Scenes from Brevard

3 Apr

A few weeks ago we adventured to Brevard, NC, to celebrate our wedding anniversary and to hit the “reset” button after surviving the toughest time of year at my job. It’s hard not to feel like we’ve been in hiding lately.  With work being as rough as it’s been, and the long, slow climb back to wellness after a hellish winter break, we haven’t been as active or adventurous as we’d like to be.  We’ve been doing some renovations to our kitchen as well, which has taken up a lot of our free time…it’s hard to feel like we didn’t deserve a break.

Plus, we’ve been married for eight years, people.  EIGHT YEARS.

Our main objectives were (in no particular order) to visit Oskar Blues Brewery, see some waterfalls, and sit on the deck of our rental cabin while consuming copious amounts of cheese and alcohol.  I am happy to report that our mission accomplished on all fronts.

So we found a cabin on VRBO.com which was dog-friendly and had the requisite deck.  We promised Riley a trip to the mountains and to a brewery, and she was beyond excited to go.  Not knowing the state of beer/wine shops in Brevard, we also stocked up on wine and cheese…and then got on the road.

It’s a 2.5 hour ride to Dupont State Forest, and it’s worth every minute spent in the car.  This place is beautiful.  They’ve filmed several movies here including “Last of the Mohicans” and “Hunger Games” and it’s easy to see why.  Of course being the city-folk that we are, we neglected to print out any sort of trail guides, assuming we would just use our phones to figure out where we wanted to go.  That plan would have worked perfectly, except that cell service was spotty.  Our GPS took us on a crazy route through a residential area and we thought we were completely lost until we found High Falls.  So that’s where we started.

This picture doesn't even come close to doing this justice...

I’d categorize this trail as more of a walk than a hike; it’s wide and doesn’t have a lot of steep inclines.  This worked out well since we had Riley with us (who’s even less of a hiker than we are).  It doesn’t take long to find amazing scenery.  The weather was great, so the trail was full of people walking their dogs or riding bikes.  Poor Riley tuckered out relatively quickly, so we didn’t get to explore as much as we wanted, but in hindsight it worked out.  A shortened afternoon on the mountain left more time to enjoy Brevard Brewing Company.

More used to sidewalks than waterfalls…

A few things to know about Brevard Brewing.  1) you can bring your dog and they will make a fuss over her and give her treats and 2) the pilsner is really good.  It’s not a huge operation, but they’re well-received around town.  They’ve only been in business a year, but have done well enough that they’ve pretty much maxed out their accounts…the bartender told us that they actually gave out their last customized tap handles to a local bar, so they don’t have any for their own tasting room…crazy, right?

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We ate at the Square Root for dinner.  The space is cool and the staff is friendly; the food is okay.  But we were blown away by the dinner guests.  Half of the fun of dining out in a mountain town is that you get to experience the culture, and this place was no exception.  It was a steady stream of retirees who had no qualms about passively-agressively bitching about their food (but devouring it all), and people sporting mullets, acid-washed jeans, and Cosby sweaters.  In truth the wacky crotchetiness reminded us of Florida.  We were thoroughly entertained.

We killed time the next morning by exploring Brevard’s small downtown. Some interesting vintage signs, a great salvage/antique shop, and sculptures of wildlife everywhere.

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The Translyvania County Courthouse – established in 1861. Confession: we walked around all weekend saying “I vant to suck your blood” in our best Dracula voices. Maturity has never been our strong suit.

This is as close as we got to seeing a white squirrel

This is as close as we got to seeing a white squirrel

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After lunch we headed to Oskar Blues.  This place is awesome and I can’t wait to go back.  Every single beer they have on tap is good. Very good.  I was disappointed there was no canning taking place, but I’m sure the noise would be unbearable and you can’t risk any drunk people getting into the machinery. Safety first. The taproom looks out over the canning facility, and even though they’ve only been open since December it seems like they have a good mix of regulars.  A few guys sat down at the bar in full spandex biking gear.  Holy schnikes. I’m not sure I’d recommend knocking back a Gubna Imperial IPA after a ride intense enough to require a spandex outfit, but they all seemed to handle it well.  More power to ’em!

Apologies for the crappy pictures – they’re from our phones.  Didn’t want to try to keep track of the Nikon while drinking all the yummy beer…

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The view from the bar.

Oskar Blues Cans

So many cans waiting to be filled…

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The flights are labeled to help you keep track of all the goodness…
The middle sample is oSKAr The G’Rauch, a collaboration between Oskar Blues and SKA Brewing

Following a great time at Oskar Blues, we headed back to the cabin to enjoy the deck.  It was perfect weather, and I think we spent about 4 hours out there relaxing, which was the whole point of the trip.

Oh, and here are the yummys…

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We're drinking Sexual Chocolate by SLOdown Wines out of San Francisco.  It was a little easier to get our hands on than Foothills Sexual Chocolate :)

We’re drinking Sexual Chocolate by SLOdown Wines out of San Francisco. It was a little easier to get our hands on than Foothills Sexual Chocolate 🙂

Lest you think we passed out on the porch that evening and never made it back into town…we did make it back.  In fact, we made it back to order food at Big Mike’s (order, not eat, because I was so full from the smorgasbord on the porch that I could handle about 3 bites) and we ended up meeting some friends from Charlotte unexpectedly at Phoenix Lounge, where a Latin jazz group was playing.  It was a surprisingly lovely place – I hope we can go back soon!

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