5 Smoky Mountain Breweries You Need to Experience this Year! The HeySmokies region is proud to be home to the finest Breweries in the South East. Sipping a cold beer can wet your whistle on a hot summer day or while relaxing on a cool evening by a Smoky Mountain campfire. It’s arguably the most popular adult beverage at cook outs and sporting events, and everyone has their favorite. For centuries the simplest ingredients of malted grain, water and yeast have been combined to produce a libation enjoyed all over the world!
The advent of microbreweries ushered in a new age of enjoying beer that has taken America by storm, and many varieties and flavors await the discriminating beer connoisseur. As popularity soared craft brewers established themselves in the HeySmokies communities and are letting the good brews flow. Romantic weekends are a great excuse to treat yourself to some tasty suds at these local Smoky Mountain Breweries!
Smoky Mountain Brewery
With four locations in Pigeon Forge, Knoxville, Maryville, and Gatlinburg this popular watering hole is easy to find! Handcrafted small batches ensure the freshness of each pour of their seven core brews. Choose from great flavors of Velas Helles lager, Cherokee Red Ale, Tuckaleechee Porter, Black Bear Ale, Windy Gap Wheat Beer, and Mountain Light. On a warm Smoky Mountain evening the Rasberry Wheat is a great way to cool down. Regular live music makes a flight taste even better. Trivia games are available for those feeling extra intelligent after a few brews!
Nantahala Brewing Company
Nestled in the heart of downtown Bryson City, NC. Nantahala Brewing has the largest daily beer selection on tap with 32 choices. The brewery is hard to miss in a “jumbo” sized quonset hut across the street from the Smoky Mountain Railroad depot. The structure was refurbished in 2009 and is also home to great live music. Nantahala has 5 year round brews, “Dam Release” seasonals, “Big Water” high gravities, and many more specialty guest brews. The HeySmokies team is partial to the “Trail Magic” which we enjoy after our annual Appalachian Trail thru-hiker trail magic dinner! Tours of the facility are available for those interested in learning the nuances of a perfect brew.
Catawba Brewing Company
The Asheville, North Carolina microbrewery scene is second to none and the Catawba Brewing Company is on the cutting edge. If high gravity is your goal you have come to the right place. No matter if your taste is sweet or bitter Catawba satisfies. The surprising “Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout” lives up to its name and always satisfies. The HeySmokies sampling team took a liking to the “Hopness Monster” IPA which has just the right amount of bitter. Other’s in our crew also enjoyed the “White Zombie” White Ale and the “Deep State” Baltic Porter. Of course no visit to this brewery would be complete without tasting a little “Astral Bootie” Session IPA!
Last Days of Autumn
Knoxville, Tennessee has firmly established itself as a craft brew destination and “Last Days” is setting the standard. Starting as a home brewery over 20 years ago owners Mike and Tracy Frede have begun a tasty tradition of fine beers. “Pardon My Garden,” Biff’s Best,” “Juicy J’s,” are a few of the IPA’s to temp your tastebuds. “Rye Pale Ale,” “Last Days ESB,” and the historic “Kentucky Common,” and many more round out the selection.
Burial Beer Company
Residing in and revitalizing the South Slope District of Asheville, NC, the brewery began its life in summer 2013 as a one-barrel system that grew to a ten-barrel in just over a year. The draft selection has what you are thirsty for with many brews to choose such as “The Shattered Remains of Reality” American Imperial double stout, “Massacre of the Innocents” American IPA, “Wandering in the Vast Emptiness” Berlinner Weise Sour, and the HeySmokies favorite “The Triumph of Death” Sumac Saison. No the beer is not brewed with the infamous poison sumac your mother warned you about but it is packed full of delicious flavor. The names of these beers may take you longer to say than it actually takes to drink the beer but that is all part of the fun!
Alliance Brewing Company
This brewery is found across the Tennessee river south of downtown Knoxville and is worth seeking out. Alliance gets the hops and barley and brews them to perfection. Selections include the “Citra Blonde,” An American Blonde ale that is light and clean with a smooth fruity hop finish. Dry hopped with Citra is the “Citra Mosaic,” IPA, brewed with a California Ale yeast. The “Cubano Coffee Brown” is a malty brown ale brewed with cold brewed coffee from Three Bears Coffee Company. The “Oatmeal Stout” and the “Saison 4” also bring something special to the table with their specialty yeast from London and Belgium.
If you enjoy a good beer you will not be disappointed on your next visit to the HeySmokies region. Take a brew tour of our amazing communities and find out what the fuss it about. Come thirsty and take it all in!