A Comprehensive Bryson City Brewery Guide

North Carolina’s sprawling, head-turning Great Smoky Mountains play host to a variety of pursuits, such as fly fishing, whitewater rafting, and “waterfall hunting.” Naturally, travelers build up quite a thirst during these memorable adventures. And there’s no better place to commemorate a glorious day spent in the wild than at a Sylva or Bryson City brewery. Craft beer hounds will be delighted to discover an underrated beer scene blossoming in these two small yet undeniably picturesque communities. So, before returning to your pet-friendly cabin rental via Great Smokys, stop at one of these local staples for a quick pint (or two).

The Bryson City Brewery Guide

The region’s growing craft beer scene continues to leave a lasting impression on visiting adventurers, especially those with a penchant for well-balanced IPAs, sessionable ales, and the occasional dark brew.

Nantahala Brewing Company

Everyone’s favorite hangout remains Nantahala Brewing Company, a beautiful, repurposed space within steps of the famous Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. The head-turning wooden interior features hand-carved artworks, a sizable stage for live performances, and views of the trains. Thirsty patrons will discover 32 rotating taps at all times, including the crushable Bryson City Brown, refreshing Hellbender Hefeweizen, and heavy (and Christmas-y) Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout.

Mountain Layers Brewing Company

Meanwhile, the views and overall ambiance at Mountain Layers Brewing Company make it the premier Bryson City brewery. The rooftop deck lends itself to folks in desperate need of a breather after a long day on the trails. And you cannot beat those views of the rolling mountains and the Tuckasegee River, both of which are exceedingly gorgeous around dusk. If you like the beer enough, don’t forget to nab some straightforward yet visually-appealing merch. We appreciate Mountain Layers’ eclectic mix of beers, including The Helles You Say (a German lager worth revisiting), the Dragon Tamer (a New England-style IPA with under 6% ABV), and the U.K.-inspired Elk Watch Stout.

The Sylva Brewery Guide

Approximately 18 gorgeous miles separate bustling Bryson City and quaint Sylva. While small, Sylva packs a punch. It also features something that neither Bryson City brewery boasts: the region’s highest-rated beer. We’re talking, of course, about Main Street’s Innovation Brewing.

Innovation Brewing

Innovation Brewing has two taprooms approximately 1.5 miles apart. Let’s start with the main brewery, a classic taproom with a small-town bar feel—one that’s welcoming and familiar. The slender outdoor space overlooks peaceful Scott Creek and the railroad tracks, where you’ll find a convenient food cart typically serving juicy burgers and crispy fries. Innovation Brewing’s Dillsboro locale is an expansive, group-friendly station great for social distancing. Don’t forget to grab a growler of the Raspberry Cherry Sour, the Pilznuh, or the Midnight Ryeder.

Balsam Falls Brewing Co

Lastly, Balsam Falls Brewing Co’s downtown taproom is a convenient spot for those looking to enjoy lunch or dinner in a true brewpub atmosphere. Frequent patrons gush about the flatbreads, wings, and “stacked” burgers, ranging from “The Brewmaster” to the gut-busting “Cordon Bleu.” Our favorite pours include the juicy 3rd Mock from the Sun hazy IPA and whatever sour they’re whipping up, such as the 9E9A Cherry Hibiscus Berliner Weisse.

Opulent Cabin Rentals in Bryson City

After a pit stop at a Bryson City brewery, retire to your lavish Smoky Mountain rental, complete with unobstructed mountain views, private acreage, an outdoor hot tub, a wood-burning fireplace, a spacious kitchen, and a covered deck. Great Smokys Cabin Rentals boasts one of the region’s largest collections of mountaintop homes, including The Hilltop, Northern Sky Dacha, and Bear Hug Cabin.

Browsing and choosing a vacation rental is much like hand-selecting a future home. It’s a rare thrill that beats booking a stay at a standard hotel or resort. Start the selection process by sifting through our extensive inventory. Prefer the touch of a reservationist? No problem! Simply give us a call today at 800-655-9771).