Sipping a cold beer on a hot summer day hits the spot for just about anyone. It’s perhaps the most popular adult beverage at barbecues and baseball games, and everybody has their favorite kind. From the simple ingredients of combined malted grain, yeast, and water, beer is enjoyed the world over.
But now, there are more great brews to choose from with the advent of microbreweries. Discriminating beer drinkers can now enjoy different varieties and flavors in tempting combinations. These craft brewers have become more common in the area, as they have all over the country. As part of your romantic weekend in the Smoky Mountains, treat yourself to some tasty creations at these local Smoky Mountain breweries.
This popular craft brewer has four locations in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Knoxville, and Maryville. Handcrafting their varieties in small batches to ensure freshness, they offer seven “mainstay” brews as the core offerings on the menu. They include the Mountain Light and Velas Helles lagers, Cherokee Red Ale, Tuckleechee Porter, Black Bear Ale, Appalachian Pale Ale, and Windy Gap Wheat Beer. Smoky Mountain offers a seasonal flavor and brew master’s specials as well. Raspberry Wheat is a summertime ale currently offered at the brewery and makes a perfect choice to cool down on a warm evening. Live music acts perform several times a week in the brewery restaurant. Patrons can also have fun with team trivia and karaoke.
Located near Asheville, Bearwaters brews up a tempting selection of ten hearty beers on tap at any given time, including both regular, rotating and seasonal selections. You can sample them in their massive climate-controlled taproom with a flight, half-pints, or full pints, then take them along in growlers to enjoy later. The microbrewer also creates four beers classified as “high gravity” due to their elevated ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage, all of which are 9.0% or above. Don’t forget to try some of the premium brews aged in oak barrels, flavored with the rich tastes of chocolate, bourbon, cinnamon, or berries. Check out their website for live music performances taking place every two weeks.
This Asheville-area brewery’s name comes from its proximity to Richland Creek, a formerly swampy low area that was at “frog level” when the creek flooded. While the brewpub offers just six varieties, they more than compensate for it with the beers’ tastes and quirky names, some of which are related to the location: Tadpole Porter, Salamander Slam, and Hop-Scotch Ale. The other brews are Lily’s Cream Boy Ale, Nutty Brunette, and Catcher in the Rye. During the summer, live music plays several days a week. You can find the calendar for performances on their home page.
Just a little over the Tennessee-North Carolina state line and on the other side of the National Park, Nantahala has the largest daily beer selection with 32 taps. This microbrewery’s location is a nearly seven-decade-old warehouse that was refurbished in 2009. There are five year-round flagship brews, “Dam Release” seasonals, “Big Water” high gravities, and other specials and guest brews. You can take an informative tour of the brewery and see just how these superb beers are created. Afterward, sample a few of the varieties in the taproom and enjoy live music entertainment every weekend.
Having a refreshing craft brew at one of these Smoky Mountain breweries is just one way to enjoy time away in our beautiful corner of eastern Tennessee!