Arts + Entertainment

art frIs Stacy J. Cox disliked by Western North Carolina craft beer lovers?

“I think so, but I don’t know why,” she said. “There has been a lot of misconstrued thoughts out there. A rumor has been spread that I have an issue with the breweries, but I don’t.”

travel andrewsbrewingSitting on the porch of the Andrews Brewing Company, co-owner Eric Carlson looks out onto his property. With bluebird skies overhead, bumblebees joyously buzzing in the garden and the majestic peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains in the distance, he shakes his head in awe of where his lives and thrives.

art frCruising through downtown Franklin, one begins to wonder where exactly is the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company. You’ve been told it’s on Main Street, but where? And just as you begin to debate when to turn around and try again, your vehicle hits the crest of a steep downhill. 

Over the rise appears a building illuminated, like a lighthouse on the high seas of a vast and unknown Southern Appalachian night. It’s a building of people and purpose. You’re here. You’ve made it to opening night of Franklin’s first craft brewery.

art frIt’s a recent Saturday afternoon at Nantahala Brewing Company in downtown Bryson City. With bluebird skies overhead and the mountains of Southern Appalachia in the distance, brewery co-owner Joe Rowland scans his surroundings. There are children and dogs running around the front porch, with folks from Asheville, Atlanta, Charlotte and everywhere in-between raising their glasses high to another day in paradise.

coverNicole Dexter and Chip Owen haven’t been able to sleep well lately.

“I think all I’ve been feeling the last couple days is anxiety,” Dexter said. 

Tucked away last week in a booth at Innovation Brewing in downtown Sylva, the couple looks around their business. Smiling faces are everywhere and Innovation craft beers are being hoisted high. The energy and jovial spirit in the room is commonplace in this establishment.

Good for what ales you

art frA rising tide lifts all ships.

It’s not only a motto for life, but also for the ever-evolving cultural ambiance in downtown Sylva. From mainstays City Lights Café, Heinzelmannchen Brewery, Lulu’s On Main and Guadalupe Café, to newcomers like Innovation Brewing, Mad Batter Food & Film and The Winged Lion, the nightlife options of this small mountain town has made it a hot spot for the curious and intrigued “after 5” crowd.

And coming into the fold with its “Grand Opening” Feb. 5-7 is Tonic, a craft beer market specializing in hard-to-find ales, food delivery service, jovial conversation and a hearty helping of Southern Appalachian string music. 

wib innovationIt’s nearing lunchtime in downtown Sylva. The noonday traffic passes by a small building that houses Innovation Brewing. Inside, Nicole Dexter is checking equipment, hauling bags of hops and malt, all the while ready to take on another day amid her dream.

“Things have been going really great,” the 28-year-old said. “Our numbers are much better than we projected or anticipated.” 

When a property tax bill for the old town hall building showed up in the Town of Franklin’s mail, John Henning, the town’s attorney, was surprised. The bill called for a payment of $2,872.22 on a property that Henning said, as a piece of public property, should be exempt from property tax. 

travel satulahDale Heinlein never thought he’d set roots down in his hometown of Highlands.

“Living in Atlanta, in suburbia, with the summer heat and traffic, I had to get back to the mountains, back to nature, back to the earth, back to the rivers to cool off,” the 34-year-old said. “I’ve spent most of my life in Highlands and when I came back, I just started to notice so many things about my surroundings I either didn’t know about or had forgotten — there is so much to learn and discover everyday here.”

Tapping into Macon County

art frDale Heinlein never thought he’d set down roots in his hometown of Highlands.

“Living in Atlanta, in suburbia, with the summer heat and traffic, I had to get back to the mountains, back to nature, back to the earth, back to the rivers to cool off,” the 34-year-old said. “I’ve spent most of my life in Highlands and when I came back, I just started to notice so many things about my surroundings I either didn’t know about or had forgotten — there is so much to learn and discover everyday here.”

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This Must Be the Place

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