Summer is a top-four season for beer, with many new brews coming out every year using spices and flavors that increase in popularity with the temperature. The High Country is home to numerous breweries willing to take chances and take advantage of the classic combination of a hot day and cold beer.
Appalachian Mountain Brewery, or AMB, is a staple of Boone life. With more than 100 beers and ciders to choose from, you can always try something new at AMB, and find something you love.
Their numerous beverage options include the famous Boone Creek Blonde, Porter, Cloud Pleaser IPA and the Spoaty-Oaty. 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.
Beech Mountain Brewing Company
One more thing to do at Beech Mountain Resort, and this one has beer, making a great stop during the weekend. As one of the only US breweries owned and operated by a ski area, Beech Mountain Brewing Company is dedicated to mountain enthusiasts of all kinds, which reflects in their brews. While the skiing isn’t the best, or available, in the summer; the beer is top-notch.
If it gets too hot, cool off with a Beech Season IPA. Alongside it is the Patroller’s Porter, with its rich chocolate flavors, and the signature Beech Blonde, a classic Blond Ale for everyone who comes through the doors.
For more information, you can go online to their website, beechmountainresort.com/mountain/brewery, or call (828) 387-2011.
Blowing Rock Brewing
In its 11 years of brewing, Blowing Rock Brewing has stuck to its core values of capturing the finest qualities of the High Country and sustainability.
Their Midnight Raspberry Wheat is brewed with dark roasted wheat and fermented with real raspberries, the Barley Wine is a traditional barley wine aged in bourbon barrels while the Red Rider is malt driven and deep amber-red in color, with moderate hop intensity. These three won gold, silver and bronze medals respectively at the Carolina Championships 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.
Boondocks 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.
For more information, you can go to their website, www.boondocksbeer.com, or call (336) 246-5222.
Founded in 2015 by two friends who like beer, Booneshine is known for limited runs and beers that get the job done.
Booneshine produces a lot of beers that aren’t around long, such as the Hatchet Coffee Porter, a collaboration with the Hatchet Coffee company in Boone, the 3150 Ale, named after the elevation of the brewery and the limited release Who Tarted?, a delicate and tart IPA.
Booneshine’s tasting room is right next door at Basil’s, and their beer can be paired with appetizers like the Stick Boy pretzels and beer cheese, salads, deli sandwiches, fresh made pasta and sauces.
For more information, you can go to their website, booneshine.beer, or call (828) 386-4066.
The recently-rebranded new brewers on the block, Kettell Beerworks is already making some good news with their good brews.
Their Velvet Panda oatmeal stout is a smooth, creamy stout perfect for a hot summer’s day, the Speak Easy carries a whopping 10 percent ABV along with its bourbon barrel aged Baltic porter flavors and others hit the middle ground with golden color and hints of banana and clove.
For more information, you can go online to their website, www.kettellbeerworks.com, or call (828) 898-8677.
Downtown Boone’s microbrewery, just the names of some of Lost Province’s beers will make you want to get lost in their menu.
The Bless Your Heart Blonde Ale is the easy-drinking beer anyone can enjoy during lunch or after a hard day’s work. Hipster Juice is a New-England style IPA which is dry-hopped twice for pineapple, passion fruit and mango flavors. The Drunk Uncle Dunkel is brewed from only light and dark Munich malts, and just sounds cool when you order.
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 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 Brewing
Founded by the father-and-son team of Greg and Adam Hershner, the Lansing-based brewery is quickly becoming a staple in restaurants and stores in the area.
Some of their beers include their classic Pale Ale has notes of carmel and toffee, a toasty finish and a slight bitter from English hops. Their High Country Blonde has a slightly sweet finish which is accented by the moderate addition of Centennial hops, and the Golden Ale, a English-style golden ale, is nicknamed the “Old Caboose” in recognition of the Virginia Creeper caboose sitting in downtown West Jefferson.
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 (919) 452-8367.