Bryson City, NC is a quaint little mountain town nestled on the edge of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. June and I have been fans for years and visit frequently. We first happened on the town while celebrating our anniversary. Bryson City is a main stop on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, a historic line that once hauled timber and freight and now transports tourists. We were married in October, so the Smoky’s foliage was in full fall colors for our anniversary train ride up the Nantahala River valley.
Every spring, I meet friends nearby to camp and ride motorcycles in the NC mountains. Motorcyclists come from near and far to ride the nearby Moonshiners NC-28 and the internationally known US-129, AKA the Dragon. If you haven’t heard of the Dragon, it runs along the Southern edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and features 318 curves in 11 miles. That’s a lot of curves!
June and I also enjoy mountain biking and rafting, and both can be found nearby. The Nantahala River hosts some of the best rafting and kayaking in Western North Carolina. But be warned, the river that flows from the Nantahala Dam is cold year round! Also nearby is the legendary Tsali trail system, which is some of the best mountain biking east of the Mississippi River. The trails offer sweeping turns, long climbs and spectacular views of Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
There are a lot of reasons to visit Bryson City and now there’s another, Nantahala Brewing Company. My first love is mountain biking. Beer is second. Motorcycles are third. Bryson City offers all three, making it one of the best little spots in the US. Nantahala Brewing opened in 2009 and brews with water from one of the purest, protected watersheds on the planet. The brewery supports the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Friends of the Smokies, and Great Smoky Mountain Association. Nantahala’s beer, culture, and vision are defined by the park’s wild spaces. They offer several year-round beers and a variety of seasonals and special releases.
Nantahala Brewing, with Lipman Brothers Distributing, will kick off their Nashville market entry with several tap takeovers and tastings across the city beginning Wednesday, August 17th. The kickoff will feature several beers:
- Noon Day IPA, a piney, and citrusy IPA
- Little Tennessee Logger, a hop-forward, crisp lager
- Bryson ty Brown Ale, a light-bodied brown ale with notes of chocolate,
- App Trail Xtra Pale Ale, a crisp and hoppy pale ale
- Swallowtail Ale, a refreshing American wheat ale brewed with lemongrass and Citra hops
- Deep Creek Wit, a low-alcohol Belgian ale brewed with grapefruit peel and coriander.
- Wednesday, 8/17, 4:30 pm – The Filling Station, 904B Main Street
- Thursday, 8/18, 5:30 pm – Jack Brown’s Burger and Beer Joint, 1123 3rd Ave N
- Friday, 8/19, 5:00 pm – Craft Brewed, 2502 Franklin Pike
Also, the Nashville chapter of Girls Pint Out will have their August meet-up Friday night at Craft Brewed. Ladies, come out and meet other craft beer loving women at Craft Brewed and taste the Nantahala beers.
Nantahala, welcome to Nashville. We’re glad you’re here. It will save us driving to NC to get your beer, but we’ll still drop by to enjoy your roads, trails, and river.
Photos and images courtesy of Nantahala Brewing