8 Popular North Carolina Craft Breweries (2023)
Though Asheville carries the legacy of housing the best American breweries, North Carolina as a state has reasonably good options. Asheville was first named “Beer City” in 2009, and since then, the entire State of North Carolina has grown multiple breweries that define true to the tag. North Carolina is home to some cool, low-key craft breweries that are ideal for winding down after a tiring day of hectic work schedules. North Carolina has flavors for every palate, from light to dark and sweet to sour. Most of the breweries in the State have mastered the art of unique flavors and even have gluten-free, vegan, and several sets of options.
The water flowing from the mountains of the Pisgah National Forest is ideal for brewing, and one can confirm that with the taste of excellent beers in the State. Breweries here have been growing in size and reputation for several years, and there’s no sign of letting up anytime soon. With that said, here are 8 Popular North Carolina Breweries. Have a look and build your itinerary.
8 Popular North Carolina Craft Breweries
Bhramari Brewing Co.
Bhramari Brewing Co. is a mid-2010s brewery and restaurant located in Asheville, North Carolina. It is somewhere amid the South Slope Brewing District and, therefore, the most central brewery for most Asheville locals. Bhramari features a full-service taproom, a full-on restaurant with ample indoor seating, along with an elaborated menu. Their taproom operates through the week from afternoon till night, though the restaurant begins its services from evening till night. It also features outdoor seating that is apt for the vibes of drinking and dining in downtown Ashville. Some of the must-try dishes from their restaurant menu include BBQ Pizzas and Deep Dish Pizzas, Greek fries, Corn Dog Bites, and Pierogies.
A newer addition to Asheville Craft Breweries, DSSOLVR is one popular Brewery in North Carolina. DSSOLVR isn’t just a brewery but a brand with exceptional branding and fresh, progressive beers. A visit here will introduce you to the over-the-top design aesthetic and best test. DSSOLVR is a beverage company that involves wine, cider, and mead in the mix. It is settled inside a renovated historic building amongst one of Asheville’s oldest thoroughfares. DSSOLVR is a pretty downtown hangout spot with an alley-like patio. It feels unique amongst other downtown watering holes and is a great spot for watching local life and parade. This brewery is a great spot for those individuals who want less bombastic beers. Some of the popular drinks to try here include Thank You For Existing (Kolsch), Reapers & Creepers (hazy IPA).
Highland Brewing Co.
One of the oldest craft breweries in North Carolina, Highland Brewing Co., kicked off in 1994. Highland was the work of Jamaican-Chinese Oscar Wong and today is the largest independent brewery in the State. Since then, it has been the de-facto godfather of North Carolina craft beer scenes. The original Highland Brewing taproom is located on a beautiful 40-acre hilltop in Asheville, whereas a second taproom is downtown. The former is complete with a nine-hole disc golf course, professional trails, and three professional-grade sand volleyball courts. Highland Brewing Co. isn’t just popular for its location but also for its excellent beer options. Rising Haze IPA and Gaelic Ale are some of the must-try options from their menu. Further, the Black Mocha Stout and pilsner is their underrated but widely available and must-try drink option. St. Terese’s Pale Ale and Black Mocha Stout, too, are some notable options to try.
D9 Brewing Company
Another must-visit is another best craft brewery in North Carolina, the D9 Brewing Company. It was founded by three friends who had a passion for brewing and brought the community together. D9 Brewing Company has its base in Cornelius though it operates in two more regions of North Carolina. Their highlight is the Systema Naturae series. This series explores the natural world’s scientific processes and blends them with exotic flavors and ingredients like lingonberry, edelweiss, and Devilwood blossoms. A visit here will introduce you to unquestionably original and quality brews. Some of the must-try drinks here include Brown Sugar Brown Cow (a mocha brown ale) and Hakuna Matata (a tropical IPA). Also, do not forget to taste the Defying Gravity line if you are into sour beer.
Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery is as quirky in reality as its name suggests. Located in the small rural town of Farmville, it is an invention by Paul Philippon, who is a former philosophy professor. The infamous brewery logo has a “is it a duck or is it a rabbit” diagram which is also a part of one of Paul’s favorite philosophy texts. Paul Philippon considers himself a dark beer specialist, and his facility in Farmville is all about that. The brewery focuses on stouts, brown, amber, and black ales. If you are lucky to encounter some seasonal drinks, get your hand on Barleywine, a hoppy brew with hints of toffee and malt, or Rabid Duck, brewed with chocolate and espresso. Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery is a perfect evening hangout spot for individuals who are occasionally into beers.
Appalachian Mountain Brewery
Appalachian Mountain Brewery is nestled in the High Country of North Carolina and has been operating since 2013. The brewery is dedicated to preparing delicious craft beers while focusing on community, sustainability, and philanthropy. Appalachian Mountain Brewery has an extensive beer portfolio, and all they serve includes distinctive craft beers and ciders. Some of the popular options from their menu include flagship Long Leaf IPA and Boone Creek Blonde. It has been a local and expert favorite and gained multiple awards, including three medals from the Great American Beer Festival. Some must-try beer and ciders at Appalachian include stouts, pilsners, saisons, hefes, IPA, and more. Their pumpkin butternut squash porter and peppermint cream milk stout too are some popular options for their unique flavors. In addition, Appalachian Mountain Brewery has some delicious snacks, and their pizzas are a must-try.
Burial Beer Co.
Burial Beer Co. is one top-rated craft breweries in North Carolina. This renowned facility features a taproom and a kitchen that continues to drizzle the best food and drinks to the table. A visit inside the brewery will introduce you to eye-catching art, rusted farm equipment, the South Slope District taproom’s walls, and an engaging atmosphere. The staff here excels at presenting almost every beer style keeping the drinking game top-notch. Some of the delightful entries in their list include Deathstalker, a Fall from Grace, and a Cruel World Nevertheless, they have unique names, though excellent taste. Burial Beer Company is originally located in South Slope District, 40 Collier Avenue though it also operates a taproom in Raleigh. Individuals who are precise about Burial can visit its other brewery, restaurant, and beer bar near Biltmore Village (Forestry Camp).
Wicked Weed Brewing
Grown into one of the most popular breweries in North Carolina, Wicked Weed is the last option on our list. It was instrumental in raising the profile of Asheville beer and rose drastically in the first half of the 2010s in particular. The brewery operates at three locations: the Brewpub, Funkatorium, and Wicked Weed West. The latter in the list is the original Brewpub and is often overrun with tourist crowds.
Funkatorium, on the other hand, is more about sours and wild ales, and it features a larger selection of tart beers on tap. Wicked Weed has always been keen on introducing new and unique tastes, and that is what keeps them unique from a wide selection of breweries. When here, try their Coolcumber, a golden brew with a mix of cucumber, basil, and juniper berries. Or try their Pineapple Sage-On Tumeric Saison or the Skal Wine Saison. For gluten-allergic beer lovers, their menu includes Gluten Freek or Oak Fermented Cider as well.