A Guide to the Craft Beer Scene in Winston-Salem

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Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has carved a niche for itself in the world of craft beer, boasting a vibrant and ever-expanding craft beer scene. If you're a beer enthusiast looking for unique brews and exciting experiences, this guide is your ticket to exploring the best of what Winston-Salem has to offer. From innovative breweries and inviting taprooms to scenic beer gardens, we've got your beer adventure covered.

Breweries and Taprooms

1. Foothills Brewing

Our journey begins with a visit to Foothills Brewing, a stalwart in Winston-Salem's craft beer landscape. Established in 2005, Foothills Brewing has been brewing excellence for over a decade. Known for their commitment to quality, they offer a range of flagship beers and tantalizing seasonal selections.


One standout is their ‘Hoppyum IPA,’ a hop lover's dream with its citrusy and piney notes. For those seeking a richer experience, the Chocolate Imperial Stout, released annually, is a must-try. The brewery's warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it a fantastic place to start your craft beer adventure.

2. Hoots Beer Co.

This is where beer meets community spirit. Hoots is all about creating a friendly and inclusive space for beer lovers. The brewery operates in a repurposed factory, giving it a unique industrial vibe. The atmosphere here is relaxed, and the emphasis is on brewing approachable, creative, and delicious beer.

Their crowd favorites include ‘Hoots Roller Bar’ and ‘Beer Coaster Lager,’ perfect for a laid-back evening. Hoots Beer Co. hosts regular events and collaborates with local artists, infusing community in every sip.

3. Small Batch Beer Co.

If you have a penchant for small-batch masterpieces, look no further than Small Batch Beer Co. nestled in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem, this brewery is a hidden gem. Small Batch Beer Co. takes pride in crafting unique, limited-quantity brews that will tantalize your taste buds.

Their rotating selection means you'll always find something new and exciting on tap. It's a place where experimentation thrives, and you might just stumble upon your new favorite beer.

While Foothills, Hoots, and Small Batch Beer Co. are stars in Winston-Salem's craft beer scene, the city offers even more options for beer aficionados. Be sure to explore other notable breweries and taprooms, each with its own distinctive offerings and atmosphere.

Beer Gardens and Outdoor Spaces

What's better than enjoying a refreshing craft beer in the great outdoors? Winston-Salem's beer gardens and outdoor spaces add an extra layer of enjoyment to your beer adventure.

1. Wise Man Brewing

Wise Man Brewing boasts one of the most inviting beer gardens in the city. Set in the historic West End, this brewery's outdoor space is a sight to behold. Surrounded by lush greenery, it provides a tranquil escape from the urban hustle and bustle.


Wise Man often hosts live music and outdoor events, transforming the beer garden into a hub of entertainment. Sip your beer, relax, and soak in the local culture in this idyllic setting.


2. Incendiary Brewing Company

For a truly unique experience, make your way to the Incendiary Brewing Company. Housed in a beautifully restored firehouse, this brewery offers a spacious outdoor patio complete with a fire pit. Whether you're gathering with friends or enjoying a quiet evening for two, this spot radiates charm.

The fire pit creates a cozy atmosphere, making it a perfect choice for cooler evenings. It's an excellent place to savor your craft beer while watching the flames dance.

Tips for Enjoying Outdoor Beer Spaces

To make the most of Winston-Salem's beer gardens and outdoor spaces, keep the following tips in mind.

1. Check the weather: North Carolina weather can be unpredictable, so it's wise to verify the forecast before heading out.

2. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs: Some beer gardens may not have ample seating, so being prepared can increase your comfort and experience.

Finding the Best Beers

Navigating Winston-Salem's craft beer scene can be an adventure in itself. To help you on your quest for the perfect brew, below are some tips on finding the best beers in the city.

1. Brewery Tours

Consider embarking on a guided tour of your chosen brewery or plan a brewery-hopping adventure. Many local breweries offer tours that give you insights into their brewing techniques and history. Plus, you'll often get to sample a variety of their brews.

2. Local Beer Events and Festivals

Winston-Salem boasts a thriving calendar of beer-related events and festivals throughout the year. These gatherings are a treasure trove for beer enthusiasts, as they offer the chance to sample an array of brews from different breweries, all in one place.

Keep an eye out for craft beer festivals, races, and other beer-centric celebrations. These are excellent opportunities to broaden your beer palate and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow beer lovers.

Responsible Drinking and Transportation

While enjoying Winston-Salem's craft beer offerings, it's essential to prioritize responsible drinking. Here are some tips to ensure your beer adventure is both enjoyable and safe.


1. Designated driver: If you're traveling with a group, appoint a designated driver in advance to ensure everyone gets home safely.

2. Rideshare and taxi services: Utilize rideshare apps such as Uber or Lyft to get to and from the breweries, especially if you plan on sampling multiple beers.

3. Pace yourself: Savor your beers and enjoy the experience. It's not a race to try as many as possible

4. Hydrate: Drinking water between beers can help you stay hydrated and maintain a clear head.


Winston-Salem's craft beer scene is a testament to the city's commitment to flavor, creativity, and community. Whether you're sipping a classic brew at Foothills Brewing, exploring the industrial charm of Hoots Beer Co., or indulging in small-batch wonders at Small Batch Beer Co., this city offers a beer adventure like no other.


As you embark on your craft beer journey in Winston-Salem, remember to drink responsibly and take advantage of transportation options to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Whether you're a seasoned beer enthusiast or a casual drinker, the city's craft beer scene welcomes you to explore, savor, and discover the flavors that make Winston-Salem truly unique. 


Whether you're visiting for the beer or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Winston-Salem Historic Inns has you covered. Cheers!