Our first stop is Sylva, N.C. the home of Innovation Brewing. Innovation Brewing is situated right on Scott Creek and will be serving finger-licking wood-fired pizzas this summer for the first time since the installation of their outdoor oven. If pizza’s not your favorite beer snack, you can always grab a cheeseburger or some fries from the brewery’s fast food restaurant, called Cosmic Carry Out.
Since you are already there, Mad Batter is worth dropping by. This cool eat-in place is housed in one of Jackson County’s most historic buildings and offers no less than nine different North Carolina brews on tap.
The next stop is Franklin, N.C., home to two major brewers – Andrews Brewing Company and the Hoppy Trout Brewing Company. Since you are on a tour, we recommend trying Andrews’ Lightning Road, a premium American pilsner that is quite light and refreshing in the summer heat. Alternatively, you can chug some Ale of the Dragon, amply produced throughout the summer season by Hoppy Trout Brewing. Despite its scary name, this beer is exceptionally palate-friendly and goes well with almost all sorts of snacks.
Our last stop is Cashiers. Believe it or not, this small town just got its first craft brewery earlier this year, Whiteside Brewing Company, named after a mound of rock jutting out of the flat grassland between Highlands and Cashiers. We recommend their beer 3484 – 4.2% pale blonde ale that is both light and refreshing. It offers some unforgettable hoppy flavor with a sudden crisp finish.