Posted on: October 24, 2023 Posted by: Sarah Giavedoni Comments: 0

Last Updated on October 24, 2023

With 90+ independent establishments across Western North Carolina, the craft beverage industry is booming in these parts. Now known as “Beer City,” Asheville has become the epicenter for a beverage movement unseen in not only the industry, but also the nation as a whole.

Here are just 21 of the best craft breweries that gave Asheville its Beer City nickname. But first:

Why is Asheville called Beer City?

From a few small home brewers to some of the largest production facilities in the country, Asheville’s craft beer scene has grown considerably in the last 25 or so years. In 2009, Association of Brewers founder Charlie Papazian started the “Beer City USA” poll. Asheville won the poll four years in a row before it was retired in 2014. Since then, the city has seen dozens more breweries, distilleries, cideries, ginger beer breweries, and wineries open up in town. Today, Asheville still proudly wears the “Beer City” moniker to promote its craft beverage scene.


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Best breweries in Downtown Asheville

Downtown Asheville has always been a hub for craft brewing. In fact, the first brewery in Asheville since Prohibition, Highland Brewing, got its start in the basement of Barley’s Taproom downtown. Today, a growing number of breweries and distilleries are located in a burgeoning section of downtown called the “South Slope”.

Asheville Brewing Company

Asheville’s first brewpub opened their downtown location (now their central location) in 2005. They produce and package their signature beers from this spot, as well as tossing award-winning pizzas, burgers, and pub food. Asheville Brewing has won awards with their iconic beers, as well, including their Ninja Porter, winner of a World Beer Cup gold. Enjoy carry out and dine-in service with seating indoors, at the bar, and on a huge covered (and pet-friendly) patio. Sample from their 15 taps, including some rotating options. Or sip a hand-crafted cocktail while catching a movie or concert on their 40-foot LED digital screen. They also offer their pizzas from a South Asheville location (pickup and delivery only).

South Slope: 77 Coxe Avenue, Asheville | (828) 255-4077

South Asheville: 1850 Hendersonville Road, Suite A, Asheville | (828) 277-5775

ashevillebrewing.com 

Burial Beer Company

What began in 2013 as a niche community celebrating life’s fleeting moments with mindfulness and contemplation has grown into a thriving brewery, shop, and event venue with locations in Asheville, Charlotte, and Raleigh. Their “palate-bending” drafts span the full range of flavors and feature evocative names that inspire moments of contemplation while you imbibe. Burial’s Forestry Camp location is the home of their Production Brewery and VISUALS Winery. Visit to enjoy any atmosphere you seek, from communal beer hall seating to intimate nooks to covered outdoor garden enjoyment.

South Slope: 40 Collier Avenue, Asheville

Forestry Camp: 10 Shady Oak Drive, Asheville

Eulogy: 10 Buxton Avenue, Asheville

burialbeer.com 

Green Man Brewery

Established in 1997, Green Man is one of the oldest breweries in Asheville and serves as the soul of the South Slope. Their iconic year-round ales are consistently recognized for quality and loyalty to traditional English styles. Additional seasonal drafts offer innovative and exciting new flavors. Their original production facility, Dirty Jack’s, is still a thriving dive bar, but Green Man has long outgrown that space. Their new production facility is called The Green Mansion—and it lives up to its name. The three-story, 20,000-square-foot packaging hall also features a “brewtique” and an indoor/outdoor taproom on the top floor.

Green Mansion: 27 Buxton Avenue, Asheville | (828) 989-7453

Dirty Jack’s: 23 Buxton Avenue, Asheville | (828) 989-7453

Green Man Eats: 21 Buxton Avenue, Asheville

greenmanbrewery.com 

Twin Leaf Brewery

Located in the heart of the South Slope, Twin Leaf is a laid-back brewery and taproom featuring house draft beers, snacks, and occasional events. The brewery’s founders chose Asheville and their name based on their love of the outdoors in these parts—which they take full advantage of on their days off. While hard at work, the TLB crew puts balance, drinkability, and engineered precision at the heart of their hand-crafted beers. As environmental stewards, they continually strive to reduce the footprint of the brewery. The taproom is dog and kid friendly.

144 Coxe Avenue, Asheville | (828) 774-5000 | twinleafbrewery.com 

Wicked Weed Brewing

Wicked Weed is a local microbrewery success story like no other! Their craft brewery and restaurant opened in December 2012, and within a couple years was bought by one of the big guys. Now, Wicked Weed produces upwards of 130 different styles of beer each year—from West Coast IPAs to fermented Belgians—keeping nearly 30 on tap at a time. In late 2014, the nearby Funkatorium opened on the South Slope to focus on their rapidly growing line of barrel aged wild and sour beers. Wicked Weed (named after the pernicious plant, hops) has won multiple awards for their beers, but locals also visit regularly for their high-end pub food menu, including the favorite candied Brussels sprouts.

91 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville | (828) 575-9599

147 Coxe Avenue, Asheville | (828) 552-3203

Best breweries in Asheville’s River Arts District

Asheville’s River Arts District is a small but vibrant commercial district sandwiched between downtown and West Asheville. But in recent years, it has taken on a character of its own. The RAD, as it’s known, is an ever-expanding complex of art studios, galleries, breweries, and innovative spaces winding along the French Broad River.

New Belgium Brewing

In 2016, the nationally-known craft brewers at New Belgium fired up their $140 million East Coast facility alongside the French Broad River. The property has quickly become a beacon of economic and cultural significance for the city. With indoor seating, outdoor patio service, and regular food trucks on site, the location is a favorite dog-friendly location for an outside drink. It’s also a great stopping point for people traveling down the French Broad by river tube, kayak, or paddleboard. Enjoy taproom exclusives and gluten-free options, or take a six-pack to go!

​​21 Craven Street, Asheville | (828) 333-6900 | newbelgium.com 

Outsider Brewing Company

While still under the radar of many visiting beer enthusiasts, Outsider Brewing Company is quickly becoming a favorite spot among locals. Known for their quirky branding and “hall of fame” brews, Outsider blurs the lines between brewhouse, craft studio, and taproom. If you’re curious about the brewing process, this is the best place to view it up close. Their first-of-its-kind transparent brewing system offers 360-degree views of the entire brewing process—from the raw ingredients to the fermentation cycle. Come see how your new favorite beers are made.

939 Riverside Drive, Asheville | outsiderbrewing.beer 

Wedge Brewing Company

Brewing some of the finest craft beer in the region, Wedge Brewing Company is a long-time cornerstone of the River Arts District. In 2008, when the brewer committed to only making the best beers possible, the neighbors showed up to drink it. The Wedge has since become an Asheville favorite for beer, food trucks, outdoor movies, and cornhole tournaments—so beloved, they opened a second location, also in the RAD. A third location recently opened in downtown Asheville’s Historic Grove Arcade.

Wedge Studios: 37 Paynes Way, Suite 001, Asheville | (828) 505-2792

Foundy Street: 5 Foundy Street, Asheville | (828) 253-7152

Grove Arcade: 1 Page Avenue, Suite 152, Asheville | (828) 419-1740

wedgebrewing.com 

Zillicoah Beer Company

Bring your well-behaved and leased dogs/pets, and enjoy a peaceful afternoon along the river at Zillicoah Beer Co. Named after the Cherokee word for the French Broad, Zillicoah offers a variety of “clean” and mixed culture beers created through open fermentation. Much of what they serve is inspired by European styles, resulting in pilsners, festbiers, Danish lagers, and more that are crisp and refreshing—perfect for sipping at the water’s edge. Plenty of selections are also available for non-beer drinkers. And everyone will love the bar snacks and rotating food truck selections available on site. 

870 Riverside Drive, Woodfin | (828) 424-7929 | zillicoahbeer.com 

Best breweries in West Asheville

Just across the French Broad River from downtown is Asheville’s hippest neighborhood: West Asheville. In the past two decades, the neighborhood has seen unprecedented rejuvenation and growth. At the heart of the neighborhood is Haywood Road, a thoroughfare lined with locally owned vintage shops, eclectic boutiques, craft breweries, and unusual eateries.

Archetype Brewing

Discover your Jungian archetype and the perfect beers to match it at Archetype Brewing. They began brewing experimental and funky options from their OG West Asheville location in 2016—the perfect styles to match the location. Their mix of local ingredients, dynamic events, and constant experimentation was a huge hit, and in just a few short years, they have grown to three locations in town. Archetype’s “core beers” are flanked by seasonal, small-batch, and barrel-aged options to create a selection with something for every taste and personality type.

West: 265 Haywood Road, Asheville | (828) 505-4177

North: 174 Broadway Street, Asheville | (828) 505-8305

South Slope: 39 Banks Avenue, Asheville | (828) 505-1783

archetypebrewing.com 

One World Brewing West

What began in 2014 as a cellar bar in the heart of downtown quickly spawned a second location on West Asheville’s main drag. Home brewers Jay and Lisa Schutz took their recipes public and created a menu and locations designed to nourish interaction and artistic cultural experiences. “One World Brewing” is born from the magic that happens when the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Their West Asheville spot is a 10-barrel brewhouse located underneath the taproom—a spacious and welcoming bar with ample outdoor space. Come out to enjoy a wide variety of special and regular events, from yoga to electronic music and beer festivals.

West Asheville: 520 Haywood Road, Asheville | (828) 575-9992

Downtown: 10 Patton Avenue, Asheville | (828) 785-5580

oneworldbrewing.com 

Oyster House Brewing Company

Perhaps one of the more interesting craft beverage options in the Blue Ridge Mountains is this combination brewery and oyster house. Located in a small building at the heart of Haywood Road, Oyster House Brewing Company is known for a menu anchored by raw, grilled, and steamed oysters served by the dozen. Sit on their patio and enjoy people watching with a pint of oyster stout—a beer brewed with fresh oysters! Oyster House keeps around eight beers on tap, including a couple IPAs, nitros, and cask conditioned ales.

625 Haywood Road, Asheville | (828) 575-9370 | oysterhousebeers.com 

Best breweries in Asheville’s Biltmore Village

Asheville’s historic Biltmore Village district was once its own town. Today, the neighborhood can still be distinguished by its distinct architectural style, which is intimately woven into the fabric of its history. But historic architecture isn’t the only reason to visit this district. Shopping and fine dining abound here! And in recent years, it has also become a hotspot for craft beer.

Hillman Beer

Hillman Beer is a small, family-owned business that opened to much acclaim in 2017. The owners seek to bring the pub style to the brewery experience through an emphasis on quality, service, comfort, and community. Enjoy abundant outdoor seating options, and take your pint out back to listen to the flowing waters of Sweeten Creek. Even non-beer drinkers flock to Hillman for their food menu, featuring many ingredients from local purveyors. Don’t miss their burger and beer special on Wednesdays! Hillman has additional locations over the mountains in Old Fort and Morganton.

25 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville | (828) 505-1312 | hillmanbeer.com 

Hi-Wire Brewing

The masterminds behind Hi-Wire Brewing took over the lease and equipment of a closed brewery in 2013. What started out as a small-time operation has since grown into a full-blown circus, with a dozen taprooms now in operation across the Southeast and Midwest. But Hi-Wire remains true to their Asheville roots, operating four of those spots (including the Tiki Easy cocktail bar) in town, along with a dedicated event venue. Their traditional but innovative styles are brewed to be balanced and approachable. Visit the “Big Top” taproom in Biltmore Village for 30 taps, a large covered patio, bar games, and to see the brewing process in action.

Biltmore Village: 2A Huntsman Place, Asheville | (828) 738-2451

South Slope & Tiki Easy: 197 Hilliard Avenue, Asheville | (828) 738-2452

RAD Beer Garden: 284 Lyman Street, Asheville | (828) 738-2454

hiwirebrewing.com 

New Origin Brewing Company

Kids and dogs are welcome at New Origin Brewing, a 7 BBL brewery located just off the Swannanoa River. Their tap list rotates through a variety of contemporary styles. Settle down into the equally contemporary taproom or beer garden. Non-beer drinkers can also choose from among several alcoholic seltzer flavors, as well as non-alcoholic beer and non-beer options. Stop by Wednesday through Sunday for delicious options from the 900 Degreez Pizza food truck.

131 Thompson Street, Asheville | (701) 261-5861 | neworiginbrewing.com 

More of the best breweries in Asheville

Asheville’s unparalleled craft beer scene may be concentrated among several neighborhoods. But like the beers themselves, our breweries cannot be contained within narrow limitations of average expectations. Local breweries thrive on experimentation and have become as prominent as the mountains around them.

Highland Brewing Company

Asheville’s first post-Prohibition brewery had humble beginnings in 1994. But Highland Brewing has grown over nearly 30 years to become the regional monolith it is today—the largest family-owned, female-led brewery originating in the Southeast. Highland Brewing Company carved the path for Asheville craft beer. Today, they have the capacity to brew over 60,000 barrels of beer annually. We recommend a visit to their flagship location in the former Blue Ridge Motion Picture studios. Highland’s rooftop bar accommodates 300 people, and the main level indoor Event Center welcomes over 700 people around the stage, mezzanine, and two bars.

East Asheville: 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Suite 200, Asheville | (828) 299-3370

Downtown: 56 Patton Avenue, Suite 200, Asheville | (828) 243-6925

highlandbrewing.com

White Labs Brewing Co.

Experience the flavorful fusion of beer, pizza, and fermentation at White Labs Brewing Company. The San Diego-based international yeast producer and beverage consultant opened their East Coast facility in 2017. Since then, homebrewers, professional craft brewers, and beer drinkers alike have flocked to the renovated building just on the outskirts of downtown. You can order a flight of beers brewed identically, save with different strains of yeast for different flavors. And their brewer’s yeast goes into more than the beers! Enjoy wood-fired pizzas made from 72-hour slow risen dough or Lactobacillus-brined fries. 

172 S Charlotte Street, Asheville | (828) 974-3868 | whitelabsbrewingco.com 

The best breweries close to Asheville

Asheville is chock-a-block with breweries, but that hasn’t stopped surrounding communities from welcoming their own takes on craft beer. From microbreweries in nearby towns to a national name just over the county line, there are many more breweries within just a short drive of town. A few of our favorites include:

Blue Ghost Brewing Company

Named for a species of firefly endemic to the area, part of Blue Ghost’s mission is to educate, protect, and promote local biodiversity. Enjoy events, live music, and the Hungry Ghost food truck alongside 15+ taps served from Ball jars.

125 Underwood Road, Fletcher | (828) 376-0159 | blueghostbrewing.com 

Eluvium Brewing Company

This small brewery is dedicated to producing high quality, high flavor session beers. They’re on a quest to find gold-medal-worthy beers and named themselves after the first gold deposits discovered in America. Today, you can find 10 golden beers on tap. 

11 Florida Avenue, Weaverville | (828) 484-1799 | eluviumbrewing.com

Mills River Brewing Company

Founded in 2015 in a strip mall in Arden, Mills River Brewing has grown into its current 8,600-square-foot brewing facility and taproom in their namesake town. They serve their signature Southern IPAs and Appalachian Ales seven days a week.

336 Banner Farm Road, Mills River | (828) 483-0480 | millsriverbrewingco.com 

Sierra Nevada Brewery

Opened in 2014, you could spend a full day just enjoying all Sierra Nevada’s East Coast brewery has to offer! In addition to a full kitchen and outdoor stage, the location offers a number of brewery tours. Stay for samples of their award-winning beers.

100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River | (828) 708-6242 | sierranevada.com 

Enjoy craft brews every day in Asheville, NC

downtown Asheville, NC skyline at night

With a population of 90,000+, Asheville is the largest city in both Buncombe County and the Western North Carolina region. Asheville serves as the area’s economic and cultural nerve center in many ways. It’s a hub for education, healthcare, local arts and crafts, entertainment, night life, and innovative food and drink—including great craft beer! What’s more, the four-season temperate climate makes year-round living easy. And the broad range of elevations and corresponding climates and plant growth make it one of the most biodiverse regions in the United States and the world.

Does that sound like the perfect lifestyle for you? Find your dream home in Asheville now!

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