My boyfriend and I recently spent a weekend in Asheville, N.C., after attending a wedding in Charlotte. If you didn’t know, or have never been, Asheville is home to a lot of great breweries. Naturally, we spent most of our time exploring some of the best breweries (and food) in Asheville.
Last summer, I visited Asheville twice: once with friends for a Chattanooga FC soccer match, and once with my family for a long weekend. Before then, I’d been to Asheville as a child—long before I was able to truly enjoy the city. Needless to say, I was excited to go back, even if for only 48 hours, to dive in a little more.
Before I go on, a disclaimer: I’m a huge fan of IPAs, especially hazy, juicy IPAs. Most of the beers I mention in this post are IPAs or similar. If you don’t like IPAs…sorry not sorry.
Many of the breweries in Asheville are within walking distance of one another. The “South Slope” district in particular is home to a good chunk of Asheville’s breweries. Boyfriend and I got lucky that our AirBnB was about 15 minutes from most of the breweries on our list. We figured the best way to maximize our tasting was through flights, so we got flights at almost every place we went.
Here are some of our favorite breweries in Asheville!
These places were definitely the highlights of our trip.
Green Man Brewery // My soccer friends and I swung by Green Man Brewery during our trip last summer, but didn’t hang around for too long. We were there long enough for me to discover and fall in love with their Trickster IPA. This time, I got my Trickster fill, and tasted a few other IPAs. I didn’t enjoy the Persian dry rosé as much as I hoped I would, but the Fruity Bazooty pretty much lived up to its name. Haze Against the Machine was also pretty delicious.
Wicked Weed Brewing // I’d never heard of Wicked Weed Brewing until a friend of mine in Chattanooga asked me to bring back some of their Pernicious IPA from North Carolina (before they started distributing in Tennessee). I’d only tasted that, and their blonde ale until Boyfriend and I went to the Funkatorium in Asheville. If you like sour beers, like Boyfriend, the Funkatorium is where you need to be. This is where they have a lot of sours and experimental beers on tap, and only a handful of other options like ales, stouts, and lagers (“Brewpub classics”). The only downside to Funkatorium is you can’t create your own flights; they have set flights on their menu tailored to different beer preferences. If you aren’t huge on sours, then you might prefer the Wicked Weed Brewpub, which has more offerings (and tours).
Asheville Brewing Co. // We walked by Asheville Brewing one morning and made a mental note to come back when it was open. The reason? A mural of angel wings made of hops in the back of the patio. Aside from the mural, I really enjoyed their Perfect Haze IPA, and Boyfriend was quite impressed with Ginger the Llama ginger beer and Rocket Girl lager.
Hi-Wire Brewing // Just like Chattanooga Brewing Co. is the “home bar” for Chattanooga FC, Hi-Wire is the home brewery for Asheville City SC, a very friendly regional rival of CFC. As good lower-division soccer supporters, we couldn’t go to Asheville and not check out the home bar of our fellow club. I was about all beer’d out at this point (this was our last stop of the weekend), but I couldn’t not try their rosé fruit ale (#roseallday), or Hazy Juicy Hoppy Fresh IPA.
Highland Brewing Co. // I actually went to Highland when I visited Asheville last summer (2018) for a soccer match. While they have many of their flagship, distributed beers on tap, they also feature lots of small-batch experimental beers you won’t find in stores. I was a huge fan of the strawberry milkshake IPA, and that was the first Brut IPA I ever tasted (needless to say, I was hooked). We didn’t make it to Highland this time around, but I couldn’t not include it here!
Catawba Brewing Co. // I’m gonna be honest, we did not expect to like Catawba Brewing Co. as much as we did. It ended up being our favorite brewery of the weekend. In addition to their well-known beers like White Zombie, Hopness Monster, and Evening Joe, they had a whole collection of small-batch and limited-release beers that we tasted. My pick of my flight was the CLT IPA, which was perfectly hoppy, fruity, and delicious. AKA, my favorite kind of IPA. I also branched out and tried a Smoothie Sour, made with blackberries and peaches… and I didn’t hate it!
Of course, there were only so many breweries we could visit and so much beer we could consume in 48 hours, so we didn’t get to every brewery on our list. Here are some places that came highly recommended that we will definitely be checking out next time:
- Burial Brewing Co.
- Bhramari Brewing Co.
- Wedge Brewing Co.
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
- Twin Leaf Brewing Co.
- New Belgium Brewing
- Archetype Brewing
One last note: you can’t go to Asheville and not eat breakfast at Biscuit Head. I’ll leave these photos as proof.
Have you been to Asheville? What are some of your favorite places to eat, drink, and play?