If you’ve been to Asheville and toured the Biltmore but still want to do another kind of tour, you’re in luck. There are several brewery tours in Asheville and if you ask us, it’s the best kind of tour around. What’s better than drinking beer and learning about beer?! There are over 25 breweries in Asheville’s city limits and over 50 in the western North Carolina area and the number keeps on growing. In this piece we name our favorite and best brewery tours in Asheville. We also chose to include a few non-traditional brewery tours and one distillery tour.
The brewery tour at New Belgium is an award winning tour. They were 2018 & 2019 Winners of USA Today: 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award of Best Brewery Tours. This is one of the most popular brewery tours in Asheville, especially on the weekends. If awards don’t impress you, no worries, just take the tour (and hope you get Ross as your tour guide because he’s funny and knowledgable). If you know you’ll be visiting Asheville and you want to tour, sign up as far in advance as possible. The tour lasts about 90 minutes long and includes five samples.
Where to find them: 21 Craven Street
Neighborhood: in between West Asheville and Downtown
One of the first craft beers we ever had was a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. That was almost 15 years ago when microbreweries and brewery tours weren’t even on our radar. Fast forward to the present and we now live in Asheville where there seems to be a new brewery coming onto the scene each month! It’s cool to go back to one of our first craft beer experiences and see where and how Sierra Nevada makes their stuff. Our favorite part is going into the room where they store all of the hops. The tour is 45 minutes long and ends with several free samples at the upstairs tasting area. It was one of the first things we did in Asheville together and it’s still one of my favorites.
Where to find them: 100 Sierra Nevada Way
Neighborhood: Sierra Nevada is located about 10 miles south of Asheville in Mills River.
Highland starting making beers back in 1994 and we dig ’em because they 3rd largest craft brewing solar array in the US and they partner up with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. The brewery tour at Highland is 45 minutes long. Groups are limited to 15 people per tour which is a good size group for a tour; not too big, not too small.
Where to find them: 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Suite 200
Neighborhood: East Asheville
You can take a tour at Wicked Weed any day of the week but you must sign up in person. Reservations can be made 7 days in advance but there isn’t a way to sign up online. (Oh well, go sign up and drink a beer while you’re there.) The tour is fun and includes a free sampling glass, a couple tastes of the beer they make and a coupon for their gift shop. Plus, you get a wooden token that you can use for a few samples at their sour beer facility, The Funkatorium. Tours are capped at 10 people so it’s a nice way learn about the brewery without bumping elbows with a ton of others and you don’t have to do much walking. It’s one of the best brewery tours in Asheville because you get a lot for absolutely nothing.
Cost: Free (there’s a cash tip jar on the table for your tour guide).
Where to find them: 91 Biltmore Avenue
Green Man is the oldest brewery in Downtown Asheville. Their brewery tours are about an hour long. Like all good brewery tours, you’ll get to learn about the brewery and taste four samples of their beers. All participants on the tour are given a gift bag that is included with the cost of the tour.
Cost: $12 per person
Where to find them: 27 Buxton Avenue
Neighborhood: South Slope
The tour at Chemist Spirits isn’t a brewery tour (they make spirits after all) but we’ve added it to the list because it’s such a cool place to get a drink. If you’ve ever wanted a sneak peak into a distillery and learn about the process, now’s your chance, they’re offered most Saturdays at 12pm. Plus, there are tastings involved. Walk-ins are welcome to take a tour but reservations are recommended.
Cost: $10 per person
Where to find them: 151 Coxe Avenue
Neighborhood: South Slope
Have you seen those big purple buses with mustaches attached to the front driving, er, zooming, around Asheville? (A lot of times you’ll hear them before you see them because there’s a live band on board.) Intrigued? This is a one of a kind thing to do in Asheville and it’s also one of the best brewery tours, albeit non-traditional, brewery tours around. You’ll meet at the LaZoom room where you can buy some beers and then take off on a tour around town that stops at 3 local breweries: Highland, Hillman and the Wedge at Foundation. The brewery stops are 30 minutes long and while you won’t get a tour of the behind the scenes of those breweries, you will have plenty of time to grab another drink and use the bathroom.
Cost: $34 per person
Where to find them: 76 Biltmore Avenue
Neighborhood: Downtown Asheville
Most of the locals who live in Asheville have a knee-jerk reaction to the Pubcycle when they see it rolling through town. It’s kinda slow, it holds up traffic and the people on it typically try to draw as much attention to themselves as possible. Still, the people on the Pubcycle seem to have a ton of fun, so, what the heck, we added it to the list of best brewery tours in Asheville. One thing to note however, is that this isn’t a typical brewery tour. You won’t be seeing any hops in large vats or checking out a behind-the-scenes area of a brewery. You’ll be pedaling through Asheville and drinking whatever beer you brought with you. Don’t worry, the Pubcycle has a motor assist to help with the pedaling.
Cost: $25 a person
Where to find them: The Pubcycle has two locations. 51 Biltmore Avenue (in front of the Aloft Hotel) and 24 Buxton Avenue (in front of Urban Orchard Cider Company).
Neighborhood: Downtown and South Slope
Best Brewery Tours in Asheville Recap
Some of the breweries on this list also made it onto another list of ours. If you like sipping on a beer outside be sure to check out our post on the Best Outdoor Breweries and Bars in Asheville. We did a round-up of some of our favorite patios and outdoor areas in town.
Love tours but not a big fan of beer? Be sure to check out our story on the best wine tour in the WNC area.
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