Everyone knows the South has some of the best food on the planet. From white-tablecloth spots on King Street in Charleston to ’cue shacks in the Texas Hill Country, the flavors of our region have helped shape the culinary scene nationwide. Now we’re duplicating the success with beer.
Southerners took awhile to get on the bandwagon of handcrafted brews. In many states, regulations made brewing and selling innovative beer difficult. Now that many of those laws have loosened, breweries and brewpubs are popping up in cities from Texas to Maryland, and handcrafted varieties with uniquely Southern ingredients such as pecans and sweet potatoes are showing up on the shelves of groceries all over.
Nowhere is the change more evident than in Asheville. With a tenth brewery now open, the North Carolina town has more microbreweries per capita than any other American city. Asheville also hosts five beer-focused festivals (Brewgrass, Oktoberfest, Baseball and Beers, BeerCity BrewFest, and Winter Warmer).
In Atlanta, brewpubs such as Hop City, The Porter Beer Bar, SweetWater Brewing Company, 5 Seasons Brewing Co., and the legendary Brick Store Pub have reinvigorated the beer scene.
In Austin, the same resurgence is underway at North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery, Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que, and Draught House Pub & Brewery.
Wherever you are in the South, you’re more likely than ever to find great breweries. Here, four of our favorites.