What To Say To Your Friend Who Is Going To Visit Asheville…

Sarahasheville, eat

YOU BETTER LIKE BEER.

I’ve been in Asheville for a year and a half and I feel like new breweries are popping up every other month. I’m not complaining, though, I love it! Some breweries just serve beer, others serve a full menu and some have food trucks visiting regularly. Even if you aren’t a huge beer fan, the breweries in Asheville all have great design and events that makes brewery crawls a blast. Inspired by the warm weather yesterday and dreaming of summertime, I came up with this Asheville brewery guide (including a few notable breweries just outside of Asheville). Sit tight, Asheville boasts more breweries per capita than any other beer city.

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South Slope (south section of downtown)

Asheville Brewing Company. Asheville Brewing Company actually has three locations: one on the south slope with a covered outdoor patio, one on Merrimon Ave. (north of downtown) with a reduced price movie theatre, and a carry-out and delivery location on Hendersonville Road towards Arden, NC. I love their pizza and their eclectic look.

Burial Beer Co.. I just visited this brewery for the first time a couple weeks ago. It felt very Asheville and was tucked down a side street in the South Slope. The beer I tried was great and they were serving a small selection of food on the grill outside. They also had a man writing poetry on demand on his typewriter. He wrote a poem for my friends who were newly engaged. #ThisisAsheville

The Funkatorium. Started by Wicked Weed, the Funkatorium is their new location for sour and wild beers. The beer is great and I love that there is an outdoor patio… come on, summer!

Green Man Brewery. This is a great spot (next to the French Broad Chocolate Factory! Yum.) and this winter they have been constructing a huge expansion to the brewery. It used to be pretty crowded inside, so I understand their desire to grow. The expansion will include a roof top deck, but I heard rumors it won’t open until late summer.

Hi-Wire Brewing. This fun circus themed beer is located between Asheville Brewing Co.’s event space and Ben’s Tune-up. They only serve beer, but there is typically a food truck or you can swing next door to Ben’s to get some awesome asian inspired food. [To clarify, the labels and names are circus themes.. the beer doesn’t taste like cotton candy.]

Twin Leaf Brewery. Right across the street from The Funkatorium is Twin Leaf Brewery. I actually haven’t visited this spot since their opening last year, but they are having their first bottle release party this Sunday at 12PM to celebrate their one year. Hopefully the weather will be warm and I can swing by!

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Downtown

Wicked Weed. I love the beer and food at Wicked Weed. I’m hoping they bring back the Coolcumber beer this summer! This restaurant is just a short hop, skip and jump away from our home, so we go here frequently. They have a beer bar downstairs and a wonderfully designed space upstairs. Outside, there is a fire pit and plenty of seating.

Lex Ave Brewing (LAB). In my opinion, this place isn’t as well known or as popular for their beer (they don’t get as much publicity as some of these other locations), but their website announces that they will have a new menu and event space coming soon. They have a great trivia night, I hear, as well!

One World Brewing. This brewery is hidden in the alley next to Farm Burger. A man sits on a stool outside this barrel door and you enter by going down a bunch of stairs. Once there, this dark, yet comfortable brewery lies with a staircase behind the bar that leads no where. It’s a cool spot, but it’s on the smaller side with more of a hidden speakeasy vibe.

Thirsty Monk Pub & Brewery. So. much. beer. Thirsty Monk’s beer list is so extensive, so if you are adventurous or aren’t sure what you like, this is a good spot. They brew their own beer, but also serve beer from all over. They have a downtown location with a basement, main floor, and a separate cocktail bar with a rooftop deck. In addition to that, they have a location at Biltmore Park and Reynolds Village. I’ve been to all of the spots and always have a great time. Their nachos are the best!

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Nearby South & West & East

Altamont Brewing. This is a members only club, like the Bywater and Top of the Monk… break out those dollar bills. It only costs a dollar for an annual membership, but since they don’t serve food, this is mandatory by law. Again, Asheville loves beer and music, and they have entertainment almost every night.

Catawba Brewing. Catawba Brewing started in Morganton, NC, but Asheville is the main consumer of their beer, so it made sense for them to head over the mountain to brew and distribute in the Beer City. Located in the Biltmore Village area, this brewery has plans to open their South Slope location in the near future.

French Broad Brewing. Located in Biltmore Village, this beer pays homage to the French Broad River that rolls through Asheville. They also feature an extensive music schedule.

Highland Brewing. An Asheville favorite. I’ve never seen so many people in this town go crazy for beer as they did when they released their super limited edition Cold Mountain Ale. My husband was thrilled when he scored a 12 pack – it was delicious; people went crazy looking for this at grocery stores and restaurants. They are currently constructing space for a new bottling line, a rooftop deck with views of Mount Pisgah, new entertainment areas and a larger parking lot.

Oyster House Brewing Co. I’m not a fan of oysters, so maybe that’s why I haven’t made it here. Oyster House is located in West AVL and sits in good location across from Sunny Point Cafe. Have you been? Let me know how it is!

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River Arts District

Wedge Brewing Co. The Wedge Brewing Co. is an great spot in the River Arts District. There is awesome outdoor space and in the summer they typically have a summer movie and music series.

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If you are willing to take a drive…

Pisgah Brewing. I love the Pisgah Pale Ale. Located in Black Mountain, this brewery has a great concert series and offers brewery tours. During the winter, they have an indoor concert series inside the tap room, but when the warm weather comes our way, the outdoor concerts are a great way to celebrate the summer, beer, and music!

Oscar Blues Brewery. With its flagship brewery in Colorado, Oscar Blues now also calls Brevard, NC home. This is another brewery I haven’t yet made it to, but I hear great things. They have been moving and shaking too. Oscar Blues started a handmade bike company in Colorado called REEB and will be opening a REEB Ranch just a few miles from their current location. The Oscar Blues REEB Ranch will celebrate all things biking and beer.

Sierra Nevada. Located in Mills River, Sierra Nevada Asheville is insanely beautiful. Even as you drive up to this property, it is apparent that they had a huge design plan for this facility. The images on this blog post are from their 90 minute brewery tour I went on with my parents and husband over Thanksgiving weekend. We didn’t make a reservation, but thankfully a group of 6 didn’t show up and we were able to sneak on the tour!! If you definitely want to visit, I recommend scheduling a tour in advance (or praying for another group to be late)! The copper details are wonderful and their restaurant opens on the 10th of this month! They will eventually have trails, events in the space above the restaurant, and events in the pavilion out back. I’m really excited to make a visit and I hear they are offering shuttles from downtown and west Asheville, so visitors can get there safely.

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Opening in 2015

New Belgium. I am so excited for New Belgium to finish construction and open towards the end of this year. Located in the River Arts District, New Belgium will have a brewery, restaurant, and great outdoor space. After New Belgium employees work for a year (not sure if part-time qualifies), they receive a New Belgium bike to use to bike to work! The areas around the River Arts District have been undergoing renovations to make the roads more bike friendly. It’s an exciting transformation for the River Arts District, and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

HiveMind Brewhouse. Opening sometime this summer, HiveMind will be at 101 South Lexington Ave. and will work together with Asheville Brewery Tours. According to Mountain XPress, they will make a small amount of beer themselves, as well as offering local beers and a beer inspired menu.

Catawba Brewing. Catawba is almost ready to open their South Slope location and I can’t wait. It’s located next to Vortex Donuts, and a BBQ place is in the works there as well. I peeked through the windows the other day and LOVE the custom barrel inspired bar stools. There hasn’t been an official announcement that the Biltmore Village location will close when this location opens, but they have previously said that that building will be torn down.

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