first_imgU.S. offshore wind auction blows past previous record FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:A record-breaking auction buoyed the U.S. offshore wind industry last Friday when a “bidding bonanza” for three lease areas offshore Massachusetts yielded $405 million in winning bids. After 32 rounds of bidding spread across two days, provisional winners were announced for lease areas covering 390,000 acres in federal waters located south of both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which conducted the auction, the three lease areas can support 4.1 gigawatts of wind generation capacity.The three winning bids each came in at $135 million. Provisional winners are: Equinor Wind US, LLC, the U.S. arm of the Norwegian oil major; Mayflower Wind Energy, LLC, a 50/50 joint venture between Shell and EDP Renewables; and Vineyard Wind, LLC, a 50/50 joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables.With the conclusion of the Massachusetts auction, BOEM now manages 15 active wind leases. Lease sales have generated a total of $473 million in winning bids for the right to develop offshore wind projects across nearly 2 million acres in federal waters. Before last Friday’s auction, the highest-grossing lease sale had been a December 2016 auction for a tract offshore New York that resulted in a $42.5-mllion winning bid.For industry watchers, the record-breaking auction demonstrates that the fast-maturing U.S. market is poised for explosive growth.“These lease prices and the fact that we had 19 companies eligible to bid on these leases is great news for the overall U.S. offshore wind marketplace,” said Liz Burdock, President & CEO, Business Network for Offshore Wind, in a statement. She noted that just three years ago the same three lease areas did not receive bids in the first Massachusetts offshore wind auction.Anthony Logan, research analyst covering North America wind power for Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, agreed that the aggressive bidding signaled developers’ confidence in future cost reductions. “These are just the prices to get the lease areas, and there are rent payments which jump significantly when these projects come online. At these rates they start making a meaningful impact on overall project economics,” he wrote in an email. But, he added, “another way to look at this is it’s a vote of confidence in continued LCOE [levelized cost of electricity] reductions for offshore wind, and moreover, continued LCOE reductions in the United States.”More: Record-Breaking Massachusetts Offshore Wind Auction Reaps $405 Million in Winning Bidslast_img read more

first_imgAnalysts see potential for sharp drop in global thermal coal prices FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Market sources say thermal coal prices appear poised for a sharp drop that could seriously squeeze producer profit margins, especially for high-cost mining companies. A number of thermal coal producers facing high-cost structures are in Australia, Russia and the U.S., and could be among those vulnerable to lower prices, sources said.They stressed, however, that it could be a long, drawn-out process before higher cost producers are forced to withdraw from business due to certain fixed costs.Take-or-pay costs in terms of transport to market and port charges mean coal miners can be incentivized to keep on producing despite low market prices. Added to this, mothballing mines or putting them on to a care-and-maintenance basis can be expensive, another reason to keep high-cost mines going, sources said. A source said he had seen certain coal producers carry on their operations on a negative cash flow basis rather than exit the industry.In the last market downturn a few years ago, some coal producers in Australia opted to maximize their production to retain market share, despite the effect of this strategy on coal prices and the wider market.Demand from Taiwan-based power plants is looking weak due to cooler weather, market sources said, pointing to the fall in Newcastle 6,000 kcal/kg NAR prices. “Power consumption is coming down, coupled with pressure to reduce coal use, so coal demand in Taiwan is unlikely to go up in the near term,” a Taiwan-based market source said. The same source added that even low prices are unlikely to prompt much buying interest for now due to low demand.A trader in China said finding willing customers for Australian high-ash cargoes was increasingly difficult. “There is no place to sell cargoes,” he said of the China market.More ($): Higher-cost thermal coal producers in spotlight on price falllast_img read more

first_imgOklahoma cooperative, NextEra to build wind-plus-solar-plus-storage facility FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Oklahoman:One of Oklahoma’s biggest electric cooperatives is juicing up its power capacity using cutting-edge technology. On Tuesday, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative announced it executed a power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy Resources that includes 200 megawatts of battery-stored energy and will take the capacity of its generating fleet to more than 3 gigawatts.Gary Roulet, the cooperative’s CEO, said Tuesday the project will help the cooperative boost the amount of reliable, low-cost and environmentally friendly energy it provides its customers. “With the prices of wind and solar energy lower than ever, we are now able to pair those with battery storage to make more affordable, renewable energy available to customers for more hours of the day — even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining,” he said.Cooperative officials also said they expect the battery unit to be the first of its type active within the Southwest Power Pool when it becomes operational in 2023.“Wind has the tendency to blow during night times, while solar generates its energy during the day,” said Phil Schaeffer, the cooperative’s principal resource planning engineer. “We are really hoping to see how battery storage interacts with that whole profile.The power purchase agreement between Western Farmers and NextEra cements plans to complete what the developer stated will be the largest combined wind, solar and energy storage project in the U.S. The agreement announced Tuesday, Schaeffer agreed, could be the first of many similar projects across the Great Plains to generate power for the Southwest Power Pool regional transmission organization. Currently, more than 6,600 megawatts of storage projects are in some phase of development in the pool’s area, which covers parts or all of 14 states from Oklahoma to the U.S.-Canadian border.The NextEra project, called Skeleton Creek, will be located in Garfield, Alfalfa and Major counties and will become operational in phases. The first piece, Skeleton Creek Wind, will have the capacity to generate 250 megawatts of wind energy when it comes online at the end of this year. Skeleton Creek Solar will have the capacity to generate 250 megawatts of solar energy. It and the final piece of 200 megawatts of storage, called Skeleton Creek Storage, are expected to become operational in 2023. Officials said the batteries will be able to supply power for four hours on a full charge.More: Western Farmers Electric Cooperative agrees to tap wind, solar and battery-powered energy to help meet future demandslast_img read more

first_imgMOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM THE BRO EDITORIAL TEAMI’ll never forget using night-vision goggles to look for Bigfoot in the woods near Quantico at 2 a.m. (“In Search of Bigfoot,” August 2008).—Graham Averill, Senior EditorOn one of my first assignments for Blue Ridge Outdoors (“Ferris’ Week Off,” July 2003), I spent a week straight tackling a different adventure: mountain biking Canaan Valley, rafting the New River, climbing Great Falls, backpacking Shenandoah, and running the Willis River Trail. The story culminated with my tandem hang gliding lesson near Lynchburg, Va. I was stunned by the abrupt shift of emotions that came with soaring through the air at 2,500 feet. Extreme fear suddenly turned into meditative peacefulness as I stared into the Blue Ridge sunset.—Jedd Ferris, Managing EditorIronically, during my run across Great Smoky Mountains National Park for Clean Air (March 2002 cover), I suffered a debilitating, pollution-induced respiratory attack. The experience was disappointing at the time, but it ended up playing a pivotal role in a lawsuit filed by the state of North Carolina against Tennessee Valley Authority over its pollution-spewing coal-fired power plants. North Carolina won the lawsuit, and TVA is now required to install pollution control devices on all power plants affecting Great Smokies National Park and the state of North Carolina.—Will Harlan, Editor-in-Chieflast_img read more

first_imgThis video by Dean S. Potter caused a lot of buzz — and ensuing controversy — when it was released onto the Internets this week.When Dogs Fly: World’s First Wingsuit BASE Jumping Dog from Dean S. Potter on Vimeo.On a lighter note, here’s a short clip on Washington’s boutique Dry Fly Distillery…And, a rare beaching of dozens of dolphins in Brazil and beachgoers come to their rescue:last_img

first_imgWe raise the mainsail with one reef in it, anticipating the strength of 25 knots as we tack our way up the Sir Francis Drake Channel into a strong current.The moment I cut the engine off, it takes a minute for the throbbing echo to stop resounding in my ears. I’m tempted to call what follows silence, and for a minute all seems quiet.I listen closer. I pick up on subtle noises all around me. The sound of the wind filling the sails, blowing the lose lines, rattling against the mast or shrouds. There’s the boat pounding over swell and slamming down into the trough of a wave, like a loud smack. The dinghy slices the sailboat’s wake.The wind and water creates a complicated song that I can finally hear without the dull drone of the engine, giving me clues on how to trim the mainsail and steer the boat. I feel gusts on my face or ears before I see it on the water.I flirt with the edge, steering into the wind and asking Sarah to sheet in the main tight over the boom, trying to reach Virgin Gorda in something closer to a straight line than zig-zagging at ninety degree angles.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe prepare to tack and I drive the wheel hard to starboard, but with the main reefed, the Kazejin is no match for the strong current. The bow points into the wind and then gets blown back to the port side.“Raise the jib,” I call out to Sarah. My voice sounds frayed and frantic even to my own ears. Sarah cranks in the jib sheet and I release the furling line, and the jib fills with air, powering up Kazejin and the boat heels over until the rails skim the water’s surface.Tobin’s curled up in the cabin, tucked up in a ball taking a nap. Sarah and Maya shift their weight to starboard, but the Kazejin stays leaned over.We finally have enough speed to power through a tack. I steer into the wind and let out on the jib so Sarah can pull it in on the starboard side.I get in a zone of feeling the wind, steering closer upwind when I feel a gust, readjusting for the swell. Everything else falls away. Sailing requires constant movement, studying the sails, letting them out or sheeting them in, shifting my weight to balance my body on the tilted floorboards.It’s just the wind, swell, Sarah and I, sailing.Hours pass like that. Tacking into the wind, reading the chart and making sure we know which islands we pass. As we get closer to Virgin Gorda, we point north on a beam reach. The boat settles flatter and we stay on the same point of sail for the rest of the way.Tobin pokes his head up the companionway. My heart swells with the sight of his smile. He’s been out of my mind during the intensity of tacking upwind, but now seeing him the experience feels richer, somehow deeper._MG_1499Tobin helps me steer and I smile up at the sun, soaking up the abundance of the moment. I am the luckiest woman in the world to have these worlds overlap, that I can coexist as a mama and still get sideways.[divider]More from Mountain Mama[/divider]last_img read more

first_imgIt’s good to be home.That will most certainly be the sentiment on Friday, as songwriter Jane Kramer, who has long had ties with the Asheville area, returns to The Grey Eagle to celebrate the release of her brand new record, Carnival of Hopes.Kramer, who studied at Warren Wilson College and made her musical mark in the region as part of The Barrel House Mamas, spent some years out west before returning to North Carolina last year.Kramer is certainly hitting her stride on Carnival of Hopes, her second solo release. She embraces songwriting that runs through a gamut of emotions, with heartache, regret, fear, and hope resounding deeply in her lyrics, and each tune is delivered with a voice that only be described as one of the purest in modern Americana.Carnival of Hopes is a steady stream of beauty and features a bevy of musicians well familiar to the Asheville scene. Nicky Sanders, long time fiddler for Steep Canyon Rangers, took part in the recording, as did Franklin Reel, cellist for Sirius B, and Eliot Wadopian, River Guerguerian, and Chris Rosser of Free Planet Radio. Many of these musicians, along with others from the record and many of Kramer’s Asheville friends, will be joining her on stage Friday night.For evidence of just how good Jane Kramer is, check out the title track from the new record, which Trail Mix happily features this month.Jane Kramer called Western North Carolina home for a time before venturing off. Now she has returned, complete with a rousing and powerful new record. Like the antique ferris wheel featured on her new disc, she has come full circle.For more information on Jane Kramer, the new record, or her concert schedule, make sure to check out her website.Trail Mix would like to give you the chance to catch Jane Kramer, along with The Sea The Sea, on Friday at The Grey Eagle. If you are interested, take a shot at the trivia question down below. Email your answer to dave@blueridgeoutdoors.com. A winner of two tickets to the show will be chosen from all correct answers received by noon tomorrow (Thursday, February 25th).Question . . . All of the tracks on Carnival of Hopes were written by Jane, with the exception of “Down South.” What free fallin’ songwriter can take credit for penning that one?And remember . . . . email your answers in. Don’t post them down below in the comments section. That’s no fun for anyone![divider]More from the Trail Mix Blog[/divider]last_img read more

first_imgWe’re living in a Golden Age of festivals. If you love live music and a great outdoor hang, there’s never been a better time to find your ideal fest. From big music bashes to boutique gatherings, there are fun galas taking place nearly every weekend from spring through fall, throughout the Blue Ridge and beyond. To help you wade through the options, follow BRO’s guide to choosing the right festival, focusing on the best experiences in tunes, brews, and adventures.In the following pages you’ll also find a Festival Calendar, rounding up nearly 100 of the region’s best bashes.Witness History at the Super JamsSince its first year in 2002, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (June 9-12;), has become the pace setter for the current explosion of multi-band mega fests, bringing 80,000 fans to a 700-acre farm in the middle of Tennessee for one of the country’s most eclectic, high-profile music extravaganzas. Endure the elements—heat, dust, and crowds—and you’ll be treated to sets from a wide range of artists, this year including Pearl Jam, Dead & Co., a reunited LCD Soundsystem, Jason Isbell, and Death Cab for Cutie.While Bonnaroo has definitely grown beyond its jam band roots, that spirit is still alive with the festival’s annual Super Jam. Usually starting around 1 a.m., the jam has yielded some legendary collaborations between artists who don’t normally play together. In 2007 Ben Harper mixed it up with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, and in 2012 the jam staged D’Angelo’s musical comeback, with the neo-soul icon backed by Questlove and a hand-picked funk band. Last year upped the ante with a themed “80s Throwback Superjam” that turned into a huge dance party led by Pretty Lights, DMC of Run DMC, Metallica’s Rob Trujillo, and Chance the Rapper. This year it hasn’t yet been revealed who will be in the mix, but the festival has also added a Bluegrass Super Jam on Sunday led by banjo-playing comedic actor Ed Helms.Another event that specializes in creating spontaneous onstage moments is the Lockn’ Music Festival (August 25-28; Arrington, Va.), a four-day sonic rager that takes place on the idyllic Oak Ridge Farm in Nelson County, Va. This jam fan’s paradise offers an alternative to the usual festival formula by holding bands on two massive side-by-side stages with no overlapping sets. The fest is also known for orchestrating interesting collaborations between artists, like last year’s mingling of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh with Santana and Warren Haynes, as well as Widespread Panic’s set with reggae icon Jimmy Cliff. No collaborations had been announced at press time, but the initial line-up is a doozy, featuring Phish, My Morning Jacket, Ween, and many more.Lockn' - Friday - Timmermans-20150911-162_FIXCatch the Legends While You CanEarlier this year, we received sudden reminders that rock legends are not immortal when David Bowie and Glenn Frey of the Eagles passed away within days of each other. Fortunately, many of the old school greats are still on the road, but frankly, a lot of them are a little long in the tooth. Festivals often offer the opportunity to knock multiple legends off your musical bucket list at one time.This spring and summer Greg Allman is hosting his Laid Back Festival (laidbackfestival.com) in five different cities, including Atlanta on May 7 and Nashville on June 25. The Allman Brothers Band keyboardist is now 68, but since his main group retired in 2014 he’s seemed energized and maintained an active touring regimen, mixing Brothers classics and his own material with his solo band. At the Laid Back opener in Atlanta, Allman is bringing along fellow rock vets ZZ Top and steadily rising outlaw country crew Blackberry Smoke. This summer Allman is also playing FloydFest and Peachfest in Scranton, Pa.Fans of fast picking and grinning should plan a trip to southwest Virginia for Dr. Ralph Stanley’s Hills of Home Memorial Weekend Bluegrass Festival (May 26-28). Still performing at age 89, Stanley is a pioneer of the high lonesome sound dating back to his days playing with his brother Carter in the Stanley Brothers in the 1940s. He still plays a set every day at his annual festival, a down-home, multi-band traditional bluegrass gala in a beautiful setting that’s approaching its 46th year.Add Some AdventureFestivals are much more than multi-band concerts. Sure, the music might be the main draw that lures you through the gates, but these days many festivals offer adventure opportunities alongside the sounds. The Mountain Music Festival (June 3-4; mountainmusicfestwv.com), a two-day bash in West Virginia’s New River Gorge, has a line-up of adrenaline-inducing activities to match its roster of killer bands. Taking place at ACE Adventure Resort, a 1,500-acre spread in the heart of the gorge, the festival site sits next to some of the best whitewater runs and climbing crags in the region. Before you get down to sets by Trampled by Turtles, the Infamous Stringdusters, Lotus, and Galactic, take a rafting trip on the Lower New or bring your mountain bike and ride ACE’s 30 miles of trails. Other activities offered during the fest: Zip lining, paddleboarding, and a mud run.Another popular event that’s recently upped its adventure game is FloydFest (July 27-31), an eclectic roots music carnival that takes place just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd, Va. Since its inception back in 2002, FloydFest has become known for bridging the gap between Appalachian traditions and the melting pot of independent roots music from the around the rest of the world. On nine stages big headliners like Greg Allman, Warren Haynes, Bruce Hornsby, Greensky Bluegrass, and Fela Kuti perform alongside up and comers like Head for the Hills and West African music act Selasee & the Fafa Family.G0041941_FIX-759x500Set on a mountain plateau that’s surrounded by some of Virginia’s most scenic terrain, FloydFest organizers now offer plenty of ways to explore this pristine open space. In addition to a 5K trail race, the fest also has a nine-hole disc golf course and onsite singletrack on the Moonstomper Mountain Bike Trail. There’s also an organized off-site 19-mile ride, the Belcher Mountain Beat Down, which features 1,600 feet of climb and offers shuttle service back to the festival, as well as organized paddling trips on the Little River.Party on the Appalachian TrailIf you love the outdoors and you live in the footprint of the Blue Ridge, Trail Days (May 13-15) is a bucket list festival. Set in the quaint southwestern Virginia town of Damascus, known as Trail Town, U.S.A., the festival is a big reunion for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers and a huge weekend party that lets all outdoor enthusiasts become immersed in A.T. culture. Throughout the weekend, check out gear booths, hear live bluegrass, and watch hikers get goofy in a parade, talent show, and prom. There are also talks and presentations by A.T. legends of yesteryear.At the fest, mainly set in Town Park but spreading throughout town, it’s also easy to enjoy the surrounding scenery. The A.T. runs right through Damascus, so it’s easy to pick up the trail and take a hike. You can also bring your bike and jump on the rugged Iron Mountain Trail for some tough singletrack or the family-friendly Virginia Creeper Trail for an easy rail trail ride. At night pitch a tent at one of the designated campgrounds on the edge of town. You’ll likely find a hiker to share some old trail stories and sips from a jar of ‘shine.Bring the Whole FamilySure, bringing the kids to a huge festival with thick crowds might seem like an overwhelming proposition. But fortunately the Blue Ridge has some intimate musical gatherings that feature top-notch line-ups to please mom and dad while also holding plenty of activities to keep the little ones happy. If you’re inclined to make it a family affair, check out one of these kid-friendly fests.LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival)May 12-15; Black Mountain, N.C.theleaf.orgThe Lake Eden Arts Festival—better known as LEAF—goes above and beyond when it comes to keeping kids entertained at a multi-band music festival. A few years ago the fest, nestled within the mountainous Camp Rockmont, expanded its offerings for youngsters with the addition of eight Family Adventure Villages that include everything from puppetry and hands-on nature programs to art projects and organized games. Add swimming and paddling in Lake Eden and the kids will certainly be tuckered and ready for some tent slumber.In addition to the family fun, LEAF features one of the most diverse arrays of artistic offerings of any fest in the region: live music, dance workshops, healing arts, and much more. There’s also the music, which covers sounds from around the globe. Acts this year include Shovels and Rope, Juan De Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Fatoutmata Diawara, and Sarah Jarosz.Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival May 26-29; Martinsville, Va.roosterwalk.comThis homegrown festival recently got some new digs, moving last year to the scenic Pop’s Farm near Martinsville. Attendance has increased as fest organizers continue to add bigger national acts to the Rooster Walk line-up, but this is still a relatively small event with plenty of open space and a dedicated kid’s area to keep the kiddos happy. Acts on the bill this year include Lettuce, the Sam Bush Band, Perpetual Groove, and the Revivalists.Bonus: This festival has a heartfelt purpose, created to honor two Martinsville locals who passed away. Proceeds from your ticket dollars go to a high school scholarship program created in their honor, as well as other regional charities.Red Wing Roots Music FestivalJuly 8-10; Mt. Solon, Va.redwingroots.com Red Wing takes place in the relaxed confines of Natural Chimneys Park, a comfortable campground in the shadow of towering limestone rock formations. The festival, located in the Shenandoah Valley near Harrisonburg, was started by lauded string band and area natives the Steel Wheels, who curate a carefully selected line-up of Americana and acoustic music acts that perform on multiple stages in very close proximity. This year the fest will be headlined by Dawes, Shovels and Rope, the Lone Bellow, and the Steep Canyon Rangers. “We want music that draws from traditions of old country, folk, singer-songwriter, Cajun and bluegrass—what you would consider the roots of American music,” Steel Wheels front man Trent Wagler said about crafting the festival’s line-up. “We’re working hard to find great music that defines that term for us.”While the festival’s musical ambitions are broad, attendance is intentionally kept relatively small to accommodate families. Red Wing also has an impressive slate of kid’s activities, including a Kinfolk Stage devoted to music for little ones.Dig into Country’s Roots in BristolLocated on the southwest Virginia/eastern Tennessee border, Bristol holds great historic significance in the first generation of country music. Back in 1927 a record producer named Ralph Peer working for the Victor Talking Machine Company set up a recording studio in a hat factory on State Street, the small city’s main drag. After placing an ad looking for Appalachian musicians from the surrounding area, Peer organized the now-famous Bristol Sessions, which yielded the first recordings by bluegrass pioneer Jimmie Rodgers and the legendary Carter Family.The legacy of those historic recordings is upheld at the Smithsonian-affiliated Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and it really comes to life every fall at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion (September 16-18), a bustling street festival that spans downtown and incorporates roots music from a range of generations and styles. Impressively, the festival manages to seamlessly bridge traditional icons with emerging acts in roots rock and indie folk, hosting bands and singer-songwriters along State Street (which straddles the Virginia/Tennessee line) on 22 stages—some outdoors, others inside theaters and bars. At first it may seem like a stretch to see Loretta Lynn on a bill with Houndmouth, but when you consider the evolution and stylistic shake-ups in country music through its near century in existence, this festival’s line-up makes perfect sense. Additional acts on the bill this year include Cracker, Marty Stuart, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Keller Williams, Anderson East, and many more.Pick with Your Heroes at Jam CampDelfest (May 26-29) is a progressive bluegrass and roots music festival hosted by genre legend Del McCoury in the scenic Potomac River Valley of western Maryland. The festival’s line-up mingles top-notch string bands and heavyweights in Americana and roots rock, this year featuring Bruce Hornsby, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Greensky Bluegrass, the Infamous Stringdusters, and Railroad Earth, along with the usual sets by Del and his sons in the Travelin’ McCourys.To make the most of the festival, consider coming early for the DelFest Academy, a four-day bluegrass camp that features instruction for musicians of all skills levels by acts on the fest bill. Starting the Sunday prior to the festival, the Academy offers the chance to learn from pro pickers with specific instruction for guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and bass. In addition to the instrument classes, the camp also includes plenty of group jam sessions, intimate performances by instructors, and Bluegrass Karaoke, which gives students a chance to play a song backed by their heroes. Instructors this year include all of the Travelin’ McCourys, Andy Falco of the Infamous Stringdusters, and mandolin-playing songstress Sierra Hull.Another Jam: Banjo ace Pete Wernick of Hot Rize also hosts a Bluegrass Camp prior to Merlefest every April in Wilkesboro, N.C.Drink the Best in BrewLast fall, the Brewers Association announced that there are now more than 4,000 active breweries in the U.S. and 75 percent of adults age 21 and older live within 10 miles of a local brewery. It’s hard to predict how big the craft beer boom will get, but as more brewers continue to open new operations their best opportunities to get beers in the hands of new drinkers are at the many craft beer festivals taking place across the country.With Virginia and North Carolina being craft beer hotbeds, it’s no wonder that the Blue Ridge is full of beer fests. Just outside of Charlottesville, Va., in the small town of Crozet, regional mainstay Starr Hill Brewery is getting set to host the IPA Jambeeree, a new fest that will celebrate the best in hoppy brews from the Commonwealth. The Jambeeree will feature a dozen Virginia breweries pouring more than 40 local IPAs. New varieties have taken hops in many directions, so whether you like bitter, piney, floral, or fruity, you’ll find what you’re looking for at this beer bash. Add live music, food trucks, and brewer exhibits, and you get some serious good times taking place at Hangar Park, across from Starr Hill’s brewery and tap room.Down south, Burning Can (July 15-16) is hosted by Oskar Blues Brewery at its REEB Ranch outpost in Brevard, N.C. Taking place at a scenic spot on the edge of the Pisgah National Forest, the fest features more than 50 killer breweries that put their best liquid in cans, as well as plenty of outdoor playtime, including a Beer Relay trail run, group mountain bike rides, a dirt-jumping comp, and paddle trips. Plus, there’s camping, so you don’t have to worry about getting home after drinking too many Dale’s Pale Ales.last_img read more

first_imgBetween Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky there is a town, which lays claim to being the home of bourbon, horses, and wine. Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky and is a one-stop city for those searching for adventure, history, and southern hospitality.With an overwhelming amount of activities to choose from, be sure to check out this guide on how to make your trip to Frankfort the ultimate visit.elkhorn-whitewaterFrankfort Day 1Lodging OptionCreekside lounging is available at Elkhorn Campground, with 125 campsites on property. The campground is RV friendly and is open April 1 – October 31 every year. The campground is under 10 minutes away from downtown and has a general store with groceries, a pavilion that seats up to 200, a large fire pit, a playground, a pool, a putt-putt course, river access, and much more is available to guests. Ride OnCapitol View Park is the mountain biking trail system to visit in Frankfort. With over 11 miles of trails, the rides bounce back and forth from park boundaries to state property. The park is open year-round and there’s something for all skill levels. Be sure to check out the Bluegrass State Games mountain bike race in July or the kids bike series in October. The Frankfort Parks and Rec Department does advise bikers to carry extra tubes, tire liners, and sealant due to native trees and bushes with thorns that lie next to the trails.mountain-bikingimg_1099Grab A Cold OneCheck out Ethereal Brewing Company in Lexington for classically flavored stouts and some brews with a Kentucky twang. The brewery is known for hosting events, such as Tap Takeovers where the company partners with another brew, and has live music often.Hike It OffGet a preemptive strike on dinner by checking out Cove Spring Park, home to over 240 acres of wetlands, waterfalls, and ravines. There are three miles of trails exploring the area, and wildlife is frequently observed. Waterfalls and historic features are scattered along the trails, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. Good EatsHungry? Check out Serafini in town, located directly across from the old State Capitol. The restaurant boasts using local ingredients and seamlessly combines Italian roots and the southern traditions of Kentucky. In addition to the great food, Serafini brings it home with an extensive bourbon list.Wait, Wait! There’s More!If you’re in town during the months of June – September, check out the free summer concerts on the lawn of the old State Capitol. These occur every other Friday, so be sure to check the schedule and be ready to hear some good ole mountain music. The month of June also hosts the River Blast Festival, a family fun event Frankfort Day TwoLodging OptionStay at the Elkhorn Campground for a second night by the river, or pop a squat in The Meeting House, located in the historic district. The Meeting House is an 1840 pre-Civil War house that has been transformed into a bed and breakfast. There’s a café on the property and the space is available for small functions and events, with the ability to accommodate up to 40 people.elksalatorestorationGet EducatedThe Salato Wildlife Education Center offers indoor and outdoor exhibits just waiting to be discovered. The center has native wildlife located along exhibit trails, stocked lakes for the fishers in the family, and four miles of hiking trails. One of the highlights for the indoor exhibit is an Alligator Snapping Turtle, which weighs nearly 100 pounds. Outside, there are elk, bison, bobcats, and more. The center is closed on Sunday and Monday each week and is closed from November 26 – March 1. Splashing AroundLog some river hours on the Kentucky River or Elkhorn Creek. Canoe Kentucky is a company in Frankfort that will take you on the trip you need. The company offers stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. All activities are water level dependent, but between the two bodies of water there’s always something to do. Try out nightglow paddle trips, or even SUP yoga.screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-1-29-43-pmMore Good EatsCap off your trip with a visit to Bourbon on Main, a local restaurant that backs up to the Kentucky River. This restaurant is one of the most popular in Frankfort and only allows those 21 and over inside. The food is classic Americana and the bourbon list is incredibly long. A friendly community is ever-present and events like Thursday night trivia, live music on Fridays, and an upstairs art gallery draw in the masses.Seasonal TreatsThe Frankfort Striders host themed running events every month throughout the year, including one called the “Funnel Cake 5k.”  In May, it’s Derby season and downtown Frankfort hosts the governor and many visitors as a festival ensues. Kick off the holiday season in November with the annual Candlelight Tradition downtown. Carriage rides and hot chocolate are aplenty and there are rumors that a special someone (SANTA!!!) just can’t stay away from the magical celebration in Frankfort, Kentucky. More 48 Hours:last_img read more