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Craft beer is the star at U.S. National Whitewater Center

By Daniel Hartis
Daniel Hartis
Daniel Hartis is the author of “Charlotte Beer: A History of Brewing in the Queen City” and the editor of the website CharlotteBeer.com.
WhiteWaterCenter0724
Kevin Ziechmann - kziechmann@charlotteobserver.com
Adventure-seekers listen to live music and dine at the in-house restaurant at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

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  • Sip of the Week

    Hoptimum, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Calif.

    $9.99 for a four-pack of 12-ounce bottles

    West Coast brewers are known for being heavy-handed with the hops, and Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum upholds that reputation. Brewed with only whole-cone hops (no pellets), this double IPA offers bold flavors of orange peel, pine resin and tropical fruits, with a malty sweetness that helps temper its whopping 100 IBU (International Bitterness Units). A touch of warmth in the finish reminds you of the beer’s 10.4 percent ABV. This year’s batch was brewed in California, but next year it will also be brewed at Sierra Nevada’s new brewery in Mills River. That brewery opens in August. Daniel Hartis


  • Want to know more?

    The U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, is near Sam Wilson Road off I-85. Details:

    • Brew Stash Bash, including race registration: usnwc.org/brew-stash-bash-2.

    • Microbrew cruise schedule: usnwc.org/microbrews-cruise-2014-schedule.

    • Zipline and dine schedule: usnwc.org/zipline-dine-2014-schedule.


Charlotte holds no quarter for the beer belly. While this city’s delicious craft beers contain carbs and calories, almost every brewery in town offers a way to work them off.

Run a few laps with the NoDa Run Club or the Triple C Beer Runners, pedal away from The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery with Team Reeb, or do “Brew-lates” (Pilates, followed by pints) at The Unknown Brewing Company.

So it should come as no surprise that all of these breweries and many more will pour samples at the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s third annual Brew Stash Bash on June 14.

The day kicks off with a Brew Dash 6K through the trails in the morning and meanders into a more leisurely craft beer tasting from 1 to 6 p.m., where you can enjoy beers from more than 20 breweries by buying tasting tickets ($5 for four 4-ounce samples).

For non-samplers, the event is free, although you will need $5 for parking.

The festival isn’t the only way the whitewater center incorporates craft beer into an active lifestyle.

Throughout the summer, weekly “microbrews cruises” allow visitors to paddle kayaks down the Catawba River to the manmade Hawk Island, where dinner and beers around a campfire await. Tickets are $55 per person.

If you would rather take to the sky, the center’s “zipline and dine” series whisks visitors through five ziplines and across two rope bridges. You then rappel down from the trees and hike back to camp, where fireside dinner and beers await again. The zipline and dine events are $75 a person.

And if you can’t make any of those, don’t worry: You can find a good selection of craft beer at the center’s River’s Edge Bar and Grill, Pump House Biergarten and The Market.

Daniel Hartis is the author of “Charlotte Beer: A History of Brewing in the Queen City” and “Beer Lover’s The Carolinas,” and the editor of www.charlottebeer.com. Email: cltbeer@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter, @charlottebeer.
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