Breweries are all the rage these days. What better way to relax after a white water rafting trip down the Nantahala River or the Ocoee River with Carolina Outfitters and Carolina Ocoee? You could sit in your hotel room or your rental cabin with a six pack of Bud and a bag of Nachos, but why not make it a fun night out (with a designated driver!)? To make it easy for you, we’ve put together a list of breweries between the Ocoee River and Nantahala River and as far as Cherokee, North Carolina. You only live once, so get out there and see, feel, and taste life!
OCOEE RIVER AREA
Buck Bald Brewing has two locations. One in Copperhill, Tennessee, and one in Murphy, North Carolina. They opened their Copperhill location in 2018 and just this year (2023) in March they opened their Murphy location. You can bring your family and even your pets (on a leash) and enjoy their handcrafted beer in a fun and friendly location. Be sure and check out their Copperhill and Murphy Taplists!
Copperhill Brewery has two locations. One in Copperhill, Tennessee and the other one in Ducktown Tennessee. A casual place to enjoy crafted beer with occasional entertainment (check their calendar for events). They offer high-quality craft brews and a friendly environment to hang out.
Fannin Brewing Company, located in Blue Ridge, GA, is about an hour’s drive from the Ocoee River in Ducktown, Tennessee. They started out with grapes and after the wine was made, corked and aging, they turned to beer crafting. Fresh air and fresh water makes great beer, so they settled in Fannin, GA. By 2012 they were selling their craft beers. By June 2013 their beer was available on tap in several restaurants. Their beers have since expanded to several locations in east Tennessee.
Nocturnal Brewing Company is located out on Hwy 64 in Hayesville, North Carolina. They craft beer with ingredients sourced and foraged from the nearby area to create tasty and exceptional brews. In addition, their kitchen team creates diverse meals for your eating pleasure. Hayesville is near Lake Chatuge and the Appalachian trail–a perfect place to get out of the city and enjoy a visit to a brewing company.
ANDREWS / MURPHY AREA
Hoppy Trout Brewing Company is located in Andrews, North Carolina and started from a passion for home brewing beer. After years of experimenting with ingredients and recipes, they were ready to open on a commercial scale in the mountains of western North Carolina. They offer canned beers to go and also beers on tap such as Ale of the Dragon, Mountain Haze, Snowflakes by the fire, and many more. They are also a restaurant that offers Sicilian style brick oven pizza with all fresh ingredients.
Snowbird Mountains Brewery is located in Andrews, NC. Terry Vaughn worked in the taproom at Grumpy Old Men Brewing in Blue Ridge, GA, then decided to strike out on his own. Terry and Linda enjoy experimenting with exotic ingredients to create that one-of-a-kind taste. Snowbird is just a two hour drive from Atlanta, Knoxville, Chattanooga or Asheville–well worth the drive to enjoy some handcrafted beer. If your in the area, they are located an hour from the Nantahala River and the Ocoee River.
Valley River Brewery in Murphy, North Carolina offers Craft Beer, Wine, Wood Fired Pizza and much more. They offer a variety of craft beers including these that are available all of the time: Dawn Mild, Amber Knight, Hangin’ Dog Double IPA, Blonde, and more. They brew new beers constantly, so you’re sure to find one that you’ll love. Bring your family in for a fun night out with good food and a kids menu for your little ones.
Hayesville Brewing company is a one barrel brewery with a taproom and outdoor seating. It’s a small company with a big heart! They offer cigars, food, and entertainment while you’re enjoying their craft beer in a peaceful, easy setting.
NANTAHALA RIVER & BRYSON CITY AREA
Mountain Layers Brewing Company is a microbrewing company located in downtown Bryson City in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. The owners’ love of the people and beauty of the mountains brought them here from Minnesota. They offer handcrafted beer along with non-alcoholic beverages so the whole family can enjoy their southern hospitality from their taproom or rooftop deck.
Nantahala Brewing is located in Bryson City across from the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. They offer a wide range of brews from their flagships to seasonal to their Big Water and Trail Magic ales. Even their experimental beers are available, but only in their taproom. Their beer is distributed to many establishments in western North Carolina, and they are always looking for ways to expand.
Nantahala Brewing’s Burger + Bar is located on Ramseur street in Bryson City, NC, and they have an outpost in Sylva, NC (about 20 minutes from Bryson City). They offer beer made in Bryson City from the purest water of the Great Smoky Mountains. At their bar, they offer handmade burgers, appetizers, salads, bar-b-que, and a menu for kids.
Native Brews prides themselves on paying homage to their tribal history and producing handcrafted beers from the fruits of the earth that reflect their rich heritage. The Cherokee Indians drank fermented drinks throughout history during tribal ceremonies, social gatherings, and sipped them to ward off illness. Native Brews carries on those traditions at the Native Brews Tap & Grill in Cherokee, NC. The Native American Brewing Company also offers handcrafted Vodka, Gin, and whiskey.
Angry Elk Brewing Company is located in Whittier, NC between Bryson City and Cherokee. They host a brewery, pet friendly outdoor patio, and daily food trucks. Their handcrafted beers include Pontoon Pale Ale, Rut Blonde, Copperhead Hazy IPA to name a few.
Want to try a few breweries without worrying about a designated driver? Try Carolina Bound Adventures. They offer waterfalls/breweries & fly fishing/breweries tours with a designated driver. Hike to area waterfalls or fly fish during the day, then tour four different breweries in the Bryson City, NC area during evening hours.
The above breweries are just a few of the many brewing companies that pepper the mountains of east Tennessee and western North Carolina. They are great places to try new handcrafted beers, meet people of like minds, and enjoy entertainment. Dogs and kids are welcome, too, at most of the locations. After an exciting white water rafting adventure with Carolina Outfitters or Carolina Ocoee, head out on a tour of breweries! Always remember to be safe and responsible while having fun!