By BRWIA staff intern, Abby Bishop
Nearly five months ago Boone welcomed its most recent brewery to town. Since opening on Valentine’s Day, Appalachian Mountain Brewery has embraced the High Country community that it calls home. The good folks at Appalachian Mountain Brewery are committed to keeping their business local and their community outreach high, a commitment I can certainly attest for. During a night out at the brewery enjoying some bluegrass music and beer, I noticed a plaque for the non-profit organization that I am interning with. It was located just underneath the “California Common,” the spicy lager I can’t get enough of. Bewildered, I asked Luke, my bartender friend, what connection the brewery had with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture. He told me about the “pints for non-profits” program that AMB started as soon as they opened. In effort to give back to the Appalachia region, AMB allows a percentage of proceeds from each of their in-house taps to be donated to a specific charity or non-profit organization. Following up on this incredible arrangement a few weeks later during my interview with publicist Jessica Collins, I asked how such a young business could afford to already be donating money. She said that this program allows customers to have a sense of pride in eating, or in this case drinking, local. I undoubtedly feel better knowing that my nights of debauchery are at least going towards helping others.
Not only is this brewery enthusiastic about giving back, it is also deeply involved in sustainable practices. Stephanie Spiegelman “The Boss” as well as Nathan Kelishcheck “Brewmaster and Director of Brewery Operations” are dedicated to bringing Boone its first Solar and Wind powered brewery. As a student at Appalachian State University studying sustainable development, this is an added benefit for me supporting this brewery; however, for those who think all sustainability kooks are into veganism and compostable toilets – I have to say the majority of brewery goers will have no idea about the sustainability measures incorporated into the brewery. As Jessica told me, the staff at AMB is interested in more than just energy efficiency (although they do have a few solar panels on their roof), but also community stewardship, wetlands restoration, and sustainable agriculture to name a few. Even when constructing the brewery, all materials were bought local, and the bar as well as each bar tap was hand carved by a family member of the owner.
AMB creates a laid-back atmosphere that can be enjoyed by everyone- not just the over twenty-one crowd. The brewery is equipped with an outdoor bar, a screened in patio and a garage door that opens up to a backyard where all sorts of games are played and good times are being had. If you are lucky and come at the right time, you can even see some very cute pups outside. I can say I have already made countless memories with friends and family at Appalachian Mountain Brewery. I’ve spent birthdays, graduation nights, and I’ll even embarrassedly admit to participating in one their talent shows (hosted on Wednesday nights) all at the brewery. Running with an eclectic group of kayakers, mountain bikers, and badass skiers, my friends know how to live a life. Needless to say, the brewery has been a spot where I can count on running into at least a few of them enjoying beers scheming their next outdoor adventures. This local business is the perfect place to stop in for a good beer with friends, co-workers, or family.
Check them out at 163 Boone Creek Drive, and make sure to make them a stop on your High Country Farm Tour August 3rd and 4th. You can bet on catching me there. Until then, cheers!
To find out more about Appalachian Mountain Brewery, check out their website:
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture
PO Box 67
Lower Level, 171 Grand Blvd
Boone, NC 28607
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) is dedicated to strengthening the High Country's local food system by supporting women and their families with resources, education, and skills related to sustainable food and agriculture.