We really can’t blame you for wanting to take a relaxing trip to the Smokies—the views are calming, the weather is more than pleasant, the food is always fresh, the beer is as crisp as the morning breeze, and the locally distilled spirits are jam-packed with a hundred degrees of sweet, burning heat. As we get ready for sippin’-drinks-on-the-patio season, let us tell you a little bit about some of our favorite local places to grab a drink.
You’ll find this spot right along the Pigeon River in history-rich Canton, NC. With more than a half dozen rotating beers on tap, BearWaters will take your taste buds on a hoppy cross-country road trip, drawing inspiration from all over. Their Papertown Pilsner is a nod to Canton’s heritage as a paper mill town—and it’s a must-try if you swing by here! Enjoy the weather and frequent live music performances out on their picture-perfect (and pet-friendly) outdoor patio space.
Their name is inspired by a local myth, but their brews are living legends around these parts. Boojum’s a short walk from some of the best eating and shopping spots along Main Street in Downtown Waynesville, making it the perfect place to end a shopping spree. Their beers are constantly rotating, but here’s to hoping you get a chance to try their Jalapeno IPA! They’ve also got an extensive food menu and pet-friendly outdoor patio space.
With probably the most unique location of all, Frog Level Brewing is a must-visit if you’re in the area. It’s nestled along Richland Creek in the Frog Level neighborhood of Waynesville—a stunning backdrop for a stellar outdoor setup! They’ve got quite the variety of craft beers, but we recommend trying the Bouncing Betty if you ever find yourself here. Their newly-created Canteen offers freshly-made food and snacks that pair perfectly with all of their beers. As if you needed any extra incentive, they often book the area’s best bluegrass and folk music talents to perform live on their back porch.
They may not be brewing beer here, but Elevated Mountain in Maggie Valley is not to be overlooked. It’s one of the most unique distilleries you’ll find anywhere, with a hybrid still churning out whiskey, moonshine, and vodka using only locally sourced ingredients. This one-stop-shop distills, labels, packs, and ships its product all on-site here, but will still happily make time for you if you swing by. We’re big fans of the Raymond Fairchild Root Beer White Lightning, but you should schedule a tour and tasting to try all their potions and pick your favorite! Unfortunately, due to state laws, Elevated can’t serve cocktails, but you can take a few bottles home with you.
If you thought you were passionate about your beverages—wait ‘til you get a load of these guys! Despite having distinct styles and flavors across the board, you’ll find one commonality: our brewers love taking care of people and showing them a good time while they’re in town. So, stay a while and experience the charm of Smoky Mountain hospitality in Haywood County!