With more than 100 breweries in place and more opening every year, Virginia has become a magnet for the craft beer industry. Local love is on tap and August has been named Virginia Craft Beer Month.
The world is taking notice. Virginia’s craft breweries are receiving awards and accolades in many of the nation’s top publications. And it’s not just the beer that’s drawing people to Virginia’s craft breweries. These local watering holes are becoming destinations to spend the day by offering live music, great food, lots of fun and even entertainment for children.
San Diego-based microbrewery Stone Brewing Company plans to invest $74 million to construct its East Coast facility in Richmond, which will include a production brewery, packaging hall, destination restaurant, retail store and its administrative offices. The brewery is anticipated to be operational in late 2015 or early 2016.
A sample of Virginia’s craft breweries include:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery operates in a 12,000 square foot building in the heart of a historic brewing district in Richmond. The brewery is equipped to produce a range of traditional European ales and lagers, as well as a host of innovative new styles with American, Virginian, and specifically Richmond influences. The venue includes public tasting rooms, food trucks, live music, special beer releases, cask-conditioned ales and a variety of festivals. The brewery recently announced it would expand operations into Goochland.
Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon offers Growler Hours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings where you can tour the facility and then sample the regionally-named flavors handcrafted at this old Ice House near the Virginia Creeper Trail.
In Fredericksburg, visit Blue & Gray Brewing Co. and Lee’s Retreat Brewpub. A microbrewery offering free tours and tastings certain days of the week, Blue & Gray has four beers on tap all the time with specialty beers available seasonally.
Blue Mountain Brewery and Restaurant is located in Afton, just a short drive from Charlottesville. Enjoy one of their 10 handcrafted brews paired with a fresh, local menu. Beers are available by the glass, six-pack, growler, or keg. Its lush view of the mountains is fabulous and it has a cool kids’ play area.
Garden Grove Brewing Company in Richmond claims the title for being Virginia’s 100th craft brewery. Garden Grove’s beers are strongly influenced by the Belgian and British brewing traditions and the brewery’s small size will allow for experimentation and adjustments with recipes and production methods to make unique brews.
Historic downtown Lexington boasts Blue Lab Brewing Company. Sample the beers on tap, and when that certain one finds you, buy a growler or a keg.
St. George Brewing Company crafts 14 brews – some award-winning – in Hampton. Each season has its own beer, and then there are the mainstays – all available in kegs and bottles. Take a tour of the microbrewery, sample what’s on tap, and visit the retail shop.
Plan your own themed trip at virginia.org/CraftBeer. It includes an interactive Virginia map plotting the locations of the state’s craft breweries and a listing of upcoming Virginia craft beer events.
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