The South's Best Breweries 2022

Palmetto Brewing Company, Charleston, SC
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

We all know the pleasure of five o'clock. Whether it's after work or on the weekend, it's always a good time to gather a group of friends and head to a brewery for a pint, some nibbles, and games. This year, in the South's Best roundup of best breweries, the contenders produce the finest their craft has to offer—and more. While they represent everywhere from South Carolina to Louisiana, Mississippi to Virginia, the one thing that unites them all? Community. For some, that simply means providing a place for you to walk in, grab a drink, and feel like family. For others, this extends to the ways they get involved beyond the taproom. Sustainability commitments, investments in the arts and education, and wildlife conservation are just a few of the initiatives they impact—all in addition to being award-winning producers of some of the best beers in the country.

01 of 20

20. Abettor Brewing Company

Abettor Brewing Company Winchester Kentucky
Abettor Brewing Company

Winchester, Kentucky

Nano-brewery and community taproom Abettor Brewing Company made its mark on the town of Winchester, just outside Lexington, with owner Tyler Montgomery's unique beers. Pop in for a Raspberry Wheat (a Belgian wheat hopped with Cascade) or a Sunset Heights (American pale ale with a secret ingredient). There are cocktails, too, with bourbon of course making its way onto the menu. You won't want to leave without tasting the signature Sunset Heights, which has become a favorite of Winchester locals and Central Kentuckians.

128 North Highland Street, Winchester, KY 40391,

02 of 20

19. Four Saints Brewing Company

Four Saints Brewing Company Asheboro North Carolina
Jamie Trout

Asheboro, North Carolina

Four Saints Brewing Company makes great beer for great people. They're not afraid to experiment with everything from pilsners to imperial stouts. Try an amber lager or fruited sour, among their many options. Their calendar is peppered with fun events, like live music and days when you can bring your own vinyl.

218 South Fayetteville Street, Asheboro, NC 27203,

03 of 20

18. Parish Brewing Co.

Parish Brewing Co. Broussard louisiana
Parish Brewing Co.

Broussard, Louisiana

You might know Parish Brewing Co., found in the heart of Cajun Country, by one of their signature beers. Canebrake is their classic wheat ale with Louisiana sugarcane and citrus notes (also their best seller) and pleases everyone from the dilettantes to the aficionados. Ghost in the Machine is a juicy double IPA with, in their words, "obscene" quantities of Citra hops producing a pungent grapefruit and tropical note. The brewery promises quality, innovative, modern beers, and it shows in the numerous awards and mentions they've garnered. This includes a 2021 silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their experimental IPA, No Slaw Extra Toast, developed in collaboration with Raising Cane's.

229 Jared Drive, Broussard, LA 70518,

04 of 20

17. Weathered Souls Brewing Co.

weathered souls brewing company san antonio texas
David Esquilin

San Antonio, Texas

Here, the grain is bought locally, and patrons will sip their pints in the shadows of the fermenters—it doesn't get closer to the source than that. Weathered Souls Brewing Company is a fiercely independent brewery that prides itself on creating beer so good, people can't stop talking about it. You heard it from us, then. Plus, they're part of the global collaborative "Black is Beautiful," in which brewers pledge a part of their proceeds to organizations that raise awareness of and combat injustices faced by people of color.

606 Embassy Oaks #500, San Antonio, TX 78216,

05 of 20

16. Hutton & Smith Brewing Company

Hutton & Smith Brewing Company Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hutton & Smith Brewing Company

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Adventure and pioneering spirit run through Hutton & Smith Brewing Company, which is named after the two men considered to be the fathers of modern geology—and who were also known to love a pint or two. The menu takes you on a geological tour, with options like Basecamp Blonde, a light, malted ale; Tremont's Tectonic Session IPA, loaded with citrus, pine, and tropical aromas; and Vadose Zone Vanilla stout, whose creamy vanilla balances the mild bitterness. Whichever expedition you choose, it promises to be memorable.

431 East Martin Luther King Boulevard #120, Chattanooga, TN 37403,

06 of 20

15. Boojum Brewing Company

Boojum Brewing Company Waynesville, North Carolina
Kelsie Bake

Waynesville, North Carolina

If you find yourself in Waynesville, a small town at the base of the Smoky Mountains, you'd do well to pay Boojum Brewing Company a visit. The well-loved local spot has been voted the best brewery in Haywood County for five years running, among other regional awards it's picked up. The taproom and full-on restaurant have live music and events, plus a speakeasy for those wanting a little late-night fun. Located below the restaurant, adults can enjoy all the Boojum brews, plus traditional bar games like darts, pool, and shuffleboard. Bring some friends, order a crisp American pale ale or Munich-style lager, and have a look at the menu—you're in for a very good time.

50 North Main Street, Waynesville, NC 28786,

07 of 20

14. Orpheus Brewing

Orpheus Brewing Atlanta, Georgia
Orpheus Brewing

Atlanta, Georgia

Inspired by the ancient Greek hero Orpheus and his fateful journey to the underworld, Orpheus Brewing's philosophy is "don't look back." They focus on crafting beers that haven't yet been done—from IPAs to barrel-aged stouts. Their Atalanta sour beer, featuring plums and spicy yeast, was Georgia's first packaged sour beer. In Everything Lasts Forever, Orpheus Brewing created the South's first lambic process, Méthode Traditionelle three-year (MT3) blend. As they continue to push forward, philanthropy remains an important part of how they operate. The brewery is involved with causes that support animal welfare, local parks, and the arts.

1440 Dutch Valley Place Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30324,

08 of 20

13. Civil Society Brewing Company

Civil Society Brewing Company Jupiter Florida
Anna Mucci

Jupiter, Florida

Civil Society Brewing Company's promise is that you can drop in for a pint and be treated like family. Here, family is the center of the operation and heritage is a treasure. It's in a grandfather's workbench that now sits in the brewery as a space for mixing and testing new drinks. It's in the passed-down carved wooden eagle keeping watch over the bar. It's in the brewing tanks, named after family members. With such a commitment to legacy and excellence, it's easy to see how they've won over even the most discerning beer drinkers.

1200 Town Center Drive #101, Jupiter, FL 33458,

09 of 20

12. Chandeleur Island Brewing Company

Chandeleur Island Brewing Co. Gulfport Mississippi
Chandeleur Island Brewing Co.

Gulfport, Mississippi

Experience the laid-back, friendly community of the Mississippi Gulf Coast at Chandeleur Island Brewing Company, named for the uninhabited chain of islands just off the coast. Here, you'll find an extensive offering of beers, from their Gulf Sour Series in flavors like guava jelly, to IPAs, and lagers. And, if you choose to sip on a Shark Tracker Wheat Ale (perfect on a summer day), you're helping to fund Mississippi State's hammerhead shark tracking program on the Gulf of Mexico.

2711 14th Street, Gulfport, MS 39501,

10 of 20

11. Columbia Craft Brewing Company

Columbia Craft Brewing columbia south carolina
Columbia Craft Brewing

Columbia, South Carolina

The list of medals Columbia Craft Brewing Company has collected in such a short time is dizzying. They've earned accolades from the Great American Beer Festival, the U.S. Open Beer Championship, and the S.C. Brewers Guild, to name a few. It all reflects the passion the family-run brewery has for great beer produced in the best quality using sustainable practices. A visit to the micro-brewery and taproom promises a fresh rotation of beers on tap (and canned) and a tasty lineup of food trucks. Grab a bite, grab a beer, and head to the cozy patio.

520 Greene Street, Columbia, SC 29201,

11 of 20

10. Broomtail Craft Brewery

Broomtail Craft Brewery wilmington north carolina
Broomtail Craft Brewery

Wilmington, North Carolina

Husband-and-wife team Barry and Lisa Owings founded Broomtail Craft Brewery on the principles of exacting science with a little artistic flair. Barry, by profession a water chemist and formulator, engineers the water to suit particular styles of beer, and the results are stunningly accurate. They currently offer a lineup of seven beers, including Elysium, a bière de garde French ale; Red Roan, a Doppelbock red-style lager; and Râppé, an imperial stout. The Sour Barn, which they opened in 2016, is a place to gather with friends over pints, food, and games while enjoying a sour beer.

6404 Amsterdam Way, Wilmington, NC 28411,

12 of 20

9. Commonwealth Brewing Company

Commonwealth Brewing Company Virginia Beach, VA
Commonwealth Brewing Company

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Discover Virginia Beach's quirky beach cottage community at Chic's Beach, where Commonwealth Brewing Company has set up shop in Chesapeake Beach #4, previously a fire and rescue station. From IPAs to stouts and lagers, the brewery offers a wide selection for even the most discerning connoisseur, plus a fun line of hard seltzers inspired by vintage surf culture and tiki drinks. Come grab one and hang loose!

2444 Pleasure House Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23455,

13 of 20

8. TrimTab Brewing

TrimTab Brewing Birmingham, Alabama
Graham Yelton

Birmingham, Alabama

A trimtab, as this brewery will tell you, is the tiniest, most insignificant-looking piece of equipment on a ship, but it actually has the power to change the vessel's course. Birmingham-based TrimTab Brewing believes everyone can create a world they love—and they're spreading the message through their love of craft beer. Pop in to taste one of their expressive IPAs, experimental stouts, and fruited sours. With several awards under their belt, it's clear that they're living out their mission, one pour at a time.

2721 5th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233,

14 of 20

7. Guadalupe Brewing Company

Guadalupe Brewing Company New Braunfels, Texas
Guadalupe Brewing Company

New Braunfels, Texas

At Guadalupe Brewing Company, the team is equally as passionate about beer as they are about food. While there are always mainstays on the menu, their constant experimentation ensures there's something new on the menu for every taste. And, from their kitchen comes a parade of dishes far beyond the normal fare. We're talking about generous focaccia sandwiches and artisan pizzas. Whether you want a blonde, scotch ale, or stout, the options are extensive—and extensively tasty.

1586 Wald Road, New Braunfels, TX 78132,

15 of 20

6. Deep Ellum Brewing Company

Deep Ellum Brewing
Deep Ellum Brewing Company

Dallas, Texas

Texas' third-largest independent brewery is also Dallas' first craft brewery. Opened in 2011, Deep Ellum, after the eponymous neighborhood, prides itself on being bold, fearless, and unapologetic, and you can taste it in their beers like the Dallas Blonde and Deep Ellum IPA. They're on a mission to, as they say, annihilate bland corporate beer, and around here, bigger and bolder are always better. It's a reflection of the neighborhood's history, which, in the '20s, saw its fair share of early jazz and blues musicians roll through local establishments. At their taproom, you'll find everything from India pale ale to Mexican-style lagers, along with a food menu that goes way beyond the standard bar bites.

2823 St. Louis Street, Dallas, TX 75226,

16 of 20

5. Jackalope Brewing Company

Jackalope Brewing Co. nashville tennessee
Andrea Behrends

Nashville, Tennessee

Come explore Nashville's Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood with a jaunt to the women-run and -owned Jackalope Brewing Company. At The Ranch, the brewery's taproom, you are invited into a fun, colorful world where you can sit and sip or take a tour. This is also where they brew and can their year-round, seasonal, and limited-release beers. When the weather's fine, take your drinks out onto the pup-friendly patio. Having a party? You can also pick up a keg.

429B Houston Street, Nashville, TN 37203,

17 of 20

4. Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Creature Comforts Brewery in Athens, GA
Robbie Caponetto

Athens, Georgia

Come and gather. Creature Comforts Brewing Co. uses beer as a vehicle to bring people together in community. Whether you arrive alone or with a group of friends, you'll be welcome to pull up a chair and enjoy a glass accompanied by some nibbles (homemade cheese straws, maybe?). Community extends beyond the walls of the brewery, too. Through their three initiatives, Get Comfortable, Get Artistic, and Brew for One, Creature Comforts Brewing Co. works to impact the lives of children, artists, and members of the community who need a little lift.

271 West Hancock Avenue, Athens, GA 30601,

18 of 20

3. Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Appalachian Mountain Brewery Boone, NC
Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Boone, North Carolina

Founded in 2013, Appalachian Mountain Brewery (AMB) is Boone's first, built by North Carolina natives Nathan Kelischek and Chris Zieber. Through partnerships with local groups, AMB prioritizes giving back to the community and protecting the environment, which includes sourcing ingredients locally and donating proceeds from sales through their non-profit, We Can So You Can. Pop in for one of their award-winning pours, like the Not an IPA, Boone Creek Blonde, and Lager, all of which have medaled at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival, the most competitive beer competition in the country.

163 Boone Creek Drive, Boone, NC 28607,

19 of 20

2. Abita Brewing Company

Abita Brewing Company Covington Louisiana
Abita Brewing Company

Covington, Louisiana

At Abita Brewing Company, you can taste, in true Louisiana fashion, a beer made especially for Mardi Gras. But if it's not quite that time of year, there are plenty of other fun seasonal and year-round flavors to choose from. Pecan Ale, Strawberry Lager, and The Boot are just a few to start. If you join the Brew Krewe, you'll have access to the brewery's newest creations, events, sales, and other perks. Don't drink? Indulge in a soda instead—King Cake, classic vanilla cream, and root beer flavors are all on the menu.

21084 Highway 36, Covington, LA 70433,

20 of 20

1. Palmetto Brewing Company

Palmetto Brewing Company, Charleston, SC
Peter Frank Edwards

Charleston, South Carolina

Palmetto Brewing Company goes way back—all the way to 1888, when it was known as Palmetto Brewery and sat on the corner of Market and Hayne Streets. Though it survived many things, including a hurricane and earthquake, Prohibition was not one of them. After nearly 80 years, former engineers Ed Falkenstein and Louis Bruce decided to build South Carolina's first brewery. In a nod to the original, they named it after the state tree. Today, Palmetto Brewing Company is owned by the Pyatt family and is located on Huger Street in Charleston's historic district. True beer enthusiasts can join one of the Speakeasy programs, with the choice of The Gatsby Lounge, The Flapper Lounge, and The Bootlegger Lounge.

Learn more.

289 Huger Street, Charleston, SC 29403,

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