This NC city is named one of nation’s best for beer — and has a top-ranking brewery

A North Carolina city is one of the nation’s best places to grab a beer — and has a top brewery to visit, new rankings show.

Asheville again was named a favorite destination of beer drinkers. The city also is home to Burial, which made it onto a separate list of best small breweries, according to results published Nov. 9.

The lists come from Craft Beer & Brewing magazine, which said thousands of people responded to its annual survey. The respondents shared their thoughts on “beers, breweries, styles, bars, and more” to help determine the most-loved drinks and the best places to get them.

In the resulting readers’ choice award categories, Asheville ranked No. 4 among top U.S. destinations for beer. The popular mountain tourist town isn’t a stranger to being named a beer hot spot.

This year, one ranking website praised Asheville’s “easy access to more than 100 local beers” and “friendly” bars. And in December 2022, another website gave the city nods for its concentration of breweries and their tours, McClatchy News reported.

On the latest list, Burial ranked No. 7 among the nation’s best small breweries, defined as those that produce fewer than 5,000 barrels each year. Though Burial has five locations across North Carolina — including three in Asheville — the magazine didn’t specify whether a specific one reigned supreme.

Burial, which got its start in Asheville, now offers tours of its production facility in the city. The brewery said it has several beers on tap, “from modern, hop-forward IPAs, to lagers based in tradition.”

Burial’s name draws inspiration from celebrations of life in New Orleans, where some of its founders once lived.

“Funeral processions become large parades with instruments, singing, and dancing,” the business wrote on its website. “Everybody stops and joins in, even if they don’t know the deceased. We view our products, places, and experiences through this very lens, celebrating life’s fleeting moments with mindfulness and introspection.”

Similar to its name, several of Burial’s drinks have foreboding names. For example, a sour beer called “The Separation of Light and Darkness” is sold in a can that’s adorned with a grim reaper-like figure.

Overall, Craft Beer & Brewing said Green Cheek Beer Company in California ranked as the top small brewery. And when it came to the best cities for beer drinkers, Chicago ranked No. 1 in the country.

Craft Beer & Brewing didn’t immediately share additional information with McClatchy News on Nov. 29.

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