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North Carolina

The Tar Heel State

Brewing in North Carolina has been recorded as early as 1585. Back then, ale was a safer hydrator than most untouched waters, making beer and home brewing quite popular.

Commercial brewing on the other hand began a bit later in the late 1700s. The first established and recognized North Carolina brewery was Single Brother’s Brewery and Distillery. A brewery was desired by the people, so they could have a less powerful beverage that could be bought in larger quantities.

The Whiskey industry was incredibly successful through the early 19th century, whereas beer did not become as popular until the German migration in the 1840s. With this, lager beers began rising to the top, and English ales began decreasing in popularity.

Along came the 1900s and of course the Prohibition, which started earlier in North Carolina than any other southern state, beginning in 1908, and was repealed two years after the majority of the rest of the nation did in 1933.

After this alcohol ban was lifted, there were new rules that were put into place one in particular being that the alcohol ABV was restricted to 6%. This rule stuck around until 2005 when the alcohol ABV was raised to 15%.

Stroh and Miller opened their big name breweries in the 1970s followed by the first microbrewery, Weeping Radish in 1986. After realizing the desired location of the North Carolina brewery was in a dry county, the creator, Uli Bennewitz worked and succeeded in getting a brewpub law passed.

After this, the North Carolina craft beer and breweries began popping up everywhere and shows no sign of slowing down. As a whole, the North Carolina craft breweries have earned the state around 67 GABF awards.

In North Carolina, liquor stores are closed on Sundays and stores can only sell alcohol on Sundays after noon. However, there was recently a bill known as the Brunch Bill passed, which allows for the morning sale of alcohol on Sundays. The rest of the week, Monday through Saturday, you can buy beer in North Carolina between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 a.m.

Voted as some of the top breweries in North Carolina are: Burial Beer, Foothills Brewing, Fullstream Brewery, Heist Brewery, Mother Earth Brewing, Olde Hickory Brewery, Raleigh Brewing, and Wicked Weed Brewing.

We have had the pleasure of featuring several of the best North Carolina beers from several of the best North Carolina breweries including: Green Man Brewery, The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, HI-WIRE Brewing, Foothills Brewing Company, Cottonwood Ales, Blowing Rock Ales, Aviator Brewing Company, and Natty Greene’s Brewing.

North Carolina Breweries