— Asheville Beer Scene —

Welcome to Beer City, USA

Asheville has long been famous for its stunning scenery, lively mountain music and famous attractions such as Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Parkway. And now, Asheville has become the craft-brewing center of the Southeast. Asheville beer has garnered so much enthusiasm that it was named the winner of the Examiner's “Beer City, USA” poll four years running.

Boasting more breweries per capita than any U.S. city (roughly one brewery per 8,000 people), Asheville is home to 20 craft breweries. On any given day, about 50 local beers can be enjoyed in Asheville, served on draft and in bottles. Each of our breweries has its own unique atmosphere and personality and the same could be said for the beer. Learn more about Asheville beer below.

  • Tours, Tastings & Tips

    Make the most of your visit to Beer City USA with these insider tips.
  • Beer Celebrations

    Grab a pint of your favorite brew at one of Asheville's multiple beer festivals.
  • Hopping Brewing Scene

    Discover over 50 local beers from ten local breweries. Asheville beer ranges from golden hoppy ales to chocolate stouts.
  • They Put Beer in What?

    There's more than one way to consume an Asheville Beer.
Complete List of Breweries & Cideries in Asheville

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Tours, Tastings & Tips

Here are the top ways to truly experience Asheville's craft brew scene.

  1. Asheville Brews Cruise—Get a behind-the-scenes tour of what's happening in Beer City USA. The Brews Cruise is your all-access pass and comes with your very own designated driver!

  2. Bruisin' Ales—Looking for some expert guidance or micro-brew souvenirs? Check out this specialty shop on Broadway, which was named the number three beer retailer worldwide! Plan to visit during one of their popular tasting events.

  3. Weekly Beer Tasting—Aside from the tasting rooms at each brewery, you can also visit Hops & Vines every Friday from 5-7 PM. Each week they feature a different brewery or style of beer, or even homebrew!

  4. Beer Flights—Why settle for one when you can have all the beers? Many breweries, such as Lexington Avenue Brewery (LAB for short) and French Broad Brewing Company, offer beer flights so you can pinpoint your favorite.

  5. Farm-to-Glass—The secrets behind Asheville's tasty brew can be found in the fresh mountain water plus locally sourced ingredients such as North Carolina malts and fresh hops from mountain-based farms. Schedule a hops tour with Hop N Blueberry or Echoview farms to learn more about the beer making process.

  6. Mountain BoogiePisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain jams all summer long with their outdoor concert series. Grab a Frisbee and enjoy a pint of their popular Pisgah Pale Ale under the open sky. Just be sure to leave Fido at home.

  7. Picnic by the River—The Bywater is a local's favorite with multiple grills for cooking out, outdoor games and plenty of local beer on tap. You'll have to purchase a membership at the door, but it's worth it. Get there early to avoid the waiting list.

  8. Go Nano—And you thought micro-brews were all the rage. Check out the nano-brews served up at Thirsty Monk. Brewing smaller batches allows more flexibility to create unique concoctions like Coconut Porter, Cherry Chocolate Stout and their Scotland TrainWreck IPA. This menu changes constantly so you never know what they'll come up with next.

  9. Mountains to Sea—Bringing the ocean a little closer to the mountains, Oyster House Brewing Company creates quality craft beer in various styles, including their award winning "Moonstone Stout", which is a special brew where oysters (shell and all) are included as an ingredient. You won't get the actual taste of oysters from the beer, but it does provide hints of sea salt, calcium and other minerals that become part of the overall flavor. Oyster House Brewing Company (which also offers a full food menu) recently relocated to 625 Haywood Rd in West Asheville and upgraded to a 5 bbl brewhouse, 12 taps and 2 cask beer engines. Their beers are also available exclusively downtown at The Lobster Trap, which is where the brewery was originally founded.

  10. Feel the Burn—Visit Asheville Brewing Company in downtown Asheville for their unique Fire Escape Ale. Brewed with smoked jalapenos, this brew has offers a bit of a bite and a particularly piquant finish. Can't stand the heat? Check out their Rocket Girl Lager, a local favorite.

  11. Movie Night—Sip on an Iron Rail IPA while watching a cult-hit flick at Wedge Brewery in the River Arts District. Bring a chair and enjoy their outdoor theater experience right by the train tracks. Or, take it indoors and catch a movie at the Asheville Pizza and Brewing in north Asheville. Try their Rocket Girl Ale!

  12. Filtered Flavor—Shake it up a bit. No not your beer, just the flavor. French Broad Brewing creates unique batches of brew using a Randall filter. This gives them the ability to add roasted almonds to their brown ale or lavender to their porter.

  13. Get Dirty—If you love a good dive bar then check out Dirty Jacks. Serving up Green Man brews like the super hoppy IPA and signature ESB, this downtown Asheville brewery produces some of Asheville's most iconic ales.

  14. Keeping it Classy—If dive bars aren't your scene, take it up a notch, or at least up a mountain. The Grove Park Inn serves up their very own brew, The Great Gatsby Abbey. Created by Highland Brewing, you can enjoy a pint while taking in the sunset view from the Great Hall Bar.

  15. Biltmore BeerBiltmore is well-known for their wines, but they also serve up their own signature beers. While visiting the estate, head over to Cedric's Tavern in Antler Hill Village for the Cedric's Brown Ale with hints of toasted caramel or their Pale Ale.

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Beer Celebrations

There’s plenty to be celebrated in Beer City USA, and Asheville certainly rolls out the red carpet for its favorite brews. From the musically inclined Brewgrass Festival, to the specialty-focused Best Firkin Beer Festival, the parties are as unique as the breweries themselves.

Festivals are a great way to introduce yourself to a variety of beers and to pick out that one ale, lager, stout or porter that will keep you coming back for another pour. And Asheville isn’t afraid to share the love—festivals welcome regional brewers from across North Carolina and the Southeast.

  • Winter Warmer

    Combine 25 breweries with scrumptious local food, great local music and more than 1,000 of your closest beer enthusiast friends, and you have the perfect recipe for kicking off the new year in style. Learn more!

  • The Best Firkin Beer Festival

    New in 2012, this spring festival is hosted by the Asheville Brews Cruise and exclusively features cask-conditioned ales, which are unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally carbonated in the pre-Prohibition manner.

  • Asheville Beer Week

    After winning the Beer City title three years in a row, Asheville’s brewers decided that one day was not enough time to celebrate the victory. Held during the week leading up to the Beer City Festival, Asheville Beer Week includes special beer tastings, pairing dinners, fundraiser events, educational seminars and more. It’s all beer, all the time!

  • Brewgrass

    Showcasing more than 120 different beers from 40+ regional breweries as well as national and regional bluegrass musicians, it’s no wonder that this festival has become a local favorite.

  • Oktoberfest

    Brush up on your keg-rolling skills for this fest, which transforms downtown streets into a traditional German party featuring tastings from local breweries. Live “oompah” music and local foods complete this fall tradition.

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Hopping Brewing Scene

The Evolution of a Beer Town

Asheville’s beer culture all started back in 1994, when Oscar Wong, a retired engineer living in Charlotte, moved to Asheville and opened Highland Brewing Company in a rustic basement space below Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria in downtown Asheville.

What began as a home-brew hobby became the first successful brewery operation in Asheville landing Wong his status as godfather of “Beer City USA.” Since then, Asheville has seen a number of breweries open their doors.

Today the craft beer scene in Asheville has reached a fever pitch with four annual beer festivals, brewery tours and even a popular ice cream made with Highland’s rich black mocha stout.

Asheville is four-time winner of the annual Beer City USA poll, hosted by Charlie Papazian with Examiner.com. This designation helped put Asheville’s beer scene on the map and garnered the attention of Sierra Nevada and New Belgium Brewing. Both have announced plans to make the Asheville area their new east coast homes.

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They put beer in what?

Asheville’s beer culture goes beyond pints and pitchers of heady brew.

From food to hygiene we’re finding new and unique ways to incorporate our favorite local brews into more than just a glass.

  • Growlers

    Get your hands on some of Asheville’s most heady brew. Stop by beer boutique, Bruisin’ Ales, in downtown for the widest selection.

  • Crooked Condiments Mustards

    Take your sandwich to a whole new level. Highland’s Gaelic Ale and Ninja Porter have been masterfully mixed into a mustard must-have. Stop by the Asheville Visitor Center gift shop and stock up.

  • BRÖÖ Shampoo

    It’s brew for your do… hairdo that is. Highland’s St. Terese’s Pale Ale is now available in the new BRÖÖ shampoo. It’s quite possible the most unique use of an Asheville brew yet, but please don’t drink it. Find your bottle at Asheville’s Earth Fare locations.

  • Beer Ice Cream

    Imagine the smooth flavor of Highland Brewing Company’s Black Mocha Stout served up in an icy cool treat. Stop in to Ultimate Ice Cream or The Hop for some unique brew flavors that change seasonally.

  • Beer Cake

    There’s more than one way to bake a (beer) cake. Get a slice, or maybe 2, of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge’s Highland Black Mountain Stout cake and find out what heaven tastes like. Can’t get enough? You should also try the Wedge Brewery Porter Cake available at Short Street Cakes.

  • Shiva IPA Soap

    Made with Asheville Brewing Company’s Shiva Imperial Pale Ale, this bar of suds adds conditioning quality you can’t get from traditional water based soap. Blended with lime, cedar, lavender and patchouli, this soap will leave you smelling fresh and not like you just stepped out of the pub. Available online.

  • Hops

    Wanting to start your own adventure in craft brewing? Western North Carolina offers incredibly fertile ground for growing Hops and you can get them direct from the source for your own farm-to-glass creation. Visit Echoview Farm to purchase and learn more about the cultivation of hops and sustainable agriculture.

  • Dog biscuits

    Why wouldn’t you bring something home for Fido? Using spent grain, The Oyster House Brewing Company has some treats your pooch will love. Just don’t let him drive afterwards. You can find these goodies inside the Lobster Trap.

  • Onion Rings

    Stop by the Wayside in Biltmore Village and try their beer battered onion rings. Sweet Vidalia onions are hand dipped in French Broad Gateway Kolsch beer batter.

  • Hop-Tails

    The sommeliers at Grove Park Inn’s Great Hall Bar are taking mixology to a new level. Try their intriguing “hop-tails”, blending spirits with local beer. Their “If It Fitz” hop-tail blends Troy & Sons local moonshine, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, a splash of Amaretto, combined with GPI’s own Great Gatsby Abby Ale.