Our visit to North Carolina is part of the new travel section on Happily Homegrown where we will share our favorite restaurants, venues, and attractions. This trip has not been compensated, and all opinions are based on my own experiences.
Fall is my absolute favorite season. The colors. The smells. The flavors. Its one of my family’s busiest times of year, but I always try to take a little time to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the season.
Last weekend, my husband and I took our first trip alone since becoming parents 9 years ago. We took the opportunity to drive down to North Carolina, and appreciate the beauty that is the Smokey Mountains in fall. Three years ago, my best friend Colleen, and her boyfriend Josh, moved to Waynesville, North Carolina, and this trip was to be a surprise for her.
After a 10 1/2 hour drive, with beautiful fall scenery and mountain views, we checked into our hotel, texted our friend Josh, and headed to Mad Anthony’s Bottle Shop & Beer Garden, where he and Colleen are regulars. And by regulars, I mean his brother and sister-in-law, Dave & Amanda, own the establishment.
When you think of a typical bar on a Friday night, you think loud music, lots of noise in general, and usually a dimly lit and not so well taken care of facility.
Mad Anthony’s is the exact opposite of that.
On this particular Friday evening, there was a paint & sip party going on in one of the rooms, several tables filled with friends playing cards or other board games, and the atmosphere was overall inviting and relaxed. Its like going to your friends house and hanging out in their rec room, just with much better beer options.
We got to surprise Colleen, and the look on her face was priceless! She never expected to see Steve & I more than 600 miles from home in her neck of the woods. It was great to be reunited for the weekend. We got to explore Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Cherokee, and even a bit of Asheville over the long weekend. The four of us caught up on what felt like a lifetime of stories and jokes; all while building some new memories.
And each night, after dinner, we would return to Mad Anthony’s for a beer and some time to relax listening to live music, or chatting outside at the fire pit, or just hanging around one of the tables while playing Cards Against Humanity (they have an entire bookcase of games you can play while you are there – Cards Against Humanity just happens to be a favorite).
Everyone at Mad Anthony’s was down to earth and friendly. It was the most comfortable that I’ve ever felt in a bar, and that says a lot about the people that Dave and Amanda have working for, and with, them.
Now for the beer
Mad Anthony’s Bottle Shop & Beer Garden is known for its 40 craft beers and ciders on tap and 300+ bottles in stock! They also carry a variety of local and regional wines that are available by the glass. The specialty while we were there was a selection of 3 seasonal beers from New Holland Brewing during their tap takeover for Octoberfest 2.0.
Even if you don’t “know” craft beer, you can ask for recommendations and sample anything on tap before buying a glass. Our first night there, I mentioned that I liked dark beers, that weren’t sweet or hoppy. I was introduced to two porters, and after a few sips of each decided on the Port City Porter from Port City Brewing, a brew that I would not have ordered on my own (I’d usually stick with a soda if I was unfamiliar with the beers available).
On our final night in Waynesville, we stopped at Mad Anthony’s one last time for a pint, and a little relaxing conversation before ending our trip. Isn’t this where … we came in.
Mad Anthony’s Bottle Shop & Beer Garden is open 7 days a week from noon until 2am (well after most pubs in the area close, especially on the weekends).
Connect with Mad Anthony’s on Facebook.