Heinzelmännchen Brewery – Sylva, NC


Heinzelmännchen Brewery is nestled in the Great Smokey Mountains at 545 Mill Street in Sylva, North Carolina in Jackson County.

Established April 24, 2004, the microbrewery specializes in traditional “Ale” styles of beer, that is, ales that were brewed in Germany well before the origination of the lagers. Their beverages contain about 4-6% alcohol.

The brewery takes it name from German legends that speak of the “Heinzelmännchen” who are gnome-like creatures found in the Black Forest of Germany. Rarely seen, they are helpful creatures who visit in the night to help farmers and business owners with chores, similar to the Brownies found in Scottish folklore.


Dieter Kuhn is the owner of this charming family-friendly downtown establishment. A Certified Braumeister, he was born and raised in Heidelsheim, Germany, near the Black Forest of Germany.

When he was twelve years old, his family moved to Chicago where he later attended Siebel World Brewing Academy, one of the world’s most prestigious brewing schools and interned at Goose Island Brewpub in Chicago, one of the top microbreweries in the US.

His own brewery, the smallest in North Carolina, won the honor of being one of the top ten brewery tours, according to the Travel Advisor website.

With the help of his wife, Sheryl Rudd, Dieter and other devoted members of his crew, the Heinzelmännchen Brewery produces a fine line of ales crafted to make the locales and the visitors to his shop very happy. In addition, Heinzelmännchen makes organic root beer and other soft drinks that are popular with the local youth.

Dieter’s reason for starting his brewery was a simple one: “I opened up the brewery, so that I could make some good beer that I could drink and I could share with other people.” His brewery uses traditional beer recipes based on German Ales.


Heinzelmännchen beers are made with fresh hops and grains, using no preservatives. All their beers are keg conditioned and non-filtered, making them smooth & lighter in body. The three values in their marketing campaign state: “Purity, Freshness, Tradition.” The brewery offers a tasting room and retail shop.

Beers on tap include, Ancient Days Honey Blonde Ale, Black Forest Stout, Gopher Ale, Middleworld Brown Ale, Weise Gnome Hefeweizen and Kilted Gnome Scottish Ale, the 2nd in Heinzelmännchen’s ‘Heavenly Gnome’ series of beers (7.5 ABV).

Dieter also offers seasonal brews like Roctoberfest, Hoppy Gnome, and Merry Gnome Christmas Ale, a specialty beer with a chocolate-cherry flavor.

Heinzelmännchen Brewery
c/o Dieter Kuhn, Brewmaster
545 Mill Street
Sylva, NC

Heinzelmännchen Brewery (Website)


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Thomasville, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Beverages & Beer

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