Asheville gets a lot of attention for its beer scene, but it seems that Brevard, NC, is starting to step out from the shadow of its bigger neighbor to the north. Sure, Asheville lays claim to 18 craft breweries, but Brevard has several of its own, and is only getting more. Plus, it has access to what some call the best mountain biking in the Southeast, DuPont State Forest. And let's face it... we all know how well biking and beer go together, and Brevard has found a few creative ways of combining them even more.
The Hub and Backcountry Outdoors makes it easy for mountain bikers to gear up on the way into DuPont, under 10 miles away with bikes, rentals, parts, service and almost any other kind of gear you need. Named one of the country’s top bike stores by Active Times and Bike Magazine, The Hub has become the go to spot for both out-of-towners and locals looking for advice on trails. The staff isn’t just knowledgeable about bikes, they’re obsessed! And they know the best places to go for those of every skill level. On the way back from an epic ride, they’ve also got a way for riders to unwind at their intimate little in-store bar, the Pisgah Tavern, with six beers on tap and six in cans.
The success of the bikes and beer connection was not lost on Oskar Blues Brewery , the Colorado-based brewery that opened a Brevard branch in 2012. In a partnership with local guide and concierge service The Bike Farm , the brewery will soon be opening The Oskar Blues REEB Ranch , a 145-acre bike park that the partners hope will be “a world-class biking destination for the whole family.” Oskar Blues Brewery already has a bike path directly into Dupont. The ranch will expand upon that, plus add a music and events space. The project’s name comes from REEB Cycles, Oskar Blues’ Colorado-based mountain and dirt bike company.
“It’s important to us to keep that trail-side camaraderie in the community,” said Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues. “We’ve been able to integrate our passions of the brewery, farm, restaurants and REEB Cycles into much of what we do, the Oskar Blues REEB Ranch continues that effort.”
The future REEB ranch sits on property that was a farm and part of it will still be used to grow hops and raise cattle. There’s a waterfall and swimming hole included in the acreage as well as an area for tent camping and a barn-top apartment and 1940's cabin that riders will be able to rent. Plans for the REEB ranch include pump track sessions, dirt jump progression lines.
And while Dupont may get top nods for its trails, there are also hundreds of miles of trails in nearby Pisgah National Forest, where there are also a number of great camping sites. Outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds come to Brevard for the scenery and the trails, but the beer scene is an added bonus that continues to grow.