The 17 Best Breweries in Asheville, North Carolina
If you know our fair mountain city for anything, it’s likely the breweries in Asheville. As a self-proclaimed Beer City, Asheville microbreweries and Asheville brewpubs have captured the palate of many visitors, prompting them to try the sour Asheville beers or the many iterations of the IPA.
Even people who are typically asking, “What’s the lightest beer you’ve got?” to the Asheville craft beer bartenders love the atmosphere. Most brewery spaces are down-to-earth and easy-going, perfect for meeting up with a friend, playing a game of pool, and generally unwinding.
Asheville’s breweries have a lot going on, even if beer is not the top reason why you’re coming to visit. Many breweries have lawn games or other entertaining items for you and your friends to enjoy as you sip a pint, and nearly every brewery in town will entertain your canine pal since dog-friendly breweries in Asheville are common.
If you’re more of a foodie than a drinker, there are many breweries in Asheville with food. Armed with our list of the top breweries in Asheville, you’ll be able to sip your way through our town like a true local!
Be aware that there are new breweries popping up in Asheville all the time, including smaller operations that use other breweries’ equipment while they get established, so as you visit these breweries, you’re very likely to find new ones cropping up or best-kept secrets that we couldn’t fit on the list – that’s the fun of being such an incredible destination for beer.
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The Best Breweries in Asheville
1. Watch a Film and Drink a Beer at Asheville Brewing Company
One of my favorite spots in town is the zany original location of Asheville Brewing Company, also known as Asheville Pizza and Brewing. It’s set back from Merrimon Avenue a bit, and the front entrance is decorated lavishly with murals and a fake UFO crashing into the building.
Inside, you’ll find two movie theaters where you can watch old classics, new releases, and sometimes special watch parties or comedy nights. While you watch, order a pizza pie or a pile of “totchos,” incredible nachos made out of tater tots – it’s pub food to a T.
Every beer here is a part of Asheville history since it’s one of the oldest breweries in town, and while they have literally dozens of special small batches under their belts, a Ninja Porter, a Perfect Day IPA, or a Rocket Girl Lager will be instantly recognizable if you run into them at the grocery store.
At Asheville Brewing’s multiple locations, you’ll get some of the zany funky vibes that brought this brewery to life while also just soaking up all they’ve accomplished over the years.
2. See the Magic Happen at Wicked Weed Brewing Pub
One of the most iconic breweries on Biltmore Ave, Wicked Weed was a big part of the launch of Asheville’s beer city moniker and consistently ranks as one of the top breweries in Asheville. From their Coastal Love Hazy IPA to their Milk and Cookies Imperial Stout, they’ve specialized in a variety of IPAs but offer variety so that every beer lover comes happy and leaves happy.
Their locations also are connected to restaurants: the original location has a bunch of great sandwiches and smoked meats (also try the kale salad!), and Cultura, connected to the funky-beer Funkatorium, is a fine-dining concept that focuses on cultured foods and all the ways that people preserve food around the world.
The original location is a great spot during the summer for an outdoor yard game, but there’s plenty of interior space any time of the year – you’ll see why an Asheville beer tour isn’t complete without a visit to Wicked Weed.
3. Recover Lost Beer Recipes at Zebulon Artisan Ales
Tucked away in the little town of Weaverville a few miles north of Asheville is Zebulon Artisan Ales, an unassuming nanobrewery located in a garage storefront set back from Main Street on an alley. Open only on Fridays and Saturdays at the time of writing, Zebulon is the place to take your friend who insists he or she has already tried all that beer can do.
While Zebulon’s bread and butter is Belgian and French farmhouse beer styles, they also enjoy brewing historical, forgotten recipes and also… mythological beers? They are literally bringing the beer to life that you might have dreamed about!
From a Tokyo-style sour gose to an IPA using an 1840s recipe, you’ll find something new and intricate every time you visit. I’ll be the first to say that you don’t want to show up here expecting a domestic-style lager on tap, but if you can jump into the fray, you might discover something remarkable.
If not, there are two other breweries in walking distance, Leveller and Eluvium, that have a delightful variety of both approachable and intricate beers on tap.
4. Spend a Sunny Summer’s Day at Riverside Rhapsody Beer Company
In Woodfin, between Weaverville and Asheville, this small but mighty brewery has a lovely spot just across the street from the French Broad River. Out of the hubbub of downtown Asheville, Riverside Rhapsody Beer Company is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon, where Iron and Smoke Barbecue will fill your food needs and live music is frequent and high-quality.
The beers themselves are great, with enough variety to suit anyone you happen to bring along. From a variety of West Coast, Hazy, and Double IPAs to a Czech Pilsner, a Smoked Fig and Honey Blonde Ale, and a Cherry Garcia Stout, you’ll easily find a beer to fit every style, and there’s also a cider on tap and canned wine for the visitors who just aren’t in a beer mood.
5. Get the Group Together at Zillicoah Beer Company
Don’t be fooled by the industrial-looking exterior – Zillicoah is a wonderful hangout that has truly enormous amounts of room for a group or just a fun evening out. Between their extensive beer list and the tasty authentic food at Taqueria Muñoz’s food truck, you’ll be in beer and quesadilla heaven.
Do not miss out on their salsas, which are all made in-house and tend to be the bright, perfect final touch. Try a Zillicoah Kellerpils, Helles, or Premium, all flagship beers and brewed to be crisp, flavorful, light, and easy drinking. Zillicoah’s location right on the banks of the French Broad River makes it an exceptional place to enjoy a lazy afternoon watching the water float by.
6. Try Complex, Mindful, Living Beer at Archetype Brewing
The three hallmarks of an Archetype beer involve creating complex, mindful, and living beers, all through using high-quality ingredients following precise formulas and experimenting with brewing practices and fermentation styles.
The result is a variety of high-quality farmhouse ales and other varieties of beer that are perfect for drinking in Archetype’s West Asheville HQ or their taproom and event venue in Montford. Find your flavor in the spicy Carolina Reaper farmhouse ale brewed with peppers or the comfy and cozy Chuffed to Bits English Mild.
There’s a sour on tap and a hazy IPA, a barrel-aged saison or two, and a coffee porter called the Unruly Mystic – you really won’t lack for options. While the Archetype HQ doesn’t serve a full menu, they’re next door to Pizza Mind and just down the street from plenty of food options, leaving you with all that you need to have a great evening out.
7. Try Beer Brewed Until Surreal at Dssolvr
If you want a taproom that has the funkiness that truly got Asheville its reputation while getting to try excellent drinks, Dssolvr on Lexington Ave. will serve up the surreal for you. They’ve got an irreverent, brightly-colored style that prompts you to expect the unexpected every time you stop by.
They ferment a wide variety of beers as well as occasional ciders, wines, and meads, not restricting themselves to just one niche in the Asheville drink scene. Expect local collaborations, and their cans are always covered in incredible art and funky descriptions.
Take this one from their Cold Caprese Pizza, an Italian Pilsner whose flavor notes are described as “freshly-tossed pizza dough, romantic bouquets of Wildflowers in the evening, sitting 4 feet from someone who just peeled a Mandarin Orange, and a hint of Lemon Balm steeped in a cup of super mellow White Tea.”
Come for the excellent wordsmithing in the descriptions and stay for the flavorful pints they’ll pour up for you. You’ll always leave Dissolvr with a story.
8. Relax and Unwind at Twin Leaf Beer
When you want to bring your four-legged buddy to a brewery, hop over to Twin Leaf, one of the dog-friendly breweries in Asheville where dogs are welcome inside and outside.
They are one of my favorite spots partially due to all the games they keep available; from shuffleboard and foosball to giant Jenga and many other games, this is the bar to pick a pint and unwind with a game or two over a great conversation.
Twin Leaf tries some innovative ideas, like their Rosemary IPA or Point of Consciousness, a high-gravity Belgian Tripel infused with coffee. I like the minimalism of this spot – they have everything you need and nothing you don’t need.
9. Enjoy Extravagantly at Burial Beer
Burial’s calling card is truly intricate, well-crafted beers that have grown in popularity so quickly that the team at Burial has continually grown in their first few years. From their original location in South Slope, they expanded to their Forestry Camp location, a cool spot that used to be a literal forestry camp and was renovated to become Burial’s larger production facility, a restaurant, a barrel-aging facility, and a winery.
They’ve got big plans that will continue their expansion, but why not stop by the Forestry Camp location and try one of the best breweries in Asheville with food? You’ll get to sample the beers that Burial has made, many of which have intricate names, like “I used to believe that there was nothing in between” or “too old to live, too young to die.”
The can artwork is incredibly intricate, as is the attention to detail in the design of their locations is also distinctive – a true can’t-miss brewery.
10. Explore a Beer Paradise at New Belgium Brewing Company
When macrobreweries like New Belgium come to Asheville, they know they have to create a splash, given how many great beers already live here. New Belgium basically created a beer theme park, with a patio, lawn, indoor seating, riverside seating, and often multiple food trucks to keep you well in food while you wash down various of New Belgium’s signature and fun small-batch brews.
This is a great spot to sample a flight, since they come up with some flight options for you but let you do some customization too if you like. They offer tours of the beer brewing facility as well, offering you even more of a connection to the experience. Overall, it’s a great addition to a town known for microbreweries, and perfect on a sunny day.
11. Experience Life Under the Big Top at Hi-Wire Brewing
I personally think that it’s really summer when I crack open my first Hi-Wire Mountain Water – it’s not a Blue Moon, but if you think of a citrus-y, beer-y treat, this is what you’re getting. Hi-Wire has multiple locations, including a funky beer garden in the River Arts District, and it’s just perfect for hanging out and having a great time.
They have multiple locations, including the enormous River Arts District beer garden that is definitely one of the best dog-friendly breweries in Asheville, and they work with Foothills Meats to have a consistent on-site kitchen even though it is also a food truck. I enjoy the fact that Hi-Wire beers can be both approachable and complex, and that we always have such a relaxed and fun time at their breweries.
12. Take in the View at Wedge Brewing Company
The River Arts District is one of my favorite corners of Asheville, right next to the French Broad River and with a new gallery or artist studio around every corner. My favorite place to stop for a drink is the classic Wedge, a simple brewery focused on outdoor seating that makes for a good spot to meet friends and also a dog-friendly brewery in Asheville.
There is often a food truck to serve up delicious eats while you enjoy the shady and beautiful side of the Wedge. Getting its start in 2008, the Wedge offers a feel of “older Asheville,” before the popularity arrived, and the River Arts District at the time was far less built up.
The team at the Wedge built a great spot to spend time with your friends, sipping on a Wedge Community Porter, Golem Belgian, a Payne’s Pale Ale, or a Peach Mango Sour. While you’re here, try one of their seltzers, in flavors like Mango Mosa or Coco Lime, and never forget that the bartenders have tried these libations and would be happy to give you a recommendation.
13. Expand Your Horizons at Highland Brewing Company
Highland Brewing is arguably one of the oldest and most successful home-grown Asheville breweries, and their enormous production facility on Old Charlotte Highway is part medium-sized brewery, part event venue, and part (good for us) taproom and patio.
They don’t make food on site, but they often have one or more food trucks parked by the large open patio, and it does the heart good to see one of the top Asheville microbreweries having expanded so much. In addition to your Gaelic Ale or Cold Mountain, make sure to stop by their gift shop section, where you’ll be able to fill the stockings of any beer lover in your life with plenty of souvenirs.
14. Sample the “Creative, Whimsical, Delicious” Beer at Bhramari Brewing Company
I had my first “milkshake IPA” ever at this brewery years and years ago, and I’ve never stopped thinking of them as forerunners of the next big beer trends.
The bee theme from their logo is carried through in their decor and there’s almost always something tasty and unusual on the tap list, from BBA Stout Chocula (an Imperial stout clocking in at an impressive 13.8% alcohol!) to Cellophane Flowers, a sour beer aged in barrels that has dragon fruit, Cara Cara orange, and passionfruit – exotic!
More so than most other Asheville breweries, they are a go-to for Sunday Brunch, with an extensive menu, but you’ll also be able to get Bhramari favorites for lunch and dinner, including pizza, mac and cheese, and burgers.
15. Have Fun the Asheville Way at French Broad River Brewery
The iconic wobbly-writing logos on French Broad River Brewery cans are available in many stores around town, and for those of you who want something besides ultra-hopped IPAs, this is the brewery for you.
Try a Gateaway Kolsch, Wee Heavyer Scotch Ale, or 13 Rebels ESB as you take a break in the Historic Biltmore Village part of town. Part of the scene since 2000, French Broad River Brewery is a go-to for live music and onsite events like trivia, as well as one of the Asheville craft beers that has been around the longest.
16. Taste 14 Years of Beer Experience at Thirsty Monk Brewing
There’s something for everyone at Thirsty Monk, a beer pub that has been brewing strong, tasty beers for more than a decade in the heart of downtown Asheville. They’ve expanded through their three story building, and while you’ll still see a delicious variety of on-tap beers, you’ll also have options: there’s the recently opened Holy Water Hard Seltzer Brewpub, a seltzer bar just for those who have been loving the hard seltzer craze.
Then the Top of the Monk is a rooftop patio and bar with a wide variety of craft cocktails, ensuring that everyone can get a little sloshed if they want. If you head for their Biltmore Park location, you’ll be treated to simple and tasty pub food, from Monk Frites (fries served with caramelized onion aioli) to Nashville Hot Trout. There’s usually something tasty and fresh on the beer list, so definitely stop by when you’ve got a crowd in tow.
17. See Craft Brewed at Huge Scales at Sierra Nevada Brewery
From the moment it opened, Sierra Nevada’s Asheville taproom has been a spectacle. Huge amounts of this macrobrewery’s tasty IPAs and other beers are crafted in the huge field of stainless steel that is the production facility. There’s live music on Tuesdays and Wednesday evenings, making it a great spot to visit for Happy Hour.
If you’ve only tried Sierra Nevada’s signature IPA, this is the place to see all their other options and how successfully they’ve expanded their repertoire. Their food is also exceptional, with many of the dishes using local products, like the Hanger Steak that features Hickory Nut Gap Farms beef, or Tom Kha Clams that features little neck clams from Virginia.
You’ll be impressed by the attention to detail throughout the enormous facility, no matter what you’re drinking and eating.