Asheville's Sierra Nevada Brewery - a trip to Asheville North Carolina is not complete without visiting one of it's best breweries! The brewery tour is fun and informative and finishes with some beer samples!
Did you know that Asheville, North Carolina has more breweries per capita than any other city in the US? We had no idea! We knew about the bigger ones, like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, but we didn't realize what a huge selection of craft breweries there were, like Green Man Brewery.
Just within walking distance of our downtown Asheville hotel were Wicked Weed, Burial Brewing, Green Man Brewery, Lexington Avenue Brewery, One World Brewing and more!
We didn't even get to breweries on the other side of town!
Sierra Nevada Brewery Tour
Of course, visiting the Sierra Nevada Brewery was on our list. The Sierra Nevada Brewery Tours are free, but you need to reserve a time. They fill up quickly, so the sooner you book your time the better. We were lucky and were able to get the time we wanted, probably because it was just a random Wednesday in November.
The brewery is about 18 miles away from downtown Asheville in Mills River, NC. It took us about 25 minutes to drive there at around 3 pm on a Wednesday.
The brewery tour lasts 45 minutes. You get to sample 4 beers at then end!
John - Our Guide
You might think the best part of the tour would be the samples of beer at the end, but the best part was John our guide! John was the perfect example of how a fantastic guide can take a tour to a whole different level. He was funny, personable and very knowledgeable. I am a sucker for puns and John had a million of them. Like the time he was telling us to do something and he said it was the "yeast" we could do. What can I say, puns get me every time.
Copper Kettles at Sierra Nevada Brewery
You start out in this room with these huge copper kettles. Everything is clean, bright and gorgeous. John explained what was happening in each kettle. Beer stuff. Beef stuff was happening. I was too busy trying to capture the light just right to take notes on what he was saying.
Getting to go in the hop room was one of my favorite parts of the tour. We got to choose a hop and rub it between our palms so that we could get the hops aroma. I love hops, I love a good hoppy beer, so this was my hoppy place (pun intended.)
In addition to the hops, you get to see all the processes of the beer making. You can peak into the science lab, see the bottling and packaging area, and much more.
Beer Samples at the End of the Brewery Tour
The tour finishes up at a nice bar area. There, the other guide is waiting for us when we arrive. We get to sample 4 beers. John tells us a few more stories and tells us a little about each beer.
It was a wonderful 45 minutes, we had a great time. We topped off our tour with dinner at The Mills River Taproom, the restaurant that is on the other side of the brewery.