North Carolina Beer: Top Breweries for Families in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem

Microbreweries have risen in popularity over the past twenty years, with new specialty brewing companies popping up across the country every week. North Carolina is no exception to this trend. In fact, NC has the most microbreweries of any Southern state. With over 300 options, there are plenty of breweries to visit, especially in cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem. North Carolina beer has a little something for everyone. 

Below, we’re highlighting 9 of the top family-friendly microbreweries across the Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem areas.

Charlotte Biergartens
Winston-Salem Biergartens
Raleigh Biergartens


Charlotte North Carolina Breweries for Families

Family zone at the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery beer garden

A family zone, lots of picnic tables and plenty of wide-open space make Olde Mecklenburg Brewery & Biergarten a favorite among Charlotte families.

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

4150 Yancey Road Charlotte, NC 28217 

Old Meck Brew (OMB) has been serving the Charlotte area since 2009. Their beers have won more than two dozen awards over the past ten years. OMB focuses on brewing German-style ales and lagers. Some of their most popular varieties of beer are: 

  • Mecktoberfest (Amber Lager) 
  • Hornets Nest Hefeweizen)
  • Fat Boy (Porter)

When visiting Old Meck, the oldest craft brewery in Charlotte, you’ll love the space! The brewery offers a “Biergarten” and indoor “Brauhaus”. In fact, OMB’s beer garden is the largest in the Southeast. The outdoor oasis is modeled after the Biergartens of Munich and sits on eight acres (plenty of space for the kids to play). The garten has a park-like feel and offers games such as cornhole or firepits for the colder months. 

While visiting, guests can enjoy tasty German fare from the Brauhaus menu such as pork schnitzel, currywurst, or soft pretzels. 

Sycamore Brewing

2161 Hawkins St. Charlotte, NC 28203 

Over the last decade, Sycamore Brewing has been perfecting their craft brews while also introducing refreshing hard seltzers to their lineup. They focus on brewing beers that “drink easy” and have many light, refreshing options and plenty of IPAs. Try one of these popular Sycamore Brewing flavors: 

  • Mountain Candy IPA 
  • Southern Girl Blonde
  • Juiciness IPA

Located right in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, the taproom has a large outdoor seating area. Here, you’ll find live music and a “food hall” filled with food trucks. Grab some fresh air, a bite to eat, and post up for the afternoon with a beer in hand. Your kids can enjoy the outdoors while you enjoy some adult conversation. 


Family-Friendly Winston-Salem Breweries

Wise Man Brewing 

826 Angelo Bros Ave. Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Wise Man brewing began in Sam’s kitchen, a chemist with a PhD, as he began experimenting with a homebrew kit. Thirteen years later, Sam and his two partners are running one of the most popular breweries in the piedmont. Located in the former Angelo Brothers building in downtown Winston, the taproom is family-friendly and pet-friendly. The beer lineup is constantly changing with award-winning selections. In fact, Wise Man brewing was named a top 10 brewery at the US Open Championship in 2019. 

Try one of these current brews when you visit: 

  • Tropical Shirts (Sour)
  • Krankies Shape Shifter Blonde (in collaboration with a local coffee shop)
  • Love Paradox (Stout)

The Wise Man taproom features a rotation of local food trucks and plenty of space to spread out. They also host weekly events such as yoga, trivia, and live music. Plus, there are lots of board games to play with the family or your friends. 

Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. (Greensboro) 

345 Elm Street Greensboro, NC 27401

As the original downtown Greensboro brewery, Natty Greene’s pub has been a local favorite since 2004. Natty Greene’s focuses on brewing sessionable style beers. They offer award-winning seasonal flavors, flagship brews, and a variety of sours. 

Try one of these popular brews from Natty Greene’s: 

  • Wildflower Witbier 
  • American Sour
  • Bramble Framboise Sour 

Natty’s Downtown (as the locals lovingly call it) has a great menu of pub fare and healthier options. They even offer a kids menu for the little ones in your family! While you visit, enjoy the outdoor seating area with plenty of room to spread out, catch a game on the big-screen TVs, or enjoy some of the video games inside. Plus, keep an eye out for events such as run club, yoga, or trivia.  

Foothills Brewing Tasting Room

Enjoy the great outdoors at Foothills Brewing's Tasting Room in Winston-Salem (this is not the downtown location). And, true to Carolina Traveler form, not even the dog is left out!

Foothill’s Brewing 

3800 Kimwell Dr. Winston-Salem, NC 27103 

With two locations in Winston-Salem plus an event space that doubles as a coffee stop, Foothills has grown quite the following. Foothill’s Brewing has been operating in downtown Winston since 2005. In the first year, they produced 800 barrels of beer with exponential growth since then. Today, Foothill’s has acquired many awards including the U.S. Beer Tasting Championships. Some of the favorite Foothill’s varieties are only sold seasonally such as the People’s Moravian Porter and Sexual Chocolate Stout. 

Other popular options include: 

  • Hoppyum IPA 
  • People’s Porter
  • Torch Pilsner 

A visit to the Foothills Tasting Room is sure to leave everyone happy. With plenty of outdoor space and patio games, finding entertainment is easy. Plus, the Tasting Room is constantly hosting events such as yoga, bingo, trivia, and corn hole tournaments. Or, if you’re looking for a place to grab a bite, the downtown Foothills Brewing Pub offers a menu full of everyone’s favorite bar foods. 


Raleigh Area Family-Friendly Breweries

RBC Taproom Raleigh biergarten

Outdoor seating, plenty of board games and food trucks will keep your crew occupied while you enjoy a fresh brew with the other parents at the RBC Taproom beer garden in Raleigh. (photo taken pre-COVID-19)

Raleigh Brewing Company 

3709 Neil Street Raleigh, NC 27607 

Kristie Nystedt, owner of Raleigh Brewing Company, was the first woman to own a brewery in North Carolina. RBC has been in operation since 2010 and has grown to become Wake County’s third-largest producer of beer. Today, the main production brewery is located near downtown Raleigh with a secondary location in Cary. 

Some of Raleigh Brewing Company’s most beloved beers are: 

  • The First Squeeze (an American Wheat Ale)
  • Moravian Rhapsody (a Pilsner)
  • The Toll (an Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

A visit to the brewery offers up plenty of board games to play with the crew, outdoor seating in the beer garden with food trucks throughout the week, and various events. RBC hosts yoga, trivia, and live music each week. 

Hi-Wire Brewing (Durham) 

800 Taylor Street Durham, NC 27701 

Hi-Wire Brewing was started in 2013 in Asheville, NC. After years of growth, the brewery decided to expand to other areas of North Carolina. The 2015 opening of the Durham Hi-Wire Brewing location led to a new hot-spot in downtown Durham. They’re known for their flagship brews but also a great selection of sours and seasonals. 

We’d recommend trying the following: 

  • Sour Blonde (with lemon & rosemary) 
  • Lo-pitch (a Hazy IPA)
  • Bed of Nails (Brown Ale)

With a vast beer garden (1,678 square feet), there’s plenty of space for families. Hi-Wire Brewing is family-friendly, but 21+ after 8:00 pm. There are tons of activities in the space with shuffleboard, soccer pool tables, table tennis, and many other games. 

Crank Arm Brewing Company

319 W Davie Street Raleigh, NC 27601 

Located in the Warehouse District of downtown Raleigh, Crank Arm Brewing Company is a local’s hot spot. The brewery has a unique biking theme as the owners combined their passions for beer and bikes. The brewery has been in operation since 2013 and has made it a focus to encourage an active lifestyle in the community. 

You’ll probably love these popular Crank Arm beers: 

  • Trail Bandit (Chocolate Stout) 
  • Rickshaw (Rye IPA)
  • Holy Spokes (Smoked Porter with unique spices) 

Crank Arm Brewing might be a bit smaller than some of the others on the list, but the collection of board games is sure to keep the kids happy. They do have a cozy outdoor area great for people watching. Plus, they host events regularly including yoga, social bike rides, and run club. 

Do you have a favorite family-friendly brewery in North Carolina? Tell us about it in the comments or give us a shout on social media!

Overhead view at night of the 8-acre biergarten at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

An overhead view from space of the 8-acre biergarten at the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte. OK – not really from space, but this is a huge biergarten. Fortunately it's surrounded by a fence with limited exit points, so it's easy to keep track of the youngsters.

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