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With handcrafted spirits and locally imagined beers, you'll taste the flavors of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The High Spirits Trail takes you to eleven (11) unique tasting experiences. These brewers, vintners, and distillers use ingredients grown right here in western North Carolina.

These creative entrepreneurs have paired your tasting experiences with other favorite flavors. Check their social pages for weekly updates on food trucks, product specials, and more.

What to expect along the High Spirits Trail

Plan ahead and ask about venue hours of operation and details such as live performances, special events, or if the venue is dog friendly.

Marion’s Downtown District

Visit downtown Marion to experience five trail stops:

  • Mica Town Brewing — McDowell County’s first brewery, with locations in Marion and Nebo.
  • Refinery 13 — offering a menu of craft beers brewed in western N.C plus a limited food menu.
  • Taylors Brewing Co. — a laid-back taproom with 15+ taps and a rotating food menu.
  • Keeper's Cut Meadery — featuring several traditional and flavored meads, these wines are made from locally sourced honey. Chocolates and charcuterie boards are available, great for pairing with their wines.
  • Copper Creek Distillery — a tasting room serving up samples of traditional mountain moonshine.
Mica Town Tasting

Nebo & Lake James

You’ll find another three stops not far from the shores of Lake James. Enjoy a glass of delicious local beer or wine after a day on the water or explore the hiking and biking trails of Lake James State Park.

  • Mica Town Brewing Nebo — Mica Town’s Nebo Stop and Sip location feature many of the brewery’s favorites, plus varieties of their apple ciders, Mica Town Rum, and other in-house spirits. Both locations host food trucks, and also ask about game nights.
  • South Creek Winery & Vineyard — Take a tour of this boutique winery or enjoy a tasting on the porch. Be sure to check the event calendar for summertime live music performances.
  • Fonta Flora Brewery Whipporwill Farm — Enjoy a pint on the sprawling lawn surrounding this taproom’s picturesque barn. Food trucks on site.

Linville Falls Winery.jpg

Adventures Further Afield

Take a drive to these tasty Blue Ridge Mountain beverage spots, and check out nearby adventures too.

  • Hillman Beer — This creekside brewery in Old Fort is the perfect stop after a day of mountain biking on the many nearby trails in Pisgah National Forest. Great food, vegetarian and vegan options. Ask about the new Old Fort Gateway Trails.
  • Whaley Farm Brewery - New to downtown Old Fort combining locally sourced foods, and a true farm-to-table experience, the owners are also farmers. Yes, veggies are in your beer! Pick up fresh produce, and regional snacks to enjoy inside or outside. Food trucks on site.
  • Silver Fork Winery — A relaxed tasting room featuring family-grown Bordeaux-style wines
  • Linville Falls Winery — Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and one mile away from the famous Linville Falls. Food trucks on site.

Download the guide to the High Spirits Trail here.