There’s nothing better after a long day of outdoor exploring than sitting down to a beer just as bold.
The Mountain State has always been a world-class outdoor playground, but with its brew culture hitting a boom, now you can pair your wild fun with wild flavor.
Here’s where to head to enjoy both adventures and adventurous brews:
The jagged outcropping at Seneca Rocks is the only “true peak” on the East Coast, meaning you can only reach the pinnacle by climbing. Become one of the few to top this natural wonder, or just hike the trail right up to the edge for a better look. The nearby via ferrata offers a lower-key hike-climb combo, with steel rungs for better footing up the cliffsides.
Drink: Stumptown Ales
The bitter bite that’s been leading the craft wave on the west coast crashes into the east at Stumptown. Their hop-heavy crafts are layered with earthy notes. A favorite is the Holy Citra! Double IPA, with tropical pineapple flavor from the unique hop selection. On special weekends at the brewpub, kick up the piney taste with a garden-fresh hop garnish.
Trip Tip: These tiny, hip towns have more to offer. Try their 2 other craft breweries: Blackwater Brewing Company and Mountain State Brewing Company. End the evening with live music at The Purple Fiddle.
This region’s underground is a new frontier. You can easily trek through Lost World Caverns on foot, but it’s more fun to crawl around on a wild cave tour. If passages like the “birth canal” offer any insight, it’s a much more rugged trek.
Drink: Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company
GVBC‘s “Wild and Wonderful series,” is an ever-changing lineup of creative crafts. And those aren’t their only offbeat beers. Their Mothman is one of few truly well-balanced black IPA: its roasted malts are smooth and dark, but punctuated perfectly by floral and citrus.
NEW RIVER GORGE
Take in the views while the mountains are ablaze with fall color. The ridgeline route Endless Wall was named the #1 National Park Hike in the country by USA Today, with an amazing vantage point above of the canyon. Another jaw-dropping vista awaits atop Long Point Trail, overlooking the New River Gorge Bridge. Both trails link up to hundreds more miles of wilderness hikes.
Drink: Bridge Brew Works
Long Point Lager is the ideal choice after a Long Point trek. But for some truly adventurous tasting, follow the flavor to its source at Bridge Brew’s tasting room. These artisanal brewers like to mix it up. You can never be too sure what will be on tap, or what recipes they’re playing with. But they’re always brewing up some creative taste— or at least aging one in a bourbon barrel!
Trip tip: Plan to return next fall for the world-famous Gauley River whitewater, plus Bridge Brew’s 3 Rivers Tripel, an homage to the region’s 3 National Park rivers.
More brewmasters in West Virginia are tinkering with their recipes. To taste all their newest trials, explore the West Virginia Craft Beer Trails: