Finding the best breweries in North Carolina is not as easy as it once was with new and exciting options popping up at every turn. Over the last decade the brewery scene in North Carolina has been taking off, rivaling other similar sized cities as one of the best and most varied beer states in the U.S. With an impressive list of brews thanks to cities such as Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and the beer Mecca known as Asheville, it is easy to see why North Carolina is a force to be reckoned with on the beer scene. Whether you’re looking for award-winning craft beer, a smooth cider, or an atmosphere that makes you smile from ear to ear, North Carolina is sure to have something just for you.
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So sit back, relax, and scroll through the five best breweries in North Carolina. You’ll be sure to find your next brew in a flash.
Five Best Breweries in North Carolina
1. The Raleigh Beer Garden
The Raleigh Beer Garden in, you guessed it, Raleigh is a beer haven! Not only is this brewery a romantic feast for the eyes with its rustic-chic decor but it has a massively impressive number of brews on tap – 366 beers to be exact! That’s 366 beers ranging not only from North Carolina but also rotates well-known, new, and seasonal beers from around the country. You can circle through all those beers at the four different bars on the premises.
On the ground level there is a high-end spirits bar – so even your non beer drinking friends can join in on the party. The roof holds a small bar with about a dozen taps and a view of the city you can sit back and relax to; and the upstairs bar hosts 222 domestic and import beers. Regardless of what you’re looking for, the Raleigh Beer Garden seems to have something for everyone and definitely deserves a nod as one of the best breweries in North Carolina.
2. D9 Brewing Company
What do you get when two engineers and a doctor start a business together? Naturally, the answer to that is one of the most popular breweries in North Carolina. These friends had a passion for brewing their own beer as well as a desire to cultivate community in their region.
What better way to achieve that than through impeccably crafted ales. With delicious staples like their Brown Sugar Brown Cow (a mocha brown ale) and Hakuna Matata (a tropical IPA) they are definitely achieving their goal of creating original and high quality beers. They also recently started Taming Wild Beasts in 2017 with a goal to become a leading producer of wild fermented beers in the southeastern part of the United States. I’d say these guys are well on their way.
3. Wicked Weed
Wicked Weed Brewing is another story of three men (two brothers and one life-long friend) pursuing a dream of starting their own brewery together and has resulted in one of the most popular breweries in North Carolina. Hailing from Asheville, it is easy to see how Wicked would end up on a list of the best breweries in North Carolina just by visiting one of their two locations alone.
One of their locations is a traditional pub while the other has been minted a “funkatorium”. While their locations, and their reputation alone, are sure to draw crowds, it’s their unique brews that really steal the show. They even have tasty options for gluten free beer lovers. Everyone can rejoice!
4. Appalachian Mountain Brewery
What sets Appalachian Mountain Brewery apart from other breweries in North Carolina isn’t just their award winning beers and ciders, it’s also their focus on building relationships within their community, sustainable business practices, and their business model that supports local non-profits. Their Pints for Non-Profits program enables them to give back to their local communicate and raises awareness for local charities and non-profits. A portion of every pint sold in their tasting room is dedicated to said organizations.
Award winning beers coupled with a socially conscious business model? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a visit. Head on over to Appalachian and choose from their wide array of brews and ciders. Whether you are into stouts, IPAs, saisons, pilsners, ambers, or unique ciders, you can be certain Appalachian Mountain Brewery will have something for you.
5. Mother Earth Brewing
Having just claimed the title of the Best Brewery in North Carolina in Strange Carolina’s Beer Bracket, it seemed to be a sin not to include Kinston’s Mother Earth Brewery on the list; especially when you consider it beat out 63 other breweries to claim the championship!
Inspired by creating a product that has its roots in the land, the two owners and in-laws have created something more than just beer, they’ve created an artfully-crafted passion project. Their goal was to create the goodness of garden-grown products, the warmth of small town life, and a deep respect for the beauty of brewing brews. So grab a pint of their tomato ale brewers with one of the founder’s third-generation tomato juice and their corn based beer. Or potentially get a pint of their Fig & Raisin- a Belgian Dubbel fermented with figs and raisins. If you’re really trying to turn up the volume, maybe you want to entertain their newest venture- spirits! Mother Earth Brewing is a home-town inventive brewery and a no brainer for one of the best breweries in North Carolina.
Whether it is grabbing a pint amongst small town charm, new brews that push the limits of flavors and combinations, or simply a classic pint in a beautiful atmosphere, North Carolina is a wonderful destination for beer lovers and enthusiasts alike. As the occupiers of the historic Mooresville Cotton Mills, we have been around long enough to assure you that these five breweries are impressive staples on the scene and deserve recognition as the best breweries in North Carolina.