If you’re a craft beer lover, then the city of Asheville in North Carolina needs to be a destination on your travel bucket list. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountain, it’s one of the East Coast’s top beer towns with a heady range of big and small breweries and some excellent places to enjoy drinking their award-winning products. In fact, the city is often cited as having one of the highest amounts of breweries to capita in the country. Maybe it’s because of all running freshwater that’s natural to the area that appeals to beer brewers (and probably played a part in drawing the area’s original settlers) or it could be the region’s general humid climate, which always makes a cold beer taste so much better, that contributed to the residents’ appreciation for the beverage. Whatever the reason, there’s just something about Asheville and good beer.

Here’s a tasting of some of the best Asheville breweries to check out (and what pints to try) when your visiting western North Carolina.

Highland Brewing Co

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Highland Brewing Co. (@highlandbrewing) on


Asheville’s oldest craft brewery has been wowing palates with quality beers since 1994. Located east of downtown in Oakley, Highland Brewing Company offers tours seven days a week as well as a full calendar of live music all year round. Even if you don’t make it out to taproom or outdoor music venue, you’ll be sure to encounter its beers at popular bars and restaurants throughout town. Top beers to taste from Highland include the Highland Pilsner, Gaelic Ale, Oatmeal Porter and IPA.

Green Man Brewery

Another early stalwart of the Asheville beer scene, Green Man Brewery in the South Slope area of town has been brewing since 1997. Known for especially hoppy beers and an environmentally friendly approach to brewing, Green Man’s ESB and Wayfarer IPA are the celebrated beers. For a casual conversation over a pint, make for the brewery’s Dirty Jack’s bar. If you’re up for a more dramatic drink, go to the nearby Greenmansion facility and take in the 360-degree mountain views from the third story bar. Tours and tastings are on offer for visitors too!

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: Top Places to Celebrate Oktoberfest in the U.S

Bhramari Brewing Company

Also in Asheville’s beer-iffic district of South Slope, Bharmari Brewing Company brews seasonal and small-batch beers. A relative newcomers Bhramari found its way to the must-see list of most beer aficionados for innovative and imaginative offerings such as The Good Fight sour pale ale and its Lorelai IPA. In addition to the great tasting beer, Bhramari has a reputation for being one of the most interesting places for food in Asheville. Indeed, after you have the house burger with a stout wort glaze, hop smoked black truffle American cheese, oaked mayo and candied bacon you may never look at another burger the same way.

Wicked Weed Brewery and the Funkatorium

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Wicked Weed Brewing (@wickedweedbrewing) on


Owned by “big beer” operators Anheuser-Busch InBev but innovators and rebels in the field of wild fermentation, as well as sour and barrel-aged beers, Wicked Weed in the South Slope district is one of the city’s best known breweries, while its Funkatorium taproom is one of the popular and peculiar watering holes in town.

Asheville Brewing Company

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Asheville Brewing Company (@ashevillebrewingco) on


Old school favorite from way back in 1998, Asheville Brewing Company has three sites where you can enjoy its award-winning beverages. Its North Asheville location features a pub, pizzeria, and cinema for an amazing night out on the town without switching venues. The brewery’s most delectable beer is the Ninja Porter, a multi-awarded brown porter than goes down well with a variety of foods but holds its own when drank solo.

Thirsty Monk

Yes, even locals must concede that great beers are brewed beyond their beautiful mountain home. For the chance to taste something different, the Thirsty Monk brewpub offers a rotating line up of more than 30 taps and 100 bottles of local, regional, American and international beers with a strong nod to fans of Belgian beer. Beer geeks will believe they have found heaven when entering this two-story downtown bar, though be aware no beer snobbery is allowed!

Other Breweries Worth Lining Up

There are plenty of other Asheville breweries worth finding flights deals to get there for a pint: from tiny cult players with well deserved giant reputations such as Hi-Wire Brewing and Catawba Brewing Co. to other locally loved breweries just outside of town like Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain. Even major American craft breweries have made the Asheville area home in recent years. Oskar Blues is in Brevard, Sierra Nevada Brewery is in Mills River and New Belgium Brewing has a brewery in downtown Asheville. All three have taprooms with highly regarded restaurants, and do tours as an opportunity to go behind the scenes of the brewing industry.

Have you been to Asheville? How did you find the beer scene? We would love to hear about your preferred local brews and where to enjoy them.

About The Author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, curator, and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, tikichris.com. Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world. He's called London home since 2001.