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US brewery seeks ‘chief hiking officer’ to complete Appalachian Trail for $20,000

A brewery in Lexington, Virginia, is looking for a brand ambassador-cum-blogger to hike the Appalachian Trail and drink beer next year.

Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains a few miles away from where the famous hiking trail crosses through Virginia, is accepting applications for a “Chief Hiking Officer” to thru-hike all 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine next year.

The brewery, which is owned by AB InBev, will sponsor a lucky winner to walk the entire trail, while posting videos about their experience and sampling some of the beers in Devil’s Backbone’s portfolio along the way. Devil’s Backbone will pay for all hiking equipment, supply the beer, and also pay the successful candidate $20,000 for their efforts.

There is also the promise of “big ol’ beer parties” throughout the five to seven month slog, according to a blog post on the brewer’s website.

To enter, hopeful hikers need to submit an application which includes their Instagram handle or a link to a blog, as evidence they would be competent brand ambassadors during the expedition. They also must upload a 60-second video to convince the brewer’s recruiters they are capable of hiking 2,190 miles, drinking beer, and staying positive along the way.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the non-profit that manages the 2,190-mile trail, began cautioning hikers to stay home in mid-March as coronavirus started to spread around the US.

In normal times around 3,000 people hike the trail each season between March and October, but now, most hostels on the route are closed. Trail Days, an annual festival that usually attracts thousands of AT hikers each May to Damascus, Virginia, was also canceled.

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