East Bound and Down: Beers + Bikes = Oskar Blues

Feb 5, 2015
by Brice Shirbach  
East Bound and Down Header
East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
Oskar Blues' mantra is plainly visible as you head up towards the taproom from the brewery floor.

Beers and bikes. Bikes and beers. The two worlds come together through a variety of circumstances; midway through a ride, in the parking lot after a race, on a lift, wrenching with friends, at local bike shops around the world, or even while editing photos and writing stories about bikes...and beer. There are certainly those who choose not to make the consumption of these malty brews a part of their lifestyle, as well as those not yet old enough to make it a choice. But for many, mountain biking and beer wouldn't be the same without the other's company.

Perhaps no other company understands this connection better than Oskar Blues Brewery. Founded as a brewpub by Dale Katechis 18 years ago in Lyons, Colorado, the company famous for its craft beer in a can approach has deep roots in mountain biking. So deep, in fact, that mountain biking has affected the direction of the brand and has influenced many of the logistical decisions made by Dale and his management team over the years. One such example was the decision to open up their second brewery location in Brevard, North Carolina, a place that 25 years ago proved to be the provenance of Dale's lifelong obsession with riding bikes in the woods.

From Oskar Blues was born REEB, a selection of hand built, American mountain bikes from their Cyclhops Bike Cantina in Colorado. Oskar Blues was also the official beer sponsor for the 2014 Windham World Cup event. Their beers can be found at numerous events and races throughout the country, including their own Wednesday night rides that start and end at their brewery located at the mouth of Pisgah National Forest. This year, you'll even find them on the helmet of one of the world's fastest riders, Neko Mulally. Neko's home in Brevard is a mere 3 minute pedal to the brewery, making this hometown connection a natural fit and one that both are looking forward to in the upcoming season.

Pinkbike was recently granted the opportunity to tour their facilities in Brevard and speak with a few key members of the company to discuss their brewing philosophy, their obsession with bikes and the intrinsic connection between the two worlds. The mountain bike community will certainly be seeing more of them this year than ever before, so kick back, crack the can open and learn a bit more about Oskar Blues.


East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes.



East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
Throughout the brewery you'll find subtle...
East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes.
...and not-so-subtle signs of their passion for mountain biking.


Anne-Fitten Glenn, Marketing/Beer Communicatrix

What exactly is a craft brewery?

The brewers association has a definition that they change pretty regularly. The basics of it are traditional methods under 6 millions barrels. No one is even close to that. I think that the closest craft brewery to those numbers are Boston Brewing (Sam Adams) and they’re at around 2 million or so. Sierra Nevada was number 2 at a million and New Belgium was number 3 at 875 thousand. (Note: Oskar Blues packaged 149,000 barrels in 2014 to 36 different states and Washington, DC. As of late January of 2015, they are distributing to 41 states plus DC). The production number has been set pretty high. It’s small, traditional methods and a significant portion of the business must be independently owned.
In my mind, it’s really about quality. We work really hard to make a high quality food item. It’s not about the alcoholic content, it’s about the ingredients and the control. We want to make sure our product is consistently good. We make sure that all of our craft beer is shipped in refrigerated trucks because it degrades faster as the temp rises. Fresh beer is a lot like fresh bread, it tastes better when you consume it closer to the source.


East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes. Check out the tap tower at The Hub They have several Oskar Blues beers available including their newest offering Pinner.
Speaking of fresh, it doesn't get much fresher than the selection being served at The Hub, located 5 minutes from the brewery and at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest.


What is behind the surge of mid level and major breweries popping up in western North Carolina?

I wrote a book that was published just over two years ago called Asheville Beer: An Intoxicating History of Mountain Brewing. It’s about the beer scene in western North Carolina. We were one of the first to open up an expansion brewery on the east coast. We moved pretty quickly; we bought this property and were able to just move our stuff in and get to work. What Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are doing is much more intensive as they have much larger facilities. But I think a lot of it has to do with quality of life. We didn’t apply for any of the permit incentives that are place down here. Dale just wanted to be here. It’s close to some intersecting highways: I-40, I-85, so from a distribution standpoint its great plus the water quality down here is really good. There’s already a thriving beer culture. In my mind, good breweries are a lot like drug stores: you can have 5 of them right next to each other and they’ll all thrive if you’re making good beer. We see that in downtown Asheville. This is already a spot for beer tourism and once Sierra Nevada opens up it’ll be even better. It’s good for all of the craft beer world to be in a place like this, especially a place where the beer consumer base is so educated.

East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes.
Inspiration comes in many forms for the marketing team at Oskar Blues. Including, but not limited to...Lionel Richie?


How did you guys end up supporting Neko Mulally?

We’ve known Neko for a while. He moved to Brevard a little over a year ago. Obviously we’re obsessed with mountain biking. When Neko moved here, he immediately was involved in the mountain bike community as were we. Our paths just kept crossing and it seemed like a natural fit. He really wanted a helmet sponsor and something that was a little different from your typical corporate sponsor. We’re kind of the home town brewery here. It was interesting because when we first started talking, he was only 20. We were like, “You have to be at least 21 before you can wear the logo” (laughs). So luckily he did turn 21 and we kept an eye on him and what he was doing. We were the exclusive beer sponsor at the Windham World Cup, so I went up there and hung out with a lot of those guys and got a better feel for the scene. It was an awesome experience to get a feel for it. We continued to talk to Neko after seeing that there was a really strong response from the event to our presence. With the two of us being in this area and our purchasing of the REEB Ranch last year, it just seemed like a natural fit. He’s a super nice guy, he’s very personable and he understands how to talk on camera. Plus he loves the beer.

East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
Neko and AF enjoying Oskar Blues' latest offering, a sessionable IPA called Pinner. Perhaps we'll be seeing that apropos brew painted on a helmet in the future?


What is the REEB Ranch?

It’s a piece of farmland that is family owned in Henderson County. The idea is that’s its more of a lifestyle kind of thing. We have a farm in Longmont, Colorado, that’s also about seven miles from the brewery and its called “Hops and Heifers.” We have hops growing out there, which we use to make a “wet hop” (hops that are freshly picked and added to the brewing process immediately after being pulled from the plant) beer in September. We also have cattle and Berkshire pigs, which we use in the restaurant and food truck out there. We feed them the spent grain from the brewery. We wanted to create a ‘circle of life’ styled farm out here as well, which is what we're doing with the REEB Ranch. Red Bull approached us about doing Dreamline on that property. We saw that as an awesome opportunity in addition to the operations from the folks at the Bike Farm who are leading tours from there into Dupont and Pisgah. Those guys lead our Wednesday Night rides as well.

East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
AF shows Neko Mulally and Max Morgan around the REEB Ranch property. The jumps are covered for the winter but should be ready in some capacity sometime this spring


How else will you be involved in the mountain bike community this year?

We are planning on being the exclusive beer sponsor of the Windham World Cup again this year. We’re looking for ways to improve the value of that partnership as well and we see ways in which we can do things differently. That’s such an amazing event because it’s mostly run by volunteers. Its amazing how many hours those people put in. So I think we’ll focus on that event and our support of Neko. We’re a medium-sized brewery; we’re not huge, so we need to put our money where our hearts our. A lot of mountain bikers like craft beer, which is big for us, but we’re also just trying to have some fun with how we support the industry in return.




East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
The Tasty Weasel taproom is open Sunday thru Thursday from 12 pm- 8 pm; and Fridays and Saturdays from 12 pm - 10 pm.
East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
Save the kids from mullets. Tip your bartenders.


Noah Tuttle, Brevard Brewery Manager

Are there any distinct advantages to brewing in Brevard?

I would say that the best thing about brewing in this region is just being able to live in Brevard. As far as it goes in terms of correlating to the beer’s flavor, the water is good. But we get the treated water from the city. It’s similar to Colorado in terms of mineral content, so much so that they’re almost identical. But for us, it has a lot to do with the scenery and the outdoors.


East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
The Brevard location was responsible for 63,000 barrels sold in 2014.


What does Oskar Blues actively seek to accomplish when you’re brewing beer?

We want to make beers that we want to drink. We don’t really tie ourselves to any specific style of beer. If it’s a Czech-style pilsner, we want it to be a little more hoppy while still being clean and crisp. If it’s a Deviant Dale’s, we want some big and intense flavors. Something like Ten Fidy is going to be really intense and is also really hard to make. We basically use twice the amount of grain during the mash process because we want such a concentrated amount of wort to get the intensity we need. That’s why it’s so thick and awesome. You could collect it and boil it down to that concentration, but we don’t believe in overcooking anything. So yeah, it comes down to making the beers we want to drink. Old Chubb is perfect after a big ride. We’re prone to hoppy beers as well. We aim for a high quality. There’s nothing too small throughout the process from start to finish. If you go out into the grain bags, you’ll see signatures on each bag. That means that each bag was inspected by the brewers and that they tasted the grains to make sure everything is up to our standards. We only use the best raw materials.

East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
Oskar Blues employees a logistics manager who regularly communicates with distributors, which in turn determines the brewing schedule. Dale Pale Ale occupies two-thirds of said schedule.

You guys were one of the first breweries to really embrace the craft beer in a can concept. How did that start?

It starts with quality control. When Dale made that decision, at the time there just wasn’t any craft beer in a can. He actually got a brochure for a canning system and laughed about the idea of putting his beers in a can initially. But then he looked into it and the brochure spelled out the perks of the can. It’s ideal for someone who likes the outdoors. Aluminum is much more recyclable than glass is. The seal of the can’s seam is much tighter than a bottle cap. it protects the beer from oxidation, which can be very detrimental to a beer. It also protects the beer from light. Freight costs are lower too, because cans are much lighter than bottles. Freight costs and fuel use is about 30% lower.

East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
Once the beers have been canned, they're placed on pallets and taken immediately into a massive refrigerator for storage before being sent off for the consumers' enjoyment.


How do you guys determine which ingredients you put into your products?

As far as the hops go, this past summer five of us went out to Yakima, Washington, to look at the 2014 crop of hops. We want a lot of opinions and noses on those hops. We do all of the sampling blind and we don’t share our opinions right away. That way, when we all land on the same hop varieties, we feel that much better about the next year. If something is much more aromatic, we’ll set it aside and use it only for dry hopping

As far as the grain goes, we really don’t try to get too tied down to any particular type. If something starts to wane in quality, we assess it and make the necessary changes. So if a particular company just isn’t doing as good a job as they should be, we’re not afraid to make that change. We’re always assessing the raw materials and we try to keep our inventory real tight so we don’t have stuff laying around for too long.


East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
An extremely powerful magnet assists in the transportation of kegs from the fill station to the refrigerator.


Dale’s Pale Ale will be featured on Neko Mulally’s helmet this season. Can you describe to the uninitiated what your flagship beer is like?

It’s definitely an intense pale ale. There are a lot of hops in there. We want a lot of citrus flavors and aromas. When that first came out, it was kind of weird seeing this craft beer in a can. I remember when I first saw it and I was like, “Wait, what is in there?” You look at it and the alcohol percentage and you realize it’s a pretty big beer in a can. Same thing with Old Chubb. Now a lot of people use cans so it’s not as shocking. But at the time, it was kind of unheard of having this big and flavorful beer coming from a can. It’s somewhat sessionable and I think it’s just a lot of people’s go-to beer.




East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes.
Who's thirsty?
East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes.
There are some very smart people who want their beer to taste as good as possible.


Dale Katechis, Founder

How did Oskar Blues get started?

It basically involved me maxing out a bunch of credit cards to get my first restaurant opened in 1997. We didn’t start brewing until ‘99. That year, we bought a little glorified homebrew system and put it in the basement of the restaurant. I was already homebrewing at the time, so I took my hobby and tried to translate those efforts into how I was going to earn a living one day. All of our moves, even to this day, from REEB to our breweries, they all revolve around not wanting to “just fill space”. We want to do things that we’re genuinely inspired by and give us joy. I hope that translates into the authenticity of our brand and attracts people who are likeminded. We try to go through this life with some fulfillment, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t apply that to your work. In 1999, we started brewing beer. In 2002, we started canning as a joke. No one else was really doing it at the time. We learned that cans were a better vessel for fresh beer, so we decided to challenge the industry and the consumer and put a bold, three dimensional craft beer in a can. That beer (Dale's Pale Ale) is now the bulk of our business these days.

East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
Beers are like bikes; everyone has their favorites and as long as you're happy with it, nothing else really matters.


When did you start riding bikes?

I grew up on a BMX bike, like most of us. I didn’t fall in love with mountain biking until college, around 1991. I took a trip up to western North Carolina and rode a trail called Tsali. I still remember that feeling; what it felt and smelled like. The connection was instantaneous. That’s ultimately what brought us to North Carolina where we built our second brewery. It was all centered around mountain biking in that region. I didn’t want to put a brewery somewhere if it wasn’t going to add to my quality of life. Bikes are now a bigger part of my life than ever before.

East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
These guys really are ready to shred at a moment's notice.


How did REEB get started?

Chad Melis was basically hired because I met him on one of our favorite trails in Colorado. We basically started loading him up with a bunch of beers to take to different mountain bike events. REEB is pretty much all him. It’s really kind of an example of how our company culture at Oskar Blues works. We try to inspire people to live out their own entrepreneurial dreams. I’m a firm believer that no one really wants a boss. Everyone here is given a great deal of bandwidth to add value to our company, so there isn’t really anyone handing out marching orders. Chad was a pro mountain biker and he took things that he and all of us enjoyed doing and brought them into our culture at Oskar Blues.

He’s much more of a tech guy when it comes to bikes than I am. We were all riding Spot singlespeed bikes at the time and they were starting to focus on their overseas operations. We’d been doing some cross marketing with them and I remember I had a titanium bike with a belt drive on it. We were their guinea pigs and pals with them. So I had my ride stolen and while I was thinking about replacing it, the light went off. Why not start making our own f*cking bikes? That’s what we did. We found a welder, Chris Sulfrian, who’s still with us. Eventually we were able to purchase some equipment and bring him on full time. We now source our own titanium and steel, we have our own custom tubing and it’s just a blast. We’ll probably sell 250 bikes this year, so it’s small but it’s very passion-driven and it's a huge part of the Oskar Blues culture.


East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
It's no great surprise that these guys would eventually start their own mountain bike company. The entrance to the brewery in Brevard says it all.


How do you explain the prominent role of beer in the mountain bike community?

I don’t think it’s a chicken or the egg thing. I can get fairly philosophical on the importance of beer in our society, but really a lot of things are done around beer. It’s a social elixir. In any circle, it seems like beer should have its place and for us it's trail side. We can discuss the beer and the qualities of it. Why mountain bikers, though? I guess we’re all basically a bunch of dirtbags. For me, mountain biking is a connection where I feel most alive. There’s nothing I like more than sharing that connection with a beer and a buddy. It’s one of the things I enjoy the most about the sport; a beer and a ride.

East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes
The community of Brevard has really embraced Oskar Blues' presence over the past few years...
East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes.
...and Oskar Blues is happy to return the love one can at a time.



To learn more about Oskar Blues and the Brevard operations, click HERE.

REEB Cycles offers up handmade steel and titanium bikes for those wanting something different and American made.

Want to learn more about the beer scene in Western North Carolina? Be sure to check out Anne's book.

East Bound and Down Oskar Blues Beers and Bikes.


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118 Comments

  • 32 1
 It's sad "American beer" is considered as Miller, Coors, and Bud to the rest of the world....that would be like me saying "I don't like Irish beers cause I don't like Guiness..." That's just a completely ignorant statement to make. America probably has more and different beer than any other country with all these micro brews popping up.

I'll put Du Claw Sweet Baby Jesus against any foreign porter out there...

P.S. I LOVE Guiness.
  • 21 1
 Don't sweat it, rupintart, the skips love American craft beers, but our government slams us on taxes. A case of Sierra Nevada Torpedo goes for $90AUD!! My local bottle shop has a sick selection of Deschutes beers from Oregon, but once again, a 345ml bottle goes for $5AUD.
I drink so much every time I'm in the States for this very reason, and then come home and my free health care soothes the hang over.

In summation; beer and shredding f*ckin' rules!!!!!!
  • 3 2
 sweet baby jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!shit is so good.
  • 5 1
 Here in Poland, American beer for people who drink beer like yours ab Inbev products, does not mean shit (f*cking close to water).
For people who loves beer and makes beer at home, America mean strongest and biggest craft brewery on the planet where the revolution begin, so don`t worry about people that don`t know shit about beer, rest of the world know the truth.
  • 3 2
 Don't get me wrong I really love a good stout or porter but can't stand Sweet Baby Jesus!
  • 13 3
 Yes 'Merica probably has the lagerst selection of beer with all these microbrewery's poping up. But sorry they just can't touch german beer. I was at quite a few good ones in Virginia and Tenessee last august when visiting relatives in the states and none of their brews could touch the good s**t we get in bavaria. And its way cheaper too, about 90cent for a 0,5L bottle of premium Beer like Augustiener.
  • 2 0
 The more brews the better. I don't discriminate, love me some American and European suds.
  • 5 0
 @Kona-Rider1 I've been to Augsburg and I've had the beer there. It's pretty much my favorite. Bavarian Hefe is so damn good. The German purity law is a double edged sword though. As it keeps good beers good, it kills innovation by restricting the invention of OTHER good beers.
  • 1 0
 The Reinheitsgebot does indeed limit experimentation but makes beers that aren't good die off. I love me some Gose and Berliner Weisse styles, perfect for summers here in AZ! Low abv without sacrificing taste!
  • 4 1
 Anyone who would like to feel better about his beer, should try Carlsberg, probably the shtiest beer in the world. Just come to Europe and ask for Carlsberg from tap. It not only tastes like piss it truly honestly smells like piss. Once I was sitting at the pub next to toilet, and first I thought that occasional smell comes from there, as every now and then someone was going in and out, but to my disbelief and disgust I noticed that genuine smell of urine was coming up only when I was putting glass with Carlsberg to my mouth and nose. I thought it was just a bad place, with badly cleaned glasses but in two other places I asked my friends to let me smell their tap Carlsberg and it smelled urine as well! Stay away from that sht! Long live Bud!
  • 3 1
 The best part is your free health care! Sucks our government can't get its shit together.
Whatever, Canada here I come! Wink
  • 3 0
 Mcewan's.... I'm on the Scottish hooligan diet plan!
  • 1 0
 Irish O´hara and German Erdinger dunkel(dark) are the two you should drink every time when possible. Just heading to germany in few days and guess what am i going to drink ? Big Grin
  • 1 0
 "Sucks our government can't get its shit together."

So you want the organization that can't get it's "shit together" to be involved in your healthcare? Priceless.
  • 25 2
 American beer is friggin awesome man. I now want a beer and its not even 9am.
  • 5 14
flag vhdh666 (Feb 5, 2015 at 2:00) (Below Threshold)
 got a problem?
  • 9 0
 5am here. Having a beer. Cheers!
  • 13 0
 You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!
  • 14 0
 Now, who do I want as a helmet sponsor? Not that energy drink crap. I want these guys. Neko made an awsome choice. Beer and bikes always go together not bikes and sugar water.

And yes I know there is super in beer before you get picky.
  • 4 0
 I think it's mostly because he wants to drink beer in the hotseat & on the podium like Peaty of old.
  • 2 0
 I think almost every mtb'r wants to do that.
  • 1 0
 If they don't, they should aspire to one day, want to do that. I think.
  • 9 1
 Kind of sad OB is trying to take the credit for Dreamline. They were not approached by Redbull. The Bike Farm owners approached them about the whole thing, including purchasing the ranch in the first place. That is enormously disrespectful of them, and credit should be given to the people who did the ground work.
  • 9 0
 Dales Pale Ale is delicious.
  • 4 0
 Me and my buddies have been drinkin cans of Dale's Pale on rides for a long time. Had no idea the guys making Dale's were doing the same thing. Thats whats good.
  • 2 0
 I was introduced to Dale's by a DH dude. It makes sense the MTB feels I get from the stuff.
  • 8 0
 that guy with the Lionel Richie picture looks like he was up All Night Long!
  • 5 0
 Dupont, Pisgah, I9, Cane Creek, The Hub, Oskar Blues, Steep Canyon Rangers, ISIS music hall= life is good !!!!!
  • 2 0
 Move over, I'm moving in!
  • 1 0
 that about does it!
  • 1 0
 sorry, wrong thread
  • 2 0
 l don't reach for their beers first but it is cool they are mtn bikers and will be sponsoring racers. that is long overdue. hope more craft breweries start doing that. ( hint hint kulshan brewery in bellingham, l am available for sponsorship. haha)
  • 1 0
 Awesome idea! But I will say Kulshan and Boundary Bay have been awesome WMBC supporters. And Aslan is jumping into that mix this year as well. Big and awesome things to come in the 'Ham, courtesy of the WMBC, a rad community, and killer breweries!
Mandatory plug: I make the soda at Aslan. Go buy some! ;-)
  • 2 0
 Where is chuckanut brewery in the equation? Soon bellingham will be known for bikes and beers!
  • 2 0
 Or wander brewery for that matter?
  • 1 0
 2 more great breweries for sure!
  • 2 0
 Hey OB parties that might read the comments:
Can you bump up your Distro in BC a little? I can get my hands on Dales regularly, and spot Yella here and there. But I'd love to see more Ten Fiddy, Chub and Deviant occasionally. really interested in getting my hands on some Pinner!

Good to see companies out side of the sport, besides 'energy drinks' supporting talent.
  • 6 1
 Beer!?!? You now have my attention
  • 5 0
 The Pinner is delicious! Keep up the great work guys!!!
  • 6 3
 21 before you can drink beer legally but a toddler can get hold of a gun to shoot his sibling dead. We live in strange times for sure.
  • 4 2
 I fed myself for a whole month with only wild caught game I took myself. Where does your food come from hotshot? By the way laws are 18 to buy a rifle/ shotgun 21 to buy a handgun. If a toddler can get ahold of one then the owner is held accountable.
  • 6 4
 Not to get the gun debate going, but if you were a real "hotshot" wouldn't you make your own weapon, like a bow and arrows? That is if living primitively and under your own efforts alone is what your going for. What happens when your bullets are sold out and no longer manufactured?
  • 1 0
 Make your own gunpowder/combustable(deflagrating preferably) fuel and cannon. duh.
  • 1 0
 Love it all spent a week there riding in October. Watched them build dreamline (camped at bike farm). Rode Dupont, spent time at the brewery and the hub. Now if someone would just offer me a job I would be out there is a heartbeat.
  • 1 0
 i didn't grow up here, transplanted 10 years ago from san diego. WNC has a great scene for us dirtbags-all manner of trails and beers. the beer scene didn't start with dale's(as mentioned). highland, green man, and pisgah have a 10 year head start on them here (at least). throw in cane creek and I9 and you might start to get why we're proud (even the transplants). one more thing-bold rock just started brewing ciders in arden. i can't really drink beer anymore, so having a replacement beverage made locally is awesome. if only we had some decent mexican food...
  • 2 0
 Good stuff @upchuckyeager! Anne wasn't insinuating that the scene got its start with Oskar Blues, just that they were the first sizable brewery transplant to come to the region from somewhere else. I hear ya on the mexican food tip...
  • 2 0
 @upchuckyeager I lived in Etowah for a couple months last spring, and El Bronco right in town off 51 was good. El Ranchero in Brevard is good as well. Papas & Beer is well.... Papas & Beer. I also found Beijing Restaurant in Hendersonville off Kanuga Rd had some good chinese food as well. Big Mike's in Brevard off Gaston St is a little hole in the wall place, but has good food. YMMV
  • 1 0
 i know, didn't mean that. love you guys!
  • 4 0
 @upchuckyeager WNC is amazing. My wife grew up in Brevard, and her family still lives there (Her Uncle and Dale are really close friends). Ten years ago, Brevard was just starting to get noticed as an amazing bike community. Your so correct with Cane Creek, I9, and then throw in that three breweries are around town. Two completely different riding styles with Pisgah and Dupont. The Forest service wants to add more trails. Then add in climbing, fishing, lower cost of living. The place is simply amazing.
  • 2 0
 If you're looking for cider, check out Urban Orchard on Haywood Rd across from short street cakes. By far the best cider I've ever tasted, made on site with local Hendersonville apples. Great people there too!
  • 6 1
 How about blunts and beers
  • 1 0
 That's the Lyons Colorado headquarters. NC is an expansion.
  • 1 0
 All this reading about beer made me thirsty.....Anybody who loves IPA's needs to try Space Dust from Elysian Brewery in Seattle. Seasonal IPA and when you can get it you get a sh$tload. Just bought a six pack for 11.99 at supermarket. Dont care how much it cost its that good.
  • 2 0
 Now that they're owned by the evil overlord Buttwiper...you should be able to get it anywhere and most of the year.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully, and this is a stretch, the quality won't go down like what happened to the year round offerings from Goose Island. I personally haven't had those but people do say they have changed.
  • 1 0
 Great highlight, thanks for sharing. Been interesting to see Oscar Blues grow up, having moved to CO in '00 and spend lots of time riding in their backyard of Lyons, CO. Even spun around Hall Ranch with Dale and Chad, and had a beers with them, great guys. Started riding in the early 90's in New England, used to road trip down to western NC during spring breaks to ride Tsali and Pisgah, very understandable how Oscar Blues would setup there, great trail networks there. Now my Dad lives in Hendersonville, NC and I try and get out there to visit him and ride when possible. Beer and Bikes = Fun.
  • 1 0
 ha!we got land 2 mins from reeb.reeb,pisgah and DuPont...why would u not want to live there.thank you oskar blues!cant wait to hit up the farm.
  • 3 0
 so so so dope to see my homestate here on PB. love it.
  • 3 0
 nick beer needs a similar helmet sponsor
  • 1 0
 It is an amazing place up there...great to hammer out a long ride and then stop at the brewery for sure. All the peeps are great!
  • 2 0
 Freakin love Oskar Blues. So much that we'll be stocking it in our shop later this month!
  • 1 2
 Great that they love and contribute to biking so much, but Oskar Blues beer is the worst beer the state of Colorado produces. I have worked for 2 major shops here in Colorado and we would not accept Oskar Blues beer in tips or thanks at either shop as nobody ever drank the stuff. we couldn't even give it away. Please don't promote this article like they make good beer. Their beer is a horrid thing that no one should ever have to drink, But then Colorado beers are not crafted to the standards of Vermont or Oregon beers are produced at.
  • 1 0
 jeez. your telling me you would turn a six pack down that a customer brought in as a thank you?

...thats a shop i never want to go to.
  • 2 0
 What's the alcoholic percentage of craft beer ?
  • 1 0
 It ranges from 4% to 25% ABV
  • 1 0
 thanks, the 25% one must be like treacle
  • 1 0
 I stand corrected, highest US craft beer is 55%. Most high gravity beers are rare and difficult to get. It doesn't help when you live in a state that limits beers to 12% either.
  • 2 0
 Er, that's not a beer, that's a spirit lol
  • 1 0
 It varies quite a bit depending on the style of beer and the brewing process. That's why craft is so great, you can drink a pale ale like Dale's and not get smashed off a few brews. Very "drinkable." Then when winter rolls around you can sip on Oskar Blue's imperial stout, Ten Fiddy (gets its name for the 10.5% ABV).
  • 2 0
 Anything over 14-15% is treated as wine by the state, and is taxed and controlled a lot more.
  • 6 0
 There are some states, Utah, for example, that limit it to around 2 or 3% (I forget)...if you're going to Moab...BYOB.
  • 1 0
 Brewdog have done beers that are 55%, 41% and 32%. They're Scottish, not American though.
  • 2 0
 the Swiss fire extinguisher
www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5H3JbkJcyE
  • 3 0
 WNC FTMFW!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Just ordered me a Reeb last week! Can't wait!
  • 1 0
 these dirt jump are lookin sweet
  • 1 0
 if you're from Belgium, you have hundreds of local beers to choose from you must be happy
  • 1 0
 yeah true I'm comfortable
  • 1 0
 dont you guys wanna fight about chocolates? i would to love to see that kind of fight Big Grin haha i think belgium would win!
  • 1 0
 yes Belgium definitely wins the chocolate battle
  • 1 0
 I want to like Oscar, I really do..
  • 5 9
flag Satanslittlehelper (Feb 5, 2015 at 7:02) (Below Threshold)
 NOPE! Their beer is poison and old chub tastes like it was brewed with horse piss and filtered through old unwashed chamois.
  • 3 0
 Haha dayumm thats a little harsh. Im sure there are plenty of people that think whatever you guys drink tastes like horse piss. Everybody has differant tastes my friends.
  • 2 1
 @Satanslittlehelper you like miller, bud, or something like that i am guessing buddy?? Right on @MDRipper for your comment! To each is to your own peeps...
  • 1 0
 For $9 six packs in the can, Dales would be #11 in my top 10 list. So many better options.
La Cumbre, Ska, Marble, 4 peaks. Spoiled here for quality beers in the can. Just because you dont like the Dales, doesnt mean you drink Old Mildred and 'Neer beer
  • 1 0
 @owlie No kidding on the choices out there...just did not like the comment from the other duder man. Terrapin is canning now and i am happy Check out their Hi5!

I have plenty of friends that drink Pabst and do not harsh on them...
  • 1 1
 Yeah, the truth hurts sometimes doesn't it?
  • 1 0
 All that wonderful merciful beer...........
  • 1 0
 I'm really, really thirsty now...
  • 2 1
 I never read any articles but damn! this one is tight.
  • 1 0
 I wish I still had enough hair for a mullet!!
  • 1 0
 Awesome article, awesome beer.
  • 1 0
 mmmmmm, Dale's, haven't had one in a while, need to fix that.
  • 1 0
 that gonna be my motto for 2015, I'm gonna print it on a tshirt Smile
  • 1 0
 Cider is still cool.... Right? Frown
  • 2 1
 Dude, wheres my car?
  • 1 0
 Too much for you, take a cab!!!!
  • 1 0
 YAY! BEER!
  • 16 17
 American beer? No, thank you. American trails? Yes please.
  • 20 2
 Don't mix up American craft brews with American mainstream beers. There are TONS of great American craft beers. Oscar Blues in particular makes excellent beer.

Source: I drink a lot of beers.
  • 6 1
 I can bellieve that. I was judging on the beers I have came across. But then I don't get, why are those mainstream beers so popular.
  • 2 6
flag amirazemi (Feb 5, 2015 at 1:46) (Below Threshold)
 @slovenian6474 dude ur name is slovenian, and ur talking to czech guy about beer, are you kidding me? i mean come one ffs if u dont know that czech makes the best beers in the world. what else do u know.
  • 1 0
 mainstream beer is popular because it's cheap, anywhere available and you don't have to get used tsomething new - it's easier
  • 3 1
 @IluvRIDING Marketing, monopoly on the distribution system (particularly in the US), and they've been around for quite awhile. The craft brew scene is very young.

@amirazemi Because he doesn't sound like he's had a beer in the US in the past 10 years. Microbrews are exploding everywhere, essentially what European nations have had for centuries. Each town has their own lot of local breweries. Most of them do not distribute far. It gets interesting when all these breweries do not necessarily have a native style so they borrow, experiment, and create. I've had beers all over the world and haven't seen near the variety of the current craft brew scene going on in America.
  • 4 1
 and luckly Czechs and other bits of europe are leraning back from America and microbreweries are poping up over here too.
One of benefits is that people over here are learning to drink more than just pilsner style lager a and dark beer, there's lot more into beer... www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/the-competition/beer-styles thank you america Big Grin Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Macro brews like Bud were mainly started by European immigrants, so before you go bashing American brews you better recognize the source! When is the last time you have had a good American craft brew, @lluvriding
  • 1 0
 well u might be right, i have never drank an american beer, accept the commercial ones. that said, i am pretty sure europe still stands far with beer's local beers mainly. u cant find a single city that doesnt have at least 1 local beer, and remember whenever u go, always order the local beer, it's fresh and its the best.
  • 2 0
 @hetfield LOL. Whole America was mainly started by European immigrants, so I think I can recognize the source! Btw. US. Bud just stole the name of our original Budweiser (owned by Czech state)... and for that reason it (thank god) cannot be sold in Europe. Though I never had an American craft beer and I would love to try it out! I am just afraid it would not cost $1 for a beer in a pub, which is what i pay here (Czech rep.) basically everywhere for one good beer.
  • 3 1
 If you guys can find Ten Fidy, for the love of beer try it! One of the best Russian imperial stouts out there and it isn't even barrel aged yet! The BA version is damn excellent especially on tap! BMC beers are so bland and so cheap that's why the masses who don't know better drink it. It's like an insult if you say to a Belgian that you don't like their beer just cos of Stella Artois when there are many more world class beers some even made by Trappist monks like the highly coveted Westvleteren 12! Budweiser can never be even equated with American beer anymore since the owners are a Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate! American craft beers rule, TASTY beers rule! Cheers from a Filipino who now lives in Tucson, AZ! Shred and drink!
  • 1 1
 love me an ice cold rainier after a hot dusty ride though
  • 1 0
 @IluvRIDING I've had Czech Bud. I wasn't that impressed but DEFINITELY would take it over U.S. Bud. You're right about the cost. Even on dollar beer nights, it usually the cheap (pronounced Bud Light) beers on that special. Some places have good deals on craft brews but it'll still cost a few bucks more. I was impressed with how cheap GOOD beer was in Europe. The US has plenty of good beers but rarely are they cheap. Yuengling is probably the cheapest beer I do enjoy drinking.
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