Austin and Asheville Beer and BBQ

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Where to find great beer and BBQ in Austin and Asheville, two cities known for great beer and barbecue. Do you have a favorite?

Texas and North Carolina are both known for BBQ. And what goes better with great BBQ than a nice cold beer. So, we picked two cities known for great food, Austin and Asheville (just a coincidence they both start with A), to represent their respective states to see which would be a better place to find the perfect beer and BBQ. This is the ABC post, Austin vs. Asheville, Beer and Barbecue and we are looking for the champion choice! So, without further ado…

Austin and Asheville for Beer and BBQ- where to find great BBQ and beer

Austin for Beer and BBQ

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, in a state known for great BBQ, Austin is not well known for great BBQ. However, in recent years Austin has made great strides. When searching for great BBQ in Austin a few of the same places keep appearing:

Franklin Barbecue, John Mueller’s Meats, and La Barbecue are some of the names you see quite often in a list of great barbecue in Austin.

President Obama visited Franklin Barbecue (on what must have been a great barbecue tour because as I look for barbecue restaurants his name keeps popping up as a distinguished guest at a lot of places) and the lines are legendary. The pit master at La Barbecue once worked with John Mueller, the Mueller family is a bit of BBQ royalty in Austin.Austin and Asheville for Beer and BBQ- where to find great BBQ and beer

And since Austin has a reputation for great food trucks, not surprisingly, several of the top BBQ joints were food trucks. Try Micklethwait Craft Meats, which in additional to the usual barbecue selections, offer barbecue sausages which is a bit different.

However, in all of those finds there was no mention of beer. With over 30 microbreweries in town, surely someone has combined beer and BBQ?

Well don’t fret, we did find a couple of good barbecue joints with great beer. Our top two finds Freedmen’s Bar and Stiles Switch BBQ and Beer.

Freedman’s Bar describes itself as “a laid-back lounge, beer garden, and smokehouse serving barbecue and retro-inspired cocktails in an historic Austin building.” They have a happy hour 4-7 pm Tuesday thru Friday. And if you prefer whiskey to beer, the whiskey selection has quite the reputation.

So, we kept looking and found Stiles Switch BBQ and Beer known for its ribs, brisket and craft beer on tap. We’ll also give an honorable mention to The Salt Lick BBQ just outside of Austin in Driftwood, a family run BBQ joint with a BYOB policy (cash only). There you can combine your favorite beer with their terrific brisket, sausage and ribs.

If you are headed to Austin, why not find a place to stay, so you can enjoy several days of exploring and have multiple opportunities to enjoy great barbecue and beer.

So, with Austin sorted, we turn to Asheville in search for great beer and BBQ.

Austin and Asheville for Beer and BBQ- where to find great BBQ and beer

Asheville for Beer and BBQ

Asheville has received many accolades for its craft beer scene including being voted “Beer City, USA” several times by USA Today. And North Carolina is known for a style of barbecue with a vinegar based rub. The reputation of Asheville itself as a bit of a foodie destination and surely, we can beat Austin in the beer and barbecue stakes?

Look for any list of the best barbecue in Asheville and the top three seem to be Luella’s, 12 Bones Smokehouse and Buxton Hall.

Austin and Asheville for Beer and BBQ- where to find great BBQ and beer
Luella’s BBQ, Source: Flickr

Luella’s might be the best-known BBQ in town, and a favorite with the locals. 12 Bones Smokehouse (lunch only) came to fame when President Obama visited (see another presidential visit), and Buxton Hall is known for roasting the whole hog in a vinegar based rub, which is the style common in Eastern North Carolina. Western North Carolina style barbecue usually has ketchup added to the sauce and is often the pork shoulder, not the whole hog. North Carolina barbecue in general is pork, pork and more pork.

Little Pigs and Bonfire BBQ are usually in any top 10 list for Asheville barbecue joints.

But alas we did not find any brew pubs or BBQ joints that boasted great beer. So, our pick in Asheville is 12 Bones Smokehouse in the River Arts District. It is located next door to the Wedge Brewery, so you can get a great beer and BBQ in the one stop. Bonfire BBQ does have a good selection of beer on tap and is also an excellent choice.

If you head to Asheville, the Biltmore Estate, built by the Vanderbilt’s, is one of the most famous attractions. There is plenty to see and do (and eat) in the area. With a wide choice of hotels in Asheville spend a few nights and explore the area.

Austin and Asheville for Beer and Barbecue- Your Turn

So now we turn it over to you- did your favorite Asheville or Austin barbecue joint make the list? And do you have any other suggestions- we particularly would love to hear from you if you know a good place that combines beer and barbecue. Just leave a comment below, (URL is not required).

This post is part of’s Underdog City campaign.


Austin and Asheville for Beer and BBQ- where to find great BBQ and beer








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