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Innovation Brewing to open Dillsboro location

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) has announced that Innovation Brewing will be the new tenant of the GSMR Dillsboro Depot Complex. 

Many locals enjoy the variety of Innovation’s 30-plus beers or ginger ale made from fresh organic ginger at their current location in Sylva, but as a major testament to their success, seating and parking have become limited night after night, especially on their outdoor patio overlooking Scotts Creek. This love for Innovation by locals and tourist alike is what initially inspired this next step.

Train passengers repeatedly request Innovation’s beer on the popular Fontana Trestle Train featuring BBQ & Brews, where GSMR partners with local breweries to showcase their beers during an evening train ride to the Fontana Trestle. Brewers are able to meet one-on-one with passengers and answer their questions and describe their process to the final product they are sampling. Innovation Brewing’s St. Patrick’s Day BBQ & Brews was a huge success, thus solidifying the need for expansion.

Innovation will keep its primary location at 414 West Main Street in Sylva, but plan on expanding their sour and barrel aged production as well as a new pilot batch system at the Dillsboro location. 

“We are excited about the space because it allows us room for growth while keeping our business in the local economy,” said Innovation owners Nicole Dexter and Chip Owen. 

They are also planning on having another tap room with large outdoor seating to include street and creek views. The target for opening at 40 Depot Street in Dillsboro is this fall, if everything goes as planned. 

Want to follow their progress? Visit thei website at For more information about the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and reservations visit or call 800.872.4681.