Cheers! Breweries Raise a Glass to National Park Service Centennial
By Jason Tarr
Special beer releases and fundraising events begin August 12
When many people think of Asheville, at least two things come to mind: the outdoors and the breweries. Outdoor enthusiasts and craft beer lovers have teamed up to celebrate the National Park Service's 100th anniversary in true Beer City USA-style.
In addition to “Finding Your Park” in this centennial year with traditional outdoor activities, local breweries are also encouraging you to “Find Your Pint.” Each participating brewery in the Asheville area is honoring the National Park Service in its own exciting way, including rolling out beers named for favorite spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Those specially-named beers will include Blueberry Fields Wheat Ale, made with North Carolina blueberries harvested from Graveyard Fields (Milepost 418).
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is teaming up with 17 Asheville-area breweries for special beer releases and fundraising events throughout August and September to benefit the Parkway, which welcomed 15 million visitors in 2015. Multiple entrances to the Parkway are less than a 15-minute drive from downtown Asheville.
“From the first mention of celebrating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, the local beer community was so receptive and generous,” Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward said. “It’s amazing to see each brewery run with the idea to make every event unique.”
In addition to beer releases, breweries will celebrate with other special events including art shows and photo contests. The series of events includes a passport program encouraging beer fans to visit each brewery on its event date to collect Parkway Beer Passport stickers. You can pick up a booklet at a participating brewery or at Appalachian Vintner in Asheville (745 Biltmore Avenue). Passport holders can then register online to win tickets to a V.I.P. event at New Belgium Brewing.
The Beers & Events
For a complete list of participating breweries, events and dates, please CLICK HERE.
Pisgah Brewing Company
Date: Friday, August 12, 5 p.m.
The Beer: Little Slaty Extra Pale Ale, the fifth installment of the Seven Sisters IPA series is named for the mountain range that overlooks the brewery in the Swannanoa River Valley
The Event: Pisgah will donate $1 from every pint of Little Slaty sold. Free live music with Vibe & Direct starts at 8 p.m.
Catawba Brewing Company
Date: Thursday, August 18
The Beer: Milepost 316.3 IPA, named for the spot that marks Linville Falls Overlook and the headwaters of the Catawba River
The Event: In addition to the beer release, there will be live music and a food truck. Catawba will donate $1 from each Milepost 316.3 IPA sold.
Boojum Brewing Company
Date: Friday, August 19
The Beer: Three small batch beers featuring wild blueberries, including Graveyard Fields Blueberry Coffee Porter
The Event: Boojum will donate $1 from each pint sold.
Date: Sunday, August 21
The Beer: Black Balsam Porter, named after the scenic area at milepost 420.2 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Event: In addition to the beer release, Innovation will host a show of local art focused on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Highland Brewing Company
Date: Thursday, August 25 + Nonprofit of the month
The Beer: Cranberry Ridge Wheat, named for Cranberry Ridge at milepost 452.1 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Event: For every pour on August 25, $1 will be donated. A portion of proceeds for all of August will also benefit the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
Twin Leaf Brewery
Date: Friday, August 26 - Sunday, August 28
The Beer: Ridge Rider DIPA, brewed with Centennial hops in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service
The Event: Ten percent of sales from Ridge Rider Double IPA through the weekend will be donated. Leading up to the event, beer fans are invited to enter a Blue Ridge Parkway photo contest by tagging images with #ridgerider. A winning image will be selected at the event.
Blue Ghost Brewing Company
Date: Saturday, August 27
The Beer: Blueberry Fields Wheat Ale, made with North Carolina blueberries harvested from Graveyard Fields, milepost 418
The Event: For every pint sold, $1 will be donated until the two-barrel batch is gone.
New Belgium Brewing Company
Date: Thursday, September 1 - Friday, September 30
The Beer: Ranger IPA
The Event: Proceeds from every Ranger IPA sold during September will be donated to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
Burial Beer Co.
Date: Friday, September 2, 5:30 p.m.
The Beer: Triumph of Death Sumac Saison, which features locally grown sumac, a plant native to the Appalachian area
The Event: Head brewer Tim Gormley will speak about the exclusive, one-off beer and Burial’s new facility and its connection to the history of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Burial will donate $1 from each pint until the 10-barrel batch is gone.
Sweeten Creek Brewing
Date: Saturday, September 3
The Beer: Busbee Black IPA, named for the mountain which cradles the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mountains to Sea Trail and harbors the headwaters of Sweeten Creek
The Event: Sweeten Creek will donate $1 from every Busbee Black IPA sold.
Green Man Brewery
Date: Friday, September 9
The Beer: Native Berry Berliner Weiss, a kettle sour brewed with Pilsner malt, wheat, lactobacillus and several berry varieties that can be found along the Parkway
The Event: Green Man will donate $1 from every pint sold.
Lookout Brewing Company
Date: Saturday, September 10 & Sunday, September 11
The Beer: Dark Town Brown Sour
The Event: For two days, Lookout will donate $1 from each pint of Dark Town Brown Sour.
Date: Thursday, September 15
The Beer: All beers on tap
The Event: During its weekly nonprofit night, Hi-Wire Brewing will donate 15 percent of the evening’s proceeds.
Asheville Brewing Co.
Date: Friday, September 16, 5 p.m.
The Beer: Blue Ridge Blueberry Breakfast Pale Ale
The Event: The draft release will go on simultaneously at both Asheville locations, and $1 from the sale of each pint of Blue Ridge Blueberry Breakfast Pale Ale will be donated until the batch is gone.
Wicked Weed Brewing
Date: Saturday, September 17 – Saturday, October 1
The Beer: A yet-to-be-announced, one-of-a-kind beer
The Event: Wicked Weed will donate $1 from every pint of the special release beer sold.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Date: Monday, September 26 - Sunday, October 2
The Beer: Blue Ridge Red, a hoppy red ale brewed with local honey
The Event: Sierra Nevada will donate $1 from every pint of Blue Ridge Red sold from September 26 through October 2.