Every year in late March and early April, thousands of would-be thru-hikers begin their northern journey on the Appalachian Trail.
Most will quit before they hit the North Carolina border. And the hardy few that press on will face horrendously schizophrenic weather, big mountain climbs, blisters, second thoughts, third thoughts…By the time they hit the burly 5,000- and 6,000-foot mountains of North Carolina, they need some love; a gentle nudge and a bit of encouragement. They need beer.
Hi-Wire Brewing is partnering with former thru-hiker Zach Davis to perform a beautiful act of kindness known as “Trail Magic,” where good Samaritans set up on the trail and hand out free stuff, like burgers, burritos, and beer.
Hi-Wire is supplying the beer and Davis is manning the Trail Magic station somewhere along the trail near Asheville on April 26.
I’m not sure what beer Davis will hand out—Hi-Wire’s flagship Lager would be a welcome addition to a hot mountain hike—and of course it really doesn’t matter. I’d imagine anything tastes good after you’ve hiked several hundred miles.
And I like the thoughtful effort behind this small act. I think craft breweries in our region can follow suit here. I haven’t consulted a map, but there are a lot of breweries located near the Appalachian Trail. I think it should be written into the Constitution that any Appalachian Trail thru-hiker that wanders into one of these breweries should get one, no, two free beers. And some peanuts.
And if your brewery isn’t close enough to attract straggling A.T. thru-hikers, why not send a good citizen onto the trail with a cooler of your finest like the good folks of Hi-Wire. That free beer might be just what a beaten down hiker needs to push on toward Katahdin.
Follow more of Graham’s work at Daddy-Drinks.com.