If the doctrine is true that craft beer and bikes are a match made in heaven, then a craft brewery with a back door that opens to a rail trail is the halo on the angel.
Maybe that’s a bit overstated.
But, that was the case when we finished a 30-miler on the High Bridge Trail State Park.
The trail is a flat, hard packed gravel surface that features a section that includes the historic High Bridge. At one point it was one of the highest and longest trestles in the world. Today it serves as the namesake and dominant feature in a linear state park that runs for 31 miles through central Virginia, and in particular – Farmville.
Farmville, because that’s home to 3rd Street Brewing Company.
The one that’s right beside the trail.
It’s just like real estate. Location. Location. Location.
3rd Street Brewing
Maybe it was the angle of the sign or whatever, but somehow when we left the parking lot on the way out, we had not noticed the brewery. Thus we had no idea upon our return to the parking area, that a cold one awaited in closer proximity than we imagined.
So we kind of stumbled onto the opportunity.
Looking up the trail and ready to be done with the ride, I saw the brewery sign and the path that literally led from the side of the trail to the door of the establishment.
Beer thirty arrived a bit early.
By the way, I have a habit of writing about Beers I have Ridden, from Virginia to Vermont and Oregon. Check it out here.
N 150 IPA
Like many rail trails, the old, stone mile markers that were used by the railroad are still there, along with more modern markers. They offer a quaint reminder to the trail’s original purpose.
And they offer up a good name for an IPA.
Mile marker N 150 stands beside the trail and just outside the brewery. Since we’re sort of celebrating the brewery’s fortunate location, this is a plus.
Realizing the connection, the crafty brewmaster named his American IPA in honor of the waypost.
As usual for me, the circumstances were as instrumental in my appreciation of the beer as say, the fruity notes or whatever.
N 150 IPA is less bitter than most of its counterparts with an IBU of only 20. The ABV is 7-percent.
Most of the beers on the list at 3rd Street skew toward the low side of the bitterness scale.
The women on our ride, my wife Mary and Gary’s wife, Barbara, both opted for the Top Down Blonde, which appealed to their non-hoppy tastes. My friend Gary Butcher opted for the Fog Light Porter. All beers received favorable reviews.
At Trail’s End
The High Bridge Trail doesn’t begin or end at Farmville, but it’s a great place to start. It offers lots of dining options, great shopping, and a fun feel. From Farmville, it’s about 16 miles to one end of the trail and 10 in the other direction. (over the High Bridge) If you park in the ample, free public parking near the trail entrance you will be located within a few hundred yards of 3rd Street Brewing.
No matter what direction you go, you’ll be able to ride right up to the side door, park your bike in one of the many custom bike racks and have a proper ending to your ride.