Sideways Farm & Brewery, North Carolina

Sideways Farm and Brewery by Connie Cottingham

Friendly farm animals are helping to restore the land.

The Carolina Mountains are rich in breweries, cideries and wineries. The quality of the mountain stream water was a deciding factor for Sierra Nevada to locate its Eastern U.S. brewery and taproom in Mills River, NC. That brewery can draw huge crowds; the architecture and beer are reported to be well worth a trip to their brewery. But we heard of a small brewery west of Hendersonville that is also a CSA and U-pick cut flower farm with beehives and a pen of ducks, chickens, goats, and sheep that moves around to transform overfarmed soil. We visited in very early April, so there were no flowers in bloom yet. That’s OK – the animals were fun to visit.

Sideways Farm and Brewery by Connie Cottingham

Plentiful selection of small-batch ales.

“See that couple on the chairs over there? They have been here for hours, just watching the animals.” one of the staff explained. The exterior is not polished, it is calming, which is a nice break after enjoying a few tourist stops. Parents can enjoy a beer at a picnic table while kids are kids.

Sideways brews small batch ales, creating artistic labels. Their ingredients often include plants they grow and honey from their and other local hives. We enjoyed our three samples, plus the jun. Elderberry jun was one of four hard jun kombucha they made that was on the tasting menu. Jun is the champagne of fermented drinks, made with honey and fizzier than kombucha. The elderberry jun was a combination of sweet and sour that was better with each sip. Mike kept drinking that while I enjoyed the stout.

Sideways Farm and Brewery labels by Connie Cottingham

Labels from past batches form a unique wallpaper in the tasting room.

The tasting room and U-pick flower farm are open on weekends, often with a food truck so you can plan lunch or dinner. Beer and hard jun kombucha, plus honey and eggs, are available for purchase. Check for information. Of course, the flower farm is seasonal.