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8 Breweries that Tap into the Mountain Spirit

8 Breweries that Tap into the Mountain Spirit
Written by Lia Grabowski | Photo by Eric Gaddy

Brews on High

Southerners know beer drinking is a year-round sport, but nothing says Fall like a frothy craft beer. When temperatures dip and the leaves start to turn the same color as an amber-hued ale, head for the hills and stop at any one of these brewhouses where you’ll find flavorful suds, each unique to its own region and brewmaster.

Photo by Randy Heinzel

FREE RANGE BREWING
Charlotte, North Carolina

On the edge of Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood, standout Free Range Brewing pours the flagship Carolina Cream Ale and an always evolving tap list that includes such innovations as a tart IPA brewed with local sourdough starter and sea salt from the Outer Banks.

Photo by Jack Sorokin

FONTA FLORA BREWERY
Morganton, North Carolina

This exceptionally place-centric brewery started as a three-and-a-half barrel brewhouse when it earned its first national—and even international—accolades. Now, there’s an entire tasting room dedicated to its flora-and-fauna packed suds, like a cherry gose aged with chamomile flowers; a steinbier brewed with North Carolina birchwood; and the flagship Whippoorwill steeped with oranges, coriander, and earl gray tea.

FORESTRY CAMP BAR AND RESTAURANT
Asheville, North Carolina

To step through the doors of Forestry Camp is to cross a threshold into another realm; an array of axes on the wall and a sea of time-worn yellow pine sets a suitably rustic-chic scene. It’s the brainchild of local favorite Burial Beer Co.’s founders, with Cucina 24 chef Brian Canipelli on deck to transform bar snacks into legendary, Basque-inspired bites. The brewery has built its reputation on modernizing classic and historic beer styles, from crisp pilsners and rare grisettes and gruits to barrel-aged sour ales and IPA hop bombs.

Photo by Jack Sorokin
Photo by Carolina Kammel

PONYSAURUS BREWING CO.
Durham, North Carolina

A sunny afternoon in Durham begs for a pint of Biere de Garde at Ponysaurus. And depending on the season, guests can order brats, burgers, and dogs, along with prepared sides, to host their own cook-out on a reserved grill.

NORTH END TAVERN AND BREWERY
Parkersburg, West Virginia

The oldest brewery in West Virginia, North End keeps it simple and clean with easy-to-drink red ales, wheat ales, and an American Golden Ale that can convert any fan of domestics to craft beer for life.

MOUNTAIN STATE BREWING CO.
Morgantown, West Virginia

A wood-fired oven makes for perfect pizzas, toasty sandwiches, and some of the best pub sides around, plus fresh brews on draft (the Miner’s Daughter Oatmeal Stout and Almost Heaven Amber Ale are especially good) makes for a place you’ll come back to again and again.

BIG TIMBER BREWING
Elkins, West Virginia

Six flagship brews deliver clean, balanced flavors in blonde ales, lagers, and pale ales, but Big Timber really shines with their seasonals, like the Hatchet Session IPA and the dark, malty Frost Notch.

BRIDGE BREW WORKS
Fayetteville, West Virginia

This small brewery may be off the beaten path but it prefers to impress with big flavor. You’ll find bottles and drafts from Bridge Brew Works all across the state, and whether you need a crushable Kölsch, a big IPA, or their Oktoberfest Marzen, they deliver.

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