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The 9 Highest-Rated Breweries in Asheville, North Carolina

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Photography courtesy of New Origin Brewing Company

Asheville, North Carolina's legacy largely consists of two things: Pisgah National Forest and beer. Nestled in the western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has made a name for itself as a craft beer mecca with popular spots such as Burial Beer Co., Zillicoah Beer Co., Hi-Wire Brewing, and more.

In fact, Asheville had been consistently named "Beer City, USA" by popular polls until Grand Rapids, Michigan, eventually dethroned them. 

Plus, Asheville made it to the eighth spot on Untappd's list of the "Top Ten Beer Cities of 2021" with 226.4k venue check-ins. 

And the reason that Asheville has some of the best breweries is that, reportedly, the water flowing from the mountains of the Pisgah National Forest is ideal for brewing. 

Regardless, Asheville has a storied beer history. 

The History of Asheville's Beer Scene

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Photography courtesy of Highland Brewing

Beginning with retired engineer Oscar Wong, who opened Highland Brewing in 1994, Asheville has played home to some stellar breweries. In fact, many large-scale craft breweries have set up satellite locations in Asheville, including Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues. Asheville's reputation as a brewery-friendly city has attracted brewers and craft beer drinkers alike for decades.

The conversation about the "best beer city in the U.S." tends to be a controversial one, while many are quick to list storied cities like Grand Rapids, Denver, San Diego, Chicago, and Asheville.

Asheville's history has played a major role in its beer-city status, as did the high-profile acquisition of local favorite Wicked Weed by Anheuser-Busch. But we've been particularly excited by the latest crop of breweries popping up and innovating in Beer City, USA. 

With that in mind, here are the nine highest-rated breweries operating in and around Asheville, NC.*

*The list shows the top breweries, based on our weighted average formula, which effectively rates all breweries against each other and gives weight to their beers with higher rating count. A brewery must have at least 1,000 ratings and at least 5 beers in their portfolio to qualify for this list. For more information on our rating system, please view our ratings explainer.

Untappd's 9 Highest-Rated Breweries in Asheville, NC

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Photography courtesy of New Origin Brewing Company

1. New Origin Brewing Company - A small 7-BBL brewery that focuses on new-school and experimental beers, New Origin Brewing Company set up shop in Biltmore Village. In the gorgeous industrial taproom you'll find modern, stylish beers like Pickles, a New England-style IPA, alongside more humble classics like Focal Point, a Vienna lager.  

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New Origin Brewing Company logo

New Origin Brewing Company

Asheville, NC United States

Nano Brewery

Total (?) 7,891

Unique (?) 2,393

(4.17)

6,906 Ratings

60 Beers

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Photography courtesy of Burial Beer Co.

2. Burial Beer Co. - There's a case to be made that Burial is one of North Carolina's best breweries, let alone Asheville's. 

From the eye-catching can art to the rusted farm equipment adorning the South Slope District taproom's walls, Burial appears to have a spiritual connection with the metalheads at TRVE Brewing Co. in Denver. 

Hardcore comparisons aside, Burial excels at nearly every beer style. Their mainstay IPA Surf Wax is a North Carolina classic. And just about every farmhouse ale and lager is gentle, refreshing, and complex in the best way. Not to mention their highly sought-after lineup of stouts. 

Burial has gone on to open a second location in Asheville, an outpost in Raleigh, NC, and will be opening a taproom and bottle shop soon in Charlotte, NC (at the time of publication, the bottle shop was open for online orders, but the taproom was not yet open to the public). 

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Burial Beer Co. logo

Burial Beer Co.

Asheville, NC United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 1.33M+

Unique (?) 182,280

(4.1)

1,039,649 Ratings

1323 Beers

 

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Photography courtesy of ZEBULON Artisan Ales

3. ZEBULON Artisan Ales - While technically a good twenty-minute drive from downtown Asheville, Zebulon is producing some stellar farmhouse ales and deserves a visit if you're in the area. Although hip and happening, Zebulon actually focuses on the art of Belgian, French farmhouse, and historical beers. 

Everything coming out of this warehouse is unfiltered. And with no flagships, Zebulon's beers are often seen once and never again, making this brewery even more of a coveted stop. 

Plan accordingly though: At the time of publication, Zebulon's taproom is only open from 1pm-6pm on Friday and Saturday. 

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Zebulon Artisan Ales logo

Zebulon Artisan Ales

Weaverville, NC United States

Nano Brewery

Total (?) 36,265

Unique (?) 11,104

(4.04)

29,356 Ratings

382 Beers

 

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4. Brouwerij Cursus Keme - Founded by husband and wife Jeffrey and Jessica Horber in the Biltmore Industrial neighborhood, Brouwerij Cursus Keme is a bit of a mystery. In the sense that you won't find a whole lot of information about the brewery on their website or Instagram. Instead, you need to discover this brewery the good old fashion way—by simply going to the taproom to check them out. Located in an old tractor-trailer repair shop along the Swannanoa River, Cursus Keme is kind of like a beer lover's oasis. Just go, enjoy the live music, grab something from the food trucks that pop up on Wednesdays, and have a great time. 

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Brouwerij Cursus Keme logo

Brouwerij Cursus Keme

Asheville, NC United States

Nano Brewery

Total (?) 6,153

Unique (?) 2,327

(3.96)

5,204 Ratings

100 Beers

 

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Photography courtesy of John A. Paradiso

5. Zillicoah Beer Co. - Technically, Zillicoah is located just outside of Asheville in the neighboring Woodfin, but as one of the best craft breweries in the region, we'll let this one slide. The charming riverside brewery produces some of the most enticing yet simple beers we've had in a long time. 

With a focus on gentle though complex flavors, Zillicoah specializes in open-fermented lagers and ales, a traditional approach that feels progressive in today's beer industry. 

Such as Glow, a sessionable farmhouse ale foeder fermented with a mixed culture for a funky, oaky IPA. Hop Culture loved Glow so much they named the beer one of their "20 Best Beers to Drink in Spring 2020."

Initially, Zillicoah brewed its wort offsite at Asheville's Eurisko Beer Co. (number six on this list) before toting it back to ferment in Zillicoah's barrels. But in 2020, the brewery purchased a full brewhouse to bring the entire brewing process under their roof. 

Alongside the exquisite beer, food from resident food truck Taqueria Muñoz slings authentic, delicious tacos. You must grab some during any stop at Zillicoah.

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Zillicoah Beer Company logo

Zillicoah Beer Company

Woodfin, NC United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 30,191

Unique (?) 10,220

(3.97)

25,005 Ratings

172 Beers

 

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Photography of Eurisko Beer Co.

6. Eurisko Beer Company - Launched in 2017 by three high school friends from Charlotte, Eurisko Beer Company set up shop in an old barbershop. The two-story taproom and beer garden is the perfect setting to drink from a very precise taplist, featuring (at the moment) a couple excellent porters and stouts. Plus, a few German-style beers including a pilsner, a helles, and a kellerbier. Along with, of course, the ubiquitous hazy and American IPAs. This is a brewery doing the simple things right. 

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Eurisko Beer Company logo

Eurisko Beer Company

Asheville, NC United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 22,186

Unique (?) 9,275

(3.94)

18,885 Ratings

155 Beers

 

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Photography courtesy of John A. Paradiso

7. DSSOLVR - One of the slightly newer additions to the Asheville craft beer scene, DSSOLVR has led with exceptional branding and fresh, progressive beers. Take one look at their Instagram feed (which Hop Culture named one of their "20 Best Instagram Accounts of 2020") and you'll see the commitment to both exciting beer and engaging artwork. You'll consistently find labels on the beers both surreal and quirky. In fact, Hop CUlture named DSSOLVR's Thank You For Existing one of their "Best Beer Labels of 2020."

DSSOLVR is a brewery long in the making, with co-founder Vince Tursi cutting his teeth in Boston at breweries like Night Shift and Lord Hobo. Along with co-founder Mike Semenec, Tursi has built a modern brewery that manages to keep a close eye on tradition. 

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DSSOLVR logo

DSSOLVR

Asheville, NC United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 135,164

Unique (?) 40,945

(3.94)

115,734 Ratings

315 Beers

 

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Label Design Courtesy of Wade Asa

8. Cellarest Beer Project - Winner of the best label in the "Light Lagers & Blonde Ales" category in the NC Craft Brewers Guild's Label Insanity Competition this year (see above), Cellarest Beer Project does way more than just make incredible labels. Although obviously, they do that very well too. A farmhouse-inspired ale and lager brewery, Cellarest Beer Project ferments beer in wooden barrels to capture the complex and innovative flavors of nature. 

Consider this brewery in West Asheville one that blends modern-day brewing with old-world techniques. For example, Insight, a farmhouse landbier fermented in an acacia foudre with a base of Riverbend Malt House's lightest Pilsner malt and Cumbelrand corn and conditioned on Inari Tea's 'Four Season Spring' Oolong tea. 

Or Peiskos, a milk stout made with chocolate, roast, and dark crystal malts from Riverbend, fermented in cherrywood, and conditioned on vanilla beans and coffee from Cooperative Roasters. 

This is a salt-of-the-earth brewery using local ingredients to craft incredible works. 

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Cellarest Beer Project logo

Cellarest Beer Project

West Asheville, NC United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 5,557

Unique (?) 2,250

(3.94)

4,664 Ratings

89 Beers

 

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Photography courtesy of Wicked Weed Brewing

9. Wicked Weed Brewing

It would be hard to visit Asheville without making a trip to Wicked Weed. The brewery's Funkatorium in the South Slope of Asheville is the East Coast's first taproom dedicated to sour beer. Stop by to explore over a dozen sour beers on tap including Black Angel, a black sour ale aged in bourbon barrels with over one-and-a-half pounds of Michigan Montmorency cherries. Or Saniaca, a gin barrel-aged sour fermented with watermelon and basil. This is truly a Willy Wonka-esque destination for sour beer lovers. No amount of fruits, herbs, or ingredients are off limits. 

For those less-whimsical beer lovers, Wicked Weed has a few other locations, including the 50-BBL production brewery and taproom in West Asheville and the original brewpub in downtown Asheville (complete with full restaurant, bottle shop, and dog-friendly patio).

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Wicked Weed Brewing logo

Wicked Weed Brewing

Subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev

Asheville, NC United States

Macro Brewery

Total (?) 2.37M+

Unique (?) 411,435

(3.92)

1,792,564 Ratings

736 Beers

 

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