This Brewery Is Giving Away a Free Mountain Getaway, Plus Beer

Burned out? Take a month off in the mountains.

This could be you. | Photo courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Company
This could be you. | Photo courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Maybe this sounds familiar: You’ve been stuck inside your house, staring at screens, working day in and day out for more than a year. You’re burnt out. Languishing, even. You just want to unplug and spend some time outdoors. Oh, also you like beer.

Well nature-challenged and beer-loving friend, Virginia’s largest craft brewery, Devils Backbone, is offering one lucky winner an “opt out of office” package worth $10,000. You’ll get the full month of September to hang in a tricked-out vintage Airstream trailer, a $1,000 gift card for grub at their pubs, and four additional camping passes so your friends can come frolic as well. 

Send in a one-minute video before the end of May convincing them why you deserve some R&R, and you may very well be whisked away to the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. Parked at their original brewery location, the Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows, on 100 acres of untouched wilderness, your new home comes fully loaded with two beds for you and friend (or dog), a full kitchen and bathroom, TV, fire pit, grill, heat and A/C. And, yes, there’s Wi-Fi for when you just can’t get away from answering email.

Not pictured: fridge full o' beer. | Photo courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Company

The prize also includes free guided activities like a horseback trail ride and chef-curated picnic and hike to help you connect with your surroundings. 

“We’re really looking for somebody who is really looking to be able to unplug and immerse yourself in the outdoors,” says Hayes Humphreys, COO of Devils Backbone. “Obviously we understand that not everybody can just take a month off and chill out. We’re looking for that perfect candidate who’s just ready to slow down and enjoy the world around them.”

We suggest appearing especially burned out and downtrodden in your video, and maybe throw in some outdoors ineptitude. Perhaps a scene where you fruitlessly try to build a fire and cartoonishly throw your hands up in the air, with a flummoxed expression? (Call us, we have ideas).

Take a picnic to Crabtree Falls. | Brandon Buckles/Shutterstock

All jokes aside, burnout these days is a real thing. Home is becoming conflated with work, which leads to blurred boundaries and longer working hours. Not to mention that there’s an actual pandemic still happening. Over 40 percent of respondents recently polled by FlexJobs (partnered with Mental Health America) said they experienced burnout during the pandemic. 

And more and more research is showing that nature is proven to alleviate stress and improve mental health. (Just look at the rise of therapies like forest bathing.)

In your down time, you can trek up to picture-perfect postcard overlooks at Humpback Rocks, once a landmark for wagon trains in the 1840s. Survey the views from Goat Point on House Mountain trail, named for the friendly goat that used to greet hikers (sadly he hasn’t been seen in a few years). Find your way to the stunning Crabtree Falls, one of the largest cascading waterfalls east of the Mississippi. Or perhaps try some of the many other wineries, breweries, and distilleries on Route 151.

And who knows, you may actually  learn some new skills. You’ll spend part of the time with the brewery’s chef learning about the nontraditional salad greens and edible plants grown on property. By the end of the month, you may just be a forager. Or not. If you’d rather just chill in your fancy Airstream, that’s cool too.

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Vanita Salisbury is Thrillist's Senior Travel Writer. She would always like to know about any friendly goats nearby.