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The Top 10 Breweries in Southwest Virginia

Virginia often plays second fiddle to states like California, Oregon, and Maine when it comes to craft beer. But, it’s becoming one of the best craft beer states in America… very quietly.

Southwest Virginia, in particular, is one Virginia region experiencing the most growth in the craft beer industry.

Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, breweries here offer so much more than great beer. Southwest Virginia offers so much more than what any map or tourist site can provide.

Because of the variety and adventure opportunities waiting for you in Southwest Virginia, you’ll want to visit for yourself, and experience the top 10 breweries in Southwest Virginia.

 

Best Breweries in Southwest Virginia

 

1. Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company 

Devil’s Backbone is the largest brewery in Virginia, and for good reason.

Their Vienna Lager, a 16 Point IPA, and their extensive list of other craft beer, pairs perfectly with the stunning scenery.

Located smack dab in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, this isn’t just a place to get great beer. Anybody who wants to see a perfect example of nature’s beauty needs look no further.

The award-winning beer at Devil’s Backbone is just a plus. And, while you’re there, make sure to grab a bite to eat as well.

 

2.  Apocalypse Ale Works

The sole brewery in the Lynchburg area, Apocalypse Ale Works resides in an old fire station. A large back lawn provides the perfect amount of space to have a get-together or just to spread out when you feel a bit crowded.

Leaning toward the traditional German and Belgian style beers, Apocalypse is a small, homey favorite for locals. Not only is it quiet, it also has a great view of the mountains.

Make sure to stop in for a pint, then wander through Lynchburg for a glance at the historical sites.

When you’re done with sightseeing, come back to Apocalypse to watch the sunset while enjoying a Golden Censer Honey Wheat Ale, Lustful Maiden Dubbel, or Confessor Doppelbock. You can’t really go wrong with any of them.

 

3. Three Notch’d Brewing Company

Three Notch’d Brewing is a favorite in Charlottesville. Playing host to the Virginia Craft Brewer’s Festival, they’ve have everything you need to sit back, stay for a while, and enjoy a great brew.

Located right in the heart of Charlottesville, Three Notch’d is just minutes away from numerous historical sites, the University of Virginia, and your next meal.

You can order burgers, salads, and other entrees from the rather comprehensive food menu at Three Notch’d. Just make sure to grab one of their signature IPAs to wash it all down.

 

4. Blue Mountain Brewery 

Another gem that’s tucked away in the Appalachians is Blue Mountain Brewery. At Blue Mountain Brewery, everyone can appreciate the view of mountains, while enjoying a great beer and great food.

Having experienced significant growth over the past several years, Blue Mountain Brewery is equipped with a full restaurant and have added a barrel house down the road. Blue Mountain Brewery offers a full line of beers that cater to anybody’s taste buds, but if you can get your hands on some of their Dark Hollow Imperial Stout, your visit will be nothing short of perfect.

 

5. Ballast Point Brewing Company

Ballast Point isn’t technically a Virginia brewery. Based in San Diego, California, their Daleville location was built for distribution purposes. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that function is their only goal.

Tucked away on a secluded hill, Ballast Point’s brand new facility is very nearly unrivaled in the entire state. Offering over 40 beers on tap, you’ll definitely have quite a decision to make.

Though Ballast Point Brewing specialize in IPAs, they offer other styles as well.

Along with a full food menu and wide-open spaces to move around, you’re sure to find a great spot to enjoy a cold beer.

The sheer size of the tasting room is breathtaking enough, but take one look out of the window, at the area’s rolling landscape and you may just want to stay there forever.

 

6. Parkway Brewing Company

Parkway Brewing is the darling of Salem, Virginia. A very “comfort-foody” kind of place, it’s a brewery that makes you feel at home, even though you just might be passing through.

That homeliness translates to their beer, too. Raven’s Roost Baltic Porter and Get Bent IPA are their go-to brews, and are well worth a spot in your tasting flight.

Of course, what microbrewery wouldn’t be complete without live music and a food truck out front? Parkway has them both.

Nothing more needs to be said about Parkway Brewing other than, it’s a great place with great beer and great people to help you enjoy everything all the more.

 

7. Starr Hill Brewery

Starr Hill is located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, in a charming little town called Crozet. It’s the quintessential craft brewery.

Located in an old factory building it is one of the largest craft breweries in Virginia. A solid lineup of perennial favorites like Northern Lights IPA, Grateful Pale Ale, and Jomo Vienna Lager are all waiting to greet anyone who happens by.

Make sure to take one of their brewery tours while you’re there. The tours are free, and give a great look into the brewing process at Starr Hill.

 

8Random Row Brewing Company

When you’ve finished your tour at Starr Hill, Random Row is the perfect next stop. Another Charlottesville Brewery, Random Row is a youngster compared to others on our list. That doesn’t mean too much in the craft beer world except that it’s one more place you’ll want to visit.

Specializing in pale ales and IPAs, the beer menu at Random Row goes far beyond basic. Featuring sour beers, lagers, and even an Abbey Ale, Random Row is much more than the new kid on the block.

Random Row is every home brewer’s ultimate goal, and you can see it every step of the way as you visit and sip on something special.

 

9Olde Salem Brewing Company

Another new kid on the block, Olde Salem Brewing Company is located in Salem, Virginia, just outside of Roanoke.

Combining old school, American charm with a strong Belgian and German brewing focus, there’s a lot to like about the newly established brewery.

Tradition is tangible at Olde Salem, even though this little brewery didn’t open their doors until 2017. Olde Salem Brewing Company is a must try for anybody passing through, and it will become a staple in the community for years to come.

 

10Wild Wolf Brewing Company

Wild Wolf calls themselves a farm-to-fork brewery. They mean it too. Everything that can be sourced from within spitting distance of their location in Nellysford, Virginia, will be.

The food at Wild Wolf is what sets them apart from other breweries, and their location is a close second. Wild Wolf is one of the most beautiful breweries you could visit, the beer isn’t bad either.

Though the beer quality isn’t lacking, the menu and surrounding area are what elevate the beer here, and there’s almost no other place you will want to be, than sipping on a great brew in their courtyard.

 

Final Thoughts

Southwest Virginia is a great place to live, work, and visit. One of the best kept secrets of the region, is the fantastic breweries, that nobody seems to talk about… until now.

There are quite a few breweries that may be on your bucket list. They may be world-renown, make some of the most sought-after brews, or just have some special place in your heart.

Visiting southwest Virginia may not change your brewery bucket list, but it will provide you with a few new breweries to experience and keep your family happy at the same time.

After all, isn’t it time you just sat back and relaxed a little bit without having to think about why your beer is so great?

In southwest Virginia, it just is.

Be sure to checkout 24 Hours in Richmond, Virginia for even more places to visit.

Jason Gass

Jason is a professional freelance writer who regularly seeks out adventures with “The Wife” and "Munchkin" in tow. When he’s not traveling, camping, hiking or road-tripping, he is writing about family life with an emphasis on dads, entrepreneurship, craft beer travel or micro-farming.

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