First of all, if anyone actually reads this blog, I apologize for my long hiatus… but I’m back to give you the scoop on Asheville!
Given the struggle to finish my San Diego travels, I figured I’d kick it off with a general list of my faves from top to bottom, and detail some of the best over the course of the next couple blogs.
So here it is, drumroll please…..
Must-Go Favorite Asheville Breweries
Overall delicious beer with a lot of tasty styles. They have a large outdoor area, games and live music making it a chill place to hang out. Plus this place introduced us to “milkshake beers” and we’ll be forever grateful. Every free weekend we contemplate driving back down for this and the next brewery on my list…
Wow the sours! I just became a sour fan and I’m glad I did so in time for this place. Simply amazing combinations of tart, sweet, sourt, etc. We happened to be there on an Asheville Beer Week release and the place was packed- for good reason. Apparently they only brew each beer once. As a serial new beer taster, I really dig that!
New Belgium Brewing
Holy cow, this place is amazing. They just opened their second location (HQ in Fort Collins) within the last couple years. It’s so picturesque and heavily rooted in nature among rivers and trees. They also shared many environmental/sustainability initiatives I can appreciate. While their standard beers are okay, I LOVE their sours. Check out my New Belgium review here.
Wicked Weed Brewing
Yes, I know this place is a sellout (happened right before I went, but the place was still packed). While there I heard gossip that the owners were only in it for the money to begin with. Questionable character/motives, but still good beer and a really cool place. Perhaps my judgement was swayed more with the release of Menage A Freak for beer week. They turned the place into a circus with stilted bartenders, trapeze artists and tent decorations. I guess that’s what you can do with $$.
Anyway, they had a ton of beer options with many unique ingredients. The beer was too good to deny.
This is Wicked Weed’s barrel aged/sours location. Get ready to pucker up when you go! The place was a little crowded and not as much of a chill hangout (it was setup more like a bar), but I liked it for the beer.
Catawba Brewing Company
Catawba has a few locations and we visited two of them– one in the Biltmore area and one downtown. I definitely liked the downtown one better because it had a nice outside area and huge indoor space. Plus there’s a donut shop next door that was on point.
They just started phasing out some of their older styles because times are changing (says bartender). I can respect that! Not everyone realizes that or is willing to change. What I tried was pretty good!
One World Brewing
This place was cool because it was a “speakeasy brewery”. The entrance is down a small alley behind a vault-esque door. When you go down the stairs, you’re in a darker, dingy basement that is somehow still classy. They didn’t allow flights while we were there so I was a little bitter, but overall the place had a good vibe and a hangout area with games.
Sierra Nevada Brewing
If you want to go on a tour, I recommend checking this way in advance. By the time we got around to it two weeks out, only the nature tour around the property was left and unfortunately that doesn’t take you around inside. We hiked around the property and had some beers on a pitstop during the journey which was a nice surprise. When we walked back to the brewery, I was amazed- it looked like a resort. They had a restaurant and stages for music. Such a cool place. While their beer is so-so to me, the place was amazing and their food was really good!
Asheville Breweries to Visit with Time
Twin Leaf Brewing
I definitely chose this place for the space over the beer. It was a chill vibe and they had awesome music with a jenga tournament going on. Beer was alright.
Wedge Brewing Co.
Awesome graffiti wall! Must visit just for the photo op.
They have two locations, we went to the one by 12 Bones. You should DEFINITELY go to that restaurant. Blueberry, Strawberry or Jalapeno ribs? Yes please. So while there, you might as well walk next door to this place. Definitely a cool space, but the beer was just okay.
This was in a garage-like setting which I liked of course for the chill vibe. Some beers were okay and some were pretty good. Since I wasn’t blown away I’m not dying to go back, but I definitely would!
Green Man Brewery
The place was cool with a lot of green (go figure). There was a nice, relaxing outdoor patio covered in ivy. Inside was a little smaller, but eclectic and chill to hang. Shoutout to the bartender, he also worked and chatted with us at Ben’s Tune Up (sake place) for a while.
Asheville Brewing Co.
This place reminded me more of a restaurant/pizza place. The beer was decent-good, but it’s not a place I’d want to stay and hang out at. Make a quick trip!
Breweries I Don’t Need to Go Back To
Up Country Brewery
This was a country/outdoor themed brewery (as suggested by the name) so I wasn’t a huge fan of that to begin with. We had some good food but the beer was just so-so.
Highland Brewing Company
The beer seemed old school to me (it may be the oldest brewery in Asheville), which I’m not a fan of. However if you like the more crisp, less dimensional stuff then you may want to venture here. It had a cool pirate theme and setup, but that personally isn’t enough to bring me back.
Urban Orchard Cider
Does a cidery count? I think so. If you like cider, you’ll want to check this place out. Me, I can’t do alot of cider. We had a large flight and after a few sips the sugar was just too much. There’s a ton of cool flavors though so check it out if that’s your thing.
Oskar Blues Brewery
We drove pretty far out of the way to go to this place and weren’t that impressed to make the drive back. If you happen to be in the area (looking at mountains/hiking something) then sure. I think it’s about 45 minutes from downtown Asheville.
French Broad Brewery
They only had three beers on tap I believe and we got one. It was a SUPER small place with a band inside and seemed more of an older hangout. We sat outside for a few minutes and made friends with a dog then left.
Notable Mention- Archetype Brewing
They just opened their doors while we were there, but were still brewing their beers so none were on tap. The space was cool, so check it out and let me know how the beer turned out.
If you’re heading to Asheville soon, enjoy your trip and make sure to budget time for other activities like hiking, waterfalls and all their delicious food. We liked Biscuit Head, Double Ds Coffee, Sunny Point Cafe, Rhubarb and 12 Bones.
So much beer. So much food. Also, so much money. So start saving!