Tasty small-town feeling at Innovation craft beer brewery in North Carolina



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    When I travelled back in time to visit the Sylva, NC region again (proud to be a Catamount), this was a nice surprise: Innovation Brewing. A craft beer brewery in the small town where I used to live many years ago. Awesome.

    There are many reasons to visit Jackson County and towns like Sylva, Cullowhee and Dillsboro… Visiting Western Carolina University, Great Smoky Mountains National Park at its doorstep and now an extra reason: a craft beer brewery.

    Sylva NC - overview of Main Street
    Welcome to Sylva, NC: overview of main street from former courthouse (now a library)

    Info about Innovation brewery in North Carolina

    • Name: Innovation Brewing
    • Address: 414 W Main St, Sylva, NC 28779-5548, United States
    • Closest airport(s): Asheville Regional Airport (AV), a 55-minutes drive, or Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), a 2.5-hours drive. See all car rental deals at these airports and go for a road trip as there is so much more to see in North Carolina and Georgia.
    • Beer menu (in their words): “ … we are dedicated to changing the way you think about beer”
    • Accommodation nearby: go for a craft beer tasting at this brewery and enjoy the surrounding area. Check out accommodation deals in Sylva, NC. Definitely stay for a few days.
    • More reasons to go there: good food, great beers, friendly staff and a nice & relaxed small-town vibe. Nice selection of beers, also some European-inspired brews and funky ones.
    Colourful tasting flight at Innovation Brewing
    Great place to spend a few hours: Innovation Brewing in Sylva, NC

    First impression of this craft beer brewery in Sylva, NC

    This is what a brewery or taproom is all about. Plenty of places to sit, inside or outside. Great food options (vegetarian as well) next door, a food truck and a pizzeria, so one person can order the beers while the other is going for some food. Meet again at the table and happy days.

    Tip: the pizzas are freaking awesome. By far the best pizza we’ve had on our USA road trips.

    Pizza and tasting flight at Innovation Brewing
    Perfect combo: great tasting flight and a super-tasty pizza

    Tasting the brews of Innovation Brewing

    Tasty food options are great but what about the beer? Plenty to choose from as well. When we visited the Innovation craft beer brewery in Sylva, NC we tried the following brews from the tap.

    • Extra Saucey Beer (Strong Bitter)
    • Black Balsam Porter
    • Hop Abundance (IPA)
    • Brett Pale Ale with Mosaic
    • Double IPA
    • Black IPA
    • Belgian Wit
    • Beet and Basil Pale Ale

    And the Two Wheelin Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout bottle as take-away, to be tasted at another location of our USA road trip. This BA stout is one of the best ones I ever had, it ranks close to my all-time favourite by Orpheus Brewing from Atlanta.

    Follow me on Untappd for more info about my ratings at Innovation Brewing or other craft beer breweries in the USA and around the world.

    High score: 8 out of 10

    Innovation Brewing definitely ranks high on my list of favourite craft beer breweries in the USA. It really is a pleasure to spend an evening here. Completely different from how we did spend nights out as WCU students years ago. If there was a great craft beer brewery back then, I would have never left Sylva. 🙂

    Everyone else, with no ties to Western Carolina University, Sylva and the surrounding area is worth your while to add as a stop when exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or when doing a road trip via the Blueridge Parkway Innovation Brewing is an extra reason to go there.
    You won’t regret it. Cheers.

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    He is the digital geek that started it all. First as DIY-OE, then as Travel.Geek.NZ. Dutch roots, Kiwi heart. His favourite countries to travel in can be found in Australasia, Europe & USA.

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