Within the past twenty or so years Americans discovered just how much we love beer, and not just any beer but craft beer. A craving has really been developed for local, unique brews all across the states. With ingredients not commonly found in beer such as cocoa, cinnamon, fruit, vegetables, and many other flavorful spices it’s safe to say there really is a taste for everyone. Because there are so many ways to prepare and brew beer, one brew master’s beer will never taste like the others, meaning the flavor of any two IPA’s, stouts or any beer will be different. Brew masters all over the country jumped on the growing trend and the golden age of craft beer was born.
It’s easy to find a local brewery near you, but many people are now taking the local tasting to another level. Beer trails have popped up across the nation, each one unique to its own region. The Appalachian region of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia have a one of a kind beer trail. The Brewly Noted Beer Trail is the first and only multi-state beer trail; but don’t be surprised when others start forming up, an idea like this will spread quickly. The region of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia are so close, not only in distance but culturally as well, that linking up the local breweries only made sense.
Eight breweries are located in Kingsport, Johnson City, Jonesborough and both sides of the state line of Bristol. All eight have collaborated to create benefits for their breweries and a one-of-a-kind experience for the craft beer lover. The brew experts who put the trail together recommend new craft beer drinkers start at Depot Street Brewing, the oldest brewery on the trail, in Jonesborough. Their Loose Caboose lager is a smooth taste that will ignite anyone’s thirst for craft beer. From there, the trail is wide open!
It is easy to find yourself “bird watching” at Sleepy Owl in Kingsport while enjoying a summer brew. Afterwards float up the river to Holston River Brewing Company in Bristol to enjoy one of their ales or their famous Vanilla Cream Stout. Step over the line, the state line that is, and visit Studio Brew in Bristol, Va. Studio Brew is the home of artisan craft beers and they have some insanely delicious food for pairing. Head on over to Johnson City for a screaming good time at Yee-Haw Brewing Company. About fun and balance, Yee-Haw provides a mix of the finest ales and lagers that are bold and flavorful but sill easy to drink. While downtown, walk on over to JRH Brewing for a family and pet friendly environment that’s perfect for enjoying craft beer. Last but not least is a brewery so good, it’s named after the city itself; Johnson City Brewing Company was founded by a group of home brewers. With a mix of traditionals and seasonals, Johnson City Brewing Company is not one to miss.
The name of the trail comes from the area’s rich musical history and really, what compliments local tunes better than local beer? If the eight breweries aren’t enough, the Brewly Noted Beer Trail also encompasses four major regional events. Thirsty Orange, Racks by the Tracks, Blue Hops Brew Haha and Oktoberfest are huge beer festivals that take place in April, May, June and October in different cities in the region. These one day events attract about 10,000 people from all over the nation and beers from hundreds of miles away. Each brewery has many of their own brews at these events.
When you find yourself in the are and in the mood for some craft beer, take a day and visit the Brewly Noted Beer Trail. Not only will you taste unique flavors specific to the Appalachian region, but you will also have plenty of time to make friends with locals, learn cultural stories and find out all about the music that made the area so famous. Now Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia are becoming famous for something else, deliciously uncommon beers and brews.