Celebrate N.C. Beer Month in April on Jackson County’s Ale Trail
(Courtesy of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority.)
Whether you enjoy sipping a smooth golden ale, something hoppy or a dark IPA, Jackson County’s breweries have you covered.
North Carolina boasts more craft breweries and brewpubs than any other state in the southeast and Jackson County has a commitment to quality local brews.
Head down Sylva’s Historic Main and Mill Streets and stop into Innovation Brewing and Balsam Falls Brewing Co. to experience the flavors of Sylva’s thriving brewery scene. Along the way, there are great restaurants to grab a bite, antique shops and more.
Each craft brewery offers flights (samplings of many beers), pints, growlers and either have food on site or allow you to bring your own.
Innovation Brewing, now in its third year, is growing and doing so sustainably. They installed 100 solar panels on their roof to help cut their carbon footprint by half.
The brewery recently expanded operations and now have 32 brews on tap, a homemade ginger ale and three ciders. A seven-barrel brew house, Innovation has a handful of mainstay traditional ales as well as several IPAs and a number of seasonal and experimental beers for you to try on your brewery tour.
“We like to push the envelope by creating fun and unique beer styles using non-traditional beer ingredients such as beets, cilantro, basil and cucumbers to name a few,” said Nicole Dexter, who owns the brewery with her husband Chip. In addition to brews, Innovation has the Cosmic Carryout food truck on hand seven days a week and the brewery is pet and family friendly. Beer lovers will be able to savor even more Innovation creations when a second location dedicated to sour beers opens with an additional tasting room.
Balsam Falls Brewing Co.
Balsam Falls Brewing features over a dozen beers on tap including a rotating selection of IPAs, pale ales and sours, along with six staple beers regularly on tap. Husband and wife partners in the brewery, Corey and Laurie Bryson, plan to utilize fruits, herbs and even vegetables in their brewing treatments. “Our goal is to have something different on tap every time visitors come in, and we will focus on seasonal pints based on local ingredients,” says Corey. His family grows blueberry bushes, apple trees, cherry trees and grapevines, and those flavors will be instilled into the beer.
The Brysons plan to grow several of his own hops. Balsam Falls Brewing’s name is not just an homage to a local waterfall. Balsam in old English is known as restorative. As Corey says, “We thought it was appropriate for beer. After hiking and biking people want something restorative to drink.”
In 2018 a new brewery will join these two in the southern end of the county – Whiteside Brewing in Cashiers.
The popular Sylva Brew Hop is back for a third year
(Article courtesy of the Main Street Sylva Association.)
For lodging specials during N.C. Beer Month in Jackson County, click HERE.