There are amazing things to do all along the mountains of Western North Carolina. There’s hiking along the Appalachian Trail, Mountain to Sea Trail, or any of the COUNTLESS other trails. There’s amazing rock climbing. There’s white-water rafting along the Nantahala River.
And there’s really good beer. Something about that mountain water, man, it makes for good beer.
If you’re spent a day at the Nantahala Outdoor Center rafting and kayaking along the river, you may or may not know that great beer is just around the river bend. Yeah, I totally just channeled Pocahontas. Located in Bryson City 8 miles from the NOC is the Nantahala Brewing Co., home of delicious beer and a really cool taproom!
We first went to the NBC several years ago, finding it while on a family rafting weekend. We fell in love with the restored building and beautiful taproom, not to mention their great beer!
We went recently on a perfect weekend – temps in the high 60s and not a cloud in the sky. (Note to NC: It’s December. Shouldn’t we at least be getting chilly and need sweaters? C’mon!!) They’re dog friendly, so we found ourselves on the patio with Sasha & Moose enjoying the sunshine. They don’t serve food, but we ordered some from next door and had some tasty burgers with our beer.
I really love how they appreciate their home town and have made their zip code part of their brand – the 1 is even a beer bottle! Their logo pays homage to the nature surrounding them, featuring a bear, deer, birds, and trees. A great reminder that they’re located in an amazing part of the state – just on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Right now all beer orders come out of their Green Room – a small taproom in the main building filled with TVs. When we were there, this room was jam-packed with people enjoying beer and watching football. Normally we order our beer from their main taproom, but right now it’s filled with boxes of beer getting ready to go to stores! I’m excited that I’ll be able to get this beer outside of the city and can’t wait to stock it in my fridge.
I love the location of the brewery too – right in the heart of town. We were right near the town’s Christmas parade and across from the train station where the Polar Express is running all month long.
Bryson City really is a great small town as well. From the brewery you can walk into the heart of town and check out art shops and outdoor gear supply. The downtown is so welcoming with wide sidewalks and friendly people. It’s one of our favourite places to spend a lazy afternoon.
They regularly have live music, and I have fond memories of playing giant jenga with my brother-in-law and Matt while a bluegrass band played in the background.
You can visit the Nantahala Brewing Co. at 61 Depot St, Bryson City, NC. They’re super kid-friendly and dog-friendly – I counted at least 15 kids playing on the patio, tossing bean bags at the corn hole boards, and playing around while their parents enjoyed a cold one. Parking can be kind of tough, but feel free to park on the street downtown and take a nice stroll to the brewery, hitting up the cute shops on the way.
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