Local Favorites is back again and this time I’m talking about two of my favorite breweries. One thing that’s really grown in the past decade has been the increase in beer enthusiasts to the area and it’s no surprise really. Western North Carolina has been perfecting beverages of varying alcohol consistencies for well over a hundred years. While some people might know the mountains as being a large producer of moonshine before, during, and after the Prohibition era, western North Carolina is rapidly becoming as equally famous for it’s local breweries and unique beer offered no where else in the States. Here’s a look at two of my favorite breweries located right here in the mountains.
Boojum Brewing Company
Boojum Brewing Company has made its appearance on our featured articles before so it’s no surprise that it’d make the cut for my Local Favorites. Started by the brother/sister duo Kelsie and Ben Baker, Boojum Brewing Company has quickly made a name for itself. Their taproom located on Main Street in Waynesville, NC can be found packed with visitors, beer enthusiasts, and locals just about every night. The food is fantastic and features bar favorites such as burgers, chicken tenders, and BBQ sandwiches while keeping it fresh and unique with a few other specialty dishes such as the Balsam Beer Brat. For the beer lovers, there is a plethora to choose from, making their Flights option of four 5oz tasters, a great option for the more adventurous types. Two of my personal favorites are the seasonal Headless Hippie Imperial Pumpkin ale and the Balsam Brown ale. The Headless Hippie Imperial Pumpkin ale has a blend of pumpkin and other season spices and makes for a delicious ale that doesn’t disappoint as well as a fall favorite in my book. The Balsam Brown ale is a northern English style ale that has a roasted, nutty flavor and a smooth finish. This ale is also featured in one of their specialty dishes, the Balsam Beer Brat.
Heinzelmännchen Brewery is located in Sylva, NC about forty minutes away from downtown Asheville. The microbrewery was founded by German-born brew-master Dieter Kuhn and his wife Sheryl Rudd. They specialize in crafting altbeer, a style originating from the warmer regions of Germany. Altbeer is used to describe the traditional old way of brewing dark, top-fermented beer. Heinzelmännchen beer is sold in 2-liter take-home glass growler containers as well as 5 gallon or 15 gallon kegs. The growlers are imported from Germany and have flip-top lids to keep the beer fresh and the container sealed. This is a sensational deal and investment for the avid beer lover as they provide discounts on refills for these containers. They also make for an interesting conversation piece at parties and get-togethers. In addition to their beer options, Heinzelmännchen offers handcrafted soda selections made with organic sugar and caffeine-free options. Seriously, their root beer is something straight out of an ole timey recipe book that reminds me of the hot summers of my childhood and cool root beer floats.
Have you been to either of these breweries or do you have another local favorite? Contact us and let us know!