20 Southeast Craft Breweries You Must Visit!
Recently, we published an article about the best craft breweries to visit on the West Coast. Our nurses loved reading about the best places for a pint in Washington, Oregon, and California, so we decided to write one about craft breweries in the Southeast! The southeast is slowly developing a reputation for craft beer, and there are many world-class brewpubs scattered throughout the region. Here are 20 Southeast Craft Breweries you simply must visit!
1. Good People Brewing Company
Location: Birmingham, AL
We start our southeast brewery tour in Alabama! Good People Brewing Company opened in 2008, with the mission of brewing great beer for good people. Since then, they’ve grown to become the largest craft brewery in the state. The brewery is located next to Regions Field, where the Birmingham Barons play minor league baseball, and is a popular gathering spot for fans. Their flagship beers include the Snake Handler Double IPA, the Muchacho Mexican Lager, and the Bearded Lady American Wheat Ale.
2. Lazy Magnolia Brewery
Location: Kiln, MS
For our next brewery, we head west to Mississippi! Lazy Magnolia Brewery is located in the small gulf community of Kiln, about an hour from New Orleans. Founded in 2003, Lazy Magnolia is Mississippi’s oldest brewery, and was the first brewery to open in the state since the repeal of Prohibition. They’re taproom is called The Porch, and they offer a full food menu, including a mouth-watering Eggs and Kegs brunch on Saturdays! Make sure to try the Good Bug Golden Ale, and the Southern Gentleman Bourbon-Aged Brown Ale!
3. Abita Brewing Company
Location: Abita Springs, LA
From Kiln, we head to the small town of Abita Springs, an hour north of New Orleans. In this town of less than 2,500 people, Abita Brewing Company has been brewing craft beer since 1986, and has grown to become one of Louisiana’s most recognized breweries. The secret to Abita’s success is the natural Abita Springs water used in the brewing process. They outgrew their original brewery site in 1994, and converted it to a brewpub, serving delicious southern cuisine and pub favorites! Try their signature Abita Amber, or the Louisiana-exclusive German kolsch The Boot.
4. Peticolas Brewing Company
Location: Dallas, TX
Our next brewery takes us to the Lone Star State. Peticolas Brewing Company has taken Dallas by storm since they opened in 2011. They were honored as the #1 brewery in America at the 2018 U.S. Open Beer Championship, and many of their flagships beers have won national awards. The founder, Michael Peticolas, left a successful law practice to follow his dream of opening a craft brewery. He used his legal skills to help change Dallas municipal codes that restricted craft brewing, and has become a trail blazer for other brewers in the city. Some of their award-winning beer include the Velvet Hammer Imperial Red, and the Ghost of Alfred Brown Ale.
Looking for your next gig? Search our available jobs here!
5. Ozark Beer Company
Location: Rogers, AR
Northwest Arkansas is where our next brewery calls home. Ozark Beer Company opened in 2013, and put Arkansas on the craft beer map. Ozark is rooted in a tradition of independent and spirited people, who pride themselves on living off the land and preserving the unique culture of the Ozark Mountains. They’ve firmly established themselves as one of the best breweries in Arkansas, and have been featured in Food and Wine, and Thrillist Magazines. Make sure to try their signature “easy drinking” IPA, as well as their Bourbon Double Cream Stout.
6. Blackberry Farm Brewery
Location: Maryville, TN
For our next brewery, we head east to Tennessee. Blackberry Farm Brewery opened in 2011 in Maryville, a suburb of Knoxville, and was named after an actual working farm. They left the farm to open their own production facility as demand increased, but continue to stay true to their farming roots. Their mission is to create a farm-to-table experience, and their inspiration comes from old-world brewing techniques, particularly Belgian style brewing. The Classic Saison is their staple beer, and they’re one of the best Saison breweries in the country!
7. West Sixth Brewing
Location: Lexington, KY
From Tennessee, our journey continues north to Lexington, KY! Located in a 100-year-old former bakery, West Sixth Brewing has built a strong reputation since they opened in 2012. The brewery measures their success on not just how much beer they sell, but also how they can positively impact their community. They work with several local nonprofits to sponsor charitable events, and they also have a big focus on environmental sustainability. They’ve also opened a second taproom in Lexington, as well as Louisville, and Frankfurt. Some of their most renowned beers include the West Sixth IPA, and the Pennyrile Pale Ale.
8. Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Location: Roseland, VA
We continue east, through the Appalachian Mountains, to the small town of Roseland, VA. Here in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company was founded in 2008. Founders Steve and Heidi Crandall were on a ski trip in the Alps, when they fell in love with craft beer. Inspired by their trip, they wanted to focus on brewing German-style lagers and dark ales. Their philosophy is embodied in their slogan “slow by nature” and they know that good brewing takes time and patience. Many of their beers are highly decorated, including the Vienna Lager, which won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2015 and 2016.
9. Wicked Weed Brewing
Location: Asheville, NC
From Virginia, we head south to North Carolina. Wicked Weed Brewing was founded in 2012 in the town of Asheville, near the Great Smokey Mountains. From the beginning, Wicked Weed pushed the envelope in craft brewing. They brew beers that many North Carolinians have never seen before, like west coast style IPA’s and barrel-aged sours. In 2014, they opened the East Coast’s first sour beer-dedicated tap room The Funkatorium. Today, they have three taps rooms and a pop-up winery all in Asheville. If you’re a fan of sour beers, you have to try their Raspberry Starfruit Session Sour.
10. NoDa Brewing Company
Location: Charlotte, NC
For our next brewery, we travel to the big city. NoDa Brewing Company has been a part of the Charlotte community since 2011, and is one of North Carolina’s most award winning breweries. Several of their beers have won gold at the Great American Beer Festival, such as the Hop Drop n’ Roll IPA, and the Gordgeous Pumpkin Ale. They have expanded to three tap rooms, including one at the Charlotte International Airport. Their NorthEnd tap room has an outdoor beer garden, and a disc golf course!
11. Ponysaurus Brewing Company
Location: Durham, NC
Our last brewery in North Carolina is located in the college town of Durham. Ponysaurus Brewing Company was born in 2015, in the attic of a multi-use building called The Cookery. They view their approach to brewing as forward-thinking and backward-tasting, and they specialize in a combination of traditional and experimental style beers. They have an outdoor beer garden, and host a multitude of food trucks. Some of their staple beers include the Reserve Ale, and the Pilsner. They also created the Don’t Be Mean to People Golden Rule Saison as a way to support LGTBQ rights.
12. Westbrook Brewing Company
Location: Mt. Pleasant, SC
The journey continues from North Carolina to South Carolina. Westbrook Brewing Company has been located in Mt. Pleasant, a suburb of Charleston, since 2010. They’ve quietly established themselves as South Carolina’s top rated brewery, with 7 of the 10 top rated beers in South Carolina according to Beer Advocate. Owner Edward Westbrook started brewing his own beer in college, and was inspired by brewing techniques he learned in Germany. One of their most coveted beers is the Mexican Cake, an imperial stout brewed with cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, and habanero peppers.
13. Holy City Brewing
Location: Charleston, SC
We don’t have to travel very far for our next brewery. Holy City Brewing broke ground in the North Charleston neighborhood in 2011. Founders Joel Carl and Sean Nemitz met each other working in Charleston’s Rickshaw industry. During the winter, they found that business slowed dramatically, so they decided to start brewing beer in their spare time. After teaming up with local brewer Chris Brown, they launched Holy City, and haven’t looked back since! In 2019, they expanded to a 360-person taproom with a full service kitchen! Some of their beers worth trying include the Pluff Mud Porter and the Paradise Session IPA.
14. Bierkeller Columbia
Location: Columbia, SC
From Charleston, we travel inland to the capital city of Columbia! If you like traditional German beer halls, than this is the place for you! Bierkeller Columbia models themselves after the famous Biergartens of Germany, with the goal of bringing a slice of classic German beer culture to South Carolina! Bierkeller founder Scott Burgess fell in love with the beer culture of Bamburg, Germany when he took part in a student exchange, and wanted to replicate that atmosphere in his home state. They only brew traditional German style beers like Lagers and Kolsch, and all their beers are served in a traditional German stein. Their pop-up Biergartens are very popular with locals, and move to various locations around the city!
15. Creature Comforts Brewing Company
Location: Athens, GA
Our beer tour continues in Georgia! Creature Comforts Brewing Company opened in 2014, and has become an integral part of the Athens community. Their beers are regularly featured among the best in the state, and their mission is to help people navigate the beautiful and complex world of craft beer. They also sponsor a number of charitable initiatives through their community impact programs. In Summer of 2021, Creature Comforts will open their first production facility outside of Georgia in Los Angeles, CA! Some of their popular beers include the Classic City Lager, and the Tropicalia American IPA.
16. Burnt Hickory Brewery
Location: Kennesaw, GA
For our next brewery, we head to the city of Kennesaw, part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Burnt Hickory Brewery opened in 2011, after founder Scott Herdeen decided to sell some of his rock and roll memorabilia to finance it. Herdeen started out as a homebrewer, who only made limited quantities of beer for close friends. As demand for his beer increased, he expanded his operations, but still believes in local small-batch brewing. The brewery has a nice creekside beer garden, complete with picnic tables and firepits. Make sure you try the Drivin N Cryin Straight to Hell IPA, made in collaboration with a local rock band.
17. Atlanta Brewing Company
Location: Atlanta, GA
Our next brewery takes us to northwest Atlanta. Atlanta Brewing Company was established in 1993 by a former Guinness executive. They were almost shut down due to a redevelopment project by the Georgia DOT in 2005, but were able stop the brewery from being demolished, and celebrated 25 years of business in 2018. In 2010, new president Bob Budd changed the breweries name Red Brick Brewing Company, in honor of a famous speech by a Union general during the Civil War. However, the company switched back to the original name in 2018. Their flagship beers include the Hoplanta IPA and the Homestead Pilsner.
18. Proof Brewing Company
Location: Tallahassee, FL
From Georgia, we head east to the Sunshine State. Proof Brewing Company has called downtown Tallahassee home since 2012, and was the city’s first craft brewery. Proof was named one of the 50 Best American Breweries of the 2010’s by Paste Magazine, and has won 21 medals from the Best Florida Beer competition. Their tap room has a beer garden and a full menu, as well as 20+ rotating taps. The brewery is popular with the government workers and college students who make up Tallahassee’s population, and have even started making their own brand of hand sanitizer. Popular brews include the La La Land IPA, and the Mango Wit Belgian Witbier.
19. Cigar City Brewing Company
Location: Tampa, FL
We continue south to the bay city of Tampa. Founded by fifth-generation Floridian Joey Redner in 2007, Cigar City Brewing Company is focused on giving first rate ingredients to first rate people in a space where they are free to pursue their passion. Redner hired Alabama brewmaster Wayne Wambles in 2008, and brewed and sold their first batch in 2009. Since then, they’ve racked up an impressive amount of accolades including gold and silver medals from the Great American Beer Festival, and numerous awards from the U.S. Beer Tasting Championships. Their beer is sold in 40 states, and over a dozen international markets. Make sure you try their flagship Jai Alai IPA.
20. J. Wakefield Brewing
Location: Miami, FL
We end our southeast brewery tour in beautiful Miami! Located in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District, J. Wakefield Brewing opened it’s doors in 2015. Jonathan Wakefield has made a name for himself with unique recipes like the El Jefe Hefeweizen, brewed with coconut flakes. He earned an international reputation with his Dragon Fruit Passion Fruit, and Miami Madness Berliner Wiesse, currently ranked number one and two in the world! The brewery is adorned with wall-to-wall murals of famous science fiction and comic book characters. It’s definitely the best place in South Florida to grab a pint!