I like to travel just for beer. What I mean to say by that is that at times we plan trips entirely around brewery and brewpub visits. That’s all well and good, but you can’t do it all the time. Sometimes, the wife wants to go other places. Case in point: our recent trip to the Smoky Mountains, specifically Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, both in Tennessee.
What’s really nice about craft beer today, though, is that even when you aren’t heading to a beer mecca, you can still usually find good beer wherever you go. This was the case in the Smokies; as we visited two different locations of the Smoky Mountain Brewery. The first, in Pigeon Forge, was less than a mile walk from our condo rental, while the second and my favorite was only about 8 miles away in Gatlinburg.
The second has fantastic atmosphere and a great location at the feet of the mountains; I would recommend staying downtown where everything is in walking distance including the Smoky Mountain Brewery. They offer a fair array of decent if not exceptional beers at fantastic prices. One of these is the beer under consideration tonight: Smoky Mountain Raspberry Wheat.
Smoky Mountain Raspberry Wheat pours to an amazingly pink color with a medium head of spritzy foam and a wonderfully soft berries and cream nose. Taking a sip, I love the tart crackery wheat up front followed by the soft creaminess underneath, then some bright raspberry fruit that leans to the tart side rather than the sweet. In the finish, I get a blend of tartness from the raspberry and the wheat. Yeah, I know I am saying tart a lot here, but this beer really has that, and it makes it ever so quenching.
It was brutally hot when we visited the Smokies (days topping 100 degrees) and I have to tell you this beer was amazingly refreshing. This was my favorite beer at Smoky Mountain, and I drank a pint at the brewpub, a growler at the condo, and brought another growler home. I won’t brag when I tell you all that only set me back a little under $20, either.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.