Asheville City Guide: Let's Brewery Hop
My absolute favorite activity on a gorgeous Fall Saturday in Asheville is brewery hopping on South Slope in downtown. Theres something like 10 breweries within a couple mile radius over there so grab an uber and put your walking' shoes on - these are the best breweries to spend a lazy Saturday at in Asheville.
(Because everyone's beer tastes are very different, I'll keep my "what to get" suggestions to myself. Also, most of the breweries have rotating taps so there's always something fresh on.)
Where to Drink Beer in Downtown Asheville
Burial is my absolute favorite brewery in Asheville. They're only a few years old and are far and away making some of the best beer in the Southeast. Do yourself a favor and reserve an afternoon just for Burial. Grab some bites at Salt and Smoke and a picnic table outside and enjoy the sunshine and deliciousness.
Wicked Weed is one of those anomalies that attracts both tourists and locals. It's right on the main strip downtown, next to the Orange Peel, and have gotten national recognition so it's definitely on all the tour maps, but the cool thing is that the atmosphere and good beer draws in locals, too. If you have time, squeeze in a meal (lunch or dinner) here - the black bean burger with pimiento cheese is insane. Also, if you've got time, go downstairs and enjoy a few games of corn hole with your brew.
Wicked Weed's funkier lil brother is only a few blocks away and boasts an impressive barrel-aging program. It only opened about a year ago, but has already been pumping out some of the best sours in the area. For all you non-sour beer drinkers (hey, I'm learning here), don't fret - they always keep a few non-sours on tap, as well. If you're feeling hungry, fill your belly with a fresh flatbread.
The Green Mansion is fairly new, and, I have to say, it's quite impressive. 3 stories and 20,000 sq ft. The outdoor patio on the 3rd floor is great for sunset sipping. For a quieter, most cozy vibe, walk just down the street to their original location and grab a flight outside on the picnic tables.
Start your afternoon with lunch at Buxton Hall then for dessert, a donut from Vortex, and then park yourself at Catawba. Enjoy the open air atmosphere indoors or lounge on the picnic tables outside. Got a private party? No problem - they have an event space in the back that would love to accommodate you.
ABC is again, one of those places I frequent every few weeks - both for the pizza and the beer. And back when I lived up in North Asheville, for the movies, too. The N Asheville location hosts a movie theater that plays films just off their debut in usual theaters for $3 - you can have pizza and beer delivered to you in your theater - date night win, win if you ask me. The downtown location has a huge family-friendly outdoor patio with live music occasionally. If you're feeling super lazy, just call in your order from the South Asheville location, and they'll deliver to your couch.
Where to Drink Beer in the River Arts District Asheville
Summer is the optimal time to check out the Wedge. Located in the River Arts District right on the river, this quirky little place is a local favorite. Twinkle lights, food trucks, and outdoor games abound - as well as good beer. Grab a few pitchers and friends and stay to watch the sun set.
Okay, fine, New Belgium didn't originate in Asheville, but whatever, they're making some damn good beer so it's here and it's on this list. Go to their new brewery over near River Arts, and you'll get it. You'll see why it's on this list. It's in the heart of the city yet its spacious and friendly. Sit inside or sit outside with your pup and look at the river - either way, you won't be disappointed.
Where to Drink All the Beer in Asheville
Alright so Pour isn't a brewery, but it's better (almost). Pour has some 40(?) taps where you can try out all the local beers without leaving your seat (so to speak, you probably will want to get up to pour your beer, but hey, you don't have to leave the bar to try all the different breweries Asheville has to offer). You pay by the ounce so there's seriously no downside. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love the concept of this place - I mean, it's basically a frozen yogurt place but for beer - what could be better? PS they're currently on sabbatical (I know, I know) because they're moving locations. Stay tuned as they're expected to open in their new location in Biltmore Village in December.
Where to Drink Beer After Hiking Near Asheville
Okay so Oskar Blues is technically in Brevard, not Asheville, but between the constant stream of events they're putting on coupled with the good beer they're churning out, they've earned their place on this list. Stop by after a hike in Pisgah Forest for a burger from Chub Wagon and a pint in the Tasty Weasle.
(I know, I know, it should be on the main list but unfortunately, I haven't been yet so I can't give it a review just yet - check back later as I'm sure I'll be raving once I've experienced it.)