The Boa Beer Blog is back from Spring Break. After a 1,500-mile road trip through the heart of Appalachia — eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina — I’m home, fully recovered, and ready to post my beer travelogues.
Spring Break 2013 started on Saturday, March 23 with a road trip from Kensington, Maryland to Cosby, Tennessee, which is just east of Gatlinburg and the entrance to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We set-up in a beautiful campsite nestled between two fast-running streams in the Great Smoky Jellystone.
The next day we toured the Smokies, highlighted by a walk up to Clingmans Dome, which at 6,643 feet is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi (we drove most of the way).
On our way back through Gatlinburg, we stopped at the Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant for beer and appetizers. Beth and I shared the nine-beer sampler tray:
- Mountain Light, an American Pilsner
- Velas Helles, a light German-style Lager
- Windy Gap Wheat, a light Wheat Ale
- Cherokee Red Ale, flavorful Irish Amber Ale
- Black Bear Ale, an English-style Brown Ale
- Thunder Road Pilsner, a Bohemian Pilsner
- Appalachian Pale Ale, a hoppy Pale Ale
- Tuckaleechee Porter, a roasty dark Porter
- Capricator Bock, this spring seasonal is a strong, German-style Dark Lager
There were only a couple of stand-outs among the large menu of easy-drinking light beers, and Beth and I quickly settled on our favorites – the hoppy Appalachian Pale Ale for me and Capricator Bock for Beth. These would become our go-to brews over the three days we spent around Gatlinburg – we went to Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant three afternoons in a row! Whether we were touring Great Smoky Mountain National Park or exploring touristy Gatlinburg, we always seemed to find our way back to the Smoky Mountain Brewery for its friendly service and satisfying pub grub.