North Carolina beer has a little something for everyone. 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. Below, we’re highlighting 9 of the top family-friendly microbreweries across those areas.
Charlotte North Carolina Breweries for Families
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
4150 Yancey Road Charlotte, NC 28217
Old Meck Brew (OMB) has been serving excellent North Carolina beer to 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.
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 North Carolina beer selections 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 North Carolina beers 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 North Carolina beer. 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.
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
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 North Carolina 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 seasonal North Carolina beers. 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 North Carolina 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!