The ongoing and exhaustive trademark dispute between Sylva’s Innovation Brewing and Bell’s Brewery is now over.

Downtown Sylva looks quite a bit different these days than this time last year.

With sunshine spilling into the taproom of Currahee Brewing Company in Franklin one recent afternoon, brewmaster Taylor Yates is all smiles. A hearty beverage raised high, the sun’s rays are a cherry on top of the big news currently floating around the facility.

“For us being so new, this is a huge thing,” he said. “We’re still trying to get established. Something like this on a national level just does wonders for us. When you’re new, it really gets you that exposure and notoriety you hope for.”

New Sylva brewery opens

With its grand opening last Friday, Balsam Falls Brewing Company becomes the third business of its kind in Sylva.

It’s 12:15 p.m. Sunday.

On a normal weekend, Tipping Point Brewing in downtown Waynesville would have been open for 45 minutes, its craft beer being poured to numerous local residents and summer tourists. But, this past Sunday, the front doors were locked, with owner/brewmaster Jon Bowman sitting inside. He watched as, one-by-one, confused people try to open the door, looking at their watches, looking around for an answer — one that Bowman holds.

Surrounded by piles of debris, old wood and gravel, Joe Rowland sees opportunity. “This is the inevitable next step for us,” he said.

Co-owner of Nantahala Brewing in Bryson City, Rowland wanders around a four-acre lot at the end of Depot Street, less than a block from the flagship brewery. Purchased by Rowland in early 2016, the property consisted of an abandoned warehouse (formerly the RC Cola bottling company) and large open field. Initially, the 11,000-square-foot building was going to be used for Nantahala’s equipment storage, barrel aging program and bottling line.

Turning onto 2nd Street from the hectic U.S. 19/74 highway, you find yourself cruising through downtown Andrews. It’s Saturday afternoon, and for most small towns in America, it is no surprise the center of a community is busy. 

But, for Andrews, this is a sight to behold. For a mountain town that’s been eerily quiet for many years, bordering on abandoned, the downtown is now abuzz with folks strolling the sidewalks, cars parked up and down the street. A sense of “well, hey, check this out” crosses the minds of those who used to only stop in this part of Cherokee County to refuel as a halfway point to their final destinations, which seemingly could be in any direction.

Andrews

• Andrews Brewing

828.321.2006 • www.andrewsbrewing.com

• Hoppy Trout Brewing Company

828.835.2111 • www.hoppytroutbrewing.com

Bryson City

• Mountain Layers Brewing

www.mtnlayersbeer.com

• Nantahala Brewing

828.488.2337 • www.nantahalabrewing.com

Canton

• BearWaters Brewing

828.246.0602 • www.bwbrewing.com

Franklin

• Currahee Brewing

828.634.0078 • www.curraheebrew.com

• Lazy Hiker Brewing

828.342.5133 • www.lazyhikerbrewing.com

Highlands

• Satulah Mountain Brewing

828.482.9794 • www.satulahmountainbrewing.com

Sapphire

• Sapphire Valley Brewing

828.743.0220 • www.sapphirebrewingcompany.com

Sylva

• Balsam Falls Brewing

828.631.1987

www.facebook.com/balsamfallsbrewing

• Heinzelmannchen Brewery

828.631.4466 • www.yourgnometownbrewery.com

• Innovation Brewing

828.586.9678 • www.innovation-brewing.com

• Sneak E Squirrel

828.586.6440 • www.sneakesquirrel.com

Waynesville

• Boojum Brewing

828.944.0888 • www.boojumbrewing.com

• Frog Level Brewing

828.454.5664 • www.froglevelbrewing.com

• Tipping Point Brewing

828.246.9230 • www.tippingpointtavern.com

It was weird.

Driving around downtown Canton this past weekend, it was weird to have a hard time finding a parking space. In most Western North Carolina communities during the busy summer tourist season, this is the norm. But, for the blue-collar paper mill town of Canton, finding a parking spot has never been an issue. 

Stepping out of a large passenger van into the sunshine last Saturday afternoon, a group of around 10 people entered Bhramari Brewing in downtown Asheville. Once seated, an array of craft beer samples were placed in front of the group, with friendly banter swirling around the room while a brewery employee examined and explained each selection. 

Welcome to the Leap Frog Tours.

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