Beers to You!

The High Country beer trail

Every time you visit the High Country, there’s a good chance another new craft brewery has opened. Beer lovers will find plenty of deserving destinations in the area’s growing list of breweries.

One of the newest to hit the High Country craft beer scene is Flat Top Brewing Company, located at 567 Main St. in Banner Elk. Flat Top became Banner Elk’s only craft brewery with up to 12 years on tap at any given time. Various restaurants and bars across the High Country have begun to carry Flat Top brews on tap.

Featuring mountain spring water and locally sourced hops, Flat Top's selection includes four year-round brews, four seasonal brews and small batches.

For the winter season, the taproom will be open Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. However, the brewery advises that hours are subject to change weekly, so check the “What’s On Tap” page at the company’s website, flattopbrewing.com, as well as its Facebook page.

Located at Beech Mountain Resort, Beech Mountain Brewing Co. operates on seasonal hours to serve skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers and other resort visitors. The brewery features a dozen beers and is capable of brewing up to 100 gallons per day, according to its website.

Beech Mountain Resort is located at 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway. For more information and hours, call ahead at (828) 387-2011.

Blind Squirrel Brewery’s brewpub at 4716 S. U.S. 19 is located at the historic 1919 Vance Toe River Lodge in Plumtree, which also features a bed and breakfast, winery, restaurant and disc golf course.

Blind Squirrel offers a variety of beers on tap and in 22-ounce bottles.

Year-round hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, including a full list of what’s on tap, call (828) 765-2739, or visit blindsquirrelbrewery.com

In Watauga County, you will find Lost Province Brewing Co. at 130 N. Depot St. in downtown Boone, serving up house brews, wood-fired pizza and other gourmet bar food.

The restaurant and taproom also offers a full calendar of activities, including trivia nights and live music.

While indulging in fine brews and food, guests may also peek in at the brewery’s many fermenting vats to see how the brews they’re drinking were made.

Lost Province is open Monday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. till 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. For more information, visit lostprovince.com.

Joining the Boone brewing community earlier this year was Booneshine, a microbrewery distributing to local restaurants and retail locations throughout the High Country.

Follow the lantern to Booneshine’s tasting room, located inside Basil’s Fresh Pasta and Deli at 246 Wilson Drive, Suite L, in Boone. Basil’s hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; the restaurant is closed on Sunday.

Need more information? Try the website booneshine.beer.

A High Country beer tour is not complete without a stop at Appalachian Mountain Brewery, which has quickly grown into an award-winning, regional leader in craft brewing. Boone’s pioneering Appalachian Mountain Brewery opened its doors on Valentine’s Day 2013, being the first brewpub in the town for over a decade. AMB is host to open mic nights, “drink and draw,” trivia, special events and more.

AMB offers more than a dozen brews on tap and donates a portion of proceeds to area nonprofits. The taproom also plays host to live music, games and many other weekly activities.

The brewery and taproom are located at 163 Boone Creek Drive and are open Mondays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays from noon to 11 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m.

For more information, visit appalachianmountainbrewery.com or look the brewery up on Facebook.

Also in the area, Blowing Rock Brewing Company debuted Blowing Rock Ale several years ago and later opened the Blowing Rock Ale House at the former Maple Lodge on Sunset Drive in Blowing Rock.

The venue offers eight rooms and a full pub and is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday (except Wednesday) and on Sundays. Friday and Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information, visit blowingrockbrewing.com.

In Ashe County, Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant is located at 108 S. Jefferson Ave. in West Jefferson, offering small batches of handcrafted beers, as well as more than 30 craft beers with a strong focus on North Carolina brews.

The taproom is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Check out boondocksbeer.com for more information.

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