Crafts and Drafts: Top Breweries and Distilleries in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Beyond

Snugly nestled amidst the majestic Smoky Mountains, the vibrant towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, are renowned for their breathtaking vistas and charming Appalachian allure.

But beyond the picturesque scenery, there's another enticing aspect, particularly for the adults: the burgeoning craft beer and distillery scene in this mountainous enclave is truly exceptional.

Craft breweries here offer a diverse array of creatively inspired brews, drawing inspiration from the local flavors of Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains. These breweries craft beers that perfectly capture the essence of the mountainous landscape.

And it's not just about the brews – the distillery scene is gaining recognition too, offering distinctive tasting experiences that pay homage to the rich cultural heritage of the Smokies.

The ambiance at these craft breweries and distilleries is always warm and inviting, providing the perfect setting for locals and tourists alike to gather and immerse themselves in the vibrant beverage culture of the region.

If you're a fan of exploring local craft breweries and distilleries during your travels, then you're in for a treat. This guide is your roadmap to discovering the finest craft beer and local distilleries nestled within the Smoky Mountains, with a special focus on Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

Get ready to unwind amidst stunning natural beauty and savor some truly exceptional drinks!

Top breweries in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Around

The Smoky Mountain Brewery, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Are you craving some awesome microbrews? With locations in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Calhoun's, The Smoky Mountain Brewery is your go-to spot to start your brew tour.

The waitstaff is very knowledgeable and ready to give you great suggestions on what brews to try. Whether you go for pints or opt for a flight to sample many, you're in for a treat. Some all-time favorites include Black Bear Ale, Cherokee Red, Harvest Fest, and Smoky Mountain Pale Ale.

In Gatlinburg, the brewery itself is a sight to behold, with large brewing tanks and giant windows offering breathtaking mountain views. It boasts that rustic mountain cabin vibe everyone loves, oozing with local charm.

Live music events are a regular feature, adding to the fun. Plus, The Smoky Mountain Brewery is not just a brewery – it's also a restaurant. Perfect for the whole family, with plenty of kid-friendly options.

If you're not feeling a full meal, they offer a range of tasty bar foods. From 'stick to your ribs' favorites to shareable pizzas, there's something for everyone.

Gatlinburg Brewing Company, Gatlinburg and Sevierville

With spots in Gatlinburg and Sevierville, Gatlinburg Brewing Company is a local gem worth checking out. This hip microbrewery is all about craft beer, offering a variety of brews including IPAs, saisons, stouts, and pale ales.

What makes them extra cool? Their brew names pay homage to the region, like "Don't Feed the Bears" and "Mountain Merman". Plus, they're not just about the beer – their brick-oven craft pizzas and pretzels are legendary.

Step into their lively brewpubs, where the vibes are casual and family-friendly. Whether you're in Gatlinburg or Sevierville, Gatlinburg Brewing Company promises a fun time for craft beer enthusiasts and foodies alike. So grab a brew, bite, and soak up the local flavor!

Top Distilleries in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Around

Old Forge Distillery, Pigeon Forge

This boutique distillery is located in the heart of the historic Old Mill Square in Pigeon Forge. They craft spirits using stone-ground grains from The Old Mill, one of the oldest continually operated grist mills in America.

Here, you'll find a variety of spirits, including whiskey, moonshine, and vodka. They are known for their unique flavors, such as Apple Pie Moonshine and Peanut Butter Whiskey.

As for the decor? Well, picture this: a 100-year-old building made of Tennessee timber, offering all that rustic local feel you could wish for. Plus, the tasting bar provides a cozy and intimate setting for sampling the spirits.

And here's the cherry on top: The distillery is also a stop on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail and offers tours and tastings. So you can take a behind-the-scenes look at the distilling process and get a chance to sample their products firsthand.

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is renowned for its rich heritage and vibrant culture of moonshine. In fact, they were the pioneers in Tennessee's push to provide legal Moonshine to East Tennessee, as they proudly proclaim. With two locations in Gatlinburg, one in Pigeon Forge, and another in Nashville, their brand provides a great atmosphere wherever you go with really picturesque and rustic settings, just as you would expect in the Smokies.

The distillery offers a wide range of moonshine flavors and spirits that celebrate the tradition. You can expect a variety of moonshine flavors, whiskies, and canned cocktails. They also have a diverse collection of moonshine products made with real fruits and vegetables, such as pickles, peaches, cherries, and pineapples.

Both Gatlinburg locations offer a rustic and welcoming setting, and they offer tours allowing visitors to experience the craft behind moonshine production. It's a great chance to experience their dedication to quality and craftsmanship, which by the way has earned the team several awards over the years. A great experience indeed!

Junction 35 Spirits, Pigeon Forge

Junction 35 Spirits has a wide array of spirits, including bourbon, rye whiskey, moonshine, vodka, gin, tequila, and rum. They take pride in offering liquors at 70+ proof, with vodka and whiskey ranging from 80 to 90 proof, all at prices that won't break the bank. And when you stop by, it's not just about sampling their top-notch liquor — you can also grab a bite from their kitchen. This is the perfect hangout as the first distillery and restaurant combo in Pigeon Forge.

This laid-back fusion of distillery and restaurant creates an easygoing vibe in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. It's a great spot for a relaxed family meal. People rave about their smoked wings with dry rub and other tasty options. With friendly service and mouth-watering burgers and fries, it's no wonder guests keep coming back. And guess what? Adults can unwind with a tasting at the bar while the outdoor space with games keeps the kids entertained.

Tennessee Shine Company, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville

Tennessee Shine Company stands out as a unique distillery, renowned for its deep-rooted commitment to honoring the traditions of its Appalachian heritage. With locations in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Wears Valley, they are dedicated to preserving time-tested methods to craft top-notch moonshine and whiskey products.

Here, you can savor some of Tennessee's finest moonshine and whiskey while immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Appalachian region. The entire staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming, making your visit not only educational but also enjoyable as you learn about the art of moonshine production.

As part of its mission, Tennessee Shine Company encourages patrons to "Respect the Shine" and even offers a newsletter to keep you updated on new drinks, promotions, and events. With such a friendly vibe and tasty drinks, you'll definitely be itching to come back for more!

Smith Creek Moonshine, Pigeon Forge

Smith Creek Moonshine is another hot spot for moonshine tasting, loved by both locals and visitors alike. The distillery boasts a range of moonshine flavors, from the classic Pure White Lightning to the velvety Chocolate Silk.

At the Pigeon Forge location, you'll find a 5,000-square-foot virtual distillery with a blend of rustic and modern designs. Keep an eye out for the vintage touch with a 1941 Ford prohibition moonshine hauler!

You'll leave absolutely loving their shine. The friendly staff will make sure you have a great experience, and you'll be recommending it to everyone you know.

Good to know: what is Moonshine?

In case you're wondering, moonshine is a term used to describe illegally distilled or homemade alcohol, typically high-proof spirits such as whiskey or rum. Moonshine gained its name from the fact that it was often distilled at night ("by the light of the moon") to avoid detection, when it was illegal, that is. While historically associated with illicit activities, moonshine has also become a cultural icon, with legal distilleries now producing artisanal versions of moonshine.

Breweries and Distilleries in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Surrounding Areas

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are definitely some cozy mountain retreats, but as you can see, there's more to do than just soaking in the views!

Heading to one of the local breweries and distilleries is not just a way to enjoy a good drink, but also to learn about the craft behind liquor and get to know some passionate locals.

It's a unique opportunity to experience the artistry and dedication that goes into producing fine spirits, while also connecting with the community and discovering the stories behind the drinks.

When you're vacationing in this area, it's always good to keep a few things in mind when you're heading out for a drink. After all, you're in a new place, right? So, here are some tips:

  • Respect Local Laws: Make sure you're updated on the local alcohol rules, like knowing the legal drinking ages and what's up with open containers.

  • Plan Transportation: It's all about staying safe, so get a designated driver lined up, or check out rideshare services or public transportation to get you back to your place without any worries.

  • Watch Your Surroundings: Keep an eye out and trust your gut. Stick to well-lit areas and don't leave your drinks hanging out alone.

In general, the region is pretty safe, but hey, these tips are valuable anywhere in the world. By following them, your drink experience will be even better, and you can relax without any stress!

For more tips and recommendations on what to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, head to our destination blog. We've written about everything from the best restaurants in the region and the best breakfast spots in the area to a full guide to fishing and much more.

Are you wondering where to stay in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and The Smoky Mountains?

Why not enhance your vacation with the stunning backdrop of the Smoky Mountains in a great rental property?

At Stony Brook, we offer an exceptional array of cabins and chalets in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Cosby, ranging from one to 16 bedrooms. When staying with us at Stony Brook we guarantee you'll have the best experience in the Smokies!

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