30 Best Breweries of the American Southeast in 2021

RAVE takes a look at the best breweries in America, region by region

When you think of the best craft breweries, you probably think of ones in the Pacific Northwest or Midwest. However, since craft beer has been rising in popularity, more states than ever before are opening breweries across the nation.

So, while the Southeast probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of craft beer, you won’t want to miss out on visiting this region if you’re on a quest to find the best breweries in the country. 

The Southeast States

There is some argument over what comprises the Southeastern region of the US, but the American Association of Geographers recognizes the following 11 states:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Many places in the Southeast have a small number of breweries, but North Carolina and Florida have become a hub for craft beer in the last decade. These two states have 333 and 329 breweries, respectively. 

But there’s more to see in the Southeast than just Florida and North Carolina. In fact, there are hundreds of fantastic breweries in this area. So if you’re ready to try some beers that are as extraordinary as the areas they’re brewed in, keep reading to see the best breweries in the Southeast. 

The Methodology of Rating the Best Southeastern Breweries

This list features some of the most prominent breweries in the Southeastern United States and some lesser-known ones that you’ll want to try.

We created this directory after researching beer blogs and breweries in the states in the Southeast. We used five factors to rate each brewery based on a 20 point scale. Those factors are: 

  • Nostalgia: based on history related to the area’s culture 
  • Popularity: based on production numbers and sales
  • Scarcity: based on the demand for their smaller batches
  • Cult: based on the brewery’s following and identity 
  • Destination: based on the brewery’s location, appeal, and other events they host  

Whether you’re a seasoned beer drinker or new to the scene, the Southeast has some fantastic breweries and microbreweries. Let’s take a closer look:

Top Breweries of the Southeast

1: Green Bench Brewing Company–St. Petersburg, FL

Green Bench Brewing Company strives to be a place for gathering and drinking great beer. Located in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, this is a prime location for sipping a cold brew and taking in the beautiful Florida weather. 

You’ll find a selection of unique beers, ciders, and meads that are crafted locally with fresh ingredients at this brewery. Their Beach Life light lager is a huge hit, as well as their classic IPA. Additionally, Green Bench Brewing supports a strong sense of community by partnering with other brewers to create unique, small-batch creations. 

The vast majority of Green Bench is outdoor seating. Picnic tables and lawn chairs are scattered across artificial turf with string lights hung above. Their large outdoor area is where they host movie nights, live music, and an environment where you can bond with friends and loved ones. 

  • Nostalgia: 20
  • Popularity: 19 
  • Scarcity: 18 
  • Cult: 19
  • Destination: 20

2: Highland Brewing–Asheville, NC 

If you’re a craft beer lover, you have to visit Asheville, North Carolina, which is a significant hub for breweries and microbreweries. And while you’re in this mountain city, you need to pop into Highland Brewing

Highland Brewing is the oldest and largest brewery in Asheville since prohibition. Because of its history in the city, tourists and locals alike flock to this brewer to indulge in their tried and true creations.  

Highland Brewing offers patrons a free tour of its facility regularly. They boast an extensive menu of year-round beers, seasonal and small-batch creations you’ll want to try before they’re gone. 

Besides their fantastic brews, people frequent this brewery because of the love they have for the community. Highland Brewing is known to donate to close to one hundred charitable organizations a year. 

They also host several community events such as music bingo, trivia, yoga, and several food trucks so you can munch while you drink. 

When you visit Highland Brewing, you can’t leave without trying their most popular beer, the Gaelic Ale. Their Rising Haze IPA and pilsner are excellent choices too.

  • Nostalgia: 19
  • Popularity: 18 
  • Scarcity: 17
  • Cult: 20
  • Destination: 20

3: SweetWater Brewing Company–Atlanta, GA

One of the most well-known breweries in the South is SweetWater Brewing. Based in the bustling city of Atlanta, SweetWater has been serving up cold beer since 1997. 

To give you an idea of the vibe this brewery has, they live by the motto, “we’re not here for a long time. We’re here for a good time.”

For those who love a good hop in their beer, you’ve probably heard of one of their most famous brews, SweetWater 420. You can find this extra pale ale at restaurants and bars all along the Southern United States. But, if you haven’t heard of it until now, give it a try so you can see what all the hype is about. You won’t be disappointed.

The brewers at SweetWater create many IPAs and other hoppy beers, but they enjoy experimenting with new flavor combinations. So, if you prefer more fruit-forward brews, they have a blueberry beer that’s on tap all year and have even branched into creating fruit-forward hard seltzers. 

You can take a tour by booking online, or you can sit back and relax with a cold one in your hand. Locals and visitors love visiting this spot because they host regular events, and they give back to charities to keep our waters clean.  

  • Nostalgia: 18
  • Popularity: 19
  • Scarcity: 18
  • Cult: 19
  • Destination: 20 

4: Cigar City Brewing–Tampa,FL

Located in the heart of Tampa, Cigar City Brewing has become a staple for beer lovers in the city. Compared to other breweries in the region that have been around since the 1990s, Cigar City was founded in 2009. Since then, they’ve made waves in the craft beer community. 

Every beer that comes out of this brewery pays respect to the sunshine of Florida by using plenty of citrus flavors and paying homage to the cigar industry for which Tampa was previously known. 

You’ll find various styles of beer that all have names relating to Florida or the cigar industry. For example, they have popular beers known as Florida Man, Fancy Papers, Florida Cracker, and Jai Alai. If hoppy beer isn’t your thing, their Margarita Gose tastes similar to a margarita. 

Their newly renovated taproom offers all your favorite pub food to eat while drinking a cold beer. You can’t go wrong with a German pretzel and beer cheese with any of their beers. 

  • Nostalgia: 19
  • Popularity: 19
  • Scarcity: 18 
  • Cult: 18
  • Destination: 20 

5: Blackstone Brewing Company–Nashville, TN

The Music City is home to hundreds of bars that line Broadway. But if you’re looking for award-winning beer, you need to try Blackstone Brewing Company. Blackstone Brewing Company has won more awards for its beer than any other brewery in Nashville. 

This brewhouse has 30 barrels that are constantly churning out more delicious beer. It’s fully automated, meaning that every beer is high-quality and consistent with the batch before it. 

Their award-winning beer is well worth the try when you visit. The St. Charles porter has won ten separate awards, the most recent being the silver medal in 2013 at the Great American Beer Festival. Their nut brown ale and Chaser pale have also won plenty of awards, but their porter takes the cake in many competitions. 

You can sign up for four different tour types when visiting Blackstone. These include a general tour of the brewery, a historical tour, a founders tour, and group tours for parties of 12 or more. 

  • Nostalgia: 20 
  • Popularity: 18
  • Scarcity: 18 
  • Cult: 18 
  • Destination: 20

6: Wicked Weed Brewing–Asheville, NC

Ashville is a hub for craft breweries, so it’s no surprise another great brewery from this city made the list. Wicked Weed opened their original location in 2012, and their beers have been staples throughout the Southeast ever since. 

They distribute their beers throughout North Carolina and the Southeast and have even opened their fourth location in Asheville. They offer one of the largest craft beer selections at their brewery—25 creations in all. These range from classics like lagers and blonde ales to barrel-aged sours and West Coast IPAs. 

Their original location offers a casual patio to sit around the fire pit with friends, a beer bar downstairs, and a restaurant upstairs that still serves their beer, but you can also grab a bite to eat. 

Two of their most popular beers are Pernicious IPA and Black Angel barrel-aged sour. Their Pernicious IPA has won awards at the Great American Beer Festival in the past. The inviting atmosphere and award-winning beer make this one of the best breweries in the Southeast. 

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 19
  • Scarcity: 18 
  • Cult: 18 
  • Destination: 20 

7: Smoky Mountain Brewery–Gatlinburg, TN

Smoky Mountain Brewery originally opened in Gatlinburg in 1996, but you can find brew houses in Knoxville, Pigeon Forge, and Maryville. They offer seven mainstay beers and brew small batches often. 

Some of their most popular options are Mountain Light lager, Black Bear ale, Appalachian pale ale, and their wheat beer. In addition, you can find their raspberry wheat ale during the summer, which is the perfect refreshing beer for the warm months. 

Throughout the year, Smoky Mountain hosts trivia, karaoke, and NFL watch parties. You can also hear live music here more often than not, making it a lively but relaxed place to sit back and relax. 

  • Nostalgia: 20 
  • Popularity: 19
  • Scarcity: 17 
  • Cult: 17 
  • Destination: 20

8: Moon River Brewing Company–Savannah, GA

Moon River Brewing is more than just a brewing company; it’s a full-blown restaurant. The founders opened Moon River in 1999 to create the ideal brewery with a restaurant that matches. 

This 15 barrel brewhouse focuses on creating traditional-style beers while always thinking outside the box with new flavors. Their Wacky Wit wheat ale has taken home numerous awards throughout the years and remains a popular choice to this day. 

Savannah is known for being haunted, and when you arrive at Moon River, you’ll be stepping foot into one of the most historically haunted buildings in the city. You can eat, drink, play trivia, and even attend drag brunch at this truly unique brewery. 

  • Nostalgia: 19 
  • Popularity: 19 
  • Scarcity: 16
  • Cult: 17 
  • Destination: 20

See Also: Top Breweries in the Northeast 2021

9: Scofflaw Brewing Co.–Atlanta, GA

Scofflaw Brewing started in a basement and is now one of the most popular breweries in Atlanta. When they moved into a brewhouse, they could only produce 6,500 barrels of beer at first. However, that number doubled within the first year, making them one of the fastest expansions in craft beer history. 

USA Today has recognized Scofflaw Brewing as “one of the best new craft breweries in America.” The recognition doesn’t stop there. Rate Beer has ranked Scofflaw as “one of the top 10 new breweries in the world.”

If you’re looking for great beer with better company, Scofflaw is the place to be. Their five flagship beers are available year-round and include Basement, Dirty Beaches, POG Basement, Double Jeopardy, and Hooligan. 

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 19
  • Scarcity: 17 
  • Cult: 17 
  • Destination: 20

10: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery–Richmond, VA

When Hardywood opened in 2011, it was only one of two breweries in Richmond at the time. Since their founding in 2011, they still operate their 20 barrel brewery and taproom, but they also have a 60 barrel brewhouse to meet the demand for their beer. 

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery was ranked Virginia’s top brewery in 2014, 2015, and 2016. They most definitely earned this achievement by constantly producing consistently high-quality beer that tastes fantastic. 

They’ve even won awards at the Great American Beer Festival and from the Australian International Beer Awards. 

The Richmond lager is a must-try when you’re here as well as their pilsner. If you happen to visit in the fall, you can’t leave without trying their farmhouse pumpkin or Virginia blackberry beers. 

  • Nostalgia: 18
  • Popularity: 19 
  • Scarcity: 16 
  • Cult: 18
  • Destination: 19

11: Against the Grain: Louisville–KY

There’s nothing a group of passionate friends can’t do when they put their minds to it. That’s how Against the Grain was formed. A group of friends were working at a brewery but wanted more creative freedom to concoct the beers they wanted to, paving the way for how others brew beer in Louisville. 

Against the Grain started as a 15 barrel brewhouse with a Southern-style smokehouse. It has since expanded to a 30 barrel brewhouse. Their premium lager boasts a generic name but is not generic; it’s called A Beer. If you love stouts, their 35K is going to knock your socks off. 

Even though those are their core beers, they have plenty more on draft. You’ll also find seasonal and small-batch brews occasionally appearing on their smokehouse and public house menu. 

You can now find Against the Grain beers in 43 states and 25 countries worldwide. So if you find yourself traveling to Louisville, you won’t want to miss this brewery. 

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 19
  • Scarcity: 16
  • Cult: 18 
  • Destination: 19

12: Royal Brewery–New Orleans, LA

There’s something homey about family-owned and operated breweries, and that’s exactly the atmosphere you’ll have when you visit Royal Brewery New Orleans. Raymond and Mandy Pumilia have a passion for beer and a love for New Orleans. 

Royal Brewery began on the back porch of their house and has grown to a sizable warehouse in the city. They designed their beers to be enjoyed on all of life’s occasions. From celebrations to just spending time with loved ones, they want their beer to be there through it all. 

Their beer options are limited compared to other breweries in the South, but sometimes quality is better than quantity. They have a beer for every palette. A porter, Chevelle Diablo, a hoppy lager, Session Lager, and a steam lager called Termite Lager are just a few of their creations. 

They do offer tours of the brewery that you can schedule by giving them a call. However, they’re only open on Saturday and Sunday currently, so keep that in mind when planning your visit. 

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 18 
  • Scarcity: 16 
  • Cult: 18
  • Destination: 20

13: Crafty Bastard Brewery–Knoxville, TN

Crafty Bastard is new to the brewery scene, opening in 2014, but it was such a hit that they expanded to open a second location only one year later.

This Knoxville microbrewery specializes in small-batch brews that are rooted deeply in the community. You’ll find traditional beer styles as well as some exciting and experimental creations. 

Because the brewers at Crafty Bastard thrive off being creative and developing new beers, you’ll find a lot of variety on their menu. There are several sours, IPAs, and more traditional lagers. Since they’re always experimenting with new beers, their menu changes often. 

If you love a good sour beer, Crafty Bastard might be your new favorite small-batch brewery. They have a barrel-aged strawberry sour and a very popular prickly pear sour that are sure to satisfy. 

  • Nostalgia: 17 
  • Popularity: 16
  • Scarcity: 18
  • Cult: 18
  • Destination: 19

14: Atlanta Brewing Company–Atlanta, GA

It’s always nice to see a craft brewery still going strong even after being open for over 20 years. Atlanta Brewing Company was the first craft brewery to open in the state back in 1993. Over 28 years, they’ve brewed dozens of beers, but four have stuck around since the beginning. 

If you want to sample some of their longest-standing beers, you have four to choose from—Hoplanta, Hartsfield, Homestand, and Soul of the City. Feel free to try all four if you plan on sticking around for a while. 

Patrons can come and drink a cold beer while playing trivia with friends every Thursday, and you can bring your furry friend for Dog Days Saturdays every week. After all, there’s nothing better than having a good beer in your hand and your dog at your side. Atlanta Brewing Company also regularly hosts comedy nights, which are always a hit. 

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 17 
  • Scarcity: 15 
  • Cult: 18 
  • Destination: 20

15: Lost Forty Brewing–Little Rock, AR

This microbrewery in the heart of downtown Little Rock is spicing up the craft beer scene in Arkansas. Lost Brewery not only are they brewing exciting beers, but their popular beers also boast trendy packaging that is sure to turn your head. 

Their taproom boasts a modern farmhouse style with twinkly lights and long farmhouse tables you can sit, drink and eat at. You can order flights of their beer or a bucket of their hard seltzers. 

If you love honey, you need to try their Love Honey beer. This rich-bodied beer is created using honey from Arkansas and is genuinely unique. You better bring your appetite when you visit because they have all your favorite bar food and a mouth-watering cheese dip. 

  • Nostalgia: 17
  • Popularity: 17 
  • Scarcity: 17 
  • Cult: 17 
  • Destination: 19

16: Smartmouth Brewing–Norfolk, VA

You’ll find Smartmouth Brewing’s original location in the Chelsea neighborhood in Norfolk. The owner is a Virginia native who quit his nine to five job to pursue his passion, great beer.

When you visit their headquarters location in Norfolk, you’ll have the choice between sixteen beers on tap. They have several different beer styles, but you’ll notice they have many sours and American-style brews.

With so many draft options, ordering a flight of beer is a great way to sample several at a time. The Awkward Pause and All Skate pale ales are the perfect beer for hops lovers, and the Party Battery lager is the ideal beer for easy sipping. 

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 18 
  • Scarcity: 17 
  • Cult: 16
  • Destination: 18 

17: Gnarly Barley Brewing Co.–Hammond, LA

Zac and Cari made their entrance onto the craft beer scene in 2011 when they brought their homebrew to the New Orleans On Tap Beer Festival. Upon gaining popularity, they opened Gnarly Brewing’s taproom in 2014 and have become one of the fastest-growing breweries in the Southeast. 

Their brewery is an open-air taproom where you can see the entire brewing operation from where you’re sitting. In addition, they have live music every Friday, and on weekends there are different vendors doing a pop-up shop. 

The beers that put Gnarly Barley on the map are their Catahoula Common, Korova Milk Porter, and Jucifer IPA. In addition, they often have limited batches where some of the proceeds went to supporting local charities.  

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 17 
  • Scarcity: 16 
  • Cult: 19 
  • Destination: 17

18: New South Brewing–Myrtle Beach, SC

New South Brewing has been operating in Myrtle Beach since 1998. The locals love to gather with friends here, and Myrtle Beach visitors enjoy trying the locally brewed beer. The brewery has 20 barrels and produces around 3,000 barrels per year. 

They have their four staple beers on draft throughout the year, but they brew some seasonal beers that you can try during the fall and winter months. Their four main beers you can have any time of the year are a brown ale, a white ale, an IPA, and a lager. 

You’ll find a rich and dark porter during the winter and a German ale in the fall. Even if you can try one of New South Brewing’s beers at a restaurant in town, you’ll want to stop by the brewhouse to sample creations they only sell there.

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 17 
  • Scarcity: 16 
  • Cult: 17 
  • Destination: 19

19: River Rat Brewery–Columbia, SC

In the capital of South Carolina, you’ll find River Rat Brewery. The brewers here only use the best quality ingredients they can find, and then they further refine them to get the complex flavors they’re looking for. 

The River Rat beer list consists of Saisons, lagers, barleywines, sours, pale ales, and more. There are 15 beers on draft to choose from, and every one of them is worth a try. If you’re interested in taking a tour, you’ll get an eight-ounce beer included in the price, and it’s relatively affordable. 

This family and dog-friendly brewery has a menu full of burgers, sandwiches, wings, and more that will please the entire family. They also offer happy hour on Wednesdays, trivia on Thursdays, and $1.5 off pitchers all day on Friday. But we think visiting River Rat any day of the week is a good idea. 

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 16 
  • Scarcity: 16 
  • Cult: 16 
  • Destination: 20

20: Diamond Bear Brewing Co.–North Little Rock, AR

Husband and wife duo Russ and Sue Melton envisioned creating locally crafted beer for a community that was seriously lacking in breweries. So, In 2000, they opened Diamond Bear Brewing in North Little Rock, the first brewery in the area in 15 years. 

If you’re wondering why they named their brewery Diamond Bear, it’s because Arkansas was formerly known as the Bear State and then the Diamond state. 

Diamond Bear Brewing Co. has won awards at the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival. They have a heavy focus on hoppy beers but also have some classic lagers. 

Whether you prefer their Presidential IPA or Blu golden lager, you’ll find something on their beer-centric taproom menu that will suit you perfectly.

  • Nostalgia: 19 
  • Popularity: 17 
  • Scarcity: 16
  • Cult: 16
  • Destination: 18

21: Proof Brewing Company–Tallahassee, FL

Proof Brewing opened in 2012, making it the first craft brewery to call Tallahassee home. This 12 barrel brewhouse is innovatively brewing beer to bring artisanal brews to a previously craft beerless city. 

They’ve been recognized for their fantastic beer in the World Beer Cup and Best Florida beer. They have a wide selection of lagers, sours, malts, and much more. Paying homage to a Florida staple, they even have a key lime sour that is sure to make your lips pucker. 

Proof has an indoor taproom to escape the Florida heat, but their outdoor beer garden is perfect during the fall and the evening. 

  • Nostalgia: 18
  • Popularity: 17
  • Scarcity: 15 
  • Cult:19
  • Destination: 17 

22: Chandeleur Island Brewing Company–Gulfport, MS

Chandeleur Island Brewing Company got its name from the Chandeleur Islands, which span 50 miles along the coast of Mississippi. 

Cammack and Cain Roberds created this brewery after turning their passion for great beer into a business they can be proud of. Their journey to establishing Chandeleur Islands Brewing began with their love of great beer and their passion for home brewing.

When Mississippi passed a law that allowed alcohol content to be higher than 5 percent, the Roberds knew it was time to share their beer with the world. So in 2013, they opened their establishment.

The Roberds do their best only to use the finest ingredients, including shopping locally. So when you stop into their taproom, you’ll find all their popular creations, plus some limited releases that you can only find at this exceptional brewery.

They have four beers always on tap: The Lil’ Miss Sour, Freemason golden ale, Lil’ Smack IPA, and H90 Surfside American wheat. The whole family is welcome here, including your furry friends. 

  • Nostalgia: 18
  • Popularity: 17
  • Scarcity: 17 
  • Cult: 17
  • Destination: 17 

23: Lost Colony Brewery–Manteo, NC

The Outer Banks is a popular vacation destination on the East coast, and while you’re there, you can pop into one of the Outer Banks’ fastest-growing microbreweries. Lost Colony began as a cafe in 1995 and then expanded into a brewery in 2011. 

This brewhouse is a local favorite where families and friends spend time together with a cold beer in hand. But it doesn’t hurt that the beers at Lost Colony have brought home eight medals from the World Beer Championship, either.

There are eight brews on their menu, and if you can’t decide, you can order a flight to get a feel of their brewing style. The Nags Head IPA is a famous creation, but they have red, brown, and blonde ales to choose from too.

On a side note, if you’re going to order food while you’re here, you can’t go wrong with any seafood dish since everything comes fresh from the bay. 

  • Nostalgia: 19 
  • Popularity: 16 
  • Scarcity: 15 
  • Cult: 16 
  • Destination: 18

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24: Ozark Beer Company–Rogers, AR

You’ll find Ozark Beer Company (OBC) in downtown Rogers. This brewery has been operational since 2013 and is open seven days a week to make sure you can always satisfy your craving for craft beer. 

Their four year-round beers are Ozark Cream Stout, Lager, American pale ale, and Ozark IPA. But even though they’ve perfected these regular favorites, they still enjoy experimenting with their small-batch brews throughout the year. 

These small-batch brews consist of farmhouse ales, sours, and bourbon double cream stout breweries they brew once a year. The Thrillist named the Ozark Beer Company the best brewery in Arkansas, and Food & Wine acknowledged OBC for having one of the best IPAs in America three times. You’ll find Ozark beers all over Arkansas and Southwest Missouri. 

  • Nostalgia: 18
  • Popularity: 18
  • Scarcity: 19 
  • Cult: 15 
  • Destination: 16

25: Lazy Magnolia Brewery–Kiln, MS

In the small town of Kiln, Mississippi, you’ll find the oldest brewery in the state since prohibition. Lazy Magnolia opened its doors in 2005 and is the brewery that pops into most people’s heads when they think of breweries in Mississippi. 

The beers here revolve around everything Southern. Their porch series creations include beers like their Cream Stout and Southern Pecan. Their other beer collections include their back porch collection and debutante series. 

They also have a fantastic selection of pizzas that you can order to pair with one of their equally impressive beers. In fact, many of their pizzas are named after their beers, so it’s easy to tell which beer pairs perfectly with which pizza. 

  • Nostalgia: 18
  • Popularity: 17 
  • Scarcity: 16 
  • Cult: 18 
  • Destination: 15

26: Great Raft Brewing–Shreveport, LA 

Great Raft Brewing was the ninth brewery to open in Louisiana. The owners of Great Raft focus their efforts on creating beers that stay true to Louisiana culture while creating more traditional beers and pushing the envelope on the style of beer commonly consumed here. 

Their most approachable beers are their Southern Drawl Pilsner and their pale ale. Some of their more out-of-the-box creations include their Old Mad Joy Baltic porter, aged in a bourbon barrel. 

They use a different hop strain with each new beer release. As a result of this unique feature, Great Raft now successfully distributes its beer throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Mississippi. 

  • Nostalgia: 18 
  • Popularity: 16 
  • Scarcity: 15 
  • Cult: 18 
  • Destination: 17

27: Mountain State Brewing–Thomas, WV 

If you’re looking for one of the oldest distributing breweries in West Virginia, you need to head to the city of Thomas. Mountain State Brewing is by far the largest brewing company in the state. Even though they have locations in other towns throughout the state, their beer is brewed in Thomas. 

The step brothers who own this brewery use the water from the top of the watershed near Thomas to brew beer. So, when you’re drinking a pint of their beer, you’re connecting with the land. 

They brew select beers for all four seasons, but their flagship brews are always available. They have four beers you can try all year—Cold Trail blonde ale, Seneca IPA, Almost Heaven amber ale, and Miner’s Daughter stout.

Everything in the brewery was built from the ground up by the owners. So when you visit Mountain State Brewing, you’ll be in a warm environment where you’re supporting local brewers who couldn’t be more proud to share their beer with customers. 

  • Nostalgia: 17 
  • Popularity: 16
  • Scarcity: 17
  • Cult: 17
  • Destination: 15  

28: Avondale Brewing Company–Birmingham, AL

Alabama doesn’t have a large number of breweries, but the ones they do have are top-notch. The historic Avondale Brewing Company is one such place. It’s always interesting to learn how breweries name their beers, and Avondale has a unique way of doing so. 

When you look at their beer list, you’ll see a list of uniquely named beers. All these beers get their names from characters in Avondale folklore. They take pride in brewing delicious beer that is as interesting as the folks it’s named after. 

The best part is that the people who work here love sharing the stories with patrons, so don’t be afraid to ask. They have an array of beer from Saisons, fruit-forward, lagers, and Belgian ales. 

Avondale isn’t just a great place to drink beer. They have live music almost every weekend and some days throughout the week. Locals love this brewery, and it was voted the best local brewery in 2015 by Birmingham Magazine. 

  • Nostalgia: 18
  • Popularity: 16
  • Scarcity: 13
  • Cult: 16
  • Destination: 17

29: Big Beach Brewing–Gulf Shores, AL

Alabama’s southernmost brewery is also one of the newest in the state. Big Beach will be five years old in 2021, but they’ve been making a big splash in Gulf Shores. 

There are plenty of places to kick back and relax here, or you can play a game of cornhole with your friends. Of course, you’re encouraged to bring the whole family, children and furry friends included. There’s plenty of outside space for kids and dogs while you enjoy your craft brew.  

This independent beach town brewery has 12 beers on tap for you to try. Their flagship IPA, Hundred Daze, is overwhelmingly popular, even with people who aren’t usually IPA fans. 

If you’re craving something mellow to enjoy in the breeze, their cream ale is light, crisp, and the perfect beer for people just dipping their toes into the craft beer scene. 

If you’re feeling a bit peckish while sipping on your cold beer, you have a few options. Even though they don’t have a kitchen at Big Beach, food trucks regularly park outside during events, or you’re welcome to bring in food. Even food delivery is permitted at this one-of-a-kind establishment. 

  • Nostalgia: 16 
  • Popularity: 16 
  • Scarcity: 15
  • Cult: 17
  • Destination: 16

30: Palmetto Brewing Co.–Charleston, SC

Charleston is rich in history, and what better way to spend time in a historical city than at the state’s oldest brewery. Palmetto Brewing was initially opened in 1888 and survived the Civil War, but prohibition stopped it in its tracks. 

The revamped Palmetto Brewing Company poured its first beer in 1993. Reopening in 1993 made Palmetto Brewing the first brewery to open in Charleston since prohibition. 

The brewers’ primary goal is to create beers that pair perfectly with your favorite bar foods and even better with a conversation with friends. Their most famous creations are Huger Street IPA and Downtown Door Knocker, a hazy pineapple IPA.

While this brewery may not be famous in other parts of the country, the locals and tourists alike love visiting Palmetto. They have a rotation of food trucks to keep your stomach satisfied and trivia and live music weekly. 

  • Nostalgia: 18
  • Popularity: 12 
  • Scarcity: 10
  • Cult: 16
  • Destination: 20 

Heather Ryerson

Heather Ryerson is a freelance writer who enjoys creating content across a broad range of industries, including travel, education, cannabis, and more. An iced coffee addict and Maine native, she is happiest when she is fully caffeinated, working near any body of water, and hanging out with the fam.