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The Breweries of Mount Airy, North Carolina

Mount Airy, North Carolina, also known as Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show, is a quiet and sleepy town about two hours from our last stop of Raleigh, North Carolina and about four hours from our hometown of Leland, North Carolina. What brought us to this small town on the boarder of North Carolina and Virginia? The reason Tyler left his corporate job: family.

Mount Airy is home to three of Gracie’s sister and two of her beautiful nieces. We made a trip to see our newest niece and spend time with our family, who we don’t see often. Of course, while we were there, we decided to explore. We found a little spot off of Franklin Street called the Social District of Downtown Mount Airy. It’s an area not known to many of the locals, but is quickly gaining traction among the tourist and road stops people make along their way.

What makes this small strip so appealing, you may be asking yourself. Well, the only two breweries in Mount Airy are on Market Street in the Social District of Mount Airy. Nearly right across from one another sit the White Elephant Beer Company and Thirsty Souls Community Brewing. We hit both of these spots and tasted a number of their beers. Here’s what we thought about these two hidden diamonds in the rough:

The Ambiance

This was the first brewery we made a stop at. It was tucked away in a hole in the wall, but it was much larger on the inside than it appeared to be on the outside. When you walk in, it reminds you of a speakeasy. Very small with dark walls and wooden bars. To the right, though, is a larger sitting area that is much brighter and serves as an event room. The staff was super friendly, and we even got to meet one of the owners, Taylor. His story was fascinating and the blood, sweat, and tears he and his co-owner have put into making this place a great place to be is evident.

The Beer

They sell food in the form of charcuterie boards, but nothing fresh-made and hot on premises. The beer, however, was absolutely delicious. The first one Tyler tried was the Haze No More Imperial IPA, clocking in at a 9% abv. Patrons are also limited to two of these beers because of the high abv, but boy was it worth it. It had a slight hoppiness to it that could almost be mistaken for a pale ale as opposed to an India Pale Ale. It was smooth and crisp with floral notes that accented the hoppiness.

It was cold in Mount Airy over the weekend, so when Tyler had the opportunity to try a Stouty McStout Face, he had to take advantage. This milky chocolate stout was perfect for a chilly night, coming in with a 7.1% abv. It was smoothy and creamy. We found out from one owner who was working the bar that particular night, that the Stouty McStout Face was originally going to be brewed with cocoa puffs. When the first brew came out, they thought it was perfect the way it was without the cocoa puffs. We have to agree with them, as this was one of the finest stouts Tyler has ever had.

The Ambiance

Thirsty Souls was vastly different than White Elephant. While White Elephant was more closed off with a dedicated bar area and seperate sitting room, Thirsty Souls was more of an open space concept. There were couches and televisions with video games for the kids and pets were allowed. It was very much the typical brewery atmosphere with a collection of artisian pizza in the kitchen.

The Beer

Gracie’s sister Destiny’s boyfriend Zane is a Mexican lager fanatic, and spent most of the weekend looking for a good Mexican lager. So when Tyler and Gracie went to Thirsty Souls without him and Tyler spotted the 5% abv South of the Wall Mexican lager, he had to try it for Zane. it was a solid Mexican lager with a nice crisp, refreshing flavor. The lime garnish was a needed touch that really set off the flavor of the beer.

Gracie actually ordered and nearly finished a beer here! She tried the Life Gose Sour, a 5.7% abv fruited sour. It had a rich mango flavor mixed with a deep tartness that was balanced with a sweet undertone.

The next beer on Tyler’s radar was another stout for a frigid day in Mount Airy. The Juggernaut Milk Stout checked in at a 6% abv. This smooth stout went down easy and warmed the body on a cold day. With strong chocolate flavors, this stout was damn near perfect.

You can find all of Tyler’s beer ratings on his Untappd.

In Conclusion

Who would have known small town USA would have a brewery, much less two of them. It was an amazing thing to find while we visited family, but visiting family was the best part of the trip. That and spending time together. We love you Mike, Maryette, Allen, Destiny, Zane, Valeria, Levi, Cali, Oakley, and Kelsey!


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