21 Best Craft Breweries in Asheville, NC

by | Last updated Jun 29, 2021 | USA | 0 comments

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Dubbed “Beer Capital” of the nation, Asheville, North Carolina is hands-down one of the best cities to drink beer. Choose from epic and tarty sour beers, earthy IPAs, fermented farmhouse lagers, classic pale ales, and more!

Asheville’s breweries are simply the perfect hang-out spot on a night out with friends or family. Many, but not all, of the craft breweries in downtown, West /East Asheville, and the South Slope Brewing District feature games, food trucks, and live music! Some also have event spaces to host special celebrations like birthdays and weddings.

Did you know that there are actually over 30+ craft and microbreweries spread out across the city and 100+ if you include the greater Asheville area and surrounding mountain towns?

Asheville has a brewery to satisfy every palate and craving. It is also home to taprooms for several well-known beer brands such as New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, and Oskar Blues.

Having grown up outside of Asheville in the 1990s, and since I’ve been living abroad since I was 20, I never really had the chance to try out all the breweries for which Asheville became famous. So, I decided to return to the homeland this year to do a taste test in search of the best breweries in Asheville, NC.

This guide is the result of my very grueling work of trying out a different Asheville brewery every night for 10 days. 😉 I’m not a huge beer connoisseur, but I hope my “field research” gives you some insight into Asheville’s local beer scene! So without further ado…

Here are the best breweries (both with and without food) in Asheville, North Carolina!

The Best Breweries in Asheville NC

woman holding hoppy beer at brewery in asheville nc

blonde girl in sunset light on a brewery tour in asheville nc

Asheville Brewery Tours

If you have little time to spare while in town but want to try out several of the iconic breweries, you might consider doing a guided brewery tour around downtown Asheville and the South Slope brewing district to save on time! Here are the best tours to take:

The above tours also give a great historical and cultural overview of Asheville!

But if you’re wanting to just do a huge beer tour, then you could always park near downtown and walk to the many different breweries yourself since a lot of them are all within a block of each other. (Just make sure to hand the keys over to a DD or get an Uber back to your hotel!).

1. Bhramari Brewing Company

juicy chicken burger paired with a dark beer at bhramari brewing co in asheville

  • Hours: 12-9 Mon-Thurs / 11-11 Fri-Sat / 11-9 Sun
  • Location: South Slope District (101 South Lexington Ave)
  • Food: Yes, full kitchen
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Live Music: X

Bhramari Brewing Co. easily tops the list for being one of the best breweries in Asheville. It was actually the first place we visited on our self-guided brewery tour. I instantly fell in love with their little bee branding and the location’s atmosphere. The place was abuzz with excitement!

I later found out that Bhramari specializes in making creative, small-batch brews using local and seasonal ingredients.

Take their colorful and dreamy Unicorn Deathwish, for example. This tarty Imperial Berliner Weisse is infused with unicorn magic (aka rainbow sherbert) and it shows. 🌈

I personally love sours so I tried the Atomic Pageantry on draft – fruit punch sour with passionfruit, guava, mango, tangerine, blood orange, strawberry & raspberry – it was delicious!

bhramari brewery food and atomic pageantry beer on tap

Paul and my friends tried the popular Set It On Fire – a smoky Rauchbier. They also offer Wilbur’s & Orville’s Awesome Adventure so you can sample a flight of 4 brews.

Bhramari’s food scene is also impressive!

They have an integrated restaurant that has a rotating menu designed to pair well with both their flagship and seasonal beers. Every Friday they have new flavors on the menu.

The food we sampled didn’t disappoint! Between our group, we had a rotating Korean chicken burger and an appetizer of Patatas Americano (Nashville hot fries with chimichurri and truffle nacho cheese).

Thanks to their creativity and friendly service, they’ve quickly become a popular spot for both local Ashevillians and tourists alike.

2. Burial Beer Co.

painted mural at entrance of burial beer company in asheville nc

  • Hours: 12-10 PM, every day
  • Location: South Slope District (40 Collier Ave)
  • Food: Yes, full kitchen
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Live Music: X

Burial Beer Co. came highly recommended to us by our local Asheville friends and also our friends who live out of town. It’s that popular!

These guys go above and beyond with their poetic and even philosophical beer descriptions.

They describe their beers better than I ever could, so I’ll take a direct quote from the brew that I tried, which was called Fall of the Rebel Angels (7% ABV) – a barrel-aged sour ale with chokeberries native to North Carolina:

“A relic of the underlying theory of Burial. Take that which is forgotten, and breathe into it, new life. The chokeberry is a unique fruit, grown among Carolina as a bitter berry hanging for months untouched, until one day it’s sugars finally peak and the birds pillage. We wanted to celebrate this sordid tale of transformation. A selected blend of golden sour ales laid to rest in different neutral red wine barrels for a year. Blended back into steel with locally harvested chokeberries sourced from our friend Caleb at New Appalachia, and then bottle conditioned for several months. The final expression hints at sour cherry pie, raspberry candies and cranberry turnover with ginger and cinnamon.”  –Burial AVL 

See what I mean? Who wouldn’t want to taste their brews after reading that?!

outdoor tables with red umbrellas at burial beer co

Paul also tried a more classic-style brew, called Pursuit which is a lager made with Epiphany Helles malt and oats. Sadly, we didn’t get to try their food menu which is inspired by the flavors of Asheville. They source their ingredients from local farms to curate a seasonal menu that pairs well with their brews.

Go early to grab a seat inside one of the funky remodeled cars or snag a spot under a red umbrella on a picnic bench!

3. Hi-Wire Brewing (Big Top)

guy smiling holding beers in front of Hi-Wire Brewing Big Top

  • Hours: 3-10 Mon-Thurs / 3-12 Fri / 12-12 Sat / 12-10 Sun
  • Location: Biltmore Village (2A Huntsman Pl)
  • Food: Foothill’s Local Meats food truck
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Live Music: Yes

Hi-Wire’s Big Top location, which features a beer garden, taproom, event space, and where all of Hi-Wire’s beers are made, embodies the spirit of Asheville – a place where community, fun, art, and creativity are fostered.

I love the atmosphere at Hi-Wire Brewing Big Top the most. It’s housed in an industrial warehouse, with indoor/outdoor seating with walls painted in bright, whimsical colors and motifs inspired by a real-life “big top” circus tent! 🎪

As for their small-batch, balanced brews, Hi-Wire specializes in “approachable and balanced lagers and ales” but they don’t take themselves too seriously.

As such, you’ll find flagships beers, seasonals, and wild ales and sours with a creative twist – like their specialty Orange Creamsicle Sour Smoothie (5.5% ABV) made with over 100lbs/barrel of tangerines, vanilla, and lactose, and their Lemon Drop Session Pale Ale (4.2% ABV) – the two that we tried!

girl holding golden beer at hi-wire brewing big top location in asheville nc

food truck veggie burgers at hi-wire brewery - best brewery with food in asheville nc

The Foothill’s Local Meats food truck, permanently located at Hi-Wire Big Top, draws in a crowd hungry for local, pasture-raised meats and tallow fries that pairs well with Hi-Wire’s ales. Not being big meat-eaters ourselves, we opted for the only veggie option on the menu – a vegetarian burger – and were pleasantly surprised by the quality.

Now through August, Hi-Wire offers $3 Flagship Pint Tuesdays and Monday Burger Nights from 4-8 PM. Chow down on a double cheeseburger and your favorite Hi-Wire flagship or seasonal brew for only $10!

Spacious, fun, delicious, creative… I highly recommended visiting Hi-Wire! Definitely one of the best breweries in Asheville. (They even have parking!)

4. Catawba Brewing

girl holding beer outside in front of Catawba Brewing in Asheville NC

  • Hours: 2-10 Mon-Thurs / 12-11 Fri-Sat / 12-10 Sun
  • Location: South Slope District (32 Banks Ave)
  • Food: Deli LlaMMMa food truck
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes, doggoes galore!
  • Live Music: Yes

Catawba Brewing Company is my favorite Asheville brewery with food! This wasn’t our first trip to Catawba and it certainly won’t be the last. With friends or family, Catawba is one of the best places to go to get a good beer, even better food, and listen to live local music.

Their beer menu is fairly small, with about a dozen beers on tap year-round, with a few specialties and limited release flavors like their Peanut Butter Jelly Time or Peach Farmhouse Ale.

The White Zombie, a Catawba signature, is a fan favorite. Who doesn’t love citrusy white ale, especially in the summer?

two golden white zombie beers on picnic table at catawba brewing co

handmade ravioli from deli llammma food truck and beer at catawba brewing co

Speaking of summer, Catawba released a Strawberry Lager 🍓 (5.8% ABV) which oddly paired so well with my smoked marinara and ricotta ravioli from the on-site food truck cutely named the Deli LlaMMMa. Their food truck whips out the best fusion food. Every time we go, we’re never disappointed (or left feeling hungry). I love that they have several vegetarian options as well and that the whole menu is creative!

Both the indoor taproom and outdoor seating at Catawba (South Slope location) fill up quickly, so I’d recommend getting there before 6:30 PM to snag a seat and put it in your food order. If it’s packed, try their Biltmore Village location at 63 Brook St.

P.S. If you’re not a beer-lover, Catawba also makes their own handmade hard seltzers!

5. Wedge Brewing Co.

woman holding beer in front of The Wedge brewery in asheville nc

  • Hours: 3-8 Mon-Tues / 3-9 Wed-Thurs / 12-10 Fri-Sat / 12-8 Sun
  • Location: River Arts District (5 Foundy St and 37 Paynes Way)
  • Food: Rotating Food Trucks
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Live Music: Yes

Wedge Brewing Co. has two locations, both located in the heart of the vibrant River Arts District. Whether you decide to go to Wedge at Wedge Studios or Wedge at Foundation, you’ll be in for a treat.

On our self-guided brewery tour, we decided to try Wedge at Wedge Studios, located right across from the railroad tracks. (The other location we’ve already been to).

Wedge Studios has a unique history (so does the Foundation!). First off, the building it’s housed in is over 100 years old and once belonged to Matthew Boacate, owner of the largest African-American business in Asheville history (after whom Wedge’s Boacate’s Cream Ale is inspired by!).

two half-pints of beer on picnic table at the wedge brewery in asheville

Later acquired by kinetic sculpture artist and founding figure of the River Arts District, John Payne, recognized for his “Kinetosaur” 🦖 metal sculptures (one of which hangs from the building), Wedge Studios was converted into art studios and rented out to local artists. The River District area in total now has over 200+ working artist studios!

Whereas Wedge at Foundation has the Chop Shop Butchery and the 12 Bones Smokehouse to fill up on (fun fact: this is the same restaurant – not location – where Michelle & Barack Obama ate at three times), Wedge Studios has a rotating food truck schedule and a large outdoor seating area with ample parking.

We spent the perfect afternoon here sitting under the shade of the trees sipping on our fresh craft beer – a specialty Mango Peach Sour and a crisp American Pilsner named after the NC philanthropist Julian Price.

6. Highland Brewing

outdoor terrace of Highland Brewing Co in Asheville NC

  • Hours: 3-9 Mon-Fri / 3-9 Wed-Thurs / 12-9 Sat / 12-7 Sun
  • Location: East Asheville (12 Old Charlotte Hwy)
  • Food: Food Trucks
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Live Music: Yes

Founded in 1994, Highland Brewing is actually Asheville’s original craft brewery!

Today, Highland’s production brewery and taproom has three event venues plus the Meadow – a large communal outdoor space with a grassy park, beach volleyball courts, live music, walking trails, food trucks, and more!

Highland is probably one of the most family-friendly breweries in Asheville because there’s just so much room to spread out and have fun – the property sits on 40 acres!

They also just opened up a second location inside Asheville’s first food hall at The S&W Market. We visited their Taproom location twice and enjoyed ourselves each time.

inside the highland brewery in asheville nc

The small-batch beers are refreshing and crisp and the rotating food truck options are delicious.

Their Gaelic Ale was voted “Best Local Beer” but they offer tons of IPAs and other ales, stouts, pilsners, etc, to choose from. Of course, I had the closest thing to a sour!

pizza from the food truck at highland brewery

The evening we went, there was both a pizza food truck and an Asian-Southern fusion food truck.

But more than the food, drink, and atmosphere, I really loved what Highland was about! Committed to sustainability, they are also one of the top breweries with the largest solar arrays in the nation. They are also independent and family-owned, immigrant-founded (by Oscar Wong), and women-led.

They’re Asheville in a nutshell!

7. Wicked Weed Brewing / Funkatorium

set classic flight of beers at wicked weed brewing in asheville nc

  • Hours: 11-11 Sun-Thurs / 11-12am Fri-Sat
  • Location: Downtown & South Slope District (91 Biltmore Ave and 147 Coxe Ave)
  • Food: Yes, full-service kitchens
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Live Music: X

Wicked Weed put Asheville on the map as a sour beer destination. It was all the hype when I was growing up and was one of the few craft breweries in Asheville at the time. Now, Wicked Weed has been bought out by Anheuser-Busch, but not much has changed. It still remains a funky, hip, and popular brewery!

Wicked Weed Brewing now has two locations. Its original Brewpub, home to a full restaurant, downstairs beer bar, bottle shop, and the original 15 barrel brewery, is the most popular. It is located right next to the famous Orange Peel music venue.

cozy dining room filled with people at wicked weed in asheville nc

couple holding up sour beers inside wicked weed brewery

Its other location (and sister company) known as The Funkatorium, is the East Coast’s first sour beer dedicated taproom.” It has a larger sour beer menu but also features classic brews from the Brewpub.

WW also has another taproom and 50-barrel production brewery site called Wicked Weed West – located in West Asheville. They just opened up the taproom to the public so it’s not very known yet!

During our visit to the Brewpub, we tried the classic flight – a set of 4 mini beers. We got to taste Pernicious (hoppy), Watermelon Burst (sour), Freak of Nature (IPA), and Fresh Pressed 1 (sour).

For all things sour and funky – true to Asheville’s spirit – head to one of Wicked Weed’s locations!

8. Hillman Beer

hillman beer brewery in asheville nc

  • Hours: 11-10 Sun-Tues / 11-11 Wed-Sat
  • Location: Biltmore Village (25 Sweeten Creek Rd)
  • Food: Yes, in-house menu
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Live Music: X

Hillman Beer is another awesome brewery with food in Asheville. Their Asheville location has a distinct pub-like atmosphere with indoor/outdoor space for you to gather with family or friends. (They have a location in Old Fort, NC as well). Plus, these guys are a small, locally-owned family business founded by brothers Brad and Greig and Grieg’s wife Brandi Hillman.

You can tell this brewery is popular among the locals who are looking for comfort food and tasty brews. I actually had one of the best sour beers on tap here too. It was called My Jungle Bungle (5% ABV) – a tropical sour with pineapple, mango, guava, passionfruit and coconut! 🌴

two women cheering with beers at hillman beer co in asheville nc

spinach dip appetizer at hillman brewery in asheville nc

For food, they serve small bites like spinach artichoke dip and soft pretzels and larger plates of handmade sandwiches, burgers and wraps. They offer sides, salads, and a seasonal dessert, too.

We visited Hillman’s twice, actually, because we loved the easy-going atmosphere.

I brought our cat, Yoda, on our way out of Asheville, and he was quite the superstar! The staff said they get a lot of doggie visitors but never any kitties. They had a great shady spot out back under the trees, on picnic tables beside a small creek, for Yoda to relax.

I’d say if you’re looking for a casual pet-friendly or family-friendly Asheville brewery that has lots of outdoor space, then Hillman Beer is a perfect choice!

9. Green Man Brewery

entrance to green mansion brewery in avl nc

  • Hours: 12-9 Mon-Thurs / 12-11 Fri / 11-11 Sat
  • Location: South Slope District (27 Buxton Ave)
  • Food: X
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Live Music: Open mic nights on Tues. at Dirty Jack’s

Green Man Brewery is a long-time member of the Asheville brewery scene. It was founded in 1997 under the name Dirty Jacks as Asheville’s second-oldest brewery and has been satisfying IPA-lovers since with some of the best English-style ales in the city.

Although they’ve kept their homegrown little micro brewpub, they’ve since expanded and now take pride in their 3-story Green Mansion which features taprooms on the first and third floors (the latter of which looks out over their in-house production facility).

The building is made of stone and brick and has cool features like a refurbished/upcycled old door, an industrial-style outdoor terrace, and more.

green man brewery on draft handles

If ‘hoppy’ is how you like your beers, then you’ll be ‘happy’ to hear that Green Man has one of the best selections! They also have a great selection of malts and lagers, too. As a sour lover, I had a little less choice here but their Green Man Cider was delicious nonetheless!

No Asheville brewery tour would be complete without a stop by Green Man Brewing! 🐉

10. French Broad River Brewery

sunset light on girl in front of french broad river brewery in asheville nc

  • Hours: 1-8 Mon-Tues / 1-9 Wed-Thurs / 11-9 Fri-Sun
  • Location: Biltmore Village (101 Fairview Rd)
  • Food: Original Papa Nicks food truck (pizza)
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Live Music: Yes + trivia nights

French Broad River Brewery is a classic Asheville brewery inspired by the veins that pump life through the heart of Asheville – the French Broad River (the third oldest river in the entire world!).

Mirroring their dedication to help keep Asheville and the river wild, the team at French Broad River Brewery have been crafting up brews steeped in European tradition since 2001, with rotating seasonal and small-batch beers.

That said, you can expect to find lots of Kolsch, Scotch Ale, ESB, and Porters on the menu as well as IPAs and specialty Pale Ales. Some of their seasonals include Uluru Pale Ale, Zepptemberfest, and Mocha Wee Heavy-er.

golden IPA on table at french broad river brewery

They also offer a unique brew in partnership with the outdoor whitewater rafting company French Broad Adventures called Poor Boaters Rations and which 10% of sales go to Asheville City Schools Foundation and French Broad River Keeper – a program that helps defend and protect the quality of the FBR watershed.

FBR Brewery has both indoor and outdoor seating, a covered patio, an on-site pizza food truck, and trivia nights with prizes up for grabs! It’s got a family-friendly atmosphere and pets are always welcome too.

Definitely go and check them out for a fun night out!

More Underrated Asheville Breweries to Try

building of eurisko beer co in south slope district in asheville nc

If you are looking for even more Asheville breweries off-the-beaten-path, there are dozens more to choose from on top of what I mentioned above. (Those are just the ten I got to personally experience!)

I couldn’t try all the breweries during my trip, so I will mention the remaining ones that were on my bucket list in case you’d like to check them out! These also came highly recommended by our friends and locals alike – so I think they deserve a mention!

11. Archetype Brewing – Experimental Asheville brewery using locally sourced ingredients. They have a cool “What’s Your Archetype” quiz that pairs your “archetype” with the soul of one of their brews!

12. Pisgah Brewing – Craft brews made with organic grains and malts. Features a cozy taproom with live music and food trucks 4 days/week. Located in Black Mountain, NC just outside of Asheville.

13. Twin Leaf – “Boutique craft brewery” specializing in Belgian ales and barrel-aged beers. Features outdoor/indoor rustic and industrial-style seating and a great atmosphere. Located in the South Slope District at 144 Coxe Ave.

14. Asheville Brewing Co. – Asheville’s third original brewery which combined a pizza joint, brewpub, and in-house movie theatre. Today, ABC has three locations where you can enjoy food, beer, brewery tours, music, and $5 movies. “Keeping Asheville Hoppy since 1998.”

15. One World Brewing – Asheville’s only underground brewery and space where all walks of life are invited to enjoy experimental and small-batch brews. Locally-owned and operated.

16. Sweeten Creek Brewing – Down-to-earth craft brewery in a relaxed setting on the outskirts of Biltmore Village on Sweeten Creek Rd. Now has rotating food trucks.

17. Whistle Hop Brewing Company – Train-themed destination brewery specializing in finely crafted ales and lagers using locally sourced ingredients. Features event spaces, games, taproom, outdoor activities (e.g. mini-golf), and more! Located in Fairview, NC.

18. Zillicoah Beer Company – a 4-acre brewery by the French Broad River specializing in open-fermented lagers and farmhouse beers. Located northwest of AVL in Woodfin, NC.

19. Dssolvr – “Brewed until surreal”, Dssolvr is both a brewery and a beverage company passionate about fermentation in beers and beyond.

20. Eurisko Beer Co. – Up-and-coming craft brewery in the South Slope District specializing in traditional yet modern Belgian and Germain-style brews. Free movie nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

21. Turgua Brewing – a Farmhouse brewery and winery inspired by wild natural environments and building connections. Located in Fairview, NC.

Wrapping It Up – Best Asheville Breweries

blonde woman holding golden IPA beer

I wish I could try ALL of Asheville’s breweries one day! I’m sure some folks who live there actually have. Impressive!

Out of the top 10 breweries in Asheville that I got to personally visit and experience, my three favorites (in terms of beer, atmosphere, and food) would be:

  • Hi-Wire for its colorful, whimsical atmosphere and creative brews
  • Catawba for its food truck, live music, and outdoor space
  • The Wedge for its fresh beers and great location in the historic River Arts District

I also particularly loved both Burial and Bhramari for their creative and funky brews. Also, let’s not forget Highland for its awesome outdoor space and live music and Hillman for its cat-friendliness and for having one of the best sours I tried, despite not particularly specializing in it.

But perhaps what I love most about all of Asheville’s breweries is that they support each other! Every brewery in Asheville has something unique to offer and everyone respects that and supports them. It’s pretty cool and fun to be a part of.

So rest assured that any brewery you choose to visit in Asheville will be a good one! 🍻

That said, if you’re reading this and have a few kind or helpful thoughts to share about which breweries deserve a mention on this list – feel free to reach out! I would be more than happy to add it with a few comments and/or add it to my bucket list to visit in the future.

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Hi, I’m Bri! I’ve been slow traveling around the world in search of new adventures since 2013. I have lived in 8 countries on 4 continents including Nepal, Mexico, Colombia, and parts of Europe! I created this blog to inspire others to live a life of adventure, seek out meaningful experiences, and to travel slowly and mindfully. Join me on this journey and let’s tick off our bucket lists! Read my story here.

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