While Asheville was high on our radar for the crazy amount of vegan food that is available, we didn’t realize just how many different breweries were in the area too. We checked out quite a few of them on the “Ale Trail” and even sat down with the founders of one of them for an in-depth interview about the history of the brewery. That being said, let’s check out the breweries!
Asheville Brewing Company
Our first night in town, we wanted to just grab a beer and a bite to eat after the long drive from Virginia. We pulled up Happy Cow and found that we could find vegan pizza at a brewery just 15 minutes away from where we had parked our rig so we hopped in the truck and headed over there. The pizza itself was absolutely incredible and we highly recommend it, but on top of that, their beer list is awesome and they have some phenomenal dark beers on tap. Aaron highly recommends the Roland’s ESB or the Ninja Porter.
Sanctuary Brewing Co
We met up with Lisa and Joe who are the owners of Sanctuary Brewing Company as part of our interview series we’ve been doing. They not only own the brewing company, but they also have a 501(c)3 for their sanctuary where they have rescue animals as well. We had a great time chatting with them, learning about how beer is made, how they have worked with other local breweries and organizations on collaborations, and of course, tried some of their beers. We are usually not big fans of sour, but if they have their Gose on tap, definitely check that out- it was delicious!
Wicked Weed Brewing Co
We decided to do the Ale Trail and the first place we stopped was Wicked Weed Brewing Co. They have recently been bought out by InBev which has its own complications, but the beer that they had on tap was really good. Because we went there on a weekend, they were not doing flights, so we elected to try some of their own beers on tap. Aaron got the Lumiere Rouge which mentioned having a caramel apple flavor and he felt that was fitting.
Green Man Brewing Co
Aaron had actually had Green Man Brewing Co’s ESB and Porter in bottle form previously so he was excited to try some of their other offerings. Hayden ended up getting a lighter beer, but Aaron got The Demon Dweller, which was a bourbon barrel aged version of their Dweller or their Imperial Stout. This beer was heavy and had a boozy taste to it, but the bourbon and vanilla flavors really came through. Even Hayden really enjoyed this beer which is surprising given her lack of love for the darker beers. If they have this on tap, you absolutely have to check it out.
The third stop on our Ale Trail pub crawl led us to Burial Brewery where Aaron picked up a flight of darker porters and stouts while Hayden continued with the lighter lagers and Pilsners. The lighter beers were very floral in flavor and weren’t our favorites, but the Tin Cup, which had just shown up right before we visited, was one of the best of the trip. The Banjo Funeral was also a very delicious dark beer.
We had found out the Hayden really loved their white ale known as White Zombie so we wanted to make sure we stopped in here so she could have one on tap. Aaron ended up getting their dark flight which was pretty good, but none of them were show stoppers. They have a ton of beers on tap though and several other dark beers that weren’t included in the flight so there are many options we could still try.
Twin Leaf Brewing Company
This was our final stop on the Ale Trail for us and as expected, we were getting worn down, especially given that some of the beers Aaron sampled were 10-12% ABV. So Hayden skipped the drink and went for some hummus and chips while Aaron went for one of their lighter beers with the Wee Nipper English Ale. It’s a very drinkable and smooth beer that you could easily sit out on the back porch in the middle of summer and enjoy. We would love to try more of their offerings next time we are back in the area.