In the mood for some fantastic micro-brew beer? The Smoky Mountain Brewery in Gatlinburg is a must during your Smokies excursion.
With all its distilleries, Gatlinburg has quickly become one of the most unique spirits (moonshine and whiskey are spirits right?) destinations in the region. But Smoky Mountain Brewery is out to prove that Gatlinburg’s got beer too – and some great micro brews at that.
Tucked away in Calhoun’s village at the south end of the Gatlinburg strip, the brewery is gorgeous. It’s got this sort of rugged mountain lodge feel that’s completely authentic to Gatlinburg in every way. On your way in the smell of hops and wheat will be rushing to your nose long before you hit the front door. Just to your right after going in are giant brewing tanks where the magic is literally happening right before your eyes.
Insider Tip: If the brewery is busy, check out Cherokee Grill next door – they’ve got all their brews on tap plus some amazing food.
If you go to the top level, there are giant windows that give a great view of the strip and the mountains depending on where you’re sitting. The building design is really neat – very rustic. Even though it is a brewery, it’s also a full-service restaurant. Family-friendly if you are traveling with kids.
The wait staff is super knowledgeable and is happy to give suggestions if you are not familiar with Smoky Mountain Brewery’s beers. You can buy pints or get a flight if you want to try a little of everything. Some of our favorite brews:
- Black Bear Ale
- Cherokee Red
- Harvest Fest (seasonal)
- Smoky Mountain Pale Ale
The Harvest Fest is a seasonal favorite; good balance of hoppy and malty flavors. It’s a little sweet at the start, but the bitter from the hops keeps it from being cloying or overfilling.
If beer isn’t quite your thing, they’ve also got a full service wine and liquor bar. Not everyone is a beer-drinker, so, it’s someplace the beer-lovers and cocktail drinkers can all be happy.
The Brewery also has some great ‘stick to your ribs’ eats too. You’ll find a lot of the expected bar foods, like stuffed potato skins and chicken tenders, with a few area specialties like Fried Pickles (appetizers can be a meal can’t they?). The sauce on the wings is a recipe all their own, and will definitely leave you sucking your fingers clean once the fun is done. If I’m going with a group, we always get a pizza to share. The Brewmaster is easily the best, but honestly, all of the pizza choices we’ve tried were really good if you want something non-chainy.
Entertainment options are really good for the sports fanatics amongst you. The Smoky Mountain Brewery has no less than 10 large flat screens in the property that are constantly running the top sports and entertainment spots. And if you’re not a sports fanatic, they also have some talent local music acts that play on the weekends.
Insider Tip: If the Gatlinburg location is busy, there’s also a Pigeon Forge location that serves the same great drafts and foods.
A couple of things to keep in mind with Gatlinburg – on the weekend parking can be a real pain. Fortunately, Calhoun’s Village has a huge parking lot just behind the restaurant. Normally parking is $10, but if you eat at the restaurant, parking is free for up to 2-hours. That’s a huge plus when you’re trying to park somewhere close without having to walk from far down the strip.