When Sierra Nevada decided its first East Coast brewery would be here, any craft beer lovers who didn't know Asheville was a huge beer town learned it quickly. By the time New Belgium followed Sierra's lead and made Asheville the home of its eastward expansion, Asheville's craft beer secret was well out of the keg.
Those breweries still have a few years before they're up and running, so craft beer lovers looking to catch Asheville at its unspoiled best should do so quickly. Highland Brewery's tasting room isn't much to look at, but it's full of Oatmeal Porter, St. Terese's Pale Ale, Gailic Ale and Kashmir IPA and is perhaps the tamest place to start.
From there, Craggie Brewing, Wedge Brewing, Oyster House Brewing, French Broad Brewing, Green Man Brewery, The Lexington Avenue Brewery and Asheville Brewing all await travelers who may have an understandably hard time keeping track of them all. In between, there's always the lush scenery of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the cascading falls at Sliding Rock and the history at the Grove Park Inn and the Vanderbilts' Biltmore Estate to keep folks occupied. Still, beer is the main attraction here and it's attracting more beer lovers and businesses by the minute.