Granite Falls Brewing Company, named after the eponymous mountain town in North Carolina, is rife with history and flavorful beers.
The story of Granite Falls Brewing Company starts over a century ago with a $1,000 investment from brothers Herbert and Arthur Bolick into Granite Bottling Works, which started as a soda bottling plant. Thirty-five cases a day were produced and delivered by horse and carriage when the business started out in 1903.
The business continued to grow and thrive, transforming into one of the leading producers and distributors of Cheerwine, Sun Drop and other local soda favorites until it was sold in 1978 to Coca-Cola, who then immediately sold it to Pepsi-Cola.
In 2012, Granite Bottling Works was sold again to a husband and wife pair of Caldwell County-based investors. The two planned an expansive renovation of the bottling plant into a chic and stylish taproom, brewery and eatery with oodles of homespun charm.
During renovations, builders discovered a bottle of Sun Drop in one of the walls, a final remnant of the brewery’s original role as a soda bottling facility. This bottle (and its brick encasing) is now proudly displayed in the brewery, as a reminder of the company’s heritage.
The taproom features a bevy of brewery-only releases as well as year-round beers such as the brewery’s Hoppalachia IPA and Knotty Gurl Blonde Ale.
Seemingly every brewery has an IPA offering these days, and Granite Falls is no different. Hoppalachia IPA clocks in at 6.7 percent ABV and features Cascade, Simcoe and other American hops, highlighted by a double dy-hopping session of the ever-popular Citra varietal. According to Granite Falls’s website, “Hoppalachia will take you to the peak of the mountains feeling like you have finally reached your goal!”
Knotty Gurl is Granite Falls’s best-selling beer, and it’s easy to see why. This smooth-sipping, crushable Blonde Ale has a simple ingredient list of Two-Row malt and Tettnanger hops, but it hits all the stylistic notes you would expect, serving as a nice accompaniment to most cuisines.
In a statement on the brewery’s website, Granite Falls Brewing Company invites visitors to “indulge in an experience that is In A Glass By Itself, partake of laughter, fellowship and living history and become a part of a Great American Revival Story – one that is still being written today.”
If you’re in the area, seek out this mountain gem and its lovely libations. Who knows, you might find hidden treasures, like a Sun Drop bottle in the middle of a brick wall.
Find out more about Granite Falls here.