This year Southern Pines Brewing Company will be taking part in a neat program called Beers Made by Walking. Beers Made By Walking is a program that invites brewers to make beer inspired by nature hikes and urban walks. Each walk is different; each beer is a portrait of that landscape. The program happens in multiple cities each year, and this year one is being held in Raleigh during the World Beer Festival on April 11th.
We decided to go for our walk in a local nature preserve, the Boyd tract, which is part of Weymouth Woods – Sandhills Nature Preserve. Here are some historical highlights from the entrance sign to the preserve:
“The Boyd Round Timber Tract, today known as the Boyd tract, contains a stand of old-growth longleaf pines that range in age from 250 to more than 450 years old. These magnificent longleaf pines were saved by James Boyd when he visited the area in 1903.
Traveling by train in search of a southern retreat Mr. Boyd, a retired coal mining merchant from Pennsylvania, arrived in the newly incorporated town of Southern Pines, North Carolina with his daughter Helen Boyd Dull. During a carriage ride to see some local sights, Helen was distraught to see the devastation that the naval stores and timber industries were bringing upon the longleaf pine forest. They came upon an untouched stand of longleaf on a ridge southeast of town, and Helen pleaded with her father to buy the land and save what was left of the majestic old pines. Mr. Boyd shared his daughter’s sentiments and arranged the purchase of a substantial tract of land that included what is now the Boyd tract.”
This plot of land is special to us here at the brewery because the tree in our logo is a picture of one of the longleaf pines on the Boyd tract. It had been almost 2 years since we last went walking down the sandy trails, and the Beers Made by Walking program provided the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy a beautiful day in the woods with family.
As we walked through the woods, we saw towering longleaf pines, scrub oaks, and moss on the sides of trees. The pines of this area were valued for their resin used in the caulking and waterproofing of wooden ships. The sandy trails were full of tracks from horses being ridden through the preserve; Southern Pine has an incredibly large equestrian community. Fire also marked the land, something essential for the health of these ecosystems.
The walk provided us with an excellent opportunity to get out and enjoy our own backyard here in Southern Pines, and we came back from it with all sorts of ideas for a beer. Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks, as we get ready to brew a batch of beer inspired by our walk through the Boyd tract. And if you haven’t gotten your tickets for the World Beer Festival in Raleigh yet, hurry and get them so you can try this beer and many others from NC craft breweries participating in this years’ Beers Made by Walking program. Cheers!