Asheville, Part 4: Where to Drink (Adult Beverages)

Craft Beer Flight, New Belgium, Asheville, NC

Seems only fitting that I be visiting Asheville, NC yet again (make this trip #9 in 4 years, #10 for my husband who also job interviewed at one point too), as I wrap up this four-part blog post series. On the contrary, I’m pregnant, so I can’t drink alcohol! As I touched on in Part 3: What to See & Do, there are a handful of bars, breweries, and beer festivals that I’ve also considered attractions.

Icon Legend

Kid / Family-Friendly (During Daytime Hours)
Dog-Friendly (made notes on the ones I’m not 100% sure about)
Absolute Favorite

These are grouped alphabetically by Asheville location or neighborhood. Breweries owned by conglomerates follow the geo-sorted locations.

Shortcut Menu:

Where to Drink:

Downtown (Walkable):

Asheville Brews Cruise
Atmosphere: A pair of former school buses that have been converted to help you brewery hop safely. Outfitted with popcorn machines.
Selection: Depends on the excursion you select.
We rented one of these buses in lieu of a formal / traditional “reception” following our April 2014 wedding and it was a blast. We took our wedding guests to four different breweries in / around town, to give them a taste of the local flavor. Our driver was prompt, professional, and safe.

Happy Monday, my friends! ?? Back to school, the kiddies go. ?? Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Us, we enjoyed the Smithsonian Magazine 13th Annual Museum Day Live, an Orioles ?? win, and even fit in time to assemble our son’s crib, start DIY’ing my Halloween costume, and our weekly Sunday ritual: grocery store shopping. I have a couple of blog posts on the horizon, including some notes on our crib assembly and my Halloween costume (but that one’s a surprise, so it’s going to have to wait). My most popular content, to date, is my do-it-yourself posts…so I’ll be sure to focus there for a bit. ?? With baby less than two months out now, I’m hoping to keep with my regular evening and weekend blog schedule, but we’ll see how the adjustment goes. In the meantime, check out my post from Friday, “Asheville, Part 4: Where to Drink” and “Asheville, Part 3: What to See & Do” to learn more about the Asheville Brew Bus company, as you see pictured here … along with my daughter. ?? Link to blog in profile. . . Short URLs: Asheville, Part 1, Where to Stay: Asheville, Part 2, Where to Eat: Asheville, Part 3: What to See & Do: Asheville, Part 4: Where to Drink:

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Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria
Atmosphere: Pizzeria.
Selection: Rotating selection of craft brews. Over 56 beers on tap. Over 100 beers to choose from. Not far from Wicked Weed (see section: Owned by AB InBev below).

  – you can take your pooch inside!
Battery Park Book Exchange
Atmosphere: Large, casual library.
Selection: Known for its extensive bubbly collection, dessert and coffee menu, racks and racks of books, and eclectic furnishings. Great place to hang out, relax, chill with a good champagne and book in hand, with your pooch in tow. In the Grove Arcade building.

Bruisin’ Ales
Atmosphere: Regional craft beer store.
Selection: Great variety.
If you’re on the north side of downtown, it’s worth a visit. Parking is rather limited (plus street parking as available) and the store is small, but they are big on their beer knowledge.

Foggy Mountain Brew Pub
Atmosphere: Intimate, old-timey pub with live music throughout the week.
Selection: Rotating selection of craft brews.

Jack of the Wood (Green Man Brewery)
Atmosphere: Reminds me of a mix of a sports bar and an Irish pub.
Selection: Seasonal Green Man and guest tap brews. Across from Thirsty Monk, adjacent to Asheville Yacht Club.

One World Brewing
Atmosphere: Basement speakeasy. It’s under Farmburger.
Selection: Everything from sours to IPAs to English-styles to porters. Specialty is in their hoppy beers.
Head down the alleyway to the left of Farmburger to find the entrance. You might walk past this and completely miss it otherwise. There is a small sign hanging below the Farmburger vertical sign on the corner of the building.

OysterHouse Brewing Company
Atmosphere: Surf & turf restaurant.
Selection: Focus on stouts, English-styles, cask conditioned ales. They also have a rotating selection of guest taps.
Multiple locations, including one downtown and one in West Asheville.

Asheville Yacht Club (“Pirate Bar”)
Atmosphere: Tiki-style bar and restaurant.
Selection: Tropical cocktails.
Tends to be popular among the locals. Specialize in smoked-meat sandwiches. Across from Thirsty Monk, adjacent to Jack of the Wood.

Atmosphere: Outdoor, three-level balcony. Great mix of friendly locals and tourists alike. 1920’s, flapper-bar vibe.
Selection: Great cocktails.
If the weather’s good, we like to go here about one hour before sunset. You’ll have a direct view of the sun setting over the mountains and first pick of spot along their three-level balcony for a prime view. Going early also helps you secure your drink before the crowd really starts to show up as the sun is actually setting. Pack your camera or smart phone for photo opportunities!

Thirsty Monk Brewery & Pub

Atmosphere: College bar upstairs meets European cave-like bar downstairs.
Selection: Rotating selection of craft brews, including some of their own in more recent years. The lower level specializes in Belgian-style draft and bottled beer.
We prefer the atmosphere of the lower level the most. Much more roomy, and they have a wide selection of Belgians there. Across from Jack of the Wood, Asheville Yacht Club.


Downtown – South Slope (Walkable):

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Asheville Brewing Company
Atmosphere: Pizzeria.
Selection: Known for their Ninja Porter, Shiva IPA, and many other diversified styles of brews.
Multiple locations, including one downtown, south Asheville, and North Asheville. The South Slope location is not far from Ben’s Tune Up.

The Asheville Wine Market
Atmosphere: Wine and beer shop.
Selection: Great variety of international wines and mostly regional craft brews. Not far from Wicked Weed (see section: Owned by AB InBev below).

Ben’s Tune Up
Atmosphere: Funky, former auto mechanic garage space. The mostly outdoor space, is partially covered, partially open air, reminiscent of a beer garden with a small performance stage off to one corner.
Selection: House-made beer, sake, and bottled sodas.
We were impressed with the bucket they provided our nearly 2-year-old, full of both crayons and chalk, to let her color to her heart’s content, right on the outdoor picnic table. They have a “Penny Mart” on site, where they sell their sake and soda to go, logo’ed merchandise, and snack food. They are mostly known for their sake. Their kitchen produces great palate-pleasing Asian fusion / American fare and is open late-night. Not far from Asheville Brewing Company, adjacent to Hi-Wire Brewing.

Bhramari Brewing Company
Atmosphere: Modern, rustic, with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Selection: Sours, Belgian-styles, IPAs, kombucha, everyone raves about their creative brews.
Locally and seasonally sourced food menu, with generous portions. Chef-inspired beers and beer-inspired food. Not far from Wicked Weed (see section: Owned by AB InBev below).

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Burial Beer Co.
Atmosphere: Interior space is reminiscent of the inside of a barn or warehouse. They also offer plenty of outdoor seating, if you prefer.
Selection: Variety, including: sours, Belgian-styles, IPAs, Saisons / Farmhouse, ales, and porters. Not far from Tasty Beverage Company.

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Catawba Brewing Co.
Atmosphere: Large, open-air warehouse.
Selection: Variety, including: IPAs / pale ales, lagers, Scotch-ales, porters / stouts, reds, browns, barrel-aged. New small batch beer releases every Thursday.
Flip the logo (or your beer coaster) upside down for emphasis of the brewery’s roots: the logo turns into North & South Carolina! Not far from Green Man Brewery, adjacent to Twin Leaf Brewery. There are also eateries, a BBQ shop and a Vortex Donuts, adjoined to the Catawba building.

Green Man Brewery / Dirty Jack’s
Atmosphere: New and old-feel warehouse space. Eclectic and slightly “nerdy” decor in the original location. Outdoor seating on both sides, the Dirty Jack’s side is partially covered.
Selection: Broad variety, including several rotating seasonal brews. English-style ales, sours, porters.
Though they have recently expanded operations, bottling, and their bar space, we still prefer the lowkey, intimate atmosphere of the original location next door (now known officially as “Dirty Jack’s”). The Dirty Jack’s name was given due to the atmosphere, however coincidentally they passed the local cleanliness inspection with a score of 100%. So, they take the name in stride. GMB recently reached their 20th anniversary milestone. Not far from Catawba Brewing Co. and Tasty Beverage Company.

Hi-Wire Brewing
Atmosphere: Intimate, open-air warehouse with a circus vibe.
Selection: Variety, including: balanced and approachable lagers and ales, barrel-aged, sours and wilds, IPAs, browns, and seasonal brews. Adjacent to Ben’s Tune Up.

Tasty Beverage Company
Atmosphere: Regional craft beer store.
Selection: Great variety.
We tend to favor this local beer store most because of it’s availability of free parking nearby. Makes it really easy to carry cases to your car, and they’ll even help bring them out for you too. The store shelves are full of both regional and international goods, but plenty of room to move about and look at the goods. A good portion available available pre-chilled, and they even have a bar in-house too. The indoor tables would certainly accommodate your family, with young ones, while you taste test at the bar. Not far from Burial Beer Co. and Green Man Brewery.

Twin Leaf Brewery
Atmosphere: Warehouse-style inside and out, with an assortment of board games to play while you relax for a while.
Selection: Variety, including: Belgian-styles, sours, porters / stouts, IPAs. 16 taps.
Not far from Green Man Brewery, adjacent to Catawba Brewing Co.

White Labs Kitchen & Tap
Atmosphere: Warehouse-style inside and out, with an assortment of board games to play while you relax for a while.
Selection: IPAs, classic German styles, Belgians, British Isle classics, local collaborations, and other classic styles along with some other interesting brews.
A short walk from Green Man Brewery.


Downtown – River Arts District (RAD):

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Wedge Brewing Co.
Atmosphere: Warehouse near the French Broad River, with mostly outdoor seating, both covered and open sky.
Selection: Variety of small batches that you can only get on-site.
Two locations in RAD neighborhood.


Downtown – West Asheville:

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Archetype Brewing
Atmosphere: Modern-industrial with both indoor and outdoor seating options.
Selection: New on the scene in July 2017, they specialize in porters / stouts, Belgians, IPAs.

New Belgium Brewing
Atmosphere: Great, open indoor / outdoor space. Welcoming, inviting staff.
Selection: Wide variety of rotating seasonal and flagship brews.
Great outdoor space (both lawn, deck, picnic tables) often featuring food trucks, cornhole, yard games, and more. You’re overlooking the French Broad River, so you can wave hello to the tubers down below. NBB staff prefers if you get here by human power (foot, bike, etc.), super environment-friendly establishment, so you’ll won’t find the sprawling parking lot you’ll find at Sierra Nevada (see section: Outside Town below). They do not have a restaurant on site, as they prefer to specialize in what they’re good at: their beer.

I started a four-post blog series in January, about Asheville, NC, and here eight months later I’m proud to say that part four is now published on the blog. “Where to Drink” ?????? completes the “Where to Stay,” “Where to Eat,” “What to See & Do” series. Last week, I passed through Asheville on my way to and from Atlanta, Georgia from Central Maryland. It gave us time to check out some places that were either new on the scene or just new to us. While we have been to the New Belgium Brewing, Asheville location before, it’s still a relative newcomer on the Asheville beer scene. You’ll see in my post, it’s flagged as one of our “Absolute Favorite” places to drink. ?? They are eco-conscious, family and dog friendly, and overlook the French Broad River. You can’t go wrong with that mix.

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Downtown – Historic Montford:

The Bywater
Atmosphere: Rustic little shack near the train tracks and French Broad River with outdoor seating aplenty.
Selection: Rotating selection of regional craft brews.
If you plan to enjoy your beers on the other side of the train tracks, make sure you keep an eye out for train traffic, so you don’t end up stuck when you need to use the restroom. We hear that French Broad River tubers like pit-stopping here for a tasty brew.

Ginger’s Revenge
Atmosphere: Warehouse.
Selection: Ginger brews and cocktails.
Newer on the Asheville beer scene.


Downtown (South) – Biltmore Village & Biltmore:

Biltmore Winery

Atmosphere: Large wine tasting room on the Biltmore property.
Selection: Cab Sav, Syrah, Table Reds & Whites, Chenin Blanc, Brut, Reserves. Distribution is relatively wide, you’ll likely find this well outside of the Asheville region, unlike many of the local, small production breweries.

Cedric’s Tavern (and Biltmore Brewing Co.)
Atmosphere: Pub on the Biltmore property.
Selection: Pale ale and brown available year round.

French Broad Brewery
Atmosphere: Intimate warehouse space.
Selection: Variety, including: porters, ales (English & German).

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Hillman Beer
Atmosphere: Modern-rustic, with ample space to enjoy your brews inside and out.
Selection: Word-of-mouth has informed us that they currently feature a lot of guest taps, as they are relatively new on the scene.


Outside Town:

Frostbite Ice Cream Bar
Atmosphere: Cafe and bar.
Selection: Boozy shakes, regional craft brews on draft and in bottles, and nationally-known soft-serve ice cream treats.
They are a full-service grill as well.

– outdoor seating (not rooftop deck) is likely dog-friendly
Highland Brewing Company
Atmosphere: Open, large warehouse with rooftop terrace and ground-floor outdoor seating in both front and rear. Known for live music acts, with stages both indoors and out.
Selection: Variety, with specialties in English and Scottish ales, seasonal, and small batch (only available at the brewery).
Food trucks may be on site during busier times. They are about to go through a rebranding, so grab their current logo’ed merchandise while you can. Adjacent to the Asheville Distilling Co. (Troy & Sons). Solar-powered since 2015.

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Pisgah Brewing Company
Atmosphere: Hippie vibe.
Selection: Variety, with specialty in English-style ales. Made exclusively with whole leaf hops and organic malts, Pisgah Pale Ale stands out as their flagship brew. Seasonal Red Devil, Pumpkin Ale, Chocolatized Stout are available once or twice a year. 20 taps, free live music several nights per week, plenty of free parking. The Pisgah Brewing Outdoor Stage can hold 2,500 and is one of Western North Carolina’s best outdoor music venues.

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Atmosphere: Farm-to-table, pricey dining. Backyard outdoor space rather large and accommodating to summertime concerts or wintertime bonfires.
Selection: Flagship national brews, as well as some seasonal and small batch offerings.

Asheville Distilling Co. (Troy & Sons)
Atmosphere: Modern-rustic, intimate space.
Selection: Whiskey.
Adjacent to the Highland Brewing Company.


Owned by AB InBev:

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Funkatorium (Wicked Weed Brewing)
Location: Downtown – South Slope (Walkable)
Atmosphere: Barrel-lined warehouse walls.
Selection: Barrel-aged sours. 16+ rotating taps dedicated entirely to sours and wilds.

  – outdoor seating is likely dog-friendly
Wicked Weed Brewing
Location: Downtown – South Slope (Walkable)
Atmosphere: Tightly-packed restaurant on the main level, with seating inside and out. Lower level feels more like a typical pub with additional indoor and outdoor space.
Selection: Variety, including: Belgian-style, American-style ales. 15 barrel brew system, flowing with over 25 house beers.
One of the brewers came from Dogfish Head in Delaware, where they specialized in off-centered ales for off-centered people. You get that same “creative” vibe here as well. We have dined here before, once or twice, but have never been wow’ed by the cuisine.


Other adult-drink establishments that we haven’t been to just yet, but heard great things about:


Asheville Post Series

Additional Resources

I took this blog post’s Featured Image in 2019 at the New Belgium Brewing Co. in Asheville, NC. Please do not use my photos without my permission.

Mom of three littles, and a small business supporter, Amy Lynn, is the woman behind the Saving Amy blog, covering a broad range of topics with an ultimate goal to encourage and inspire you to save both money and time.Have a sunny day! Have a sunny day!