Fact: A new brewery opens every day in North Carolina.
Fact: Some of them are in crappy locations. Like in strip malls in towns that are flat with nothing to do but go to strip malls. Not the case with Appalachian Mountain Brewery, which sits on the edge of Boone within a few miles of a handful of ski resorts, the state’s only lift served mountain biking, life-changing road cycling (see Lance’s biography), bouldering, rock climbing…you get the idea. It’s hard to imagine a better place to open a brewery. And I applaud AMB for following the three rules of business real estate: Location, location, sell beer.
I stumbled across AMB during a bike trip to the High Country (see the August BRO issue) in the same manner a thirsty adventurer stumbles across an oasis in the desert. The High Country is a lovely place, but it’s been surprisingly short on local craft beer—a fact that’s always bugged me. Appalachian fills that void, and fills it with style. The brewery took over an old industrial space about a mile from App State and has been adopted by college kids and locals alike in the few short months it’s been open. Show up on a weekend afternoon, and folks spill out of the tasting room’s open bay doors and onto the gravel backyard, where there’s probably a food truck dishing something good. Wood slats line the walls and ceilings, and a cluster of handmade walking sticks adorn the wall behind the bar (the owner carves them and donates them to disabled veterans). There’s a strong green vibe at the brewery—they’re working to restore the stream behind their brewery and have a solid “pints for non-profits” program, where a portion of proceeds from each beer go to a specific local organization. Order the stout, and Appalachian Voices gets a cut. Get the IPA and Blue Ridge Conservancy sees some love…
And then there’s the beer itself, which is beyond good. They have the standard hopped up IPA’s that everyone loves, but also more subtle styles like the Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale, and a killer Kolsch that’s the perfect post-ride compliment. Boone just got a little bit better. appalachianmountainbrewery.com
Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.com