Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Southern Appalachian Beer Guide

After a long day on the trail, some/lots/most/all hikers like to kick back with a nice cold beer, preferably a craft or microbrew. Not only does it relax tired muscles, but it helps to replace some of those calories we lost huffing and puffing up and down mountains all day. Hey, beer is food!

The good people over at Blue Ridge Outdoors recently developed the Southern Appalachian Beer Guide to point us in the right direction after we step off the trail. The guide provides the low-down on eight breweries in the Southern Appalachians where hikers can prop their aching feet and imbibe with a couple of cold ones. The guide even gives some of the “inside baseball” on what beers to try in each of the selected breweries.

Two of the breweries might be familiar to people living in the Smoky Mountains region. Both are in the Asheville area: Highland Brewing Company and Pisgah Brewing Company.

Conspicuously, the Smoky Mountain Brewery out of Gatlinburg didn’t make the list.

You can click here for the full article.

The same magazine published a separate article about a network of breweries in the Charlottesville, VA area that have created the new Brew Ridge Trail. I’ve heard of wine trails as well as the bourbon trail in Kentucky, but this is the first beer trail I’ve ever heard about. Hopefully this will encourage other regions of the country to follow suit.

By the way, you gotta love the title of this article: Thru-Drinking the Brew Ridge Trail. By the way, the article does encourage people to grab a designated driver when taking this tour.

More beer news: Researchers at Granada University in Spain have come across a discovery that will undoubtedly please hikers and athletes of all stripes - a pint of beer post-workout is "slightly better" at rehydrating the human body than water.

Researchers made the finding after tests were conducted on 25 students over several months. They believe that the sugars, salts, and bubbles in beer may help people absorb fluids more quickly. They also believe that the carbon dioxide in beer helps to quench thirst more quickly, and that beer's carbohydrates replace calories lost during physical exertion.

Based on the results of the study, researchers recommend moderate consumption of beer as a part of an athletes' diets. "Moderate consumption" for men is roughly a pint per day, and for women is about a half-pint per day.

I'm sure the Southern Appalachian Beer Guide will become quite handy for many more hikers now.

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Vicky said...

Awesome article! Definitely made me smile-- and I'm not a drinker!

Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Thanks, Vicky!