While it’s referred to as a “brewing tour,” Asheville Brewing Tours are actually food and brew tours. It all begins with lunch or dinner at Upcountry Brewery, with downhome foods like Pork Belly Tacos, Candied Bacon Turkey Clubs, and the Carolina Dogs (with house chili, slaw, fried onion, and barbecue ranch). Feel free to think of all that food as a good coating for your stomach – a stomach that is going to have the privilege of trying a multitude of different brews within hours.
There are at least 16 unique breweries on Asheville Brewing Tours rotation, but on any given day you will visit three – Upcountry and two others. The advantage of not moving quickly from brewery to brewery is that you get the opportunity to spend time behind the scenes, meet the craftsmen and women who make the beer, learn more about their operation, and gain a better understanding of how the entire process works. In short, you’ll leave knowing more about beer brewing because you’re free to ask any question that occurs to you.
Asheville is known for its eclectic beer scene, with something for everyone. From tiny quaint breweries to large established operations, there are brew-masters and brews of all kinds. Your tour will be led by a knowledgeable guide, a beer connoisseur who is happy to teach you as much as a possible in the time you have together.
You have two options: a walking or riding tour. If you’re the type who enjoys a good stroll while learning more about how beer plays into Asheville’s history, the walking tour will be just right for you. If you prefer to ride in a comfortable van (or have people with you who would have trouble walking), you’ll be equally pleased with what you hear and learn.
A few of our favorite (more unusual) brews include:
Oyster House Brewing’s “Moonstone Oyster Stout”
Do not allow yourself to be scared off by the idea of beer brewed with oysters because you wouldn’t want to miss out on this creamy, delicious (and truly stout) beer – the perfect complement to the seafood on Oyster House Brewing’s menu.
Nobel Hard Cider’s “The Village Tart”
Not only is the name fun, but the cider is delicious. Hard cider infused with Montmorency cherries, you can smell and taste the delicate aroma of cherries in every sip. Pairs perfectly with pizza, barbecue, and/or chicken. Also, gluten free if you’re watching such things.
Twin Leaf Brewery’s “Existential Rhythm Tequila Barrel-Aged Lime Gose”
Inspired by the classical margarita, this Gose is brewed with lemongrass, markut lime leaf, lime basil, and lime zest. After it’s been fermented, it is barrel-aged in tequila barrels for seven months, marrying the taste of fresh brewed beer with an old-school margarita. A must try.
One of Archetype Brewing Company’s “Brettanomyces” Brews
Beers are most commonly made with a yeast strain called Saccharomyces, but brewers like those at Archetype have rediscovered an old strain of yeast called Brettanomyces (Brett, for short) that was used in traditional 19th century beers. Brett takes longer to ferment, but when it does, it’s a treat – dry, complex, bright, and with floral notes.
Whether you have been drinking beer your entire adult life or just now discovering the intricacies of a well-crafted brew, this tour will give you a better sense of what it is you enjoy.
-Pick up a gift certificate for the beer lover(s) in your life.
-Ask about private tours if you’re traveling with a group.