Beer and bikes ever the perfect pairing, Catawba Brewing, based in Morganton, N.C. (with additional locations in Asheville and Charlotte), has released a beer in collaboration with the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), a division of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), a non-profit educational association. IMBA-SORBA is the largest non-profit mountain biking organization in the Southeastern United States.
Catawba’s collaboration with SORBA, Hoppy Kölsch, follows suit with company ethos, which tends to revolve around adventure sports and outdoor recreation, said Brian Ivey, marketing director, Catawba Brewing.
“Catawba has a number of employees who list kayaking, hiking, and other outdoor activities among their passions outside of beer,” Ivey told Men’s Journal. “The Blue Ridge Mountains, where we live, are a big reason for that. We know that fans of craft beer tend to be people who appreciate the outdoors and enjoy active lifestyles, also.”
Past partnerships have included Catawba’s Astral Bootie Beer Session IPA, brewed in collaboration with Asheville-based kayak footwear company, Astral, and ENO Pilsner, a collaboration with Asheville hammock manufacturer, Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO).
Ivey said Catawba found “kindred spirits” in SORBA, which was a natural fit. “We wanted to help bring awareness to the great work Pisgah Area SORBA does in maintaining trails in Pisgah National Forest, Bent Creek Experimental Forest, and DuPont State Forest.”
With $1 for each pint sold designated for the donation bin, the SORBA-branded beer will help support the non-profit’s mission to promote land access, trail preservation, and new trail development to enhance mountain bike touring in the Southeast.
According to Catawba, Hoppy Kölsch is light in body and color, crisp, and effervescent, featuring a hint of fruitiness thanks to its use of traditional pilsner malts. Although the beer also incorporates traditional German hops typical of the kölsch style, using Noble hops, Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Hoppy Kölsch is a little heavier handed with its hops, accentuating the style’s dry finish.
“We all agreed our collaboration beer should be sessionable, light yet flavorful, refreshing...something you'd want to drink outside on a hot summer day. A traditional German-style Kölsch checked all those boxes, but our brewers decided to give the recipe a uniquely American twist, hopping the beer a bit more generously compared to the Old World style. We have a lot of hopheads here in Western North Carolina, so we wanted to the beer to have a little local flavor, with refreshing dry-hop citrus notes,” Ivey said.
Catawba beers can be found in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. Learn more at www.catawbabrewing.com.