GUEST POST :: Southern Beer Belles…

by admin on January 23, 2013

5 Destination Breweries in the South

by David Bryce

Editors Dave and Harvey have been back and forth and through the South more than once in these last couple years, but today, I’d like to introduce you to and revisit a few breweries. If you live or visit the South you’ll be among some of the best in the country. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more storied, decorated, and interesting brewers in the region.

SweetWater Brewing Company – Atlanta GA

imagesA favorite among many southerners, this brewery has a lot to offer—they have a ton of medals to show for it. SweetWater was awarded Grand National Champion at the 2012 United States Open Beer Championship, winning three Gold, three Silver, and one Bronze Medal. One of the reasons for their success could be due to their dedication to freshness. Their Hop Cop travels through the southeast making sure all their distributors have the freshest beer available!

Terrapin Beer Co. – Athens, GA

imagesAnother Georgia-born brewery, Terrapin, also makes its rounds through the competitive circuit; receiving its first noticeable recognition at only six months old! Rye Pale Ale was introduced in 2002 and was Terrapin’s sole offering when it won Gold at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival. For anyone interested in talking a tour through their facilities in Athens, you’re in luck. Open Wednesday through Saturday, the tour also features live music while you enjoy Terrapin beers at the peak of freshness.

Mother Earth Brewing – Kinston, NCimages

This company, created by a guy and his son-in-law, is young but showing sure signs that it’s here to stay. The name may give it away, but this brewery is devoted to conserving, well, Mother Earth. Even their old building in Kinston was remodeled with only environmentally-friendly materials. After only three years of existence, Mother Earth Brewing won three medals at the 2011 United States Open Beer Championships. They took the Gold in the “Wood/Barrel Aged Strong Ale” category for their Tripel Overhead; a beer honoring the Belgian Trappist Monks who perfected that style. The brewery tour is free and open to the public, and if you want to keep sipping, they have a tap room that is 100% solar powered!

Abita – Abita Springs, LA

Abita's Merlin Brewhouse

Abita’s Merlin Brewhouse

Another company dedicated to preserving the environment, Abita, located in Abita Springs, Louisiana, was the first brewery in North America to use the energy-efficient MerlinBrewhouse. This system reduces boiling time and uses 70% less energy than traditional brewing methods. Even their packaging is earth-friendly; using 47% less material than other six-pack carriers. With only four ingredients (water, barley, yeast, and hops), Abita manages to crank out over 125,000 barrels of beer (21 different types of brew) and 8,000 barrels of root beer a year—brewed in small batches, of course.

imagesLazy Magnolia – Kiln, MS

As Mississippi’s first brewery, Lazy Magnolia has been offering tasty beers that remain true to the Southern Style. Their Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale (one of Dave’s faves) is proof they stick to tradition. It was the first beer in the world (to their knowledge) made by using roasted pecans. It took third in the Specialty Beer category at the 2006 World Beer Cup.

There you have it, five of the best destination breweries in the South. Take it upon yourself to visit these interesting locales; I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

David Bryce is a travel writer who enjoys writing about travel and family vacations. He currently blogs for Thousand Hills Resort in Branson, MO

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce January 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

Need to get to Charleston, SC and visit, Coast, Holy City and Palmetto…Holy City Pecan Dream blows Lazy Mags away


admin January 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

Bruce, wrote you at the Terrapin facebook page, but again, here, thanks for the notes. YBN contributors are largely up north and out west. We try to get down south as often as we can, having , last year, done a couple reports as both editors happened to be making trips down. BUT, we weren’t able to hit one very high on our wish list, Charleston. Thanks for the tips when we finally get down there… or maybe you might want to write a little something? It’s YOURbeernetwork, after all. We’d love to hear more! Go direct:


Dusty January 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

Wow..with 10 award winning local microbreweries, 3 more in the construction phase, a multiple year winner of the “Beer City USA” honors, and the new of home of the East Coast operations of New Belgium, Sierra Nevada (nearby Mills River NC), and Oskar Blues (nearby in Brevard NC), I can’t believe that Asheville NC was not represented.

Head scratcher.


admin January 30, 2013 at 11:19 am

Dusty, good note! This was a guest post and David focused on these 5. We at YBN have TOTALLY recognized Asheville in the past.
And… we just did a small group session with some offderings sent up to us by our friends at Highland Brewing down there, which will make it’s way onto the site in the next week or so.
It’s clear here at Your Beer Network that Asheville is a powerhouse in craft brew. David simply wrote about the ones he wrote about, all really interesting destination breweries in their own right.
We’re hoping this will get some Fat Tire on our shelves up into the midwest soon as well!!
Cheers and thanks for chiming in on this.


RC January 30, 2013 at 11:05 am

Westbrook brewing out of Charleston does excellent work, too. So many awesome brewers everywhere and so little time. Good problems to have.


Kirk Coco April 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Very surprised to not have the chance to host David at our brewery. As the second largest brewery in Louisiana, we would have loved to show him our facility, our Free Friday brewery tour and pour, and given him a little taste of New Orleans culture and entertainment. We feel we have one of the top destination breweries in the South, but without a visit to each brewery, it is hard to truly make a top five list accurate.

Kirk Coco
NOLA Brewing Company


admin April 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm

As we’re headquartered in Northern Ohio and Arizona, we’ve not had the opportunity to visit, try, or write about NOLA Beers in our short history here at YBN. This doesn’t mean we’re unaware of the fact that literally every beer you’ve got on the “menu” is widely held in high regard by the craft brewing community.
I should also point out that my visits to NOLA have been for work, recently in the capacity of a musician (playing a little gig at Neutral Ground), previously working as Associate Director on a live music broadcast from one of the Jazz Halls to Tokyo on New years Day (whew). We LOVE NOLA and when any of us come back, which we surely hope to do, we will find you like a heat seeking missile and enjoy your tour, tastings and everything else about you, your offerings, and the great City of New Orleans.
That said, we don’t want you to consider this piece a slight, in any fashion. David’s was a guest writer submission. We have no idea what his travel schedule might have been, if he even was able to set foot in New Orleans. But in his defense, he didn’t say these were THE Top Five, but among the better destination breweries in the south, something no doubt you’d take no issue with.
In any event we look forward to visiting, tasting, and writing about NOLA Beer in the hopefully not to distant, future… especially, from what we read and hear, your Flambeau Red!
Harvey Gold


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