Beer and Breweries in Asheville, NC
Many people think of breweries when they think of Asheville, NC, and it is easy to put the two together when there are so many Asheville breweries. In fact, there are more breweries per capita in Asheville than in any other U.S. city. That's a lot of Asheville beer!
And they are some of the best breweries in the country, with Asheville consistently earning the title of “Beer City, USA.”
Beer-lovers will never run out of beer to try and breweries to visit in Asheville. With so many in the city and the surrounding area, it can be hard to decide where to start. Lucky for you, we've listed ten of the best beer breweries in Asheville, NC, below, so choose your favorite and raise your glass to Asheville beer!
Happy Times at Highland Brewing
Highland Brewing opened in 1994 as the first brewery in Asheville since the end of prohibition. The brewery started in the basement of Barley’s Taproom and brewed out of there for 13 years. Then, in 2006 they moved to Blue Ridge Motion Picture Studios, a movie studio in East Asheville. Today, Highland Brewing owns the entire 40 acres of the old movie studios. Now, they brew 60,000 barrels of beer every year.
Currently, the brewery serves a dozen beers year-round in addition to their seasonal and limited-release beers. One of their most popular limited releases is the Cold Mountain winter ale, which is out during the holidays. It is a mix of vanilla, hazelnut, fruit, and cinnamon, and it makes you feel like you are drinking a bottle of winter!
You can tour the brewery to see how their beer is made and some of the highlights of the property.
The best place to try the beers is in the taproom, where they have all their current releases. It is also one of the breweries in Asheville with outdoor seating, as there is a bar on the property called The Meadow, where you can bring your own chairs and enjoy the beers, cider, and wine in the summer.
The brewery also has one of the best Asheville rooftop bars, which we love on a nice day. You can also rent it out for a wedding!
There is also a taproom downtown. The brewery has food trucks available, and the Downtown Taproom has five local food vendors.
Get Wild at Wicked Weed
Wicked Weed Brewing is one of the best craft breweries in Asheville. It opened in 2012 when two families combined their skills to open one of the best, hippest breweries in the city. You can find the brewery’s dozens of beers at one of their four locations. There are three Wicked Weed breweries in Asheville, and the fourth is right down the road in Candler, North Carolina. The location of their first brewery in Asheville is the famous Brewpub, which was the first Wicked Weed location. The Brewpub truly has everything you could ever need, including a full restaurant, a beer bar, a bottle shop, and the original 15-barrel brewery. Even your pup will want to hang at the Brewpub on the dog-friendly patio. The restaurant has all the craft beers, handmade cocktails, and plenty of good food.
The second Wicked Weed location in Asheville is the Cultura. It just underwent major renovations and is back and better than ever. The Cultura website has all the information you need about the updates and what beer is on tap there.
Wicked Weed West is their West Asheville/Candler location. This location has a 50-barrel production facility, a bottle shop, and a taproom. They also have their own Wicked Weed food truck that sells snacks, pub food, and plenty of drinks, including Wicked Weed beer (duh), wine, ciders, and non-alcoholic beverages.
And finally, Wicked Weed has the Funkatorium!
Pucker up at The Funkatorium
The Funkatorium is part of Wicked Weed and is the fourth location in addition to the three discussed above. The Funkatorium is in South Slope right next to Cultura. It is one of the more unique breweries to visit in Asheville as it is a taproom dedicated to sour beers.
You can hang out in the outdoor Biergarten, with over 20 sour beers on tap and another 30+ bottles of sours to try. They also have a full-service restaurant, and all the food was made to pair well with a sour beer. Or, check out the beer store in Asheville, NC to take home your favorite beers and some Wicked Weed merch.
Cool Down at Catawba Brewing
Catawba Brewing is another top brewery in Asheville. The brewing company has five locations, two of which are in Asheville, one in Biltmore Village, and one in South Slope. The brewery started as an idea in Colorado when the owners bought equipment from an old brewery. They moved to Asheville to open, and today Catawba is a 30-barrel brewhouse.
Their specialty beer is unique, to say the least. It is a raspberry brown ale called Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Yes, it really tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and you need to give it a try, especially if you like one-of-a-kind beers. You can check out their website for more information on their specialty and limited-release beers.
Besides their specialty beer, they have seven year-round releases that are pretty traditional styles. These year-round beers include a white ale, a coffee blonde ale, a golden ale, and a brown ale. They also have some of the best IPA beer in Asheville with three IPAs, one of which is hazy.
All Smiles at All Sevens Brewing
All Sevens Brewing is a new brewery in Asheville’s west side, having opened in 2018. The brewery is an expansion of the Westville Pub, which serves some great food and now the All Sevens beers. It is also one of the smallest in the city, but don’t count it out! Their goal is to provide simple and fresh beer, which is why they serve it right from the bright tanks.
As soon as you step into the brewery, you feel the friendliness and welcoming nature of everyone at All Sevens Brewing. Whether you are new to craft beer or are looking for your next favorite, everyone is welcome at the brewery.
All Sevens has seven flagship brews that you can get year-round. These brews are their take on seven classics: a golden ale, an amber ale, a pale ale, an ESB, a porter, an IPA, and a London Stout. They also have some seasonal brews, so you can try something new when you visit.
The Best Brews at Bhramari Brewhouse
Bhramari Brewhouse was started by a group of artists who wanted to bring their talents together and create something they couldn’t on their own. Today, they offer dozens of beers and other delicious drinks in their taproom. The taproom has a lot of seating for you and your friends or family to enjoy, including kids. You can even bring your dog with you on the outdoor patio.
They also have a full food menu and a small-bite menu for off-peak eating times. All their food pairs well with the drinks. You can order beer and merch online and even do orders to-go for some beer from Asheville to take home.
Over a Dozen Good Beers at 12 Bones Brewing
12 Bones Brewing started when owners Angela and Bryan King needed to relocate 12 Bones Smokehouse. They always wanted to combine the smokehouse with craft beer, and the new building for the smokehouse had the perfect amount of space.
The beers on tap at 12 Bones Brewing cover a range of flavors and styles adn they are some of the best beers in Asheville, NC. They have traditional beers that are simple and experimental beers that try to push the limits of what beer should taste like. They also partner with local farmers, chefs, and others to make special beers.
The best part of the brewery is the adjacent smokehouse. All the food at the smokehouse pairs well with the beers, and you can grab food to take into the taproom. Or, grab some pulled pork, smoked turkey, or another one of their delicious items after you are done trying all the yummy beers next door.
Wacky Good Beers at Wedge Brewing Company
Wedge Brewing Company has three breweries in Asheville: Wedge Studios, Foundry Street, and Grove Arcade. The brewing company was started by three friends, one an artist, one a brewer, and one an entrepreneur. Today, they have over 30 of their own beers that you can try today. The name Wedge Brewing comes from the shape of the original building in Asheville’s River Arts District, which is wedge-shaped from above.
It is also one of the breweries in Asheville with food as you have food options at the three Wedge Brewing locations. Wedge Studios has food trucks that change, and Foundy is the permanent home of the Chop Shop food truck. At the Grove Arcade, you can get takeout from one of the many local restaurants and enjoy it with your beer.
Get Ready for Riverside Rhapsody Beer Company
Riverside Rhapsody Beer Company is another one of the top breweries to visit in Asheville, NC. It was started by two friends who originally brewed their beers at Blue Mountain Pizza in Weaverville, NC. After six years, they opened their own brewery called Riverside Rhapsody Beer Co.
This brewery is located on Riverside but not right on the river. It has a very chill vibe with outdoor seating, live music on the weekends and dogs and kids are welcome.
Be sure to check out the Asheville taproom, which has all the Riverside Rhapsody beers on draft and some wine options. You can even take some beer home in a growler, or some come in a can. They also sell fun merch so you can show off your love for their brews. And, you can get food from the Iron and Oak Brisket at the brewery on the weekends.
Finally, French Broad River Brewery!
French Broad River Brewery opened in 2001 as one of the first and now top breweries in Asheville. It is named after the city’s French Broad river, which is one of the oldest in the world. The river is also odd in that it flows from south to north, similar to the Nile River. French Broad has ten year-round beers in addition to their special releases and small-batch beers.
The brewery is a fun place to hang out. Other than the amazing beers, they serve wine, soda, and pizza from The Original Papa Nick's next door. There are also plenty of games, like Ping Pong, Corn Hole, Connect 4, Giant Jenga, and more. And, be sure to check out their event schedule so you can enjoy live music while you sip your beers. You can order their merch and beer online if you can't make it into the taproom. The beer comes in cans, growlers, and kegs.
As you can see Asheville breweries are as varied as the folks in Asheville itself. There truly is something for everyone. If you find yourself wanting to try multiple breweries, call our buddies at AVL Ride and they'll get you safely around town. And to keep up with events that are happening at your favorite local breweries including Asheville beer releases, live music and more, be sure to check the scoop calendar on the Dig Local app or DigLocal.com.