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Local News

North Carolina Breweries and Craft Beers Worth Sampling

Credit: iStock

Parker Wallis

Pull up a chair at one of North Carolina’s many unique breweries, the ultimate source of fun, craft drinks, and cozy vibes. 

In the South End, for instance, the Wooden Robot Brewery makes seasonal beers from their Belgian-inspired farmhouse, established by a pair of brewmasters who met in high school. One of Charlotte’s most popular beers served at the Wooden Robot is Good Morning Vietnam, a coffee vanilla blonde ale. The brewery also offers appetizers and sandwiches in addition to a variety of rotating beers. The Wooden Robot’s sister location can be found in the NoDa neighborhood, giving more residents the chance to sample their work and relax at their bar. 

Do you enjoy cryptids, ale, and local folklore? If so, Boojum Brewing in Waynesville should be your next stop. The establishment is named after a creature that is said to don demijohns and steal gems from local miners before slinking back into its cave and sipping on its favorite mountain brew. The brewery even has a painting of the creature hanging proudly in the taproom. According to the brewer, the idea for Boojum Brewery was conceived after following the creature’s tracks one time, leading ultimately to a delicious jug of beer and a recipe hidden in a rock crevice. One of the recipes found, in fact, is currently being served at the brewery: Balsam Brown Ale. The location also sells burgers, pretzels, and wings alongside their delectable brews. 

Those with a passion for the outdoors need to visit Lazy Hiker Brewing, located in Franklin near the Appalachian Trail after which it is named. Built over Franklin’s former town hall and fire department, hikers, locals, and tourists alike all gather there to sample the cold brews they have on tap, like the Trail Mate Golden Ale, before journeying off into the wilderness.

If you want one of the largest varieties of beer on tap, make some time to stop by Raleigh Beer Garden. Across four bars, the location has a selection of nearly 400 beers. Downstairs lies the high-end spirits bar Spiritual with 144 taps. Upstairs is a 222-tap bar for domestic and imported brands, and on the roof sits a smaller bar with over a dozen taps, lots of outdoor space, and a spectacular view of the city. The Beer Garden also offers pizza and chicken wings to go with a stout of fresh, crisp beer. Charlotte residents will be pleased to know that they won’t need a trip to Raleigh to sample what these bars have to offer, as a sister location in the city opened back in 2020. 

In central North Carolina, folks can experience Four Saints Brewing Company and their vast selection of year-round and seasonal brews. The establishment is named after the four patron saints of beer (Saints Wenceslaus, Nicholas, Luke, and Augustine of Hippo) and is no doubt blessed by these holy figures. Brews like the Belgian Dubbel and the Hefeweizen are available to customers all-year while some, such as the Scottish Ale and Peach Hefeweizen, are only offered seasonally. Rarest of all is a quartet of beers made in honor of the four patron saints and available only once per year, so don’t miss out on the St. Augustine Jalapeño Smoked Brown Ale or the St. Luke Honey Ginger Pale Ale.

Each brewery across North Carolina provides not only a satisfying glass of beer to enjoy but also a unique experience with a history and atmosphere of its own, which means that each is worth stopping by and trying them for yourself.