If you live next door to the most visited park unit in the country, how do you celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service? In Asheville, there is only one answer: with beer, of course. In honor of the National Park Service’s centennial year, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is teaming up with 16 Asheville-area breweries for special beer releases and fundraising events in August and September to benefit the Blue Ridge Parkway.
As a spin on the National Park System’s “Find Your Park” campaign to engage new visitors, beer fans are invited to “Find Your Pint.” Each brewery is honoring the National Park Service in an exciting way, from one-off batches named for favorite locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway to a photo contest and art show. One beer will be made with blueberries picked at Graveyard Fields and another with Centennial hops. The participants are Asheville Brewing Co., Blue Ghost Brewing, Boojum Brewing, Burial Beer, Catawba Brewing, Green Man Brewery, Highland Brewing, Hi-Wire Brewing, Innovation Brewing, Lookout Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Sweeten Creek Brewing, Twin Leaf Brewery, and Wicked Weed Brewing. Each brewery is designating a portion of sales for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
“From the first mention of celebrating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, the local beer community was so receptive and generous,” said Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward. “It’s amazing to see each brewery run with the idea to make every event unique.”
Highland Brewing was the first to sign on for the Find Your Pint series. “My family took me and my sister to Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks in the ’70s, and I’ve been hooked on our national parks ever since. Now, I live in the backyard of the Blue Ridge Parkway and it is such a treasure,” said Leah Wong Ashburn, president of Highland Brewing Company. “I see the amazing quality of work provided by the National Park Service in the stone buildings, landscaped grounds, and helpful, smiling rangers in uniform. Highland celebrates the efforts of the National Park Service and its 100th anniversary—it is part of the reason living in Asheville is so special.”
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. The booklets will be available at participating breweries and Appalachian Vintner in Asheville. Passport holders can register online to win tickets to a V.I.P. event at New Belgium Brewing. Beer fans are encouraged to use #FindYourPint in social media posts and tag the breweries and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation to spread the word.
The National Park Service was created on Aug. 25, 1916, to protect the 35 existing parks and monuments and those yet to be created. Today, the National Park Service manages 411 parks, park units, monuments, and more. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is the primary private fundraising organization of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which welcomed more than 15 million visitors in 2015. The nonprofit helps ensure cultural and historical preservation, natural resource protection, educational outreach, and visitor enjoyment now and for future generations. Since its founding in 1997, the organization has raised more than $10 million to address the needs of the Parkway thanks to its Community of Stewards. Find more information at www.brpfoundation.org.
Schedule of Events
Pisgah Brewing Company
150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain
Date: Friday, Aug. 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.www.pisgahbrewing.com
Catawba Brewing Company
32 Banks Ave. #105, Asheville
Date: Thursday, Aug. 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. www.catawbabrewing.com
Boojum Brewing Company
357 Dayton Drive, Waynesville
Date: Friday, Aug. 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. www.boojumbrewing.com
414 W. Main St., Sylva
Date: Sunday, Aug. 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.www.innovation-brewing.com
Highland Brewing Company
12 Old Charlotte Hwy., Asheville
Date: Thursday, Aug. 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 Aug. 25, $1 will be donated. A portion of proceeds for all of August will also benefit the Foundation. www.highlandbrewing.com
Twin Leaf Brewery
144 Coxe Ave., Asheville
Date: Friday, Aug. 26 – Sunday, Aug.t 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. www.twinleafbrewery.com
Blue Ghost Brewing Company
125 Underwood Road, Fletcher
Date: Saturday, Aug. 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. www.blueghostbrewing.com
New Belgium Brewing Company
21 Craven St., Asheville
Date: Thursday, Sept. 1 – Friday, Sept. 30
The Beer: Ranger IPA
The Event: Proceeds from every Ranger IPA sold during September will be donated to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. www.newbelgium.com
Burial Beer Co.
40 Collier Ave., Asheville
Date: Friday, Sept. 2, 5:30 p.m.
The Beer: A yet-to-be-revealed new brew crafted in the spirit of the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway
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. www.burialbeer.com
Sweeten Creek Brewing
1127 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville
Date: Saturday, Sept. 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. www.sweetencreekbrewing.com
Green Man Brewery
27 Buxton Ave., Asheville
Date: Friday, Sept. 9
The Beer: A yet-to-be-named brew made with berries found growing along the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Event: Green Man will donate $1 from every pint sold. www.greenmanbrewery.com
Lookout Brewing Company
103 S. Ridgeway Ave. #1, Black Mountain
Date: Saturday, Sept. 10 & Sunday, Sept. 11
The Beer: Dark Town Brown Sour
The Event: For two days, Lookout will donate $1 from each pint of Dark Town Brown Sour.
197 Hilliard Ave., Asheville
Date: Thursday, Sept. 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.www.hiwirebrewing.com
Asheville Brewing Co.
675 Merrimon Ave. and 77 Coxe Ave., Asheville
Date: Friday, Sept. 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. www.ashevillebrewing.com
Wicked Weed Brewing
91 Biltmore Ave., Asheville
Date: Saturday, Sept. 17 – Saturday, Oct. 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
100 Sierra Nevada Way, Fletcher
Date: Monday, Sept. 26 – Sunday, Oct. 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 Sept. 26 through Oct. 2. www.sierranevada.com