The Best Burger You've Never Heard Of


Why are people choosing to move to Western North Carolina? The mountains, culture and beer. Ok, maybe not everyone is all about beer, but stay with me for a minute. Asheville has been named “Beer City USA” several times over the years. And for good reason.

Well, the truth is you can brew amazing beer anywhere.

Enter Sylva, NC. Just 45 minutes west of Asheville, you’ll find one of WNC’s hidden beer gems — Innovation Brewing.

Good beer and great breweries have a way of bringing people together. Especially in small towns. Innovation in Sylva is just that. One day you’ll see famed local author David Joy enjoying a pint, while the next day it’s a couple from nearby Balsam Mountain Preserve. Of course, you also have the area’s finest whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing just minutes away.

Then again, there’s something else about Innovation.

It’s All About the Burger

“Not to be missed at Innovation is a stop at Cosmic Carryout who is renowned for their must-eat-again burgers," says Nick Breedlove, Executive Director of Discover Jackson.

While the beer at Innovation is our favorite in WNC, you have to visit the food truck parked outside — Cosmic Carryout. The burgers are simply mesmerizing. We really can’t put our finger on why they’re so good, but they are. Our team had a hard time coming up with a better burger after a few of these.

Yes, they’re that good.

The burgers are tasty. However, the beer is quite extraordinary. It’s rare to find a brewery that does everything so well. From a Red Flanders Sour to their Irish Stout, they offer 30+ house made beers. You’ll have a hard time finding a so-so beer on the list.

Trying to do too much has always been a brewery’s pitfall. I’ll admit, I was skeptical of the beer list, but having tried nearly all of them over the course of a few months, I’ll tell you they’re all solid.

"Innovation Brewing has quickly grown to one of the most popular breweries in the Western NC mountains,” says Breedlove. “Their innovative and creative brewing yields over thirty taps with a little bit of everything from pale ales to IPAs and blondes.”

See? Great beer does have a way of building community.

Burgers, too.