When Sharon Van Horn organized the first-ever Thru-Hiker Chow Down in Franklin, she and her husband Bill were pretty fresh off the trail themselves.
The Van Horns started hiking the 2,000-plus-mile Appalachian Trail piecemeal in 2005, getting more serious about it in 2010 and completing two 300-mile sections per year thereafter until their 2013 finish. During that time, they became well acquainted with the ways of hikers, from Georgia up to Maine.
I’m not a snob. In fact, I’m more of a bleeding heart. But when it comes to beer and coffee, I’m admittedly a bit of an elitist.
With sunshine spilling into the taproom of Currahee Brewing Company in Franklin one recent afternoon, brewmaster Taylor Yates is all smiles. A hearty beverage raised high, the sun’s rays are a cherry on top of the big news currently floating around the facility.
“For us being so new, this is a huge thing,” he said. “We’re still trying to get established. Something like this on a national level just does wonders for us. When you’re new, it really gets you that exposure and notoriety you hope for.”
With its grand opening last Friday, Balsam Falls Brewing Company becomes the third business of its kind in Sylva.
Yoga instructors have been trying to convince people for years that the exercise has amazing benefits for everyone, but still people are apprehensive about giving it a try.
• Andrews Brewing
828.321.2006 • www.andrewsbrewing.com
• Hoppy Trout Brewing Company
828.835.2111 • www.hoppytroutbrewing.com
• Mountain Layers Brewing
• Nantahala Brewing
828.488.2337 • www.nantahalabrewing.com
• BearWaters Brewing
828.246.0602 • www.bwbrewing.com
• Currahee Brewing
828.634.0078 • www.curraheebrew.com
• Lazy Hiker Brewing
828.342.5133 • www.lazyhikerbrewing.com
• Satulah Mountain Brewing
828.482.9794 • www.satulahmountainbrewing.com
• Sapphire Valley Brewing
828.743.0220 • www.sapphirebrewingcompany.com
• Balsam Falls Brewing
• Heinzelmannchen Brewery
828.631.4466 • www.yourgnometownbrewery.com
• Innovation Brewing
828.586.9678 • www.innovation-brewing.com
• Sneak E Squirrel
828.586.6440 • www.sneakesquirrel.com
• Boojum Brewing
828.944.0888 • www.boojumbrewing.com
• Frog Level Brewing
828.454.5664 • www.froglevelbrewing.com
• Tipping Point Brewing
828.246.9230 • www.tippingpointtavern.com
When I read about Wicked Weed Brewing getting bought by AB InBev (formerly Budweiser) — one of the world’s largest brewing conglomerates — my instinct was to be incensed at the decision.
For years, this newspaper has been a very vocal advocate of the homegrown, buy local movement whose roots reach deep into these mountains. As late as the 1950s there were pockets of Appalachia where people still grew, raised, hunted and made a great deal of what they needed to survive. Nowhere else in this country is the resolve to be independent from governmental authority and corporate marketers worn so easily and proudly by so many.
Stepping out of a large passenger van into the sunshine last Saturday afternoon, a group of around 10 people entered Bhramari Brewing in downtown Asheville. Once seated, an array of craft beer samples were placed in front of the group, with friendly banter swirling around the room while a brewery employee examined and explained each selection.
Welcome to the Leap Frog Tours.
Turning onto 2nd Street from the hectic U.S. 19/74 highway, you find yourself cruising through downtown Andrews. It’s Saturday afternoon, and for most small towns in America, it is no surprise the center of a community is busy.
But, for Andrews, this is a sight to behold. For a mountain town that’s been eerily quiet for many years, bordering on abandoned, the downtown is now abuzz with folks strolling the sidewalks, cars parked up and down the street. A sense of “well, hey, check this out” crosses the minds of those who used to only stop in this part of Cherokee County to refuel as a halfway point to their final destinations, which seemingly could be in any direction.
After operating in Waynesville for the past four years, BearWaters Brewing will be making a big move to downtown Canton.