Drinking Made Easy
Drinking Made Easy: Asheville

Drinking Made Easy: Asheville

January 16, 2012 17

Asheville has witnessed a recent boom in the craft beer industry and has earned the title “Beer City USA” two years in a row. Unlike other Beer City winners like Portland, Oregon, Asheville is pretty small by comparison with a population of approximately 75,000. But even with its small stature Asheville offers up 11 different breweries and plenty of beer festivals. Zane and Steve plan to hit 9 of these breweries in one day to taste a beer from each. Then they will square off in an Asheville Beer Taste Test. Learn more about the breweries and their beers below.


  • Highland Brewing Company: Opened in 1994 as Asheville’s first brewery since prohibition, Highland Brewing Company began Asheville’s beer boom and is the largest local brewery, producing 15,000 barrels a year. Highland Brewing Company lives around the mantra: honesty, integrity, and respect which they try to show with every aspect of their business from the grain farmer to the grocery store owner. Thus creating a unique and authentic brewing process. 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Suite H Asheville, NC 28803 (828) 299-3370
  • Oyster House Brewing Company: Oyster House is the smallest brewery of Asheville and is known for creating small-batch, high-quality brews for beer and seafood lovers. Staying true to their name, Oyster House uses real oysters in the brewing process for many of their beers. 35 Patton Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 350-0505
  • Lexington Ave Brewery: Brewer Ben Pierson has created a stellar line up of unfiltered, naturally carbonated, additive free beers in LAB’s in-house brewery. They also offer great food, a number of original draft beers, and live music. 39 North Lexington Avenue  Asheville, NC 28801-2827 (828) 252-0212
  • Pisgah Brewing Company: Known for their quality and organic beers, Pisgah offers a number of high-gravity (more alcohol by volume) beers with a natural sweet taste. Pisgah also host a number of events and live concerts with their outdoor  and indoor stages. In addition to music, Pisgah has a full art gallery featuring local artist and their paintings. 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain, NC 28711 (828) 669-0190
  • Craggie Brewing Company: Craggie is a brewery with a heart, which is evident from the causes it supports, the vendors it does business with, and the way it inspires giving. Craggie sells beer with a conscience – organic in craft and whenever possible, brewed with local ingredients. From building the brewhouse with as much reclaimed or recycled equipment as possible, to discounting Willibechers for those who choose to donate to select non-profits, Craggie Brewing’s Public House is a place where the community can gather to have a good time while doing good for others. 197 Hilliard Avenue Asheville, NC 28801-3616 (828) 254-0360
  • French Broad Brewery: French Broad’s focus is to create traditional European style beers while still maintaining  the unique flavor of Asheville. French Broad also offers live musical entertainment and a friendly tasting room. 101 Fairview Road  Asheville, NC 28803-4301 (828) 277-0222
  • Wedge Brewing Company: Located in the River Arts District, Wedge Brewing Company near the train tracks, offers original style beers made with local ingredients.  125B Roberts St  Asheville, NC 28801-3128 (828) 505-2792
  • Asheville Brewing Company: Asheville Brewing company is known for the “infused” style beers. After the brewing process is complete, many of their beers are then infused with special ingredients (like jalapenos) to give them an added taste and a bit of a kick. 77 Coxe Avenue  Asheville, NC 28801-3621 (828) 255-4077
  • Green Man Brewery: Brewing Award winning ales since 1997, Green Man was founded in downtown Asheville, originally as a brew-pub. Dennis Thies, a beer industry vet, purchased the brewery in 2010. He expanded operations and made Green Man independent. With the help of John Stuart, Green Man has become known for consistent, traditional ales with a constant eye on quality. 23 Buxton Avenue  Asheville, NC 28801-4019 (828) 252-5502
  • Thirsty Monk: This pub provides customers with over 36 draft beer, 200 bottled beer choices and over 62 rotating tap lines. Many of which are locally brewed. Thirsty Monk also host a number of different beer events and even has a live online tap list.   92 Patton Avenue  Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 254-5470

What We Featured

Highland Gaelic Ale-Highland Brewing Company

Moonstone Oyster Stout-Oyster House Brewing Company

Red Whitey-Lexington Ave Brewery

Solstice Belgium Triple-Pisgah Brewing Company

Craggie Antebellum Ale-Craggie Brewing Company

Wee Heavy Scottish Ale-French Broad Brewery

Third Rale Double IPA-Wedge Brewing Company

The Fire Escape-Asheville Brewing Company

Green Man IPA-Green Man Brewery

Fun Facts

  • An oyster produces a pearl as a result of a foreign substance becoming trapped inside its shell.
  • The largest oyster producing body of water is the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The US is the worlds third largest producer of raspberries.
  • The Pisgah National Forest covers 510,119 acres un the Appalachian Mountains.
  • Sap from spruce trees can be used to make chewing gum.
  • Because of its high vitamin c levels, spruce needles have been used to prevent scurvy.
  • Scotch ales are strong ales, and also known as “Wee Heavy”.
  • Beer has been produced in Scotland for approximately 5,000 years.
  • Jalapenos contain more vitamin A than any other plant food.
  • The substance that gives a jalapeno its heat is capsaicin.
  • Asheville Brewing Company has two locations, one of which contains a full sized movie theater.
  • Cask beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized beer, conditioned in a cask without nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure.
  • The term IBU stands for “International Bittering Units,” and refers to a measuring scale for beer.


Want to learn more about Asheville?

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  1. Art January 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    If you ever get a chance make sure to go to Nantahala Brewing sorta kinda in between Knoxville and Asheville, Many Asheville peeps Ive talked to say they make the best IPA, thats saying something.

    • Ciro January 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      I agree – Nantahala Brewing has produced some amazing brews already, and hasn’t been around that long.

  2. Steven January 17, 2012 at 11:34 am - Reply

    My sister, best friend and I did a similar run the day after Thanksgiving (minus Oyster House, Pisgah and Thirsty Monk). That would have been awesome if you guys had stopped by Bruisn’ Ales, one of the top beer stores in the country.

  3. JB January 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Asheville is “Beer City” for a reason, this should be a great episode. Thanks.

  4. JayP January 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Portland, OR is the REAL beer city!

    • Brewvana January 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      Portland Oregon is where it’s at friends. HOP on the BREWVANA Bus and we’ll show you why!!!!

  5. Amy January 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    I love Asheville and frequent the local bars – especially Green Man Brewery. Molly (beer-tender and brewer featured in latest episode) is the best! Great show!

  6. charlie January 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    best episode ever…i am a bit biased. greenman ipa is an incredible take on an english original. it is one of those beers that a person could drink every single day for the rest of his life. add pisgah, wedge, and highland (oscar wong is a rockstar!) and you have 4 of the greatest brew makers in the western hemisphere. this beer experience is sooooooooo much more than 30 minutes. people, come to asheville and understand just why it is the real beer city of the entire world.

  7. floyd January 22, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

    It’s hard to believe Asheville N.C. being “Beer City USA”, Ok, they do have some great beers. But, the only reason they won is because the real beer cities of America don’t have to take popular poles that you can vote over and over to win. Not an accurate way of finding the best. If you want to go to the real brewing capital of the USA, then come to Oregon. Ever heard of cascade hops, that’s us! Northwest baby! In particular Bend,Oregon. No offense to our big brother Portland who should possibly be considered as well as Beer City USA, but we have per capita the largest brewery to population in the US. 80,000 people and over 10 breweries and counting. And not just breweries but the best breweries in the country. Ever heard of Deschutes Brewery? Along with Deschutes we have Cascade Lakes, 10 Barrel, Silver moon, Three Creeks, Boneyard, Goodlife, Bend Brewing, Phat Matts, Brewwerks, Playtapus Pub and brewing, etc. Zane please visit Bend,Oregon!…Don’t get me wrong, I love Asheville but the title really belongs to us. You can be 3rd best on the real list.

  8. Daniel January 27, 2012 at 6:19 am - Reply

    To be fair, North Carolina in general has a lot to offer on the craft beer scene. Please visit These are only the NC Craft Brewers that are members of the NC Brewers Guild.
    By the way… Englishman John Withey at Top Of The Hill Brewery in Chapel Hill brews one of the best well rounded IPA’s around as well as offering cask ales.

  9. Kipp March 16, 2012 at 9:47 am - Reply

    When will this episode be on DVD? As Time Warner Cable STILL doesn’t carry HDNet, I haven’t seen it yet and I was at The Thirsty Monk for the filming!

  10. Swyers April 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    So excited that DME made it to the glorious Ashevegas! Amazing beer and incredible people make for one of my favorite places in the US of A. Either passing through or local to the core one must experience the seasonal Imperial Stout (raspberry chocolaty goodness) at Wedge and all time fave Pisgah Pale at Pisgah Brew Co. Lets not forget Greenman ESB yum. Oh and don’t forget to stop at French Broad Chocolate Lounge for a delicious beer float! Sorry Oregon I could go on for hours, Asheville, NC is truly “Beer City USA!” -Besos

  11. Aaron June 12, 2012 at 11:31 am - Reply

    I lived about 8 years between Eugene/Portland/Bend, and 8 years in Asheville, and I can say the scenes are very different, apples to oranges. But Asheville has certainly earned the title of late. There truly are some inspiring brew-doings going on here. Now with Sierra Nevada, New Belguim, and Oscar Blues all opening up here soon, it’s likely to out-produce even Portland in quantity, and with only 140,000, still maintaining the charm of a smaller city like Bend/Eugene.

  12. Ben June 14, 2012 at 10:45 am - Reply

    Glad to see Asheville (NOT ASHEVEGAS please stop calling your cities back there *VEGAS) get a DME. Great episode all around.

    I’ll be back in AVL in a few weeks and will try to do as much of the DME tour as I can.

    I don’t get why all the Portland, OR folks feel the need to get all defensive and start freaking out. There’s plenty of space for plenty of micro-brews. Relax.

  13. Carl D July 26, 2012 at 12:31 am - Reply

    As a point of clarity, there have only been three winners of the Beer City USA title and two of those were ties. For four years running, Asheville has either won, or tied for, the title. And the poll is strictly set up to avoid multiple votes, no matter what you may read in the vitriolic comments to the contrary. Wanna tip some suds with us in Asheville?

  14. c-cut August 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Asheville > portland

  15. G.B. July 14, 2013 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Some of these comments make Portland seem really insecure. Remember that kid on the playground who was always on about how his dad was better than your dad? Asheville is tiny compared to Portland. We shouldn’t even be in the same sentence. I’m thinking the beer makers there might want to pull their socks up.

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