Beating the summer heat comes down to two things: refreshing beer and the sea. It turns out North Carolina, more than other states, has the best of both.
So my buddies and I decided to plan the greatest North Carolina craft beer tour. Travefy Itinerary Builder made the process pretty easy.
Taste your way from Asheville to Chapel Hill through 5 must-visit cities if you are a true beer lover. Along the way, you will discover the best of what North Carolina has to offer.
Day 1 – Asheville
photo credit: reserveatlakeowee
Asheville is the right place to start a North Carolina craft beer tour. This cool mountain town has been names “Beer City USA” several times in the past year.
It still houses some of the greatest microbreweries and continues to attract beer connoisseurs. Plus, it has the most awesome beer tours in the country.
Like us, start your Asheville beer tour with a solid breakfast at the Tulepo Honey Cafe. For more options, check out this post about the top 5 breakfast spots in town.
Next, hit the town. Visit Thirsty Monk, Sierra Nevada, and as much of Asheville’s 20+ craft breweries as possible. Also, shop for goodies at the Bruisin’ Ales before a night out crawling the South Slope‘s pubs.
Day 2 – Charlotte
photo credit: mycarolinamovers
Become beer royalty in the “Queen City”. Charlotte is a vibrant city with a craft beer scene as renowned as its art scene. In fact, it’s home to some of the best microbreweries including Triple C, Lenny Boy, and Sugar Creek.
Mix art and beer, and start your tour in the NoDa area, which is known as being the “arts heart” of Charlotte. The NoDa Brewing Co. makes over 40 concoctions sure to suit any palate, including their famous Coco Loco.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in the Warehouse District is a must. USA Today crowned them as having the best brewery tour in the country. They offer a wide selection of seasonal beers you can take in the beautiful setting of their beer garden.
Between these two tours, eat where true beer lovers go: the Growlers Pourhouse. This Award-winning pub has excellent beer food and even more craft beer pouring from their classic beer engine.
If you can, make a visit to one of Charlotte’s world-class museums. May I suggest the Mint Museum Uptown and the NASCAR Hall Of Fame? The Mint Museum is most representative of Charlotte’s booming art scene and the Hall of Fame is… well… NASCAR!
End you day, crawling Charlotte’s EpiCenter. It is the one place that has all the entertainment and eating venues you dream of.
Day 3 – Durham
Durham has a unique beer and food culture centered around locally-grown fresh produce. It means that everything is seasonal but always healthy.
Be an outlaw and start early at the Lonerider Brewing Co.. Sweet Josie and Shotgun Betty will see that you settle in just fine before moving on with the selection of seasonal beers.
Next, build your own burger and wash it down with the always-fresh ales at the Bull City Burger and Brewery. Their beer tours offer tasting of all the beer on tap but are only on Saturdays past 4pm.
Of course, your North Carolina craft beer tour wouldn’t be complete with exploring nearby Raleigh and Chapel Hill. With Durham, they constitute a golden microbrewing triangle full of hidden gems.
What do you think of this itinerary? Don’t see your favorite brewing company? Tell us more in the comments.