Create Your Own Happy Hours at These Popular Watering Holes

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In the small towns of Surry County, grabbing a cocktail, beer or glass of wine comes with an experience.

Thanks to the rising popularity of social districts in North Carolina, visitors can now purchase drinks in downtown Elkin, Mount Airy or Pilot Mountain and carry them outside as they explore storefronts, streetscapes, public artwork and other attractions.

RailYard beer garden Elkin NC

In Elkin, families, including pets, like to anchor their evenings at the RailYard. This beer garden, inspired by the owners’ trip to Europe, is situated under big shade trees with a variety of seating on different levels and patios, with plenty of space for cornhole or other lawn games.

A rotating selection of food trucks at RailYard serves regionally and internationally inspired fare that pairs well with the long lineup of beers. The taps come from as close by as Elkin’s Angry Troll Brewing and as far afield as Germany and Britain.

To keep the fun going, head up the street and around the corner to Fruition Cocktail Bar. Known for its tongue-in-cheek humor, skilled mixologists and unique cocktail ingredients, the spot is a favorite for locals and visitors. The front half is a bar, while the back room has a lounge vibe with couches and comfy chairs.


Out back, Fruition occasionally hosts live music. Embers Eclectic Pub, also located on Main Street, welcomes local artists for live music every Thursday and Saturday night.

While many know The Reeves Theater, also in Elkin, for its quality musical entertainment and popular “Martha Bassett Show,” its front lobby doubles as a cafe and bar that specializes in local wines and craft beers, proving nothing pairs better with local music than local beverages.

One of the most popular areas for arts, entertainment and craft beverages in downtown Mount Airy is the Market Street Arts and Entertainment District. This pedestrian-friendly street shuts down to vehicular traffic on the weekends, April through October. The area transforms into a local hangout and market with crafts vendors, live music, food trucks and public art.

Grab a pint of beer — if you dare — from Thirsty Souls Community Brewing. This hopping craft brewery along Market Street once housed Moody Funeral Home, and several beer names pay homage to the former tenant. The food menu includes artisan pizzas that pair well with crisp ales.

White Elephant Craft Brewery in Mount Airy

Across the street, White Elephant Beer Company promises “the most varied taps in town.” Expect several IPA options for hop lovers, as well as smooth porters and stouts and a surprising sour or two.

The Mount Airy social district’s newest spot is Kate’s Cocktail Lounge, which merges upscale style and seasonal cocktails for a sophisticated vibe. Pink and green accents and craft cocktails in fancy stemware make for not only ideal Insta story scenes, but also a great way to gather with friends.

Don’t worry — if you want to walk and sip, Kate’s has the requisite plastic cups for you to carry throughout the social district.

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One of the most creative places to indulge in a beverage sits along Main Street in Pilot Mountain. Viridescence Bottles & Bites is a plant-based eatery serving food, wine and craft beer. Lest you think plant-based means sacrificing delicious flavors, scan the menu to find nacho bowls, sharing snack plates, flatbreads and delectable desserts. Canned cocktails add variety to the drink menu, and wine flights allow customers to sample four different wines of their choosing.

Down the street at The Tilted Ladder, everyone feels like a local. On nice days, snag a table with an umbrella in the courtyard, perfect for sipping a popular bloody mary or mimosa. The Tilted Ladder is also part of the Surry Sonker Trail, and it serves this sweet, cobbler-like dessert in a cocktail glass. So, finish off your experience with a toast to this local favorite.

In addition to these in-town hot spots, Surry County is also home to 18 wineries along the Surry County Wine Trail. Click here to download a map and book a tour to the tasting rooms.