Crafting together community: How craft beer impacted WNC

According to recent numbers, there are around 75 breweries within Asheville and greater Western North Carolina. And 19 of those breweries are located west of Asheville. 

But, back in 1999, when The Smoky Mountain News launched, this was the number of breweries in our jurisdiction — zero. None. Not a single one. The idea of craft beer, let alone something concocted in your backyard, was not only somewhat unheard of, it never was thought to be something of an economic driver. 

Coming down the mountain: Whiteside Brewing impacts Cashiers culture

It’s just after 5 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 64 and N.C. 107 in the village of Cashiers. Otherwise known as the “Crossroads,” the junction — atop a mountainous plateau at the southern end of Jackson County — is usually buzzing with tourists and second-homeowners spring through fall. And, normally, it’s relatively silent when winter rears its head. 

Tapping into the past, present of Appalachia

In the six or so years I’ve lived and worked in Western North Carolina, the amount of craft breweries in our region has literally quadrupled. And as someone who has written extensively about craft beer, industry trends and so forth, it’s pretty impossible to keep up with it all. 

All in the family: Daughter takes reins at Frog Level Brewing

Celeste Ybanez was a junior in high school when her parents Clark and Jenny Williams started brewing up the idea that would become Frog Level Brewing Company. 

Brewery controversy prompts tribe to examine naming rules

After a contentious three-hour back-and-forth that followed an already full day at the Cherokee Council House, the Cherokee Tribal Council voted unanimously April 5 to start work on legislation regulating how culturally important words and names can be used for business purposes. 

A beer by any other name: Brewery’s naming choices cause protest in Cherokee

Over the past decade or so, the craft beer explosion has ricocheted throughout Western North Carolina, bouncing through the valleys and over the peaks to find its way into even the most remote mountain towns. But one community has remained staunchly absent from the ever-increasing list of towns boasting hometown breweries. 

That could soon change. 

Brewery trademark dispute dismissed

The ongoing and exhaustive trademark dispute between Sylva’s Innovation Brewing and Bell’s Brewery is now over.

Scene shift in Sylva: Businesses come and go downtown

Downtown Sylva looks quite a bit different these days than this time last year.

Brewing success: Two WNC craft breweries win national medals

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.

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