This weekend I did something fun that I wanted to share! It was one of my items on the summer bucket list! I did the Brewed on the Bikeway beer tour. Well, I don’t know if “beer tour” is the proper term. Maybe the Tour de Beer, if you will (I am so fucking clever). About a year ago, I found a pamphlet at a bike store for this event and have wanted to do it ever since. Now that my boyfriend finally has a bike, I figured there’s no better time than the present!
This Tour de Beer takes place on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway in Athens, OH. The trail is 20 miles long (so 40 if you do the whole thing since I am assuming you would have to turn around and go back to your car). HOWEVER, you don’t HAVE to do the full trail. There are plenty of shorter options. You also just do it on your own and whenever you want. There’s not like a registration fee or other people involved.
The westernmost starting point of the trail is in Nelsonville, OH which is about 10 miles northwest of Athens. There is one place here called Multiple Brewing (we didn’t go here because it wasn’t really close to the trail), but then you don’t hit the next brewery until you get to Athens about 10 miles later. We started in Nelsonville because we had driven an hour to get there and we wanted to do the full 40ish miles and really get our gas money’s worth.
We started on the trail at the Rocky Outdoor Gear store, because they have a parking lot for the trail. The entrance to the trail is very obvious here too and since it’s the start of the trail, there is only one direction to go so you won’t get confused or lost (I often get confused and lost so this was helpful). The trail between Nelsonville and Athens is beautiful! If you’re willing to bike 40 miles and have the time, I would highly recommend. It goes through the woods (it’a a paved bike path… I’m not some sort of cool mountain bike chick), but since it is in the Hocking Hills region, there were tons of cool limestone formations, for which the area is famous for (I like geology ok).
The first place we saw was directly on the trail so you can’t miss it. It was about 9 miles into our ride from Nelsonville. It’s called the Eclipse Company Store. Well, I guess it’s not actually a brewery, but more of a bar that has a lot of beers on tap. We considered stopping here but we wanted to go to the actual breweries first, then see how much time we had on our way back.
About a mile or two later, there is a part where the trail branches off to the left and takes you to Devil’s Kettle brewery. We planned on going there, but there was a “road closed” sign on that part of the trail so we couldn’t get there. UGH. Onto the next one.
About another or mile or two down the trail, there was another little branch off trail that took us to Little Fish brewery. This place was small but the beers were so good! After that, we continued down the path another two miles or so. This part of the trail took us along the edge of Ohio University’s campus which was cool because I had never seen it before (Miami is still way better).
Our next stop was Jackie O’s taproom. Jackie O’s was a little more off of the bike trail but it was still easy to get to. We got ourselves a flight of 6 beers THAT COST TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS WHICH IS INSANE. But it was worth it because the flights came on this board shaped like Ohio and it honestly made for a beautiful Instagram post. I’ll spend a pretty penny for a good Instagram. I was thirsty for those beers AND for those likes.
All of the beers we had on that flight were awesome! I won’t lie, both of us were getting a little bit turnt. I mean it was like 95 degrees outside and we had biked like 17 miles at that point so we had been sweating a little. We decided that we should probably eat something since it was about 2pm and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. Also we needed to soak up some of the beer so we didn’t drunkenly crash our bikes and die.
On the Brewed on the Bikeway website, they mention a place called Miller’s Chicken. This place wasn’t really near the bike trail AND it was the ONLY restaurant they mentioned, so that means it had to be good. Also, even though it wasn’t on the trail, it was still really easy to find. We decided to stop there to eat AND MAN, it was SO GOOD. The place itself was a little dingy so I was bit weary when we first walked in. But god damn if that wasn’t the best fried chicken I have ever had.
We split fried chicken and chicken tenders, then had mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, and green beans as our sides. Yes, that is a lot of food, but I needed to absorb the beer ok? So don’t judge me???
After lunch, we headed over to our next destination which was the West End Cider House. The ambiance here was definitely my vibe. They had a cool outdoor patio and there was a table full of basic bitches and bros nearby, so I truly felt at home. I got a blueberry cider here and it was SO GOOD. It wasn’t too sweet and it was perfect on a hot day.
After the Cider House, we decided to head back to the trail through OU’s campus because when we biked in, we had only really seen the edge of it. Again, it was really pretty but sorry I am a Miami girl sooo…..
We biked the 18-19 miles back to my car and got there around 6pm (we started this whole thing around noon). I think we biked a total of 37.5 miles because we didn’t do the entirety of the trail. Once you go past OU, I think the trail only goes another mile or two to a parking lot, so we didn’t feel the need to go over there. As I said before, if you did do the ENTIRE thing out and back, it would be 40 miles.
It was a really fun day! Like I said, we could have also done Devil’s Kettle if the road wasn’t closed and the Eclipse Company Store place (we opted out of going there on our way back because it was getting kind of late). Additionally, if you did bike to Nelsonville you could go to Multiple Brewing, which I mentioned earlier. However, it is not easily accessible by the trail so we didn’t go.
If you were looking to do a shorter ride, that would definitely be feasible on this trail. I would recommend parking at the lot on the end of the trail in Athens and then just doing the breweries in Athens. I calculated if you started at the Athens end of the trail and went to the Eclipse Company Store and back, you would only bike around 12 miles.
ANYWAY, highly recommend. Good times were had by all. No one crashed or got a bike DUI. So all around good day.
Here is a link to more information about the bike trail: https://athensbikeandbrew.com/