Breweries may be booming across the country, but Asheville, NC continues to reign as a beer lover's dream destination. Known for its barbecue, adventurous outdoor lifestyle and the famous Biltmore Estate, Asheville is also home to 15 breweries and counting, and is a great starting point for exploring the 225 more breweries located throughout the state. Not only does the local craft beer industry improve the economic climate, making Asheville one of our Top 100 Best Places to Live, it adds some hops to the flavor of the entertainment scene in the city.
It’s impossible to hit up all the breweries here without getting dizzy (literally) so we’ve put together an itinerary of the top spots to visit. Bookmark this self-guided beer trail on your next trip to Asheville, and we promise you won't be disappointed.
Green Man Brewery
You might want to bring a thank you card to Green Man Brewery, because they effectively started the craft beer trend in Asheville. This is one of Asheville’s first local breweries, and it's been going strong for twenty years. Our pick? The perfect-for-every-occasion Wayfarer ale. But don’t stop there! If you want something a little stronger, taste the The Demon Dweller, known as the “evil twin” of Green Man’s seasonal Imperial Stout.
Wedge Brewing Company
Hop over to Wedge Brewing Company, located in the city's beloved River Arts District, and enjoy a fine afternoon of beer sampling along with a variety of food trucks. The Iron Rail IPA is always a great choice, or get adventurous and ask the bartender for a flight (small tastes of diverse beers from a peach pale ale to a barrel-aged stout).
Not only known for its tasty brews, Highland Brewery is a fantastic stop on the beer trail because of its awesome event space, hosting a constant rotation of local shindigs like East Side Social Ride and the Roots and Friends Open Jam. Hang out with the locals and sip on a lively and light-bodied Daycation IPA or a seasonal spicy Clawhammer Oktoberfest.
Wicked Weed Pub
Head over to Wicked Weed and order the Pernicious IPA. Wash it down with a handful of their hot and salty boiled peanuts, or, if you're looking to have a meal, order the fried chicken sandwich, a crowd favorite. Other beers to try are the British-style Second Breakfast, the fruity and refreshing Coolcumber, and the seasonal fall brew, Smokin' Pumpkin Porter. And while you’re there, be sure to stop by the sour beer branch of Wicked Weed, Funkatorium, the “East Coast’s first sour and funky beer dedicated taproom,” and order the vanilla-coffee Silencio, tart cherry Black Angel, or barrel-aged Prevalence. This is a must-visit for fans of (oft-underrated) sour beers.
Sweeten Creek Brewing
“People, Pride, Passion!” This motto is proudly displayed by Sweeten Creek Brewing, a brewery dedicated to community. The vibe here is welcoming and fun. Try the sweet and spicy Cane Creek Belgian Wit and the malty English Mild, or get a taste of the local flavor with the “Asheville Style” IPA. Between the quaint sandwich shop and the unmistakable Asheville pride, this is a stop that Asheville brewery hoppers can’t miss.
Have room for one more pint? Hop over to the South Slope of Asheville and grab a taste of Burial Beer for classic craft beers like the Inner Tube lager or Kindling Coffee Kolsch. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, which you probably are at this point in your beer-fueled journey, try any of the death-themed brews: The Terror Within (sour), The Glorious Afterlife (saison) or The Remains (Belgian Dubbel).