Trail of Beers by Sarah Blair

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Adventure is something my husband and I love to seek. There is just something so satisfying about being out in nature and then celebrating over a fresh craft brew afterwards. It is never boring out in nature. There is always something to catch our amazement. Now for the hubby, they do not call him The Ginger Hiker (@thegingerhiker) for no reason. He is definitely more with nature than I am. But I make up for that by being one with my ales. (hahaha)

With all of the shutdowns this spring he and I found ourselves discovering many local wonders throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Now that our favorite hangouts are reopening it is nice to be able to celebrate with a brew after our climbs.

Not every paradise is tropical. There is so much to see right here at home. We were gushing with joy and in awe of the beautiful White Mountains last week. New Hampshire will always be our home. Right now is a great time to get to know the good ole outdoors. While we were up in the mountains we took advantage of this full heartedly. As we normally do COVID or not. {{more}}

Now, you might be like me and not an avid hiker or perhaps you are more like my Giner Hiker and enjoy backpacking it. Either way I have a list of great spots for you all to check out. These will pair nicely with some really awesome breweries nearby. Not to mention the cool places you can find like the Silver Cascade, a 250 ft roadside waterfall in Crawford Notch New Hampshire.

The state of New Hampshire has forty eight 4,000 footer mountains. Most of these are located in the White Mountains. This is why we love it there so much. The White Mountains are also a part of the Appalachian trail and home to the largest mountain on the east coast. Mount Washington. As craft beer has become increasingly more popular the area has seen many breweries emerge. Now I am not slamming any of my city brewers, but I won’t lie I am a bit biased. I love my country breweries. There is something to be said about a small town brewer. That’s why I started Country Brew Tours to begin with. There is nothing like sipping on your craft brew with a mountain, lake or farm view. You get the picture. Some of my brewing friends of course do not have these views but they have their own charm I assure you. The downfall about my country brewers is that they are not exactly next to one another. That is what makes the tour so great, but it is also what makes operations a little more challenging through these tough times. So instead I thought I would share with you all this trail of beers for you to try while being active, checking out amazing sites and of course socially distancing. In high traffic trail areas and of course the breweries I do recommend wearing your mask. I am not telling you what to do. Just recommending it. Although most of the brewing locations will require that you have a mask while at their establishment. I also recommend that you check out the app/web site called ALLTRAILS. It’s great it will give you the most accurate directions for the trails. It includes length, timing and altitude. Also it will inform you if the tail is easy or difficult. If you are more like me, easy is where I am at. While the hubby loves a good challenge.

There are three great byways to take when you are up in the White Mountains. You have 93 which cuts through and you can find places like the Franconia Notch, the Basin and of course it is where the Old Man in the Mountain once stood. Then you have Route 302 this is going to take you up and round Mt. Washington and more. Both 93 and 302 you can connect to the famous Kancamagus highway. No matter your direction there are Mountains that surround. Waterfalls to chase and beers to swig. Awe perfection. Now we like to head up 93, cross over to 302, hit the Kancamagus and then head back down 93 to our condo. It’s a lot I know but as I told you we love adventure.

Now if you are going up 93 you are going to find the Franconia Ridge. Last fall my husband back packed this trail. He found amazing places like 13 falls there. If you are not into the back pack life no worries. You can hike the three mountains that make up this ridge individually. Once you are done with the Ridge trail celebrate with a craft brew from Schilling Beer Co. They are about 15 minutes north of the trail head. Enjoy the small town charm and the sound of the rushing water behind you as you sip on your brews. Feeling a bit famished, grab a bite.

Next stop is Rek-lis Brewing Co. Just 12 minutes away from Schilling off of route 302. This brewery is normally jamming out tunes and cranking out the brews. It’s a great place to stop in and grab a bite before you head along 302 scenic byway. From here it is a short drive to the pull off at Omni Mount Washington Resort. Where you can see Mt. Washington. You can also find the train that travels up Mount Washington along this road. Same with the road to drive up the mountain yourself. But you can also find cool places like Silver Cascade falls and a number of Mountains to climb other than Mt. Washington. Such Crawford Notch State Park.

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder

-Krinky Friedman

Now there are a couple of ways you can get on the Kangamangus highway from route 302. One will cut out about half of the Kangamangus while if you travel to the start of it you will drive by places like Diana’s bath. Along the Kangamangus is a world of hiking trails, swimming pull off and scenic views. But at the end of the Kangamangus is where you are going to find the best watering holes… The Breweries that is. Waiting for you at the end of the highway is The Woodstock Inn and Brewery. They have converted their outdoor space to accommodate more seating. Same with just down the street is One Love Brewery. Both are great locations with their own charm. One love has hops growing all along their outdoor space with views of the mountains. While Woodstock has made their own oasi with large shade trees, the small town and the end of the Kancamagus right at their front door.

It doesn’t matter where you go in the White Mountains you are surely going to find beauty and beer. So gather up your gear and get ready to try our trail of beer. Ryan and I hope that you enjoy this adventure as much as we do. Every year we make it a point to travel this beercation. We are sad that this year we were not able to offer it to you all. It is our hope that we will soon once again be up and running Country Brew Tours. Until that time. We hope you enjoy some of our favorite places both near and far.

Thanks, friends. Remember to support the locals. If you are looking for some cool hiking spots follow the Ginger Hiker on Facebook and Instagram.

Till next time. Cheers!

Sarah E. Blair

Like what Sarah writes about? Check out her company, Country Brew Tours!

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