Our little corner of West Virginia is known for the sulfur springs that first beckoned the native tribes, then later Europeans, and finally newly minted Americans to its healing waters. The Greenbrier Resort, situated less than a mile from our front door, exists because of those springs. People came from every corner to soak in the sulfurous water believing it healed rheumatism and every other manner of disease. It’s hard to say for sure.
At Big Draft Brewing, we draw our inspiration from other histories. Our name comes from Big Draft Road. Long ago, red spruce grew abundantly on our sloping mountainsides. With the expansion of the railroad, loggers began dragging the valuable timber down the valley—down Big Draft Road, specifically—to load onto railcars and ship it to big-city markets. Our small rail towns fattened themselves on the export of West Virginia’s plentiful resources. This was the place to be in the 20s, 30s and 40s, but it wasn’t without the labor of thousands and the sacrifice of the red spruce. Today, we’ve learned hard lessons. The red spruce is on the brink of a come back and so is White Sulphur Springs.