Backroads Across America:  Blue Ridge Parkway Leads to Sierra Nevada

We awoke to gray skies and drizzle, so decided to take a sneak peek at the Blue Ridge Parkway this morning.  Our hope has been to drive a small part of the 469 mile scenic highway on our way to West Virginia.  Today was not the best day for views, but we definitely gained valuable perspective!

As we slowly crept around the twists and turns of the parkway, quickly climbing over 3,000 feet, we soon realized we had no business towing our trailer along this route, no matter how beautiful the scenery.  As we reached the 5,000 foot elevation, our scenery disappeared in the clouds, along with all signs of spring.   A side road took us back down to the lower elevations…for an afternoon in the Sierra Nevada (Brewery that is).

Sierra Nevada Brewery opened their Mills River, North Carolina facility in 2014.  As fans of the original Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California, where our son works, we were curious and couldn’t resist a visit and tour during our stay in Asheville.  

What we found was amazing.  We expected the brew house, restaurant and gift shop, but around back we discovered an outdoor play land.  A massive fire pit, games, a stage for music, an organic garden, a children’s play area and seating everywhere. Unfortunately, today was a little wet to enjoy all that was offered.

If you visit be sure to reserve a tour and tasting. Both Chico and Mills River offer them and they book up quickly.  Our tour guide Sean was friendly, knowledgeable and encouraged questions.  We watched hundreds of bottles of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale traveling along a conveyer system towards packaging.  Fascinating!

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