Updated: May 26
Why does Asheville NC have so many breweries?
Some consider Asheville the brewery capital of America. Asheville has 26 craft breweries within the city (and counting!) with several larger craft breweries setting up satellite locations in Asheville. These breweries include Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues.
So why are so many breweries popping up in Asheville? Not only for the growing population, southern hospitality, and proximity to the great outdoors, but for the natural water source these breweries can tap into. Thanks to the protected water shed right outside of town in the Smoky Mountains, small breweries do not need to pay the high cost of purifying water to the optimal level for creating craft beer. This has attracted microbreweries and macro-breweries alike.
Also Read: Smoky Mountain National Park Complete Guide
Recommended Brew: Tart Berry (Berliner Weisse Sour - 4.2%)
Downtown Asheville's oldest brewery and tasting room that developed the first sour program in the area. This brewery veteran started in 1997 and has been pioneering the way since the beginning. Tart Berry is a fruity and satisfying delight to the taste buds. Make sure to stop by!
Recommended Brew: Skillet Donut (Coffee Stout - 8% ABV)
Burial Beer Co's founders have a passion for brewing that is clear to witness in each of their tasty creations. It is a fun atmosphere to grab a drink and a bite to eat from the full service kitchen. This breakfast stout is made from a blend of nine barley malts, oats, milk and molasses sugars, and roasted coffee beans. Your mouth can expect rich cocoa, smooth caramel, dark fruits and a fresh coffee aroma.
Recommended Brew: Hibiscus Lavender (Ginger Beer - 4.7% ABV)
This place is unique as they specialize in different kinds of ginger beer! We would recommend getting a flight as it will be hard to limit yourself to just one of their delicious brews. However, when crunched for time and only able to try one, we recommend the Hibiscus Lavender. With live music, friendly staff, quick service and unique brews, we encourage you to add this to your list while visiting Asheville.
Also Read: Top Things To Do in Asheville NC
Recommended Brew: Pernicious (American IPA - 7.3% ABV)
Wicked Weed Brewing quickly expanded to a macro-brewery with four locations (3 taprooms and a fine dining restaurant) . If you love sour beers Wicked Weed has the south's first sour beer-dedicated taproom called the Funkatorium.
Their flagship IPA Pernicious has plenty of hops to satisfy all with its juicy, tropical West Coast flavor.
J&L Tip: When at the restaurant, ask to do a brewery tour. Not only will you get a free brewery tour, but you will be able to skip the line and get seated right after the tour ends! This will save you a lot of time on your Asheville brew tour as it is usually a 1-2 hour wait to be seated at Wicked Weed.
Recommended Brew: Fat Tire (American Amber Red Ale - 5.2% ABV)
Fat Tire is an easy-drinking amber that is a crowd favorite. You may recognize this brewery giant, originally based out of Colorado. They have a nice patio that overlooks the river and a big lawn to stretch out on. If you are interested, check out and sign up for a brewery tour to learn more about their beers and history (its free!).
6. Thirsty Monk
Recommended Brew: CocoNorm (American Porter - 6.4% ABV)
Thirsty Monk is an experienced and renowned brewery that opened its flagship Asheville location in early 2008. Thirsty Monk has now expanded to two additional locations in Denver and Portland (epic locations with the all of views, wouldn't you agree?). CocoNorm is a full-bodied porter with a fusion of dark malts and lightly toasted coconut. Complete with rich toasted aroma, this is definitely an easy-drinking smooth beverage.
Also Read: Top Michigan Breweries
Recommended Brew: Luminosity (Belgian Tripel - 9% ABV)
Twin Leaf Brewery opened in 2014, making it a relatively newer brewery on the Asheville craft brew scene. With its chill vibe and amazing staff, we found this brewery to be a hidden gem among the rest, especially for IPA lovers. While we did enjoy tasting their variety of IPAs, we truly loved their Luminocity Belgian Tripel. This brew is slightly sweet, fruity, light-bodied and can easily sneak up on you at 9% ABV.