Nantahala Brewing To Open New Craft Beer Restaurant In North Carolina

Bryson City, NC – Nantahala Brewing Company is expanding their footprint to include another business in Bryson City. The new location will complement the current brewery rather than replace it, with the original building remaining a production facility and taproom and the new space acting as a full-fledged craft beer restaurant. Both facilities, the original located at 61 Depot St, Bryson City, and the new space located at 234 Deep Creek Road, Bryson City, are only a half-mile apart, but fill two different niches in the small, yet immensely visited town. Bryson City sees approximately 525,000 visitors a year, most of whom visit between April and October when the Great Smoky Mountain National Park offers the most amenities.

“The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is literally in our backyard,” said Joe Rowland, Co-Owner of Nantahala Brewing Company.  “Most people who visit our small town of 1400 people come for the outdoor scene. These people need places to eat, sleep and unwind. Prior to this new venture, we could only offer our visitors a taproom to hangout in after a long day in the woods or on the river. Once the restaurant opens though, we will be not only be Bryson City’s only production brewery, but we will also be the only craft-beer restaurant in town. Add to that an award-winning chef and a killer outdoor music venue, and we are stoked about what this expansion will offer our tiny town.”

Nantahala’s restaurant will focus on bringing farm-to-table cuisine to the region with a heavy emphasis on farms that produce within 100 miles of the brewery. The food will be “upscale southern,” a flavor profile that won’t deprive diners of classics such as pickled fried okra, shrimp & grits, and seasonally changing sides. The restaurant will also include a variety of options that will be influenced by the beer making process, including repurposing spent grain for  salad dressing and reducing finished beer or wort to make a variety of sauces.

Nantahala Brewing brought in Meredith Watson to be the head chef of the new venture. Raised in Bryson City, Watson left the area to pursue other restaurant opportunities in Washington, DC, but her heart never left the mountains. When she heard about the brewery’s plans to get into the food service business, she jumped at the opportunity to join the team.

“I am from Bryson City,” said Watson. “It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone else. We want this venture to support the local community and economy. By buying food as locally as we can, we can keep more money in the area, and by providing communal dining space we are hoping to encourage visitors to dine with locals. We want to bring people together over great food and great beer.” Watson also added, “It means a lot to me to be able to come back to my hometown and bring good jobs to the area.”

To follow Nantahala’s progress in opening the restaurant, visit

About Nantahala Brewing Co.
Founded in 2009, Nantahala Brewing Company creates award-winning  beers in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A proud supporter of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Friends of the Smokies and Great Smoky Mountain Association, the brewery’s beer, culture and vision are defined by the park’s wild spaces and its untouched, natural water that flows from one of the purest, protected watersheds on the planet. Nantahala Brewing is known for such adventure-inspired flagships as Dirty Girl Blonde Ale, Noon Day IPA, App Trail Extra Pale Ale, and Bryson City Brown Ale. In addition, the brewery seasonally releases Little Tennessee Logger, 4-Foot Drop Pale Ale, Devil’s Courthouse Belgian Golden Strong, 8-Foot Drop Double IPA,  Hellbender Hefeweizen, Rivers End Oktoberfest, Pattons Run Porter, Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout, Nantahala Pale Ale and Sticky Dog Stout and is known for their specialty Trail Magic series. These beers can be found in six packs and on draft in grocery stores and restaurants across North Carolina and Tennessee. For more information about the brewery, visit