Winter makes everything cold. Cold cars and hands might be a discomfort, but the good news is the winter helps keep beer cold. The High Country is full of locally-owned, craft breweries that can keep your fridge stocked while you’re snowed in, while also giving you a place to go when the roads are safe.
Appalachian Mountain BreweryBoone isn’t Boone without Appalachian Mountain Brewery. More commonly known as AMB, the home of more than 100 beers and ciders is a cultural staple in the college town.
Their numerous beverage options include the famous Boone Creek Blonde, Porter and the Spoaty-Oaty as flagship year-round brews. They also have some seasonal beers on tap such as the C.R.E.A.M. coffee and doughnut infused milk stout, which is a collaboration with fellow Boone staple Local Lion. If you’re more of a cider person, their Mystic Dragon Cider is an apple-based cider infused with green tea, rhubarb and strawberries.
AMB also has events every week including open mic nights, fundraisers and charitable endeavors.
For more information, you can go to their website, amb.beer, or call (828) 263-1111.
Blowing Rock BrewingIn its 13 years of brewing, Blowing Rock Brewing has stuck to its core values of capturing the finest qualities of the High Country and sustainability.
The Midnight Raspberry Wheat is brewed with dark, roasted wheat and fermented while the Red Rider is malt driven and deep amber-red in color, with moderate hop intensity. Both are some of the seven of their brews to win medals at the Carolina Championship of Beer Awards.
Blowing Rock Brewing uses only locally-sourced materials and recycles as much as they can, priding themselves on sustaining the land that provides so much for their products.
For more information, you can go online to their website, blowingrockbrewing.com, or call (828) 414-9600.
BrewingBoondocks is a constant presence in the West Jefferson and Ashe County communities, and their beers reflect that.
The brewery has released beers like the Blue Ridge Brutal Brown, which celebrates the endurance of the annual Blue Ridge Brutal Bike Race, the West Jefferson Centennial Ale, which was first brewed for the celebration of West Jefferson’s 100th Anniversary and the Crumpler Crippler Citra IPA, named after the community in Ashe County.
Boondocks is home to both the Brew Haus and a restaurant section, so those who just want to drink and want a bite are covered. In the Brew Haus, visitors can see the tanks used to brew their new favorite beers, each named after some of founder Gary Brown’s favorite guitarists.
For more information, you can go to their website, www.boondocksbeer.com, call (336) 246-5222 or stop by either location on North Jefferson Avenue in West Jefferson.
Brewing CompanyFounded in 2015 by two friends who like beer, Booneshine is known for limited runs and beers that get the job done.
Booneshine specializes in unique and fun brews, such as the Hatchet Coffee Porter, a collaboration with the Hatchet Coffee company in Boone, the Trail Mojo is a double IPA that honors the spirit of local hikers and outdoor enthusiasts and the Nuclear Seahorse, a New England style pale ale with three different hops.
The brewery opened a new location in 2019, doubling as a restaurant serving delicious food to pair with delicious beer.
For more information, you can go to their website, booneshine.beer, call (828) 386-4066 or stop by 465 Industrial Park Drive in Boone.
Kettell BeerworksThe Banner Elk brewers feature three tiers of alcohol by volume and a few seasonal beers. The variety allows for new drinkers to find their niche, or challenge themselves to go higher.
Their Vonderbier is a contemporary Munich style lager with a color resembling a Fall leaf, the Speak Easy carries a whopping 10 percent ABV along with its bourbon barrel aged Baltic porter flavors and their Alpine Rush beer is a seasonal brew with complex layers of caramel and malty roast.
Sit down at their location for a good time filled with food, friends and beer.
For more information, you can go online to their website, www.kettellbeerworks.com, call (828) 898-8677 or head over to 567 Main Street East in Banner Elk.
Lost ProvinceDowntown Boone’s microbrewery, just the names of some of Lost Province’s beers will make you want to get lost in their menu.
The Kiss My Grits is a “Southern-style” lager brewed with yellow corn grits, Life Without Air is a refreshing saison and the Fire On the Mountain is an amber ale brewed with fresh and fire-roasted jalapeños.
You can also grab a bite to pair with your beer, with wood-fired pizzas, meat and cheese boards and classic pub fare lining the menu. Lost Province takes buying from local farmers very seriously, so you might end up sitting next to the person who grew your dinner.
For more information, you can go online to their website, lostprovince.com, or call (828) 265-3506.
Molley ChomperMolley Chomper is based out of Lansing in Ashe County, and has a passion for making delicious ciders that people will love and show off the fruit and farmers of the southern Appalachia region.
Some of their ciders include the Porch Swing, which is made with wild crab apples that grow up the hill from their farm, the Mountain Maelstrom, which uses fruit grown in Ashe and Watauga Counties and the Hopped Molley, which is made with a little bit of hops for an added bonus.
Molley Chomper takes a lot of pride in using fruits, berries and other ingredients that they get from local farmers in Ashe and the surrounding counties, saying that they want to know who’s growing their product.
For more information, you can go online to their website, www.molleychomper.com, or call (404) 769-1439.
New River BrewingFounded by the father-and-son team of Greg and Adam Hershner, the Lansing-based brewery quickly became a staple in restaurants and stores in the area. Now in West Jefferson, the brewery has expanded to a whole restaurant, with food to compliment their beer.
Some of their beers include the Tipsy Kilt, with flavors of toffee, vanilla and dark fruit which spent over 200 days in a bourbon barrel for maximum flavor, their Rye R Squared, an amped-up version of a traditional English barley wine and the Hopsessive Compulsive which combines fruity notes with a bitter backbone.
Outside of their own building, New River’s brews can be found in establishments throughout the High Country such as The Rock and Macado’s in Boone, and Carolina Country Wines and Craft Beers in West Jefferson.
For more information, you can go to their website, newriverbrewing.beer, or call (336) 846-2739.