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Brewery Trail

Brewery Trail

Jackson County’s brewery tour

Brewery Trail

Jackson County’s brewery tour

Whether you enjoy sipping a smooth golden ale, a refreshing and hoppy IPA or a dark and robust porter, Jackson County’s breweries have you covered.

North Carolina boasts more craft breweries and brewpubs than any other state in the southeast and Jackson County shares the state’s commitment to providing quality local brews.

Head down to Sylva’s Historic Main Street to experience over 100 different brews on tap and the flavors of Sylva’s thriving brewery scene. Along the way, there are great restaurants to grab a bite, antique shops and more.

Check out the Ale Trail’s brand-new map: a field guide to all the stops and our top 10 brews on tap. Use it as your guide to exploring the best craft brews in the North Carolina Mountains. Stop by our Visitor Centers or any of the breweries to pickup your guide to start exploring!

Each craft brewery offers flights (samplings of many beers), pints, growlers and either have food on-site or allow you to bring your own.

Sylva

Innovation Brewing
The brewery now has 32 brews on tap, a homemade ginger ale and three ciders. A seven-barrel brew house, Innovation has a handful of mainstay traditional ales as well as several IPAs and a number of seasonal and experimental beers for you to try on your brewery tour. “We like to push the envelope by creating fun and unique beer styles using non-traditional beer ingredients such as beets, cilantro, basil and cucumbers to name a few,” said Nicole Dexter, who owns the brewery with her husband Chip. In addition to brews, there are plenty of food choices on site. Brewery patrons can choose from a woodfired pizza kitchen and also the famed Cosmic Carryout Food truck, renowned for their burgers. The brewery is pet and family-friendly. If you’re into sours, check out Innovation’s Dillsboro location which has many added to their lineup in addition to their mainstay brews.

Balsam Falls Brewing Co.
Balsam Falls Brewing features over a dozen beers on tap including a rotating selection of IPAs, pale ales and sours, along with six staple beers regularly on tap. Balsam Falls also has a full kitchen serving up Cali-Mex cuisine. Husband and wife partners in the brewery, Corey and Laurie Bryson, utilize fruits, herbs and even vegetables in their brewing treatments. “Our goal is to have something different on tap every time visitors come in, and we will focus on seasonal pints based on local ingredients,” says Corey. His family grows blueberry bushes, apple trees, cherry trees and grapevines, and those flavors are instilled into the beer. The Brysons even grow several of their own hops that are used in their brews.

Lazy Hiker Taproom – Sylva
The Lazy Hiker Brewing Company is bringing its love of community, the mountains, and beer to Sylva with its latest taproom addition. This taproom offers a wide variety of brews including their flagship mainstays such as Trail Mate Golden Ale and Slack Pack IPA. This new location shares a space with Mad Batter Food and Film where the two businesses collaborate offering excellent brews and food. Indoor and outdoor patio seating and pet friendly.

Nantahala Brewing Company Sylva Outpost
Nantahala Brewing Company Sylva Outpost serves award winning beers, a full food menu featuring burgers, wings and more, alongside fun for the whole family. Hosting 40 taps, Nantahala will also offer a cocktail list along with a patio space overlooking the river and a large dining/bar area. This Outpost complements their original location down the road in Bryson City. Nantahala Brewing Company prides itself on creating high-quality and delicious brews using the finest ingredients that the region has to offer.

Dillsboro

Innovation Station
Dillsboro is home to Innovation’s second location, Innovation Station, located in a former railroad depot. With 32 taps, they have a number of mainstays from their Sylva location and have an expanded sour program which allows them to offer more sours at both locations. The brewing house, located in a former train depot, serves as a beer aging and pilot batch facility. The brewery is kid and pet-friendly, open seven days a week, and has both covered and open outdoor seating.

Cashiers

Whiteside Brewing Co.
The Cashiers plateau is home to Whiteside Brewing Co. Whiteside offers six main-stay brews year-round with the seventh changing seasonally. The brewery is conveniently located near the Crossroads and has ample indoor and outdoor seating for gatherings. After a hike, enjoy their restaurant menu of wings, soup, salads, sandwiches, burgers and more. Brewmaster Stephen Streeter crafts amazing brews that are truly “mountain life in a glass.”

Cashiers is also home to Sapphire Mountain Brewing Company’s taproom.

A tip to enjoy Jackson County’s Brews: List and rank the beers by appearance, aroma, and taste, during your brewery tour, and try a beer that appeals to those senses.

Weekly Happenings:

Balsam Falls
Friday: Live music
Sunday daytime: Yoga
Sunday nights: Two different types of trivia: regular trivia and “Feud time” (crowd chooses)
Paint and pour: once a month (check Facebook for dates)

Innovation Brewing
Monday night: trivia
Tuesday night: Innovation picks one beer to be $3 for the night
Wednesday night: Open mic. night at 8pm
Thursday night: Local band for Jazz night

Innovation Station
Sunday daytime: Yoga
Monday night: $3 pint night
Tuesday night: live band karaoke
Wednesday night: trivia
Saturday night: Live music
First Tuesday of every month: Brush and brew

Lazy Hiker
Monday night: 6:30 p.m. – Game Night
Tuesday (all day): Pitcher Specials
Wednesday night: Trivia/Movie Trivia
Thursday: $1 off specialty drafts all day; night: Karaoke, open mic, or DJ
Friday: Live music
Saturday: Occasional live music, check Facebook

Nantahala Brewing Company Sylva Outpost
Wednesday night: Trivia Night
Sunday evening: “Sunday Ticket” all the games across many TV’s

Whiteside Brewing
Friday and Saturday: Live Music

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