There are Beer Meccas and there are cities not yet on the Beer Map. Greenville, SC, just an hour south of the Mecca of Asheville, NC, is the latter. Or at least it was. I’ve had the good fortune of replying to a press release here or there (I delete 95% within 2 seconds of opening them) that has led to some of my favorite travel-related stories. And while South Cackalacky is no Cabo San Lucas, I’m quite glad I allegedly penned the first beer travel story about this truly booming and deserving town for BeerAdvocate’s Destination feature. I hit 7 breweries. There’s at least 9 by the time you’re reading this.
Why River Rafting? In AAB (Vol. 32, Iss. 4, 2011) I postulate that lovers of craft beer and outdoor enthusiasts have been one and the same since the get-go. Most of the pioneers of post-Prohibition brewing are in fact or in heart grizzled nature buffs who carved out career paths that enabled them to make a natural and thrilling product far away from the mainstream. Not unlike wild rivers themselves.
And like the beer we love, some of these rivers are easy to navigate, some are too challenging for most, they’re each about 95 percent water (remember, it’s air that makes rapids white), and, thankfully, these liquidy adventures can be sourced from all over the country. Namely: the Gallatin River near Bozeman (MT), the Rio Grande River near Santa Fe (NM), and on the Chattooga River near Athens (GA) and Greenville (SC).