I heard about this story from the Facebook crowd, so I imagine some of you have already read it. There was a story in this past Sunday’s Raleigh News and Observer that had this to say about Waynesville and Sylva:
To find the most beer-soaked town in North Carolina, look past the much-acclaimed Asheville. Thirty miles to the west sits Waynesville, a small town of 10,000 nestled between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains. It’s here where you’ll find four craft breweries – one of the highest brewery-per-capita ratios in the state (www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/04/-4119190_pintful-to-find-ncs-most-beer.html?rh=1#story-link=cpy).
A possible rival is nearby Sylva, a smaller outpost in Western North Carolina where 2,700 people share two breweries.
As the snow melts in Southern Appalachia, the beer will begin to flow from the taps of the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company in the former Franklin Town Hall.
He was completely shocked. Standing in front of an empty warehouse in Dillsboro, which will soon be the site of his new brewery, Dieter Kuhn couldn’t believe almost 500 people had shown up at the recent launch party of his new facility.
Franklin could soon get its first taste of microbrew beer. An offer to lease the old town hall building and turn it into a brewery is currently on the table.
Pouring its first pints in October 2013, Innovation Brewing in Sylva was created by Nicole Dexter and Chip Owen. The couple has a deep love for the craft beer, one that developed over the years through various jobs in the industry.
On Dec. 21, Tipping Point Brewing in downtown Waynesville will be celebrating its third year in operation with a “Customer Appreciation Day.” Starting as a restaurant/tavern, the business has grown into an acclaimed brewery in the bustling Western North Carolina craft beer scene.
If you build it, they will come. If you brew it, they will come and party.
Nicole Dexter and Chip Owen might be the only brewmasters in Western North Carolina who left Asheville — the Mecca of microbreweries — in the rearview mirror when looking for a good spot to make craft beer. But the two young entrepreneurs have a good feeling about their new business venture in downtown Sylva.
During the last 20 years, the Western North Carolina craft beer scene has exploded.
While Asheville’s nearly 20 breweries earned it the “Beer City USA” title, a loud rumble has also echoed out of the small towns west of the metropolis. Waynesville, Sylva and Bryson City have all thrown their hats into the craft beer ring.
The inaugural Waynesville Craft Beer Festival will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at the American Legion baseball field in Waynesville.