ASHEVILLE — Inside unadorned buildings, dark basements and hollow warehouses across this mountain town, the steam rises from shiny pots carrying a sweet smell from a brew that draws thousands.
Not far removed from the copper stills that once kept moonshine flowing in these hills, this new legal brew is transforming the state into a top destination for a fast-growing segment of the beverage market: craft beer.
Made in small batches by independent, local breweries, craft beer from North Carolina is now distributed throughout the region. The state’s roughly 85 craft brewers are earning national recognition and drawing hordes of enthusiasts, some of whom drive hours and sleep overnight on sidewalks to taste special releases.
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