Asheville is famous for its craft beer scene, but did you know that North Carolina is home to more breweries than any other state in the Southeast? With information like that, it can be hard to know where to go first! Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and pinpointed ten unique breweries to get you started! Don’t get duped by imitators, find out where the locals call their hoppy-home.
Afterward, if you are thirsty for more, download our free Chimney Rock/Lake Lure Vacation Guide. It is full of recommendations on the best restaurants, cafes, and breweries in the Asheville area! Best of all? It’s free!
Seven Great Asheville Breweries
1. SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN BREWERY
Inspired by a mutual love for beer, Andy and Kelly Cubbin opened Southern Appalachian Brewery. This microbrewery is based in Hendersonville, NC, and is known for its amazing beer and fun environment. Local food trucks, such as Olive Catering Company and Amazing Pizza Company, are frequent visitors. Although Southern Appalachian boasts an impressive menu, they are famous for extra hoppy IPAs and chocolatey dark stouts.
2. HIGHLAND BREWERY
Highland Brewery is Asheville’s most historic brewery. In fact, it’s famously known as the first legal brewery in Asheville since Prohibition! Highland Brewery produces over 60,000 barrels of beer annually, but they come from humble beginnings. Originally, Highland was limited to a 12,000 square foot space and was only able to produce about 6,500 barrels a year.
Because of this brewery’s commitment to brewing traditional recipes and unique craft beers, Highland continues to grow and appeal to the masses. This beer is proudly regional, so you will only find it in the Southeast!
3. SIERRA NEVADA
When in Asheville, it is customary to take a brewery tour of the amazing Sierra Nevada Brewery. Catch a glimpse of the beer making process, from raw ingredients to fermentation and packaging. Visitors can look forward to over 23 different beers on tap and a mouthwatering farm-to-table menu. Sierra Nevada is committed to offering a variety of craft beers and making their beer both friendly and approachable, so whether you are a beer connoisseur or just interested in learning more, this is the place for you! Tip: Tours fill up quickly, so call ahead to schedule yours!
4. HICKORY NUT GORGE BREWERY
Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery brings unique taste of English beer to Lake Lure, NC. Owner, Marc Frewell, is originally from England — it is here that he learned from his father how to craft the perfect brew. This family-friendly brewery features plenty of games as well a deck that reaches all the way down to the Broad River! Game Night is every Wednesday, and events are always on the calendar! You and yours will love this locally owned family brewery.
5. TARGUA BREWING
No North Carolina brewery list would be complete without mentioning Targua Brewery. Located in Fairview, NC, this microbrewery is famous for their blackberry saison and amazing oatmeal IPA. Recently, Targua Brewing has added hard apple ciders to their menu, as well! With its laid back and homey atmosphere, Targua Brewing feels like a home away from home.
6. SWEETEN CREEK BREWING
You are going to find more than great beer at Sweeten Creek Brewing. This phenomenal brewery and sandwich shop is the perfect place to go for a refreshing beer and deli-style eats. In addition, their food menu provides several vegan-friendly options. Much like Targua Brewing, Sweeten Creek Brewing offers a relaxed, comfortable, and family friendly atmosphere.
7. WEDGE BREWING COMPANY
After a long day of exploring the River Arts District, visit Wedge Brewing Company for the perfect complement to your eclectic day. Located in the heart of the River Arts District, Wedge Brewing Company has two distinct locations. Both Wedge Foundation and Wedge Studio are family-friendly and dog-friendly. However, children are not permitted after 8:00 p.m.
8. BURIAL BEER CO.
Burial Taproom on Collier Ave. blends an eclectic, heavy metal feel with hipster, industrial vibes. The walls are generously adorned with Tom Selleck relics and the outdoor patio will put Goonie-lovers in their own slice of paradise.
However, it’s not the ambiance that keeps North Carolina-natives flocking back to Burial, it’s the beer. Burial is consistently ranked in the top spot for the best brews in Asheville. Top local choices include the Rise of the Merciless, a crisp farmhouse ale, Reflections in Mirage, for the sour lovers, and Cocobolo, a hearty coconut brown ale with hints of chocolate. Don’t forget to grab a few cans to pack in the suitcase, you’ll want to remember this one.
9. WHITE LABS KITCHEN & TAP
Experience beer in all of its glory at White Labs Kitchen & Tap. The scientists at White Labs are showing Ale City that yeast is for so much more than just creating our town’s drink of choice. The laboratory turned restaurant and tap room pushes out fermented, wood fired pizzas, fermented and pickled veggie plates, and other beer-infused dishes and desserts. This is the perfect spot to fill up before you begin your Asheville brew tour!
10. CATAWBA BREWING CO.
Catawba Brewing offers two locations in Asheville, one in South Slope and also in Biltmore Village. They boast a drinkable, but high quality, beer mentality. But don’t be mistaken, they also maintain a reputation for their creative brews and consistent quality, making them one of Western Carolina’s oldest microbreweries. Be on the lookout for the brewery’s one-of-a-kind Peanut Butter and Jelly Time raspberry and strawberry-rhubarb ales during spring and summer.
ENJOY THE BEST OF WHAT WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA OFFERS
After an exciting day spent tasting the best beers in the Asheville area, head home to the Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant for a one-of-kind dining experience. Located in the heart of Chimney Rock, our restaurant offers a diverse selection of regional craft beers paired with fresh, local cuisine. Whether you are craving savory homemade crab cakes or a farm-to-table salad, you will find it all on our impressive seasonal menus.
If you are planning your next Asheville craft beer excursion with friends, The Chimney Rock River Cabin is the perfect accommodation! This room enjoys 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and an expansive porch and deck with sweeping mountain and river views. If you are ready to plan your next Western North Carolina getaway, view our current specials and book your stay today!
Looking for more breweries to explore? Read our blog on Asheville Oktoberfest!