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Beer Trails: Combining Scenery and Suds in the South

first_imgThe Southern Appalachians have their share of trails: bike trails, hiking trails, paddle trails—and now,  thanks to the craft brewery boom, beer trails. Explore multiple breweries and find quick access to the South’s best adventure. Here are six beer trails worthy of your precious weekends.Brew Ridge TrailVirginia—35 miles Nelson County is the epicenter of Virginia’s first craft beer boom, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Starr Hill, Blue Mountain and Devils Backbone. Brewing has grown in the county, and now you can link up almost half a dozen breweries via a scenic mountain ramble. The hiking isn’t too bad, either.South Street BreweryKick the trip off in downtown Charlottesville and order the easy drinking Satan’s Pony, a malt-driven amber ale. southstreetbrewery.comStarr HillPay homage to Virginia’s first craft brewery in Crozet. Starr Hill has revamped some of their classic beers and introduced outstanding new IPAs. Jump on their imperial IPA, King of Hop, which is loaded with citrus. starrhill.com Blue Mountain BreweryBlue Mountain helped pioneer the new wave of hop farming in Virginia, and you can see the fruits of their labor at their Afton brewery, which houses two expansive hop fields. Full Nelson is a solid pale, but try to get your hands on Blue Reserve, which uses only home-grown Cascade hops. bluemountainbrewery.com **Burn CaloriesDetour onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and climb Humpback Rocks, a fin of rock with killer views that come after 800 feet of climbing in one mile.Wild Wolf Brewing CompanyWild Wolf’s backyard is ridiculous—a white-fenced beer garden set amongst the hardwoods—and it’s the perfect road trip distraction. Order the Blonde Hunny, an unfiltered wheat beer, and bring your appetite—Wild Wolf runs a farm to fork restaurant that gets most of their ingredients within 30 miles. wildwolfbeer.com Devils Backbone Brewing CompanyDevils Backbone has grown significantly (they’re actually owned by Anheuser Busch now), but their Basecamp campus in Roseland still has adventure-hub charm. DB Brewing made a name for themselves with their Vienna Lager, and it’s still a solid option, but consider their Gold Leaf lager for something a bit more crisp and sessionable. dbbrewingcompany.comThe Beerwerks TrailVirginia—80 milesThe only problem with the Shenandoah Valley? There’s so much to take in, it can be hard to focus. You have the Shenandoah River running through the heart of the pastoral valley, which is framed by the rugged peaks of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, as well as Shenandoah National Park. You’ve got the A.T., the best mountain biking in Virginia, paddling, road cycling…and now beer. A dozen breweries are scattered along the valley’s new Beerwerks Trail. We’ve picked a few highlights to help you focus. beerwerkstrail.com Great Valley Farm BreweryGreat Valley Farm Brewery is a small farm brewery located on 27 acres in the Natural Bridge area. We specialize in producing beers in the Belgian farmhouse tradition using many ingredients from our farm, as well as other local farms. Please stop by to enjoy a beer and the scenic views of the southern Shenandoah Valley. http://greatvalleyfarmbrewery.com/Stable Craft BrewingYou have five breweries to choose from between Waynesboro and Staunton. We say hit Seven Arrows Brewing (sevenarrowsbrewing.com) on your way to Stable Craft, just outside of Waynesboro, which operates a working hop and horse farm on the site of the brewery. Get one of their IPAs and have it poured through their Randall, which infuses the beer with a different fruit or herb each day. stablecraftbrewing.com**Burn CaloriesHead into Shenandoah National Park and tackle the road climb on the southern end of Skyline Drive that gains more than 1,000 feet in 10 miles on its way to the top of Loft Mountain. nps.gov/shenHarrisonburg, VirginiaThis small college town has become a hotbed of beer, so prepare for a quick walking tour that takes in four breweries. Brothers Craft Brewing, on the north end of town, is in an old Coca-Cola plant (order their pale ale, called The Great Outdoors; brotherscraftbrewing.com). Then hit Restless Moons (get the Negative Externalities IPA if it’s on tap), Three Notch’d (Jack’s Java Espresso Stout for a kick; threenotchdbrewing.com) and finish at Pale Fire, where you’ll order the medal winning Salad Days Saison.**Burn CaloriesGet a trail pass from Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition and knock out a couple of dirty loops on Massanutten’s rugged Western Slope, just outside of downtown. svbcoalition.orgThe High Country Beer TrailNorth Carolina—40 milesYou could knock out every brewery on this High Country route in a day if you were ambitious, but you’d be missing the entire point of this trip. While the beer is good in the High Country, the adventure is better. Along this 40 mile trail that connects four breweries, you have either lift-served mountain biking or downhill skiing depending on the season, a legit peak scramble, some of the best road biking in the country, and even a bit of bouldering if you’re game.Blind Squirrel Brewing CompanyLocated in a lodge in sleepy Plumtree, Blind Squirrel has been knocking out solid beers quietly since 2012. Show up on Saturday and you can take a tour of the brewery. Order the Nut Brown Ale. Because it’s a squirrel brewery. Bonus: There’s a zipline course and disc golf course on site. blindsquirrelbrewery.comFlat Top BrewingMake a pit stop in Banner Elk for shuffleboard and a pint of Rollcast, a super crisp and refreshing Kolsch. flattopbrewing.com**Burn CaloriesHead to Grandfather Mountain State Park for a five-mile hike/rock scramble along the Grandfather Trail to Calloway Peak. Or knock out a 20+ mile road ride that combines a choice piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway (crossing the Lynn Cove Viaduct) and US 221.Lost Province BreweryGet an education in hops at this young brewery in downtown Boone by ordering the Lost Province IPA side by side with the Lost Province Mosaic IPA. You’ll see what the addition of specific hop strains can do for a beer. lostprovince.comAppalachian Mountain BreweryAMB might be on the outskirts of town, but it’s the center of craft brewing in the High Country. Order anything—it’s all good—but we’re partial to Long Leaf IPA. appalachianmountainbrewery.comBooneshine BrewingLess than a mile from AMB, Booneshine is a tiny brewery without its own taproom. You can watch the gang make beer through the window, then step next door to Basil’s for a sample at their bar. Get a flight, or go with the Sencha Saison, a Belgian farmhouse-style beer brewed with ginger and green tea. booneshine.beer**Burn CaloriesRocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, in Boone, has several miles of cross country trails built for progression so you can work on your tabletops, skinnies and drops. rockyknob.wordpress.comBlue Ridge Beerway—Virginia70 miles Roanoke is rapidly becoming Virginia’s hub of good beer, and Deschutes choosing the city for its East Coast expansion brewery helps solidify the city’s reputation. But there’s no need to wait until Deschutes opens its doors to enjoy the hop-bounty of the area. The new Blue Ridge Beerway connects five independent breweries operating in and around Star City.Sunken City Brewing CompanyNamed after the city that sits 300 feet below the surface of Smith Mountain Lake, Sunken City is a small, 25-barrel brewpub with a killer taproom and beer garden near the shore of the lake. Order the Dam Lager, a malt-driven amber lager. sunkencitybeer.com**Burn CaloriesPaddle a piece of Smith Mountain Lake’s 500 miles of shoreline. Bridgewater Marina has paddle boards ($60 a day; bwmarina.com).Chaos Mountain Brewing CompanyA rotating list of food trucks, live music and the occasional cornhole tournament makes Chaos Mountain a lively pit stop. You’re ordering the Squatch Ale, a malty Scotch ale with plenty of caramel goodness. chaosmountainbrewing.comSoaring Ridge Craft BrewersDowntown Roanoke’s first craft brewery has become a community center thanks to regular yoga classes, game nights and family fun days (with bounce houses and climbing walls!). Order the Virginia Creeper Pale Ale for the perfect balance of malty sweetness and hop bitterness. soaringridge.com Big Lick Brewing CompanyYou can walk from Soaring Ridge to Big Lick, a nano-brewery that manages to put out an impressively diverse lineup, many of which are named after local personalities. Try the Jack Taylor’s House Party, an amber ale named after a morning talk radio show host. biglickbrewingco.com**Burn CaloriesExplore Park, on the edge of downtown, offers 1,100-acres and 14 miles of mountain biking and trail running (explorepark.org). Or head to Mill Mountain for a mix of greenways and purpose-built singletrack overlooking downtown (playroanoke.com).Flying Mouse BreweryHead out of town and into the mountains for the Flying Mouse, a brewery that’s within walking distance of the Appalachian Trail and directly on the TransAmerica 76 Bicycle Route. With the tagline “Life’s an adventure, drink accordingly,” I think you should order a flight and see which of the four flagship beers you like best. flyingmousebrewery.com**Burn CaloriesHead straight for the A.T.’s McAfee Knob, and the best Instagram post of your week is nearby.Brewly Noted Beer TrailTennessee + Virginia, 48 miles While Tennessee was a bit slow to the craft beer game, the state has been catching up at breakneck speeds, particularly in East Tennessee, where the Tri-Cities of Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol have become a beer hub. The Brewly Noted Beer Trail links several craft breweries together while passing some of East Tennessee’s most underrated hiking and mountain biking.Johnson City Brewing CompanyStart in the very hip downtown of Johnson City. With a little luck, you’ll have the chance to try JCBC’s Community Brew, which uses hops gathered from customers. johnsoncitybrewing.comYee-Haw Brewing CompanyHit Yee-Haw, in the renovated Tweetsie Train Depot, for an Eighty Shilling Scottish Ale, which is all malty goodness in a sessionable 5% ABV. yeehawbrewing.com**Burn CaloriesHead south of town and climb a three-mile loop on Buffalo Mountain, which includes the White Rock Trail, where mountaintop cliff outcroppings provide big views to the east.Sleepy Owl BreweryCruise through downtown Kingsport for a stop at Sleepy Owl, which got its start through a successful Kickstarter campaign. You’ll find a bunch of different IPAs on tap, but go with the slightly sweet Honey Ale if it’s available. sleepyowlbrewery.com**Burn CaloriesExplore an eight-mile loop in Warriors’ Path State Park, where singletrack cruises along the shores of Fort Patrick Henry Lake. Watch for the rocky downhill on Boneyard.Bristol, Tennessee/ VirginiaYou’re gonna stroll into Virginia on this two-stop walking tour of small town beer. Grab a Mex-I-Can Backfire, an easy drinking Mexican-style lager, at Studio Brew. And buy your designated driver one of Studio’s homemade Big E’Z’ Root Beers (studiobrew.beer). Wander over to the one-year-old Bristol Brewing, in the historic bus station, and order the Red Neck Amber. Because it’s called “Red Neck Amber.”LoCo Ale TrailVirginia—30 miles (by bike)Loudoun County is best known as Virginia’s wine country, but the area now has 17 breweries churning out beer in the midst of rolling farms. While it might be tempting (and a bit dangerous) to hit all 17 breweries in a single trip, we recommend you focus your efforts by grabbing a bike and knocking out a handful of breweries along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, which runs from D.C. to Purcellville. A 30-mile one-way ride on the trail will run you by half a dozen breweries. Here are the highlights.Beltway Brewing CompanyBeltway was built to be a contract brewery, producing beers for breweries all over the region. Their small taproom is a showcase for the beers brewed on the premises, so you never know what you’ll get, but the diversity is usually impressive. beltwaybrewco.com Old Ox BreweryLocated at mile 25 on the W&OD, Old Ox is a cyclist’s retreat known for impromptu cornhole tournaments. Order the Black Ox, a rye porter that balances the roast character of the porter with the spice of the rye-heavy malt bill. oldoxbrewery.com Leesburg, VirginiaYou can knock out two breweries within a couple of blocks of each other at the halfway point. Crooked Run is a low-key nano-brewery with five rotating taps. Look for their Jake o’ Lantern, a spiced butternut squash ale, in the fall (crookedrunbrewing.com). Stroll over to Loudon Brewing Company for a pint of their flagship Loud and Brewing, which is all about the Cascade and Chinook hops (loudonbrewing.com), on their shady deck.Belly Love BrewingOn Purcellville’s Main Street, and near the end of the W&OD, Belly Love has a fairly swanky taproom with solid pub fare. Order the Narcissist, a malt-forward but still crisp lager (bellylovebrewing.com). Bonus: If you still have legs, you can tack on two more breweries in Purcellville—Corcoran Brewing and Adroit Theory.last_img read more

Rate hikes provide unique sales opportunity for credit unions

first_img 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In the webinar, Solving the ‘Buy’ Problem for Digital Sales of Financial Products, Forrester Research shared that life events are the #1 trigger of bank sales opportunities, and that the impending Fed interest rate increase may represent one of the most significant events in a decade. As Chris Nichols, Chief Strategy Officer at Centerstate Bank stated in a recent blog post:“Rate changes are a huge sales event trigger and are not used enough in banking. Any time rates do, or are poised to move up or down, that event can prompt a customer to move cash, increase debt levels, or refinance.”The question is – is your organization ready? And what does ‘ready’ really mean?Despite not needing the plan for several years, most banks and credit unions probably already have an action plan in place to adjust interest rates and communicate the impact to your customer base. You probably also have the content for your website ready to go. But are you ready to capitalize on the new product sales opportunities that may be available?Your historical data on new account openings, loan origination and card issuing can be the foundation of developing a proactive, highly personalized sales strategy. Simply correlate these customer and member activities with previous interest rate changes. continue reading »last_img read more

Irfan Pathan paves way for life to return to normalcy for J&K cricketers

first_imgKolkata: The boys from Jammu & Kashmir are sweating it out at the Moti Bagh ground in Baroda as they prepare for the upcoming domestic season of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Till a couple of days back, they weren’t even sure what the future had planned for them. After all, it wasn’t any normal time in the life of these cricketers from the Valley.The abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian government and the advisory before that saw the boys being asked to leave the state. There was a month of inactivity from early August till the start of September when the players did not have a place to stay. It was then that mentor Irfan Pathan spoke to officials of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, including CEO Ashiq Ali Bukhari and planned to give advertisements on television which drew the Kashmiri players to report to the JKCA office in Jammu.”The plan worked after we put out the advertisement in late August. Then we decided to bring them to Baroda and hold a camp before the Vijay Hazare Trophy,” Irfan told IANS.Due to the curfew in many parts of the valley after the state got special status, the players could not be contacted and it was then that Bukhari and administrator C.K. Prasad finally met in Delhi to create a solution.The camp has been underway from August 6 at Baroda under the watchful eyes of Irfan but to come this far, it was nothing short of a struggle. First, the JKCA had to stay away from the Vizzy Trophy after it failed to connect with the players due to a communication breakdown in the valley.”We had started the camp in mid-June and we had made good progress. When the camp got called off in early August, it was time for the matches and training. We know that we are running behind time but we needed to find a way to make sure boys stay in a good frame of mind to play a certain level of cricket,” Irfan said highlighting the problem they faced in the lead up to the Vijay Hazare Trophy which begins on September 24.There is only one ground in Jammu and it became impossible to practice there as other age-group players also needed to train. Usually, the team trains in Srinagar till early November and then shifts to Jammu during winters.”It is not an ideal situation. We are slightly under-prepared but we will try our best,” Irfan said after the boys — 26 of them led by captain and India international Parvez Rasool, trained for the first time in Baroda.It was a five-hour-long session with a lunch break in between but the highlight was a bonding session as Irfan stressed there will be a lot of fun games done to keep their mental health in the right space.”When I met them, they did look rusty due to lack of training. But in the next couple of weeks they will pick up hopefully,” said Irfan, who has been doing a lot of personal talk with each of the players to keep them in the zone.With preparations not being ideal, Irfan, who has played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is for India — and won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, said the aim is to take one day at a time and ensure the boys perform to the best of their abilities. IANS Also Read: Would Love to Coach England One Day: Andrew FlintoffAlso Watch:Digboi MLA Suren Phukan inaugurates houses under PM Awas Yojana- Graminlast_img read more