I’m not a snob. In fact, I’m more of a bleeding heart. But when it comes to beer and coffee, I’m admittedly a bit of an elitist. 

With sunshine spilling into the taproom of Currahee Brewing Company in Franklin one recent afternoon, brewmaster Taylor Yates is all smiles. A hearty beverage raised high, the sun’s rays are a cherry on top of the big news currently floating around the facility.

“For us being so new, this is a huge thing,” he said. “We’re still trying to get established. Something like this on a national level just does wonders for us. When you’re new, it really gets you that exposure and notoriety you hope for.”

New Sylva brewery opens

With its grand opening last Friday, Balsam Falls Brewing Company becomes the third business of its kind in Sylva.

Yoga instructors have been trying to convince people for years that the exercise has amazing benefits for everyone, but still people are apprehensive about giving it a try.


• Andrews Brewing

828.321.2006 • www.andrewsbrewing.com

• Hoppy Trout Brewing Company

828.835.2111 • www.hoppytroutbrewing.com

Bryson City

• Mountain Layers Brewing


• Nantahala Brewing

828.488.2337 • www.nantahalabrewing.com


• BearWaters Brewing

828.246.0602 • www.bwbrewing.com


• Currahee Brewing

828.634.0078 • www.curraheebrew.com

• Lazy Hiker Brewing

828.342.5133 • www.lazyhikerbrewing.com


• Satulah Mountain Brewing

828.482.9794 • www.satulahmountainbrewing.com


• Sapphire Valley Brewing

828.743.0220 • www.sapphirebrewingcompany.com


• Balsam Falls Brewing



• Heinzelmannchen Brewery

828.631.4466 • www.yourgnometownbrewery.com

• Innovation Brewing

828.586.9678 • www.innovation-brewing.com

• Sneak E Squirrel

828.586.6440 • www.sneakesquirrel.com


• Boojum Brewing

828.944.0888 • www.boojumbrewing.com

• Frog Level Brewing

828.454.5664 • www.froglevelbrewing.com

• Tipping Point Brewing

828.246.9230 • www.tippingpointtavern.com

When I read about Wicked Weed Brewing getting bought by AB InBev (formerly Budweiser) — one of the world’s largest brewing conglomerates — my instinct was to be incensed at the decision.

For years, this newspaper has been a very vocal advocate of the homegrown, buy local movement whose roots reach deep into these mountains. As late as the 1950s there were pockets of Appalachia where people still grew, raised, hunted and made a great deal of what they needed to survive. Nowhere else in this country is the resolve to be independent from governmental authority and corporate marketers worn so easily and proudly by so many.

Stepping out of a large passenger van into the sunshine last Saturday afternoon, a group of around 10 people entered Bhramari Brewing in downtown Asheville. Once seated, an array of craft beer samples were placed in front of the group, with friendly banter swirling around the room while a brewery employee examined and explained each selection. 

Welcome to the Leap Frog Tours.

Turning onto 2nd Street from the hectic U.S. 19/74 highway, you find yourself cruising through downtown Andrews. It’s Saturday afternoon, and for most small towns in America, it is no surprise the center of a community is busy. 

But, for Andrews, this is a sight to behold. For a mountain town that’s been eerily quiet for many years, bordering on abandoned, the downtown is now abuzz with folks strolling the sidewalks, cars parked up and down the street. A sense of “well, hey, check this out” crosses the minds of those who used to only stop in this part of Cherokee County to refuel as a halfway point to their final destinations, which seemingly could be in any direction.

After operating in Waynesville for the past four years, BearWaters Brewing will be making a big move to downtown Canton.

art frTaking a right off East Main Street, just before crossing the bridge into downtown Franklin, you pull onto Lakeside Drive and keep your eyes peeled. You know Currahee Brewing is somewhere around here, but where? It must be behind that large warehouse sitting alongside the Little Tennessee River.

And it’s just in that moment you realize Currahee is the large warehouse looming over you.

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