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9 Best Asheville Breweries to Experience

Craft breweries are about flavor, of course, whether it’s the hops, the malt, or the roast that influences it, but often the quality and subsequent popularity revolve around location. And if there’s such a place as the perfect destination for a craft brewing bonanza, Asheville, North Carolina, might be it.

With an inspiring mountain backdrop of the highest peaks in the Eastern U.S. that provides touted mountain water for brewing, Asheville is a top U.S. craft beer destination. While the water is one reported benefit of the beer, the other ingredients used — grain, yeast, and hops — are locally available as well. Many of the breweries utilize additional local ingredients that represent the Appalachia area such as pumpkins, carrots, strawberries, honey, and other foods.

It started in 1994 when a retired engineer named Oscar Wong opened Asheville’s first craft brewery, Highland Brewing Company. Wong’s success set the bar for a wave of local breweries — 51 in the Asheville area and growing — and even drew national breweries to set up shop there as well. Asheville now boasts more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city and offers approximately 100 local beers to imbibe.

The personality of the area mixed with a vast variety of beers to sample lends to a unique brewing atmosphere. And each brewery puts its own spin on the craft, whether it’s a unique flavor profile, incorporation of beer into food and other products, or the use of only locally sourced products.

While millennials may have been a force in launching the craft brewing movement, the desire for unique and flavorful brews brings craft beer lovers of all ages to visit these innovative breweries. Because taste and a preference for full-bodied beer have no age limits, you’ll find visitors of all ages enjoying a craft beer.

Known as Beer City USA, in addition to a multitude of breweries, you’ll discover brewery tours, beer festivals, and a vibrant craft beer scene.

Located in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina approximately 20 minutes south of Asheville, Turgua Brewing Company is a farmhouse brewery known for its passion for local products: Appalachian Mountain well water, regional grains, local roots, fruits, spices, and herbs for flavoring, and local malts.

If you enjoy a malty profile, try the Red Rye IPA (7.2% ABV) brewed using Carolina rye and local malts. For pumpkin flavor without the spice, try the Pumpkin Porter (5.8% ABV) that’s mashed with organic, fire-roasted, and caramelized Candy Roaster Pumpkins and followed with a second fermentation with local sorghum molasses.

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