Best Asheville, NC Breweries

Discussion in 'South Atlantic' started by Darwensi, Dec 21, 2020.

  1. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    @Sabzi Burial, Green Man, Eurisko, Hillman, and Zillicoah are always my suggestions.

    Zebulon makes awesome beer but their brewery is about 20min from downtown, is not easy to park at, and the taproom is pretty bare bones. That being said, if you want to sample as much Zebulon beer as you can, you should definitely go! Appalachian Vintner bottle shop usually has several Zebulon offerings if you want to save time.

    New Origin is cool but I wouldn't consider it a must visit. If you go though check out Cursus Keme next door to make it worth it.
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  2. imtroy703

    imtroy703 Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2009 Virginia
    Society Trader

    reddit anyone? Geezus! just go! Like now! And let us know!
  3. ffejherb

    ffejherb Initiate (0) Oct 18, 2006 Pennsylvania

    My wife and I are heading to Asheville over Thanksgiving. Does anyone know of any breweries open on Thanksgiving day other than Hi-Wire? I heard Burial and Green Man were both open, but I got in touch and they are both closed, unfortunately. We plan on hitting around 25 breweries, as we haven't been in town in over a decade and a lot has changed, obviously! :-)
  4. PassMeAZima

    PassMeAZima Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2014 Kentucky

    Hint #1–I’ve never shipped to you (in the 12 Days) before
    lateralusbeer likes this.
  5. treznor

    treznor Pooh-Bah (1,752) Dec 20, 2006 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Either you're in the wrong place, or this is a very well placed clue for me for 12DoX!
  6. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Savant (1,026) Feb 7, 2010 North Carolina

    Thought I was losing my mind there for a second, as a user of both threads
  7. PassMeAZima

    PassMeAZima Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2014 Kentucky

    What in the hell is going on :grin:
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  8. CaptCleveland

    CaptCleveland Maven (1,378) Jun 18, 2003 Ohio

    Thank you all for your insight and knowledge of the Asheville brew scene. Last time I was here was for the Brewgrass festival in 2003 so I appreciated the updated info. We hit Green Man, Burial, the Funkatoriam, Bhramari and Sierra Nevada. We had take out from Thai Pearl, Luellas and from Bhramari. We also had food from SN's high gravity rooms limited menu. We did some hiking and enjoyed the local pop up Christmas shopping and bookstores. Asheville remains a favorite place for it's brew and local scene and I relied on all the BA recommendations to parse together a wonderful holiday week. Thank you all and Merry Christmas!
  9. Subcontrabass

    Subcontrabass Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2014 North Carolina

    They're a fun one/two punch as both breweries are very different in terms of taplist and general vibe. Grab a soft and fluffy NE-IPA or Pastry Stout at New Origin then walk over to Cursus for a Rauchbier or Farmhouse Ale.
  10. TGBooks

    TGBooks Initiate (37) Jan 8, 2022 North Carolina

    I'm flabbergasted that no one has mentioned Cellarest, a fairly new, all-wood-fermented brewery in West Asheville-ish. No brewery in town has a clearer or more interesting POV. They've been making the best, most thoughtful beer in AVL for six or so months now. (I guess Burial might... but their POV is candy stouts and hazzzzzzzzzzzze.)
    lateralusbeer likes this.
  11. treznor

    treznor Pooh-Bah (1,752) Dec 20, 2006 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Agreed, which is why I mentioned it a couple months ago :slight_smile: I was quite impressed with it in my only visit thus far. Will definitely be back.
  12. greensparkplug

    greensparkplug Initiate (0) Nov 28, 2014 North Carolina

    Anything new in the works right now for 2022?

    Since last time I visited, I think Cellarest, New Origin and Dssolvr are the main new breweries that have opened up, so looking forward to checking them out.

    Any thoughts on any of those? They all look promising but I haven't heard too much about any of them.
  13. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    Cellarest - Very small taproom and brewhouse but I love the copper serving tanks. They tend to make farmhouse ales, lagers, and old style beers which is a nice departure from breweries pumping out hype styles. One of my favorite new spots.

    New Origin - Another small taproom but definitely a cool space. Beers are pretty well made and they seem to focus on IPA's, sours, and stouts. They have started canning as well which makes it easy to take some home with you.

    Dssolvr - This place is a huge miss for me. I've tried a handful of their beers and visited the taproom which have all been disappointing. Lots of poorly executed hype beer styles with tons of adjuncts and goofy stuff thrown in. But the taproom is always busy so I may be in the minority.
    lateralusbeer likes this.
  14. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Savant (1,026) Feb 7, 2010 North Carolina

    Very much seconded. Product of hype
  15. treznor

    treznor Pooh-Bah (1,752) Dec 20, 2006 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Love Cellarest and New Origin. Both are awesome in their own respect. Only been once to each but was impressed with both and will be back (and gives me a reason to get over to West Asheville so I can hit The Whale as well).

    Dssolvr is up and down. I haven't loved a ton of their distro stuff, though its been good, not great. I've had better stuff from them at the taproom though. But they do definitely focus on hype styles. A lot of their list is going to be IPAs (mostly hazy, but they've put out a couple non-hazy I think), adjunct stouts, and fruited sours. But they also do a couple decent lagers as well. If you like the hype style, they'll hit the spot pretty well. If you don't... well, there might be one or two options for you there.
  16. greensparkplug

    greensparkplug Initiate (0) Nov 28, 2014 North Carolina

    Thanks! Sounds good about Cellarest and New Origin.

    That's interesting about Dssolvr. I think the only beers of theirs I've tried have been pilsners and dark lagers, didn't realize they were actually more focused on hazy ipas and adjunct stouts.

    Anyone know if any new breweries are planning to open in Asheville this year?
    lateralusbeer likes this.
  17. treznor

    treznor Pooh-Bah (1,752) Dec 20, 2006 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    New Origin and Cellarest are the newest, haven't heard about anything in the process of opening. Burial is opening a 2nd location (next door to the original).
  18. PEBKAC

    PEBKAC Pooh-Bah (1,597) Sep 4, 2006 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Unless the hotels start brewing their own beer or we annex Weaverville, we are so close to maxing out space without it feeling like Disneyland.
  19. Miles_in_beer_city

    Miles_in_beer_city Pundit (826) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina

    Nothing really new since New Origin and Cellarest, though things are still evolving with the base already here.
    • HiWire opened their 3rd location in Asheville, in the River Arts District Beer Garden, 24 taps, with sheltered outdoor space, and indoor space, permanent food truck.
    • Rye Knot - brewery, distillery, restaurant has opened in North Asheville. Have not been, or heard any comments.
    • Turgua Brewing (Fairview) moved to a much larger facility with plenty of indoor and outdoor space along Cane Creek, rotating food trucks. Great beer.
    • Riverside Rhapsody - Just north of Asheville in Woodfin. I give them high marks on their brews.
    A little further out...
    • Mills River Brewing - Mills River, moved from a strip mall near the airport to a new facility with plenty of indoor and outdoor space, permanent food truck.
    • Burning Blush - Mills River, all new facility with plenty of indoor and outdoor space, and revolving food trucks.
    • Homeplace Brewing - Burnsville. Moved from small location to a venue with lots of outdoor space. Have had great beer from day 1. Owner/brewer has worked at 5 or 6 area breweries before opening his own.
    • Hillman has opened a second location in Old Fort. Haven't been, yet, but everyone that has been there loves it.
    • Big Pillow Brewing - Hot Springs. Excellent beer and food, live music often.
    But nothing in the rumor mill about any that would be truly 'new', which is unusual.
  20. Subcontrabass

    Subcontrabass Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2014 North Carolina

    I stopped by Old Fort Hillman last week on the way up to Asheville. Definitely a cool spot with a big indoor space and some outdoor seating, too. They have their own kitchen and accordingly are open early for lunch all week.

    [IMO it makes them a tactical choice for a pitstop if you're driving west on I-40 early in the week, as many of the other area breweries are either closed or open mid/late afternoon. Easy detour right off the interstate and only about 30 minutes to Asheville from there. Right beside an upscale biking clothing manufacturer that also offers coffee/pastries, so you can grab yourself a cuppa joe for the road before heading out. There are also a couple of trails nearby if you need to walk/bike it off after a couple rounds before heading to the city.]

    Big taplist, but only had time for a one-and-done. Seemed like a good brewpub variety that leaned toward mostly traditional old-world styles. I'll go back.
  21. treznor

    treznor Pooh-Bah (1,752) Dec 20, 2006 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Was surprised by both of these when I went. Randomly went to Riverside Rhapsody one day when I was at Zillicoah last fall and was very pleasantly surprised considering I knew nothing at all about it. Same trip actually I was camping around the Old Fort area and stopped in at Hillman and was surprised there as well. Not so much about it being pretty solid as I generally have liked Hillman in the past, but it was a lot larger than I expected.
    Miles_in_beer_city likes this.
  22. Miles_in_beer_city

    Miles_in_beer_city Pundit (826) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina

    The owners/brewers at Riverside Rhapsody had been brewing at Blue Mountain Pizza in Weaverville since 2013, and finally got enough capital, etc., to open their own brewery in early 2021.
    treznor likes this.
  23. Subcontrabass

    Subcontrabass Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2014 North Carolina

    Back from a nice trip to AVL. Couldn't hit them all, but it is always good to have an excuse on the books to get back up there. Lots of great brews, vibes, and hangs around town. I don't have time to scribe-up a full review, but here are a couple shout-outs for some of the newer stops:

    Burning Blush (Mills River) was a surprise hit for me. Very impressed with their lager game. Cool taproom with a mix of Edgar Allen Poe and Renaissance branding. I would put them as the top priority in Mills River if you're looking for another stop before/after Sierra Nevada.

    Big Pillow (Hot Springs) was another pleasant surprise. Competently executed brews and right on the Appalachian Trail. A bit out of the way if you're in AVL proper, but a great pitstop if you're going to/from Knoxville. Permanent taco truck next door, but I unfortunately didn't get a chance to try anything.

    First time getting to Cellarest (West AVL) and the hype is legit. Rustic ales and lagers that creatively reimagine traditional styles with aged twists. Tiny taproom and selections that won't appeal to everyone, but they were very much my cup of tea. The only breweries I visited multiple times on the trip were Burial (3), Zillicoah (2), and Cellarest (2). Might have stopped by Cellarest again if I had the time.

    Lots of other good ones to mention, but I don't want to be typing all night!
  24. Readmorevols

    Readmorevols Crusader (482) Jun 5, 2016 Tennessee

    I searched for a Greenman thread and couldn’t find one. Anyone know they’re stopping sour production?

    Last batch of Snozz to be released soon.
  25. Subcontrabass

    Subcontrabass Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2014 North Carolina

    The guy behind the Green Man sour line left a couple of years ago to start Zebulon. While Mike was there, their sours were incredible and highly coveted in extreme beer dork circles.

    Although they continued sour production after he left, some folks have felt like the brews didn't reach the same peak. I haven't been able to get them regularly enough to have any meaningful opinions about changes in quality, but the ones I had from back in the heyday were fantastic.

    A bigger factor (IMO) is that popular beer tastes have migrated away from those bone-dry super-acidic wine-like sours and more towards the smoothie-style heavily-fruited pastry sours. A robust sour program like Green Man had takes a lot of time, attention, and overhead (purchasing & storing barrels, maintaining QC on wild yeasts, etc), and it wouldn't surprise me if they decided it wasn't worth it anymore to go as hard into those Belgian-inspired sours as they used to. I can't imagine their sour program was ever a real big money-maker, but it was at least someone's passion project and gave Green Man dork street cred points. Now that folks aren't really standing in line anymore, it wouldn't surprise me if they scale back. [I would prefer they scale UP their sours and send more to the Triad, of course]
  26. Readmorevols

    Readmorevols Crusader (482) Jun 5, 2016 Tennessee

    I knew that Mike left. They released several batches after he left (that he didn't brew or cellar). And they were still good. The rest of the world caught up more so than theirs got worse IMO.

    Peoples tastes have changed for sure. Those beers still have a market though.

    Robust isn't how I would describe their sour program. (3 bases/blends). Several hundred bottles each release. Those beers are cheap to make. Space and time are the only limiting factors. No reason not to keep it up unless fear of contaminating clean beer.
  27. chaser85

    chaser85 Aspirant (238) Jan 20, 2009 Texas

    Hey y'all, dredging up an old thread here for some bottle shop advice. I'll be driving up from Greenville to pick up friends on Saturday morning before heading out toward Bryson City. I used to always stop at Tasty Beverage Co but I see that it moved to Raleigh! Any recs in Asheville that may be open at 9-10ish in the morning? I'm not expecting to have time to stop at any breweries unfortunately...
  28. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,470) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    FYI - Tasty Beverage did not move to Raleigh (original location was in Raleigh and that one is still open but the location in Asheville has closed).

    My top recommendation for Asheville bottle shops is generally Appalachian Vinters but it looks like they do not open until 11 AM. The only bottle shop that I see that is open that early is Weinhaus (10 AM)
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  29. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    @chaser85 If you are driving west from Asheville to Bryson City you have a few options en route.

    Appalachian Vintner in Asheville, NC - opens at 11am and is a top notch bottle shop in my opinion

    Blue Ridge Beer Hub in Waynesville, NC - opens at 11am and has a solid selection of NC beers

    Bryson City Outdoors in Bryson City, NC - opens at 10am and has small selection of local beers and small draft beer bar

    Ingles Grocery Stores in Asheville and Waynesville - You might be surprised at the beer selection at Ingles. They won't have Burial but they have a lot of great local stuff.
  30. jloomis

    jloomis Pundit (936) Jan 6, 2010 Florida

    Also Earth Fare in Asheville has a very good beer selection including Burial and they open early.
  31. chaser85

    chaser85 Aspirant (238) Jan 20, 2009 Texas

    @dbrauneis @JuliusPepperwood @jloomis Thanks for the recommendations! A snafu with a rental car got us into Asheville a little bit later than expected so we were able to stop at Appalachian Vintner. We picked up some old favorites and the wonderful folks there put us onto some new ones! This will definitely be the go to spot, thanks!
  32. yuppiescum

    yuppiescum Devotee (396) Jun 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    I'm landing at AVL around noon friday and have some time to kill before the rest of my party arrives. I'd like to take the opportunity to visit some areas off the beaten path - we'll be in the south slope/downtown area at night anyway for sure.

    What's a good bet for lunch and beers ubarable from the airport? I am currently debating The Whale or just going to Sierra Nevada, since I haven't been. Anything in Biltmore Village worth the visit these days? I haven't been there in 10+ years.

    I would ordinarily head to 12 Bones but we have some other BBQ plans for the weekend.
  33. yuppiescum

    yuppiescum Devotee (396) Jun 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    Also, are there any good lager places to potentially stock up on cans for a tailgate?
  34. Miles_in_beer_city

    Miles_in_beer_city Pundit (826) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina

    Being a very beer focus area, many grocery stores have an extensive craft beer selection, much of it in refrigerated cases. Ingle's is the most common in the area.
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  35. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Savant (1,026) Feb 7, 2010 North Carolina

    SN is a must go. There's nowhere in Asheville proper that can compare.
  36. treznor

    treznor Pooh-Bah (1,752) Dec 20, 2006 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    If you haven't been to Sierra Nevada, that's probably worth going. The food is great, the beer is usually pretty solid (mostly their core lineup and they'll have a handful of interesting taps), and the location itself is pretty awesome.

    That said, if I were in your shoes I'd probably hit The Whale. They have a great draft lineup pretty much all the time and their bottles tend to be crazy. Around the corner is Sunny Point and Biscuithead, one of which will likely have a seat open since it isn't the weekend (though, with it being leaf-peeper season, maybe not), or Rockys Hot Chicken Shack is a bit further. Both the Cellerest and Archetype are less than a half mile away as well if you manage to get tired of drinking at the Whale. Cellerest is one of the newer places in Asheville and Archetype has very solid options. One World is also across the street from The Whale. Not a huge fan, but its certainly closeby.

    Three other options for 'out of the way but good':
    - New Origin / Curses Keme. Don't know of any good food over there, but I'm sure there is some. New Origin is quite new and very good. Curses Keme reopened fairly recently. Some really like it, some don't. I'm more of the don't, but its... interesting for sure.
    - Ziilcoah / Outsider / Riverside Rhapsody - Outsider, I think, is the newest place in Asheville. Haven't been yet. Zillicoah and Riverside Rhapsody are both quite good. And Ginger's Revenge (ginger beer only, good if that's your thing) and French Broad Chocolates are right there.
    - Burial Forestry Camp / Hillman / Eda Rhyne - Forestry Camp doesn't open until 4 during the week so this doesn't really hit your requirement. But figured I'd toss it in in case your group decided to head off of South Slope or you got in late or something.
    CarolinaCardinals likes this.
  37. yuppiescum

    yuppiescum Devotee (396) Jun 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    Man, I do F with Biscuit Head.
  38. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    Whaley Farm Brewery is having its grand opening this Saturday. They're about 30 min outside of Asheville in Old Fort but it's definitely worth a stop if you're on your way east. I swung by last week during their soft open and it's really good. They mostly had English and German style ales and lagers, as well as some on cask. I kind of respected they had no IPA's on the taplist but everything we tried was so well made we couldn't have cared less.
  39. TGBooks

    TGBooks Initiate (37) Jan 8, 2022 North Carolina

    Remarkably, Whaley became a top-tier brewery in the AVL area from pretty much the moment it open. Highest recommendation.

    Rest of the best-of list right now: Cellarest, Sideways, Zillicoah, Zebulon, Sierra Nevada.

    Most anticipated opening of the season: Leveller.

    You wonder what happened: Cursus Keme, Burial (well, maybe we know...).
  40. CarolinaCardinals

    CarolinaCardinals Grand Pooh-Bah (4,253) Jun 11, 2003 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Definitely want to hit Whaley at some point in the near future. @WCKDVBZ turmed me onto the Best Bitter Ale, which was at Appalachian Vintner, is definitely close to being a world class ESB.