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Charlottesville Craft Beer: Trend from Tradition

Craft Beer in CharlottesvilleCraft beer seems to easy to find lately - it can be found in grocery stores, cafes and restaurants, there is even a craft beer aisle at the Wal-mart! If you live in Charlottesville, it's even easier to find exceptional craft beer. Central Virginia has become a popular community for beer lovers and brewers. Charlottesville is conveniently located near several world class craft breweries, from local neighborhood pubs to day trips that feature gorgeous Virginia scenery. The Brew Ridge Trail (http://brewridgetrail.com/) is a great way to get familiar with beer in our area, and Charlottesville has several brewery options that include the kind of stellar food our city is known for. To start your Central Virginia brew tour, try a few of the following:

Blue Mountain BreweryBlue Mountain Brewery & Blue Mountain Barrel House
Blue Mountain creates exceptional beer that has won national attention. Locals know that Dark Hollow (sharing a name with a beautiful waterfall on the Skyline drive) is a unique and delicious stout sure to impress, just one of many notable brews created at their Nelson County brewery. Two hop fields in Afton and a new hop yard in Arrington supply Blue Mountain with Cascade hops for their Full Nelson strong pale ale and other seasonal offerings. Blue Mountain currently holds medals from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival for Blue Reserve, a freshhop ale grown by Blue Mountain. Blue Mountain is the only brewery in Virginia that has won two consecutive Gold Medals at the Great American Beer Festival. All beers produced by Blue Mountain are brewed, bottled, canned and kegged at the Afton site or at their Arrington Blue Mountain Barrel House.

South Street BrewerySouth Street Brewery
South Street Brewery resides in the site of the longest running brewery - an historic pub with a brand new life. Blue Mountain brewery bought South Street with the mission to maintain and revitalize the important landmark at the heart of Charlottesville. South Street, conveniently located near Charlottesville's Historic Downtown Mall, serves a wide selection of creative beers that are innovative and delicious. Try Anastasia's Chocolate Fantasy for a very memorable and enjoyable stout. Beers like Satan's Pony pair excellently with their pub friendly menu of locally sourced farm to table food.

Random Row BreweryRandom Row Brewery
Kevin McElroy's hobby of brewing his own beer grew into a dream to open a local craft brewery. As his idea developed, he spent years of careful planning to make his dream of owning a local pub that would demystify beer a reality. Random Row is dedicated to creating an environment where casual beer lovers and brewmasters can enjoy a beer and learn about brewing. This local pub is famous for their extensive collection of tasty beers and for masterful food pairing. Random Row makes it their mission to give back to the beer community by actively helping new brewers to learn and perfect techniques. This is the quintessential neighborhood pub, creating the perfect spot for curious beer newcomers and experienced connoisseurs alike.

Wild Wolf Brewing CompanyWild Wolf Brewing Company
In 2011, Mary Wolf and her son renovated a historic schoolhouse in Nelson County to open a brewery and restaurant. The rest is history: Wild Wolf produces an ever-expanding selection of award-winning lagers and ales. Their offerings can be found all over Virginia and the Washington DC area, a collection of six staples and more than a dozen brews that rotate seasonally. They have even been known to produce the occasional single batch. While you can find Wild Wolf in stores everywhere, the best way to taste their beers is at the brewery, where you can enjoy the fantastic Virginia scenery in their dog-friendly outdoor beirgarten.

Three Notch'd BreweryThree Notch'd Brewery
Three Notch'd Brewery is the result of three friends' desire to celebrate great beer with close friends and family. The local brewery focuses on individualism and a respect for hard work. Three Notch'd is dedicated to giving back to the community in the spirit of the many regional historical figures who shaped our home and our nation. Their unique and memorable beers reflect their desire to "Leave Their Mark" and to encourage others to do the same.

Devils Backbone Brewing CompanyDevils Backbone Brewing Company
While on a ski trip in Europe, the Crandalls sampled an authentic German beer and the desire to create the best beer possible was born. While traveling through the US, they searched for the perfect location to marry great beer with an active lifestyle and beautiful scenery. Devils Backbone Brewery is the perfect location for them to combine hiking, biking, running, outstanding views and beer for a truly Virginia experience. This pub is the perfect place for active locals to run a 5K amidst breathtaking views (and finish with a refreshing beer as a reward)!

Starr Hill Brewery in Charlottesville, VaStarr Hill Brewery
Starr Hill is the pioneer brewery for the now very popular Virginia craft beer community. The second oldest craft brewery in Virginia is famous for their passion for music, appearing at such popular live music festivals as Bonnaroo and FloydFest. Demand has led them to move their brewery from their small storefront facility to a larger brewery in Crozet. Their unique mixture of art and science is evident in their craft beer menu, inspired by some of the most beloved and creative brewers in the nation. The historic Main Street storefront was once the home of Virginia's first craft brewery, Blue Ridge Brewing Company. The finely honed artisanal beer offerings from Starr Hill continue to express their respect for their rich traditions.

Lickinghole Creek Craft BreweryLickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Lickinghole Creek Brewery began their brewing program with the mission to offer excellent beers that have been created entirely from their own farm grown produce - their beers are the product of hops, barley, fruits, herbs and spices grown right on the premises. These brews are unique and memorable, including notable beers like the Fearnought Bourbon Barrel Imperial Brown Ale, a delicious combination of exclusively Lickinghole Creek ingredients. Try the Rosemary Saison for a tasty, one-of-a-kind beer experience that is fresh off the farm.

Legend Brewing CompanyLegend Brewing Company
Legend Brewing Company is Virginia's oldest operating microbrewery. This full service brewpub in Richmond serves yummy food along with their award-winning beers. Their well known lagers and ales are served throughout the Richmond area and are paired with some of the best burgers in Virginia. The six year-round brews that comprise their collection include a delightfully individual British-style brown ale. They also offer a Bohemian-style pilsner that has garnered two awards from the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup. In addition to these regular classics, Legend also creates a selection of seasonal beers.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’sHardywood Park Craft Brewery’s
A mutual passion for hand-crafted beer and the lifelong friendship between Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh provided the spark for this outstanding brewery in Richmond. Hardywood has become famous for consistently creating imaginative, soulful beers that are completely local while being nationally adored. Their 12,000 square foot brewing facility is located in the historic German brewing district in Richmond. Hardywood's taproom is a great place to enjoy their innovative offerings, whether you want a sample, a glass, or a growler fill. Offerings include everything from extremely creative brews to classic beers. In late summer, try their Hardywood Virginia Blackberry Ale, an award-winning Belgian-style white ale that is authentically local in every way.

You can start you beer adventure in Charlottesville in so many ways - hop into town for a meal and a refreshing brew, follow the Brew Ridge Trail and discover a new brewery, or just check out the local grocery stores and shops to see what's available seasonally - you're bound to find something extraordinary from our local brewers!