Forgotten no more: “Lost Trail” beer series debuts in Knoxville

Albright Grove Brewery makes ales with unique backstories, A new set is named after once-forgotten real places.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Food and drink just tastes better with a backstory. From dangerous rapids, murder, old growth forests, and a little foam, you’ll want to pull up a barstool. These Smokies tales, almost forgotten, are now immortalized in pint cans.

“It’s like discovering a whole new area of the country all over again,” Nick Barron said. He’s the owner and a brewer at Albright Grove.

Even in America’s most visited national park, there are places to get away from it all, if you’re willing to sweat enough. The lost trails of the Smokies. Like the epically-named Mellinger Death Ridge.

“This guy Mellinger... stumbled into a bear trap that was illegally set. The poachers found him still alive...and they ended up pushing him over a cliff edge” Barron said. “That ended up being the story of the name of the ridge.”

Suds with stories off of Sutherland.

“This is really deep into the area of the park, that very few people get to,” Barron said.

Albright Grove’s Nick Barron grew up hiking the Smokies. Now most of his beer cans are named after real places

Like the ‘Little River’ IPA coming off the line - or Tropical Bill. That one’s part of the “Lost Trail” series.

“A rapid one of my friends named Tropical Bill. I have no idea exactly why he named it that,” Barron said.

“But it just kind of seemed to fit with the theme and the beer name.”

The kid-friendly space has something for everyone, even craft beer beginners.

“So we kept making it more and more,” Barron said.

This India pale ale - Nick says it’ll remind you of an Orange Julius - is leaving the cold tank and heading inside. That beer is also named after an isolated trail head.

“Very few people actually go over there,” Barron said.

With such a big national park - Albright will brew limited releases for a long time.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any shortage of it,” Barron said.

Whether you’re testing your map skill on an overgrown trailhead or dipping your toes into locally made beer for the first time:

“That is above and beyond... it’s definitely bushwhacking,” Barron said.

You won’t have to hike far to find these cans. Albright sells at a few Knoxville Kroger, Whole Foods, and many local restaurants.

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