Earning my beer: The trek up Thunder Ridge is sort of personal. As I wrote in a previous blog, the 12-mile climb up the mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway kicked my butt the first time I tried it. There was a good reason, but it was the biggest bonk of my life. The next year, I fared better and finished the ride as I expected. This year (2018) I returned and again rode up the mountain and felt just fine. In all three rides, we completed the loop (which you can see on my Strava account. Please follow me!) to make it a 48-mile journey.
The Beer: Beale’s Red IPA
The 2018 ride landed on Mother’s Day, so the beer stop had to be a bit better than usual, and for various reasons needed to include lunch. So we stopped on the way home at Beale’s Brewery, which is also a restaurant.
What a cool place!
From the buffalo head over the substantial bar to the massive map that suggests the general area of the missing Beale’s Treasure – the place had an aura that was just more substantial than some of the other breweries that have popped up around the region. Of course, aura or not, it comes down to the beer.
I chose the Beale’s Red IPA.
The brewery data says it is 6.7% ABV with a 75 IBU. The brewer defines this as a “West Coast” IPA. The website cleverly defines the taste as follows:
“Sweet Beginning. Bitter finish. Tragic in life. Great in Beer.”
I honestly didn’t find the beer as bitter as the 75 IBU would suggest. In fact, I would say it is less bitter than many IPA’S. It was smooth and just hoppy enough. The kind of IPA that might attract the lager crowd who haven’t bought into the whole bitter thing yet.
After the climb up Thunder Ridge and the rest of the ride to the Peaks of Otter, down route 43 and eventually back to the Sedalia Center, I was ready for it. Sitting there with a plate of loaded nachos and a barbeque sandwich – the Red was all the treasure I needed.
Itryto find a new beer after every substantial bike ride, Click here to see other Beers I have Ridden.