Last Updated on September 17, 2020
Last Updated on September 17, 2020
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North Carolina breweries as we know them today are relatively new, considering the revolutionary Pop the Cap initiative only happened in 2005. That’s when NC changed the laws for “alcohol by volume” from six to 15 percent.
Since then, the state has seen a boom in high-quality great craft beer making, creating bucket list-worthy destinations out of breweries.
We even celebrate NC Beer Month in April and thought for that momentous occasion, and for the rest of the year, we’d share our favorite breweries in North Carolina with you.
North Carolina Craft Beer & Breweries discusses Pop the Cap and many of these breweries that you’ll find when traveling through North Carolina.
North Carolina Breweries
We’ve organized this guide to NC breweries alphabetically by city in each region from west to east.
- Western NC Breweries
- Central NC Breweries
- Eastern NC Breweries
Our map displays the location of all these breweries in North Carolina. For more info about each one, continue reading.
Western NC Breweries
12 Old Charlotte Highway, Suite 200
Highland Brewing is North Carolina’s largest producing brewery and the first legal one in Asheville since prohibition. They have an impressive brewery and taproom, but they also give back to the community in many ways, by donating to over 100 charities a year and running on solar power.
We suggest you kick back with a Gaelic Ale or our favorite Daycation IPA!
Highland Brewing is definitely one of our favorites after a day enjoying one of these hikes near Asheville!
Two Asheville locations (197 Hilliard Ave. and 2 Huntsman Pl.) and also featuring a taproom in Durham (800 Taylor St., #9-150).
“Balanced and approachable” is how Hi-Wire Brewing promotes their beers and we absolutely agree with that moniker. The Asheville-based brewery offers beers that perfectly align with their chill spaces, which are filled with unique and colorful murals and even a soccer pool table!
21 Craven St
New Belgium Brewing is employee-owned which was the realization of a young aspiring homebrewer’s vision. Of course, he first got the idea while riding through European villages with his “fat tires” for famous beer.
New Belgium Brewing is Colorado-based, but you should visit their Asheville taproom and hang out overlooking the French Broad River while tasting their world-class beers.
Twin Leaf Brewery
144 Coxe Avenue
Twin Leaf Brewery in South Slope has a laid back vibe and delicious brews. Strong on sours, Goses, and Saisons, Twin Leaf also makes some ice IPAs and other hoppy favorites.
And to keep things even more interesting, this independently owned brewery always has something going on, too. If you’ve got a bet to settle with a pal, why not do it over a giant Jenga tournament!
Whether you’re warming up your pipes for Craft Karaoke, battling it out at trivia, or just out in Asheville with friends, we recommend grabbing a Gary Made Me Do It It Again and hanging out at Twin Leaf Brewery.
Wedge Brewing Co
37 Paynes Way & 5 Foundy St
Wedge Brewing is a small-batch brewery with two locations in Asheville’s River Arts District. Its funky, industrial vibe perfectly matches the neighborhood and that’s before we get to their damn good beer!
Wedge is a place for everyone to gather, collaborate, and drink delicious beer. And you’ll find a food truck at both locations for dinner. The Wedge at Foundation location also has a 1500 square foot private event space for rent dedicated to the community, art, and entertainment.
Wicked Weed Brewing
91 Biltmore Ave and 147 Coxe Ave
Promising big, West Coast hoppy ales, Wicked Weed Brewing brings delicious brews like Pernicious, Lieutenant Dank, and their French Toast Stout. We personally enjoy hanging out at the Funkatorium in Downtown Asheville.
Blowing Rock Brewing
Two Locations: Blowing Rock (152 Sunset Dr) and a taproom in Hickory (883 Highland Ave SE).
Sustainability in the High Country with delicious beers and even an Inn? Blowing Rock Brewing does all that, by using photo-degradable six-pack ring carriers that dissolve in the sunlight and local NC ingredients.
This Blowing Rock brewery also gives priority to High Country farmers first and uses 100 percent recyclable aluminum cans.
Appalachian Mountain Brewery
163 Boone Creek Dr
It’s not just about great beer at Appalachian Mountain Brewery. No, at AMB they continue to give back to the community by part of the proceeds go back to one of the hundreds of local charities they support.
But great beer is also part of the story. Distributed across the state, it’s hard to go wrong with a pint of AMB.
465 Industrial Park Dr
Making sure “Boone shines”, Booneshine wanted to make a beer that showcased just how amazing the outdoor destination Boone is with hops and yeast. There’s a total vibe when it comes to Booneshine too. Whether you’re there to hang out with a pint in the outdoor beer garden or for a meal inside the brewery, you are guaranteed to have a laidback experience.
No matter where you’re staying or living in the High Country, stop on by, enjoy the laid back vibe, and slug down a pint or two with your pals!
130 North Depot St
Located in downtown Boone, Lost Province slings amazing beers and delicious wood-fired pizzas. Brewed at their location downtown, part of the fun of drinking at Lost Province is saying the names! Kiss My Grits Lager, Hipster Juice IPA, or the Keep Calm and Cherry On Cherry Wheat Ale- six packs are also available if you’re looking to take some of the fun home!
Oskar Blues Brewery
342 Mountain Industrial Dr
Oskar Blues is a Midwest transplant, but they’ve made a positive impact on Brevard and its surroundings. And of course, they came packed with good beer, like Dale’s Pale Ale, which has been a staple for us ever since college.
In the fresh mountain air, indulge in a Pinner or Death by Coconut at this awesome taproom, which is less than 10 minutes from Pisgah National Forest.
A lot of folks we talked to travel down to Oskar Blues from Asheville, but we think you need to give at least a weekend in Brevard!
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
100 Sierra Nevada Way
While not a native Tar Heel State company, you just have to see Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in person.
Their NC location offers incredible tours, ranging from your standard Brewhouse Tour to a 3 hour intense Beer Geek Tour. With the latter, you’ll learn all the ins and out of Sierra Nevada’s fresh full-flavored beers.
Since it’s just across the county line from Buncombe, we included Sierra Nevada and other Henderson County spots in our guide to day trips from Asheville.
Catawba Brewing Company
212 South Green Street
Family owned and operated since 1999, Catawba Brewing Co. in downtown Morganton is a must-drink North Carolina brewery. With production based in Morganton, beer lovers can also find a second tasting room in the South Slope area of Asheville and in Charlotte.
While their flagship brews are definitely delicious, their small-batch beers are nothing to sneeze at! Grab a pint and enjoy the outdoor patio or take a sixer home!
Boojum Brewing Company
50 North Main Street
We got to admit, the artwork on this can was what got us to pick up this beer. Not only the artwork, but the question of… what exactly is a Boojum? Both man and beast, standing tall and hairy, the Boojum lives a life a solitude among the North Carolina Mountains.
Just like the Boojum, this beer is for serious fiends. Boojum Brewing Company plays on the creature and dishes out refreshing beer to devour and leave you thirsty for more.
Central NC Breweries
2161 Hawkins St
Family owned and operated, Sycamore Brewing prides itself in their Charlotte roots. With uniquely dazzling artwork on their cans and a cider company, Wild Blossom Cider, Sycamore is a must-visit when in the Queen City.
2909 N Davidson St
Heist Brewery is Charlotte’s first craft brewpub and has remained one of the best breweries in North Carolina for a few good reasons. If you’ve been, you might have your own ideas, but we remember Heist’s delicious Belgian-style beers, delicious small plates, and their fun atmosphere.
4913 S Alston Ave
Set up in the former Counter Culture headquarters, hence the name, Barrel Culture Brewing and Blending is a unique brewery to this list. Known for their barrel-aged wild sours, you are more likely to find the words, “granola”, “mango,” and “milkshake” on the draft list.
Don’t skip on a beer slushie, either! These brewmasters know what they are doing and produce tasty pints!
Bull City Burger & Brewery
107 E Parrish St #105
Our favorite there is Parrish Street Pale Ale, but we’re always coming back to sample the rest.
Bull Durham Beer Co.
409 Blackwell St
Since it’s the only craft beer company located inside a Minor League Baseball stadium, sipping on a Bull Durham Beer Co. is a must. Enjoy it during a Durham Bulls game or see it out and around the town at various shops and bars.
We also included Bulls games and other Minor League favorites in our Spring Things to Do in North Carolina!
726 Rigsbee Ave
We mentioned Pop the Cap at the beginning and Fullsteam Brewery owner Sean Lilly Wilson was instrumental in that movement. Still going strong, his innovative beers push the limits of grain-to-glass.
Fullsteam incorporates North Carolina ingredients and flavors like pawpaw, sweet potato, persimmon, and basil.
219 Hood St
Their moniker is “The beer beer would drink if beer could drink beer.” But aside from making awesome brews for beer itself, Ponysaurus made headlines when they created the “Don’t Be Mean to People” Saison in response to HB2.
They’ve continued to support marginalized groups and even hosted a benefit for the ACLU in 2018.
You can read more about these spots in our guide to Durham breweries!
Natty Greene’s Brewing Company
345 South Elm St
Sip the South through your pint glass at Natty Greene’s Brewing Company, which is one of the best-known North Carolina breweries in the Triad. At their Downtown Greensboro taproom, you can choose from the reliable Mount Mitchell IPA or try one of the rotating brews like their Blackberry Saison.
They even serve some delicious food at the Natty Greene’s Downtown location and we included it in our guide to must-eat restaurants in Greensboro.
1107 Grecade St
Located in Greensboro’s Midtown, Pig Pounder is bound to make you squeal. With award-winning English Brown Ales, grab a “
We’re also excited about their ever-expanding Pavilion, which is filled with fun games and places to chill out with friends.
Carolina Brewing Company
140 Thomas Mill Rd
As the oldest active brewery in Wake County, Carolina Brewing Company started as a basement dream and now is one of the best-selling breweries in the Triangle.
You can check out the taproom person from Wednesday to Sunday, with tours available on Saturdays.
We mentioned Holly Springs, Saxapahaw, and Wake Forest (who you’ll see later) in our guide to small towns in Research Triangle, too.
Crank Arm Brewing
319 W Davie St
And if you’re into cycling, join Crank Arm for one of their weekly bike rides (Wednesdays). Crank Arm is the first of a few spots in our capital city, but for more, check out our guide to Raleigh breweries!
Gizmo Brew Works
5907 Triangle Dr
Gizmo Brew Works was once the smallest production brewery in North Carolina working with a two-barrel brewhouse. But the demand was high and Gizmo Brew Works has since expanded in size as well as adding a satellite taproom in Chapel Hill.
Keeping a connection to the community, Gizmo comes out with interesting experimental brews. One such beer beer was their “Born to Bee,” which used yeast extracted from the wing of a bumble from a NC State research project.
Lonerider Brewing Company
8816 Gulf Ct Suite 100
Who doesn’t want to be an outlaw for the day!?! At Lonerider, you can slug down a Shotgun Betty and yell “Hoppy Ki Yay!” as you pull into their aptly named brew room, The Hideout.
Honestly, the names of their beers are the most fun to tell people about. Plus, they’re really good, too!
Lynnwood Brewing Concern
1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd
From humble beginnings, Lynnwood Brewing Concern prides itself as a community, not just a bar. Every Tuesday, $1 from every beer is donated to a chosen charity or local cause. So drink up and give back at the LBC!
We also mentioned the LBC in our guide to a Date Night in Raleigh.
Trophy Brewing Co.
Two Locations: Brewing + Pizza (827 W. Morgan St), and Brewery + Taproom (656 Maywood Ave)
Trophy Brewing brings two different experiences for beer and food lovers. The original location (Brewing + Pizza) pours their delicious craft beer and serves some of North Carolina’s best pizza.
The other location offer a Brewery + Taproom serve southern-inspired noms and exciting beer combinations.
Haw River Farmhouse Ales
1713 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Rd
Sip on Belgium-style ales in an unexpected place at Haw River Farmhouse Ales Nestled in the tiny and almost hidden town of Saxapahaw, this brewery overlooks the Haw River and produces some of the best sour ales we’ve ever tasted!
Southern Pines Brewing
565 Air Tool Dr Suite E
Founded by three Green Berets in the middle of their active service, Southern Pines Brewing Company (565 Air Tool Dr. Suite E) quickly became known as “Rooted in the Community.”
Each of the owners shares the idea that beer should bring people together. You can learn more by sharing a pint at this 100 percent veteran-owned brewery!
Fourth Creek Brewing Co
Fourth Creek Brewing Co is all about the community, whether you’re talking about the events they hold or the ingredients they source within a 20-mile radius. Speaking of the beers, you’ll find them packed with big and bold flavors, each leaving a wonderful impression after you sip.
You can bring the kids to this place, as the vibe inside (and outside) is very family-friendly.
Red Buffalo Brewing Co
Red Buffalo Brewing Co started in a garage with innovative twists on old-world style beers and that quirk remains in the flavors and decor you’ll find at this Statesville brewery.
The vibe at Red Buffalo is very important to the owner, with events (including live music) and a chill atmosphere accompanying the beers. That’s why you might think this place resembles a record store more than a brewery when you first reach its doors.
Step inside and you’ll be partly right, especially when there’s a band playing.
These two awesome North Carolina breweries are also included in our guide covering things to do in Statesville!
White Street Brewing Company
218 S White St
Big time beer and small-town soul is what is promised from White Street Brewing Company (218 S. White St.), and they truly deliver on that. Chances are if you’ve ever had one of their beers, it’s probably Hoptimist, but their Scottish Ale is also A-plus in our book!
Red Oak Brewery
6901 Konica Dr
Upholding the Law of Purity enacted in 1516 to save the use of cereal grains to prevent famine, Red Oak Brewery still only uses water, malted barley, and yeast and hops to craft their delicious Bavarian-style lagers.
If you’re traveling on I-40 E/I-85 N, Red Oak’s electronic signboard will not disappoint with their powerful and sometimes controversial messages.
Wise Man Brewing
826 Angelo Bros Ave
Developed by a PhD scientist, Wise Man Brewing was founded with the spirit of innovation and discovery. New recipes are always being tested and shared in their giant taproom!
638 West Fourth St and 3800 Kimwell Dr
With their iconic propaganda-style artwork, Foothills Brewing has two Winston-Salem locations and is North Carolina’s second-largest producing brewery. With great creations like People’s Porter and Torch Pilsner, you’ll quickly see why Foothills is an iconic establishment in North Carolina beer.
Both of these places featured in our Weekend Things to Do in Winston-Salem.
Eastern NC Breweries
219 West Fort Macon Road
Is there anything better than a cold on on the beach? Crystal Coast Brewing Company is a family-owned North Carolina brewery that uses local fresh ingredients. All of the fruits, grain, and hops come from the community and is brewed in Morehead City. All of Crystal Coast Brewing Company’s spent grain is utilized by a local farm for their animals as well as by local artisans to make soaps, scrubs, and dog treats.
Bright Light Brewing Company
444 West Russell St Suite 102
Starting as a pipe-dream between friends over beers, Bright Light Brewing Company quickly became a reality. This veteran-owned brewery has a large outdoor patio and continues to give back to the Fayetteville community and beyond.
We mentioned Dirtbag and Bright Light (and maybe Mash House) in our ode to veteran-owned breweries in Fayetteville, too!
5435 Corporation Dr, Hope Mills
Dirtbag Ales in Hope Mills offers the ultimate experience. Outside the taproom, there’s a regulation-size soccer field, volleyball court, fenced-in dog park, kid-friendly playground, and a delicious on-site restaurant Napkins. We loved eating there so much that we included it among these must-eat restaurants in Fayetteville.
Veterans Tito, Eric, and Jerry brew delicious beer in a comfortable community environment, making Dirtbag Ales THE place for everyone to gather.
Known for their Blood Orange Kolsch, they have an amazing selection of beers. Our favorite was their Cold Brew Porter!
Read our exclusive article on Dirtbag Ales Brewery!
The Mash House
4150 Sycamore Dairy Rd
Directly from the grain in the silo out front, The Mash House (4150 Sycamore Dairy Rd.) brings you the freshest preservative-free beer. Have it in your usual pint or try out all nine beers on tap with the Mondo Mash sampler!
The Mash House and all of the above featured in our guide to a weekend in Fayetteville.
Mother Earth Brewing
311 N Herritage St
Their mission is simple: “to help you savor the goodness of Mother Earth.” I mean, how can you go wrong with that?
Mother Earth Brewing features in our guide to a weekend in Kinston, too!
R & R Brewing
541 Northwest Center St
Who doesn’t want to sip on delicious brews and relax on a hammock?! That’s exactly what the guys at R & R Brewing thought when they opened up their microbrewery in the middle of Eastern North Carolina.
Visit them and get your R&R on. Oh, and don’t be shy. There are tons of nice people inside.
We added the people to our ode to the 4 Ps of Goldsboro, which is Mt. Olive’s close neighbor.
Outer Banks Breweries
Outer Banks Brewing Station
600 South Croatan Hwy
Did you know that the Outer Banks is home to the first wind-powered brewery in the United States? Founded in 1992 by Peace Corps volunteers, the goal of Outer Banks Brewing Station is environmentally conscious practices to create delicious beer.
6810 Caratoke Hwy, Grandy
Leaving Bavaria in the early 1980s, Uli Bennewitz was the first person to open a craft brewery in North Carolina. Weeping Radish Brewery opened in 1986 and was founded on the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516.
That means their beer is only brewed with four ingredients: hops, malt, yeast, and water. The restaurant follows the same principles and uses no additives and supports local North Carolina farmers.
Owner Uli Bennewitz shared his story and more with us on NC Travel Chat!
Some honorable North Carolina breweries that we couldn’t leave out include NoDa Brewing Company in Charlotte (2921 N Tryon St and 2229 N Davidson St), Olde Hickory Brewery in Hickory (2 3rd St SW), Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery in Chapel Hill (100 East Franklin St, Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe in Manteo (208 Queen Elizabeth St), and Wilmington Brewing Company in Wilmington (824 S Kerr Ave).
What’s Your Favorite?
With everything from pawpaw beers to habanero stouts, North Carolina has quickly become THE beer destination in the South.
We hope you enjoy these North Carolina breweries as we do and if you haven’t been to any, we challenge you to visit as many as possible, not only in