfect for beer lovers who want to find a full bodied beer without sacrificing quality.
If you want to blast off with a single beer, try the LD’s. This 10 percent alcohol by volume is the most potent brew at Catawba. As a Belgian Tripel, LD’s is light in body and color but not light in buzz potential. Heavy flavors of fruits including apples and bananas along with cloves and spices. Note this is a specialty brew so it is not always on tap when visiting the tasting room.
Catawba Brewing in Asheville, NC truly focuses on the beer leaving little energy for the rest of the space. That being said, while the beer list is one of a kind and flavors are full bodied and rich, the food menu lacks substance. If someone in your group does not drink beer, the brewery also serves some decent wine.