Although Asheville has been dubbed Beer City, and lives up to the nickname with 30+ craft breweries in and around its city limits, its craft cider scene continues to grow as well. Asheville has two craft cideries with production and taproom facilities, a gypsy cidery, and a cider-dedicated bar. Find out the best places to drink cider in Asheville.
This small cider taproom in West Asheville has the feel of a cool, eclectic coffeehouse, with its Edison bulbs, wood tabletops, and large windows that swing up to let in the mountain air. Since they rotate taps frequently, many guests opt for flights to try four, six, or nine of the house-made hard cider. Their cider often has a seasonal slant, like their chili series that takes center stage in the fall. Urban Orchard owner Josie Mielke ages her cider at least eight months and only uses North Carolina-grown apples. Her hard work has paid off, as Mielke will soon open a second location in the popular South Slope area of downtown Asheville, which will feature a taproom and allow Urban Cider to bottle and distribute as well as have a full on-site restaurant. Mielke plans to keep both locations open, and her second location will be downtown Asheville’s first cidery.
Noble was the first cidery to open in Asheville back in 2012, but the outfit has seen tremendous growth over the past five years. Their industrial taproom features three separate living rooms of sorts, including a dartboard room and game room. The small tasting area puts visitors right next to the huge tanks and comings and goings of a cidery operation. They often host trivia nights and local musicians. Noble’s branding revolves around a medieval theme, with cider like The Standard Bearer, The Village Tart, The Golden Arrow, and The Spice Merchant, so expect some playful flavors to match their colorful labels and illustrations.
Daidala does not have a permanent production facility and does not plan to in the near future. Instead, owner Christopher Heagney partners with other cideries like Red Clay Ciderworks, out of nearby Charlotte, North Carolina, to brew and bottle his recipes. Heagney’s home base of Asheville has supported his nomadic cidery thus far, with restaurants and bottle shops happily carrying his Daidala cider. Heagney often hosts pop-up tastings at groceries, bars, and restaurants in and around Asheville, and he hopes to one day open a cider bar. To get your hands on some of this cider, visit bottle shops Hops and Vines, Bruisin’ Ales, or Tasty Beverage Co., along with groceries like West Village Market and French Broad Co-op.
TreeRock Social Cider House
Bar, American, $$$
Asheville’s first cider-focused bar doesn’t brew their own cider, but instead, celebrates the local cider and meads coming out of Asheville, and the region as a whole. Cider lovers will also find international cider and cider from around the country at TreeRock Social, which boasts 20+ taps and a growing bottle selection. In addition to a small bar area, TreeRock has a few cozy nooks with mismatched furniture that encourages friends to kick back and enjoy a few pints in this casual atmosphere, featuring a huge wall of windows. Or, nab one of the picnic tables in their outdoor patio and order morsels from a rotating cast of food trucks.
This nightlife hotspot is known for whipping up amazing cocktails and for its twists on comfort foods like bone marrow tater tots, chicken skin chips, served with Korean chili honey, and crispy pig ears, made with chili, lime, jalapeno, and cilantro. They always have cider on hand and have been known to feature cider cocktails during their beloved brunches. Order a straight-up cider, or ask their mixologists to create a cider cocktail. Sovereign Remedies makes for a great date night or girls’ night, with its low lighting, funky light fixtures, and towering wall of booze.