ale trail tumbler

The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority has launched its Ale Trail Pass, a new ongoing program that rewards craft beer fans for visiting the local breweries along the county’s Ale Trail.

Created in partnership with travel technology platform Bandwango, the free Ale Trail Pass showcases the best of Jackson County’s booming brewery scene in an easy, mobile-friendly fashion. Users can sign up online at to receive a mobile passport via text or email (no app required) which they can then use to “check-in” along the trail by asking a bartender for a unique pin code at each brewery.

Once locking in at least four brewery stops, participants can stop by the Jackson County Chamber and Visitors Center any weekday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to redeem their passes for a limited-edition Jackson County pint glass and Ale Trail branded stickers to take home.

“We’re confident this Ale Trail Pass will quickly become a popular way for visitors and locals to engage with our breweries and further enhance the town’s appeal for craft beverage fans all over,” Sylva Main Street Sylva Association Director Bernadette Peters said. “After all, who doesn’t love a souvenir pint glass?”

Of those participating, the following four breweries are conveniently located along downtown Sylva’s walkable strip where the Ale Trail’s main hub is, while the fifth pass participant, Innovation Station, is in Dillsboro just next door:

• Innovation Brewing.

• Lazy Hiker Brewing Company Taproom

• Balsam Falls Brewing Co.

• Nantahala Brewing Co. (Sylva Outpost)

“Sylva’s vibe is unique and eclectic, and so are each of the breweries that call this town home,” TDA Director Nick Breedlove said. “After enjoying some brews, we hope visitors take advantage of all that this area has to offer from shopping and dining downtown to exploring outside with a hike, bike ride, fly-fishing excursion and so much more.”