Parkway Brewing Plays Bracket Buster

It’s not just the University of Virginia Cavaliers who are busting brackets this March, the Roanoke Region has a Cinderella story of its own. Salem’s Parkway Brewing rode a wave of community support to propel its way into the final four of Blue Ridge Outdoors’ MicroBrew Madness tournament.

The BRO bracket pitted the top 32 microbrews in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic against each other in a March Madness style tournament. At just over a year old, Parkway was one of the youngest breweries in the bracket, but this diaper dandy went on quite the run, making it all the way to the semifinals with several upsets along the way. Parkway’s flagship brew, Get Bent IPA, was chosen to represent the brewery in the IPA regional of the bracket, which was based on online reader votes.

“We were pleasantly surprised to be included in the bracket and humbled to make the final four with such distinguished breweries,” said Parkway Brewing Owner Mike “Keno” Snyder. “We appreciate our passionate supporters and look forward to providing great beer for years to come.” 

In the opening round, Parkway took down Black Mountain, North Carolina’s Pisgah Brewing Company IPA. Pisgah IPA was named the best beer in NC by the Daily Meal last year, so this opening round victory set the tone for the rest of the tournament. In the round of 16, Get Bent went up against the Hoptimization IPA from 3 Brothers Brewing out of Harrisonburg, Va. Previously in BRO, Harrisonburg was voted as the “Best Beer Town” in the Blue Ridge, mainly based on the popularity of 3 Brothers, so this was another tough matchup for Get Bent, especially given the in-state rivalry. Parkway again came out on top, a testament to the community support behind the brewery and its craft beer.

Now, in the round of eight, Parkway faced another upstart Virginia brewery; Three Notch’d 40 Mile IPA out of Charlottesville. Although 40 Mile gave Get Bent a run for its money, Parkway was able to outlast the competition to win the IPA Regional and advance to the Final Four, taking on the winner of the Lager regional.

Alas, this is where the Cinderella Story ended for Get Bent. Going head to head with one of the most award-winning breweries and award-winning beers on the East Coast was too much for the little brewery that could. Parkway went down to Devils Backbone Vienna Lager, who had run rampant through the Lager Regional, taking down Hi-Wire in the opening round, then a couple of major craft breweries in Oskar Blues and Heavy Seas. A fierce round of voting ended with Devils Backbone advancing to the finals. In a bit of a moral victory, DB did go on to take the title, topping Highland Brewing Gaelic Ale in the finals.

Congrats to Parkway Brewing on their fine performance and to all the Roanoke Region’s craft brew enthusiasts who voted in the tournament. 

See the final bracket >>>

Boston Globe Touts Roanoke Region’s “Unexpected Benefits”

Rain or shine, the Roanoke Region continues to impress visitors and travel writers. The Boston Globe is the latest publication to tout the area as a great place to live and visit with a featured travel article in this past Sunday’s Travel Section titled, “A Washout Brings Unexpected Benefits in Roanoke, Va.

Globe travel correspondent Diane Daniel made the trip to Roanoke with the intention of exploring the outdoors of the Roanoke Region and taking in the city by riding the greenway system by bike. Her original plans were thwarted by rain and flooding at Carvins Cove and the greenway, but that did not stop her from having a great time. Daniel even caught a surprise marriage proposal at McAfee Knob, an experience she highlighted in the opening segment of the article. 

Also mentioned are the Taubman and Transportation museums, First Friday Art by Night, Grandin Village, City Market, and Mill Mountain Park, among others. Below is an excerpt:

“To the outsider, Roanoke proper feels larger than its population of 97,000, especially because of its sizable downtown and active neighborhoods. Friendly locals I chatted with said the city had come alive in just the past few years, and one former resident I ran into twice, who now lives in Houston, couldn’t stop raving about the changes.
‘When I lived here it was a sleepy burg, and now it’s thriving,’ he said. ‘There’s music, art, the bike trails, restaurants. I still can’t believe it.’
The next day, our challenge was to venture into a few neighborhoods by navigating the scenic Roanoke River Greenway, a popular paved bike trail snaking through town and crossing the river at several points. We made it only a few hundred yards before we hit barricades. Because of the flood, several sections of the trail were under water.
Undaunted, we wound our way through Old Southwest, an architecturally rich residential area, and over to the charming Grandin Village, a revitalized business district born in the 1920s and now home to Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, a Saturday farmers’ market, the restored 1932 Grandin Theater, boutiques, yoga studio, and the farm-to-table hot spot, Local Roots restaurant. Heading back downtown, we popped into Black Dog Salvage, an architecture salvage operation whose affable owners star in the DIY Network show ‘Salvage Dawgs’ and whose 40,000-square-foot showroom is crammed with vintage columns, doors, windows, and bathtubs.”
The Boston Globe has a Sunday circulation of 362,849, and the article appeared online as well.
Read the online article on the Boston Globe website >>>

Alleghany Highlands Races Recognized

alleghany highlands gran fondoThe Alleghany Highlands continue the tradition of putting the Roanoke Region on the outdoor recreation map. Races in the highlands recently won praise from Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine, one of the strongest and most trusted authorities on outdoor sports in the region. In their February issue, Blue Ridge Outdoors cited the Middle Mountain Momma cycling race, the Alleghany Highlands Triathlon, Jackson River Scenic Trail Half Marathon, Allegheny Gran Fondo, and events at Lake Moomaw including a BASS fishing tournament and open water swim.

From biking, cycling, and trail running, to open water swimming and fishing, the Alleghany Highlands has something for every competitor. This diversity is just another example of the Roanoke Region’s ample outdoor recreation resources. 

Roughly half of the Alleghany Highlands lies inside the national forest, and includes a large portion of Douthat State Park meaning there is endless opportunities to get out and explore the area, even if you are not racing. 
Learn more about the races and other outdoor activities in the area here >>>

2013 A Good Year for Roanoke Region

Building on a 30 year tradition of success, the Roanoke Regional Partnership continued the economic growth of the Roanoke Region in 2013. 

Audience Reach 2013Founded in 1983, over the past 30 years the Partnership has assisted in bringing $1.5 billion in new investment and 14,000 primary new jobs to the region. Last year was no different, as the organization assisted 370 companies, and helped facilitate $122 million in new capital investment resulting in almost 300 new jobs for the area. Anchored by the largest single new business investment in Virginia in 2013 – Ardagh Group’s plan to open a new facility in Roanoke County – Roanoke saw new and expanding businesses across manufacturing, service, and retail. Once in full operation, the economic impact of these businesses is expected to jump to $159 million and over 600 new jobs for the region. 

As part of the Roanoke Regional Partnership’s mission to bring more attention to the area through different media, the audience reach continued to expand in 2013 through website visitors, newsletter subscribers, and social media exposure. 

The Roanoke Region also made 31 “Best of” lists in 2013, up from 20 the year before, including Best Places for Career and Business by Forbes, Best Regional Hospitals by U.S. News, 10 Beautiful Places to Run by USA Today, and Leader in Workforce Growth by Area Development Magazine. 

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