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View Full Version : Decent beer on/near the AT? In the South?



DrRichardCranium
02-04-2010, 17:06
I am a homebrewer & a fan of craft-brewed beer. Last year I went to Traildays & also spent some time in North Carolina, & had a hard time finding decent beer down there.

Are there any small breweries or brewpubs I should know about, or local beers ANYWHERE along the Trail, North or South?

Chaco Taco
02-04-2010, 17:13
Asheville beat out Portland this year and earned the title of Beer City. We have 8 breweries, 4 downtown. One of the breweries has a hostel above it!!!!!

Cookerhiker
02-04-2010, 19:49
The Inn at the Long Trail (http://www.innatlongtrail.com/Home.html) in Vermont where the former AT now blue blaze crosses US Rt. 4 at the crest of the Green Mountains features some local brews including Long Trail Ale.

white_russian
02-04-2010, 19:58
Northern Outdoor Center next to the Kennebeck makes their own.

JustaTouron
02-04-2010, 19:58
The Inn at the Long Trail (http://www.innatlongtrail.com/Home.html) in Vermont where the former AT now blue blaze crosses US Rt. 4 at the crest of the Green Mountains features some local brews including Long Trail Ale.

If that isn't a compelling reason to blue blaze a section and tell the purist to go to hell, I don't know what would be.

Tennessee Viking
02-04-2010, 20:02
Not anywhere near trail. You have to drive to the cities. Asheville does have some good beer. I think there is a place in Boone.

There are probably some good places in Gatlinburg.

Then way off trail in Kingsport, there is Kingsport Grocery Company. Its a microbrewery/sandwich/pizze place. There was a place in Johnson City called Sophisticated Otter, but now its a Capones I believe.

There is Hot Springs. The Paddler Pub was good when it was open. It was supposed to re-open under new management. But there is Iron Horse Station, the new tavern in town.

sasquatch2014
02-04-2010, 20:02
When you get to Duncannon and the Doyle try the Trouge. There is the german accent over the "o" in the name. It's a local micro and very hoppy good brew.

sasquatch2014
02-04-2010, 20:05
Not beer but there is a small batch distillery up in Cold Springs just north of the trail where it crosses Bear Mt Bridge that are making some great small batch bourbons, like $45 for 750ml.

RedneckRye
02-04-2010, 20:07
Way back in '98 I hiked several hundred miles thru the south with BoyScout and WeatherMan. Every town we went into, WeatherMan was searching for 2 things: a salad not made of iceberg lettuce and good beer.
I'm not sure he ever found a salad, but the beer was a different story.
We walked into a small store, can't remember exactly where, but the conversation between him and the clerk went....

"Do you sell beer here, or are we still in a dry county?"
"The Baptists aren't in charge here, we've got beer."
"Great. Do you have any microbrews or imports?"
"Yes sir, we've got both Coors and Coors Light."

Thankfully things have improved a bit in the last 12 years, maybe.

Jester2000
02-04-2010, 20:09
What the heck is going on in this thread?!? Asheville isn't near the trail. The Inn at Long Trail isn't in the South. And Troegs is spelled "Troegs," with, as Sasquatch mentioned, an umlaut over the "o."

But it seems like the answer to the question may be "hardly any."

The good news is that I can find Yuengling all over the place now. Maybe that's only good for me.

sasquatch2014
02-04-2010, 20:22
Come through Pawling and I'll give you some of my Brew but it sure as hell ain't a beer!

max patch
02-04-2010, 20:27
[QUOTE=RedneckRye;964627]

"Do you sell beer here, or are we still in a dry county?"
"The Baptists aren't in charge here, we've got beer."
"Great. Do you have any microbrews or imports?"
"Yes sir, we've got both Coors and Coors Light."

[QUOTE]

I remember back in the 70s when Coors was only sold out west if someone back east knew someone who was driving thru Colorado we'd pay them to bring back a case of Coors.

Cookerhiker
02-04-2010, 20:30
If that isn't a compelling reason to blue blaze a section and tell the purist to go to hell, I don't know what would be.

Except for the going to hell part, that's just what I've done. In fact, when I thruhiked the Long Trail in 2007 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=6248), I told the GMC that I had hiked the blue-blazed trail across Sherburne Pass. They still gave me my certificate.

Everyone I talk to says the AT never should have been re-routed. I'm still not sure why - it may have had something to do with the Killington dispute or the Pico ski area.

Lone Wolf
02-04-2010, 20:34
I am a homebrewer & a fan of craft-brewed beer. Last year I went to Traildays & also spent some time in North Carolina, & had a hard time finding decent beer down there.

Are there any small breweries or brewpubs I should know about, or local beers ANYWHERE along the Trail, North or South?

Dot's gots ice cold Bud products right cheer in downtown Dtown

Chaco Taco
02-04-2010, 20:39
What the heck is going on in this thread?!? Asheville isn't near the trail. The Inn at Long Trail isn't in the South. And Troegs is spelled "Troegs," with, as Sasquatch mentioned, an umlaut over the "o."

But it seems like the answer to the question may be "hardly any."

The good news is that I can find Yuengling all over the place now. Maybe that's only good for me.

Asheville isnt far at all from the trail. I can get to Sams Gap in 25 minutes. People hitch it all the time.

Johnny Thunder
02-04-2010, 20:47
you should be able to track down highland, terrapin, sweetwater, and any other decent Southern craft brew in Franklin, Erwin, and Bristol. Probably won't have it served with a seat and a smile but you're a through hiker...make your own bar. That new place in Hot Springs had some decent beer last year.

Lone Wolf
02-04-2010, 20:49
gatlinburg. smoky mtn. brewery. cherokee red is my favorite. twofer 1 happy hours

Cookerhiker
02-04-2010, 20:50
Since you're thruhiking, take an excursion into NYC when you reach the AT train station outside Pawling. Beer has been known to exist there!

Lone Wolf
02-04-2010, 20:52
10 miles from Damascus http://www.wolfhillsbrewing.com/wolf_hills_brewing_004.htm

sasquatch2014
02-04-2010, 21:13
Since you're thruhiking, take an excursion into NYC when you reach the AT train station outside Pawling. Beer has been known to exist there!

Heck go .6 south and pick up a 6 for the train ride down into the city from Tony's Deli. Don't expect anything special from the deli. The Distributor in Pawling has a good selection of beers you can have filled into 64 oz growlers as long as you are not an UL hiker.

Morning Glory
02-04-2010, 23:05
Not anywhere near trail. You have to drive to the cities. Asheville does have some good beer. I think there is a place in Boone.

There are probably some good places in Gatlinburg.

Then way off trail in Kingsport, there is Kingsport Grocery Company. Its a microbrewery/sandwich/pizze place. There was a place in Johnson City called Sophisticated Otter, but now its a Capones I believe.

There is Hot Springs. The Paddler Pub was good when it was open. It was supposed to re-open under new management. But there is Iron Horse Station, the new tavern in town.

For Johnson City...the place to go is Jacks City Grill...they have several of Asheville's Highland brews and the even more local Depot Street brew on tap. I highly recommend Depot Street's Scottish Ale or Highlands Oatmeal Porter.

ARambler
02-05-2010, 00:41
1) The brew pub in Dalanaga has average homebrew. Pretty expensive for small glasses.
2) In Franklin, there is a small wine shop (just past Cody's Roadhouse from Ron Haven's?) that had a small beer selection.
3) Every good care package has a Ten Fidy or two.
4) Are we in Norwich, VT yet???
Rambler

Lone Wolf
02-05-2010, 00:43
1) The brew pub in Dalanaga

Dahlonega is in Georgia. where's Dalanaga?

ARambler
02-05-2010, 00:58
Dahlonega is in Georgia. where's Dalanaga?
I spel like a yankee, or maybe I've bee out of the bar too long.

Donde
02-05-2010, 06:07
you might be able to find some mash house beers in a store in NC. They are based in central Carolina and make a real nice IPA and a decent Porter. Pretty much the only good thing in fayetteville.

Hikes in Rain
02-05-2010, 07:35
I'm a homebrewer, as well, Dr. Cranium. Highland Brewing Company out of Asheville makes some fine ales. I always bring a case or two back with me when I'm in the area. I'm especially fond of the Gaelic Ale (an American Amber) and the Oatmeal Stout.

Spirit Walker
02-05-2010, 12:34
When I thruhiked many years ago the trail went through a lot of dry counties. I remember friends being very frustrated at the lack of beer. Is that still a problem? What towns along the trail, if any, are still dry?

Jack Tarlin
02-05-2010, 13:34
When you get up our way, there's a Brew Pub/Inn/Restaurant in North Woodstock NH that makes great beer. It's a very easy hitch from the Trail.

Smoky in TN
02-05-2010, 14:47
LW is right, Dots' got all the cold beer that you want and then some.
I wonder if ol' Redeye is still sitting back in the corner, chuggin' beer?

BobTheBuilder
02-05-2010, 14:56
What? The Paddler's Pub in Hot Springs closed?

They had a great draft selection two years ago and a gorgeous bartender.

the goat
02-05-2010, 15:06
in charlottesville, va (a/b 30 min east of waynesboro) is a great brew pub: south street brewery.

http://www.southstreetbrewery.com/

i recommend satan's pony amber ale.......just don't plan on hiking anywhere the next day.

gravityman
02-05-2010, 15:15
1) The brew pub in Dalanaga has average homebrew. Pretty expensive for small glasses.
2) In Franklin, there is a small wine shop (just past Cody's Roadhouse from Ron Haven's?) that had a small beer selection.
3) Every good care package has a Ten Fidy or two.
4) Are we in Norwich, VT yet???
Rambler

YEA Ten-Fidy! From my town, Lyons, CO! (although they've moved their bottling operation to Longmont...)

Gravity

ARambler
02-05-2010, 15:27
YEA Ten-Fidy! From my town, Lyons, CO! (although they've moved their bottling operation to Longmont...)

Gravity
Yeah, and it should be mentioned that Gordon's may be the second best CANNED beer in the US. i.e. shippable.

I'm still depressed that Oscar Blues would not refill my party keg last November.:(

Deerleg
02-05-2010, 15:46
Found this in a few spots in VA. It's in a few of the grocery stores along the trail including Krogers just north of the trail in Daleville VA. Liked the Pale Ale the best...




http://i49.tinypic.com/sd22ax.jpg

scope
02-05-2010, 16:00
you should be able to track down highland, terrapin, sweetwater, and any other decent Southern craft brew in Franklin, Erwin, and Bristol. Probably won't have it served with a seat and a smile but you're a through hiker...make your own bar. That new place in Hot Springs had some decent beer last year.

Yeah, now if we can only get them to put it in cans like Oskar Blues or those funky NY Farmhouse guys.

papa john
02-05-2010, 17:17
The Paddler's Pub is not only closed, the building was razed shortly after the owner passed away as a result of a car accident.

DrRichardCranium
02-05-2010, 17:26
If that isn't a compelling reason to blue blaze a section and tell the purist to go to hell, I don't know what would be.

It sounds more like a compelling reason to re-route the Trail back the way it was!

In fact, the white blazes should go straight through the bar room & out the back door!!:banana

Lone Wolf
02-05-2010, 17:30
LW is right, Dots' got all the cold beer that you want and then some.
I wonder if ol' Redeye is still sitting back in the corner, chuggin' beer?

sadly Redeye died 7 or 8 years back from smoke inhalation in his apartment

Cookerhiker
02-05-2010, 17:34
....In fact, the white blazes should go straight through the bar room & out the back door!!:banana

It would entail an extremely minor re-route to do this!:D

JustaTouron
02-05-2010, 17:37
It would entail an extremely minor re-route to do this!:D


But then the minors would have to blue blaze.

DrRichardCranium
02-05-2010, 18:04
But then the minors would have to blue blaze.
Nah! They let kids come into the pub (they also serve food there & there's Irish music on the weekends).

It's called the "Irish Head-Start Program!":D

Montana
02-05-2010, 19:05
Ahh, the AT beer tour!

Down south I didn't find much to talk about, except the exceptional lack of good beer. Hotsprings is the first town, heading north, that I remember having a decent selection of beer. There was something called Kind Ale at the Paddler's Pub, that I rather enjoyed. Until you start seeing Yuengling up north, the best you are going to find is stuff bottled by the bigger breweries like Killian's. Once you leave the Yuengling territory, your options seem to start multiplying.

As previously mentioned, a must stop is the Inn at Long Trail, where they serve the rather tasty Long Trail Ale and Guinness.

Another must stop is the Kennebec River Brewery in Maine, where you can sit in a hot tub drinking a blueberry amber, my favorite. Plus, if you are adventurous, you might be able to find a crew heading out for a day of dam controlled rafting. They also have rooms and tent cabins to rent if you happen to like the beer enough to zero there (I did).

There were numerous, decent bars along the way as well. Dots is a classic in Damascus. I listened to some good Jazz over a few beers at some hotel in Delaware Water Gap. There was a bar right on a lake up north, somewhere, that I barely remember having way too much fun at. I do remember the race to the fire tower just north to catch an amazing sunset after having drank too much (did I just type that?)

And of course, there are the SNP waysides. I don't remember it being exceptional beer, but it was there.

Montana
02-05-2010, 19:13
I forgot all about the Doyle! Cheap, decent beer, in large quantities. The rooms might scare off germaphobes, and I was a little grossed out when the washer started draining dirty hiker funk water into my shower, but I would still not miss that place on a thru hike.

Dutins
02-05-2010, 19:24
If you have time and are traveling through Atlanta, there is two excellent breweries with tours.

Red brick Brewery (http://www.atlantabrewing.com/index_2.html)

Sweetwater brewery (http://www.sweetwaterbrew.com/)

solace
02-05-2010, 19:24
Anyone know the Brewry in Ashville, NC with the Hostel above it!!??!! :)

Mags
02-05-2010, 19:41
If you go to Standing Bear Farm hostel just outside of the Smokeys, you can often get a ride to a gas station/restaurant/rafting complex (for lack of a better word) that had a decent selection of beer. They had Yuengling among others. Decent BBQ, too.

After driving two days straight from Colorado to get there (BMT trip), the Yuengling was just fine.. Ah.

Jester2000
02-05-2010, 19:44
Nah! They let kids come into the pub (they also serve food there & there's Irish music on the weekends).

It's called the "Irish Head-Start Program!":D

I'm going to choose to be offended by this.

Dutins
02-05-2010, 19:45
Anyone know the Brewry in Ashville, NC with the Hostel above it!!??!! :)


Sweat Pea Hostel (http://sweetpeashostel.com/) is located above the Lexington Avenue Brewery (http://www.lexavebrew.com/) in downtown Asheville.

papa john
02-05-2010, 20:41
Is there anywhere north of Virginia where you can get a decent meal somewhere close to the trail?

K2
02-06-2010, 03:02
I don't drink beer myself, but I found this (http://www.noc.com/index.php/the-pourover.html), located at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. K2

RGB
02-06-2010, 04:56
you might be able to find some mash house beers in a store in NC. They are based in central Carolina and make a real nice IPA and a decent Porter. Pretty much the only good thing in fayetteville.

You mean Fayettnam?

4shot
02-06-2010, 11:36
had a hard time finding decent beer down there.



ALL beers, at a minimum, are good when consummed here in the southern USA. Some are exceptional! ;)

sasquatch2014
02-06-2010, 12:09
Is there anywhere north of Virginia where you can get a decent meal somewhere close to the trail?

Pat does some good meals at the Doyle and you can have a beer.

Spirit Walker
02-06-2010, 13:37
Is there anywhere north of Virginia where you can get a decent meal somewhere close to the trail?

At Turner Gap (MD) the Old South Mtn Inn is supposed to be very nice. Elegant atmosphere but hiker friendly.

sasquatch2014
02-06-2010, 18:12
At Turner Gap (MD) the Old South Mtn Inn is supposed to be very nice. Elegant atmosphere but hiker friendly.

Just north of that you have the Dog Patch shortly after crossing over Rt 40. As it's told they take care of both their Biker Trash and their Hiker Trash.:D

Chaco Taco
02-06-2010, 18:30
http://pisgahbrewing.com/test/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/fullcolorlogo.jpg

Reid
02-06-2010, 19:52
I am a homebrewer & a fan of craft-brewed beer. Last year I went to Traildays & also spent some time in North Carolina, & had a hard time finding decent beer down there.

Are there any small breweries or brewpubs I should know about, or local beers ANYWHERE along the Trail, North or South?

Have you been playing ping pong in ding dang or something? If you drink homebrew you should have no problem finding a better beer anywhere.

Hoop Time
02-07-2010, 17:45
Add me to the list of those singing the praises of the Doyle. As mentioned above, Pat's cooking is tremendous and they have a nice selection of beers. Troegs and Appalachian Brewing Company are both Harrisburg brewers, located about 20 min. from Duncannon. Doyle has some of both available. But you might also consider getting a shuttle to Harrisburg to visit either or both. Troegs has a tasting room, often with a small batch scratch beer on tap in addition to their regular beers. ABC has a great brewpub and generally had about 10-12 varieties of its beers available on draft there.

I am particularly fond on the ABC Trail Blaze Brown Ale, which is all organic. More on the malty side than the hoppy side.

On a hot summer day, after a long sweaty hike, either Troegs Dreammweaver Wheat of ABC's Water Gap Wheat are mighty refreshing.

Also, from Port Clinton, a short hitch or shuttle ride north on Rte. 61 is the Yuengling brewery, the oldest American brewery. Not a micro, and maybe even a little more production than you would consider a craft brewed, but their Amber Lager is very popular along the trail. Chesterfield Ale is a nice hoppy brew. And their Black and Tan (in bottles) is a nice beer, too. They offer brewery tours and have a tasing room where you get a couple free samples after the tour. A worthwhile side trip for beer lovers.

cyclista
02-08-2010, 12:55
I don't drink beer myself, but I found this (http://www.noc.com/index.php/the-pourover.html), located at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. K2

Good link! The NOC restaurants (http://www.noc.com/index.php/dine-with-us.html) all seem to have a good beer selection, including:
(all domestic craft are $3.75 except the New Belgium)
Bellís Two Hearted
Sierra Nevada Pale
Highland (Gaelic, Oatmeal Porter, St. Tereseís Pale, Kashmir IPA, and Black Mocha Stout)
Sweetwater (420, Blue)
Harpoon Raspberry UFO
New Belgium (Fat Tire, 1554, and Mothership Wit: 22oz bombers, $6 each)

Amusing that after many months of lurking, this is my first post to whiteblaze. Guess I've got my priorities straight!

JJJ
02-08-2010, 13:50
If you can afford a zero day and get transportation,
Asheville is definitely worth checking out for the beer scene.
It also has good resupply for sproutheads at EarthFare and the French Broad Food Co-op.

SteveJ
02-08-2010, 15:51
<clip>

Amusing that after many months of lurking, this is my first post to whiteblaze. Guess I've got my priorities straight!

:welcome Great first post!

gravityman
02-08-2010, 16:34
Good link! The NOC restaurants (http://www.noc.com/index.php/dine-with-us.html) all seem to have a good beer selection, including:
(all domestic craft are $3.75 except the New Belgium)
Bellís Two Hearted
Sierra Nevada Pale
Highland (Gaelic, Oatmeal Porter, St. Tereseís Pale, Kashmir IPA, and Black Mocha Stout)
Sweetwater (420, Blue)
Harpoon Raspberry UFO
New Belgium (Fat Tire, 1554, and Mothership Wit: 22oz bombers, $6 each)

Amusing that after many months of lurking, this is my first post to whiteblaze. Guess I've got my priorities straight!

That use to be a BYOB place... I guess that the county must have changed the laws since we were last there...

Gravity

cyclista
02-08-2010, 16:40
:welcome Great first post!
Thank you! And to keep up my good reputation:


If you can afford a zero day and get transportation,
Asheville is definitely worth checking out for the beer scene.
It also has good resupply for sproutheads at EarthFare and the French Broad Food Co-op.

I wholeheartedly agree with Asheville: if you could work out transportation, it's a great place for a beer geek to recharge. We recently spent a (very) long weekend there, went to every brewery and major beer bar, and LOVED it. It'd probably be difficult to get a ride to, but our favorite beer was the tasting room at Pisgah Brewing, in Black Mountain, NC, about ten miles east of Asheville.

Back in Asheville, the beer and setting at Wedge Brewing Co. was fantastic (outdoor deck seating with occasional trains passing by), and French Broad Brewing was also very pleasant. Thirsty Monk was a fantastic beer bar with an amazing and thoughtful selection, though you might get a few looks if you hadn't showered recently (whereas at Wedge, nobody would likely notice or care.) Jack of the Wood was pleasant and had lovely live Irish pub music when we stopped in.

Every other beer place in town was at least solid: I'd be happy to go on at length if anyone cares.

Ahhhh, well. Time to get realistic about most of the AT and great beer, and hoping that the convenience stores and supermarkets will at least carry Guinness or Heine. Sigh. How far we can fall.

Johnny Thunder
02-08-2010, 16:47
It isn't particularly hard to get to Asheville by way of Hot Springs or Erwin since there's really nothing in between either locale and the city. Getting back might be a bit of a problem since there's no perfect hitching spot in town like standing next to the AT up in the Mountains. But if you can get here you can get back. That's for sure.

TD55
02-08-2010, 17:42
The whole of the Southern Army knew that the best beer was made in Pottsville. Trouble was is that they needed shoes and so they decided to go to Gettysburg first. The rest is history. Just sayin.....

Smoky in TN
02-10-2010, 17:05
Back in '99, I walked into the first wayside in SNP, along with about ten other hikers. Look, beer! And the party broke out. We stayed all day, consuming huge amounts of beer and wine. It was getting late when a hiker said "I think we should get started on to the next shelter".
I was stunned, Holy S#!t, I have to walk? We decided to have a picnic, once we got to camp. We all bought and carried parts of the proposed feast. Walking in the dark, really drunk, that was a tough stretch of trail.
Only two of us made it there, the rest fell out on the way. When we got to camp, we had hotdog buns and mustard, that was it. But we still had beer. I didn't feel much like walking the next day. We staggered on to the next wayside for more beer and things started to look better. We had so much fun going through SNP, that we talked about hitching back to Waynesboro, and doing it again. :eek:

RGB
02-11-2010, 07:12
I've made a list and plan to try all of these. :)

Chaco Taco
02-11-2010, 12:22
It isn't particularly hard to get to Asheville by way of Hot Springs or Erwin since there's really nothing in between either locale and the city. Getting back might be a bit of a problem since there's no perfect hitching spot in town like standing next to the AT up in the Mountains. But if you can get here you can get back. That's for sure.

Shuttles to the AT from Asheville via Sams Gap, Hot Springs, Erwin
828-707-2819

Powder River
02-11-2010, 22:34
The whole of the Southern Army knew that the best beer was made in Pottsville. Trouble was is that they needed shoes and so they decided to go to Gettysburg first. The rest is history. Just sayin.....


Ah, Ken Burns and Shelby Foote strike again. They disproved the shoe thing long ago.

Workstay
02-11-2010, 23:08
Good beer in the south? Ya, you can find Sierra Nevada.

Chaco Taco
02-11-2010, 23:11
Good beer in the south? Ya, you can find Sierra Nevada.
You can get Sierra anywhere
Sierra is great, but there is beer that is so much better

Hoofit
02-12-2010, 22:53
Anyone making it to Asheville might want to check out 'Jack of the Wood', a great pub with decent ale,(they own a brewery), and good music on the w/ends.
If you make it on a Friday afternoon, there's a pretty intense Drum Circle close by in the middle of town.All are most welcome...