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The Mountain Boomer Brings Food, Drink, and Community to the High Country

The Mountain Boomer in Newland. Photo by Sarah Mathis.

By Harley Nefe

After meeting at App State in 2019 by both being enrolled in the Fermentation Sciences program, Dean Reed of Newland and Willie Olson of Sugar Grove are embarking on a new adventure of bringing quality, tasty ciders to the High Country.

Owners, veterans, and cider makers Reed and Olson began being business partners of The Mountain Boomer after realizing that they not only enjoyed each other’s company, but worked well together since completing countless classes, group projects, and brew days. 

Dean Reed and Willie Olson, owners of The Mountain Boomer. Photo by Sarah Mathis.

“We graduated last May, and we decided we wanted to try to make cider,” Reed said. “We lucked into this place and decided to open a restaurant first, and our goal is to add on our own ciders.”

Located at 1600 Jonas Ridge Hwy in Newland in the building that was formally the beloved staple of Christa’s Country Corner, The Mountain Boomer offers appetizers, sandwiches, smoked plates, desserts including ice cream, and a variety of drinks – local beers, wine, and ciders. 

“It was my 15-year-plan to do a cidery; I’m in the process of planting an orchard, and I just got my farm ID,” Olson explained. “And Dean came to me and was like, ‘If you want to, we can go into it now.’”  

Olson continued, “The past year Dean was looking for a spot, and finally he came to me, and said, ‘It’s not even on the market yet, but I found the perfect location.’”

Now, The Mountain Boomer can be spotted by a six-foot-tall wood carved red squirrel standing out front. When customers enter the building, they are welcomed into an open and inviting atmosphere that showcases what the High Country has to offer. 

“We want to highlight what we think is neat about the High Country,” Reed said. “Things like walking through the forest and looking up through the trees.”

Between two large murals, which were painted by Olson, that depict different mountain landscapes and artistic skylight panels across the ceiling, guests are transported into nature’s beauty. 

Olson described the restaurant’s environment: “It’s like you’re going over to somebody’s house and just hanging out – have a couple of beers, eat a good sandwich, listen to live music – Just the community part alone is awesome, watching everyone talk to each other and having a good time.”

Locals and tourists alike are invited to come out and see what The Mountain Boomer is all about. Hours of operation are Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Wednesday and Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m., and Sunday from 12-6 p.m. For more information about The Mountain Boomer, please visit the website at https://www.themountainboomer.com/ or follow the business on Facebook and Instagram at The Mountain Boomer.

After a few soft opening days, The Mountain Boomer celebrated its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, June 28. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
The Mountain Boomer’s logo was designed by Willie Olson. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
Red squirrels, also known as Mountain Boomers, can be seen throughout the restaurant. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
How many hidden red squirrels have you spotted at The Mountain Boomer? Photo by Sarah Mathis.
Hershey’s ice cream is just one of the delicious offerings that guests can enjoy at The Mountain Boomer. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
An outdoor seating area allows guests the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather in the High Country. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
“We think it’s important to recognize our veterans. I know what it’s like to be in the military. 99% of Americans – their idea is “thank you for your service,” not really realizing what they go through and what their families go through on a day-to-day basis. It’s a sacrifice they are willing to make.” -Dean Reed, owner of The Mountain Boomer. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
Landscapes of the surrounding area bring the High Country to the restaurant. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
A mural that was hand painted by Willie Olson, who shared that it only took about a week and a half to complete. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
Artistic skylight panels across the ceiling, along with landscape murals, transport guests into nature’s beauty. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
Photo by Sarah Mathis.
Locally made items like wooden bowls can be found for sale at The Mountain Boomer. Photo by Sarah Mathis.
Photo by Sarah Mathis.
Postcards are also available for purchase. Photo by Sarah Mathis.