Nantahala Brewing Co.
My last blog was about visiting Heinzelmannchen Brewery in Sylva, NC the day before white water rafting down the Nantahala River near Bryson City. My last blog also commented on how NC wins 2-0 over Georgia on beer laws. The first was the brewery can actually sell beer to the consumer. The second point was that not only can you buy beer, but you can also buy a growler and have it filled AFTER you get a free sample of what you’re buying. Georgia won’t allow you to buy beer at a brewery, nore sample at a growler shop. Another point for NC is that you can even visit breweries on Sunday and buy beer from that same brewery and even get a growler fill from the exact same brewery. That’s like winning penalty kicks in overtime after you’ve already won in regulation.
So not only did my wonderful wife say we could visit Heinzelmannchen Brewery on Saturday, but she strongly encouraged me to visit Nantahala Brewing Company in Bryson City, NC on our way home. This is just how sweet she can be. I had to beg her to raft and promise I wouldn’t let her come out. After having a fun time down the river, then changing, saying our goodbyes to the rest of the family, we grab a bite right over the river. On the way home I decide we should just hurry home, but nope, Sarah insisted I visit the brewery. “Well yes m’am.”Bryson City and the brewery are just right off 441 highway. I almost didn’t need GPS to find it. I gotta say, if anyone wants plans to open a brewery and make it classy, follow these guys. Some one, or some three sank some big money into renovating this place. Inside has dart boards, a huge Jenga set, along with large, long bar. Hell, even the pisser is nice and new. All done in rustic cabin’esce lumber and decor makes it fit right into the feel of the area. Outside the front door is the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Upstairs looks like an old hotel from old western movies, yet they’re actually offices.
Nantahala has been in operation for 15 months. They, as all others, were uncertain on start up size and capacity. Choosing to go with a small 10 barrell system seemed like a good idea. Wrong! They sell all 1000 barrells they produce. Good I know, they sell it all. Bad if you plan on producing more than the system can handle. Sounds like someone is about to force their bright tank into a push system. I hope not, because Nantahala makes some damn good beer. I had a Noon Day IPA at a pizza joint in Sylva Saturday night. I had the Up The River Amber for lunch after rafting. I tried the wheat, blonde and famous ATX Pale Ale all at the brewery. Thursday before our arrival they put up their special DIPA. It was gone in a day and a half. Too bad for me. Really bad for Sarah when we drive back three hours just to get it.
The brewery had good business within the last hour of their Sunday opening. So I will give the guy that was serving everyone some slack on not being very personable. Then again, it would be hard to follow up how nice Dieter Kuhn was at Heinzelmannchen. The guy wasn’t a brewer either, so I just enjoyed my beautiful company next to me. Thanking her for insisting we visit and even more for driving my drunk ass home. Okay, I wasn’t drunk, but she knew she should drive
So a great weekend gone by. Another great weekend coming when we find some free time to go back. It’s a pleasant three hour drive up 441. Who’s with us?