A Barley and Hops Tour of Waynesboro
Beer tourism is a growing market. People are traveling to locations specifically to sample the local beers, attend a beer festival or show, and experience all the parts of the beer making process. According to the Brewers Association, the state of Virginia has 344 craft breweries which means it is ranked 11th in the country. Thirty new breweries were added in the state between 2021 and 2022. With new breweries popping up every day, you can easily visit an area multiple times and try somewhere new each time.
Waynesboro and the surrounding area has its share of breweries to visit. Create an entire beer vacation or just add one or two to your sightseeing and tasting agenda.
The One with a Full Bar
The bar at Devil’s Backbone boasts a draft list with 15+ offerings, craft cocktails made with Devil’s Backbone Distilling Co. spirits, wine, cider, and canned cocktails. With so many beers to choose from, it may be best to start with a custom flight to pick your favorite. Order an appetizer, entrée, sandwich, or dessert from the full-service restaurant. If it is a gorgeous weekend day outside, stop by the outdoor Meadows Bar to keep enjoying the sunshine all day long. The indoor bar and brewpub is open seven days a week.
This location features some big events such as a four-course pairing dinner under the stars for the summer solstice. September will bring a lumberjacks and lumberjills competition one weekend and then a concert on another weekend. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance for these events.
The One with a Fireplace
Seven Arrows Brewing Company is an ideal spot to try some new brews in any season. Sit outside at a picnic table or play some cornhole during the warm summer months. Go inside and warm up by the fireplace in the winter months. Is it football, baseball, hockey, or some other sport season? Seven Arrows has multiple televisions. It is always entertainment season; the event calendar features live music every Saturday night, open mic on first Tuesdays, and trivia on the last Wednesdays of the month.
The owners use their combined chemical engineering and business administration backgrounds to follow their dream of opening a brewery. Since New Year’s Eve in 2014 that dream has become a welcoming taproom with 13 drafts. The tap list includes four core brews alongside seasonable and rotating brews. Nobos Kitchen is onsite serving up a made-from-scratch menu featuring local ingredients. The menu is also kid friendly. The taproom is open daily.
The name of the brewery was inspired by a Native American blessing that references the creator, the earth, the four directions, and back to the creator. The compass rose logo combines the four directions in the blessing with the four main ingredients of beer.
The First Rural Brewery in the State
Blue Mountain Brewery is a farm brewery that grows their own hops. The rotating tap list includes five core brews, a beer for each season, a group of barrel aged beers, and limited/special releases. Their award-winning Dark Hollow is a barrel aged imperial stout and it is available year-round. Cannot decide which beer to try? They offer a flight of ten 2.5-ounce samples. They sell six-packs, bottles, and growlers to go.
The brewery opened in 2007. One of the founders worked for South Street Brewery and Goose Island Brewery before starting this new venture. He also attended the Siebel Institute of Technology which has the country’s oldest school for brewing. The brewery now employs 120 people.
The family and pet-friendly brewery is open daily with indoor and outdoor seating. The onsite full-service restaurant features a full menu with appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, and desserts. There is also a gluten-free and a kids menu. If you have non-beer drinkers in your party, the restaurant serves wine, cider, and kombucha. Visit on a Wednesday for happy hour prices. Interested in getting brewery merchandise? Go on a Thursday for a monthly free or deeply discounted special with the purchase of a draft. Do not miss the live music on Friday evenings.
Go Here for the Best of Both Worlds
Hazy Mountain Vineyards and Brewery has a beverage for every taste palette. The tasting room opened in 2021 as a way to showcase their wines and their specialty brews. Today, the tasting room has wines by the glass or bottle, beer on tap, guided wine tastings, and both wine and beer flights. Try a little of both or stick with just beer or wine for the day. The tasting room also features a small menu of pizzas, small plates, and charcuterie boards.
Hazy Mountain boasts a full calendar of options from painting classes to live music to murder mystery games. Every Thursday is a ticketed Tasting Social; many Thursdays include the option to try an advance tasting of a future release. Of course, you can just visit on your own schedule. The lawn, terrace, umbrella patio, and upper mezzanine are all available on a first come first serve basis. Dog are welcome on the umbrella patio. You will be amazed by the panoramic views from the lawn. If you prefer to make a reservation, they are available for the covered patio and the first floor of the tasting room. Hazy Mountain is open daily.
The One with a Biergarten
Stable Craft Brewing has been voted as the Brewery of the Year, Best Brewery, Best Cidery, and Best Patio Dining. What started as an operational horse farm in 2006, grew into an event venue in 2008. The rise in popularity of craft beer encouraged the addition of hop fields, a tap room, and an agri-pub style brewery restaurant. Everything is served beer garden style, order at the bar and your selections will be brought to you.
The tap room features a menu of in-house made beer, cider, and craft soda. They also offer house wine on the menu. As a farm brewery, they craft their beer using an artisanal water source and organically-grown hops. The expansive food menu includes gluten free, vegan, lactose free, and kid-friendly options. The brewery is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Unique to this brewery is the “Brew Your Own Beer” experience. Up to six people can work directly with the professional brewers to create a one-of-a-kind personal beer. The beer will be kegged and available for consumption on-site 45 days later. This opportunity is perfect when you are hosting a wedding or other celebration in their event venue.
The One with 24 Beer Medals
Starr Hill Brewery has the distinct honor of having won 24 Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup, and Great British Beer Festival medals. The brewery started in Charlottesville’s Starr Hill Music Hall in 1999 and is the second oldest craft brewery in the state. The strong beer connection does not stop there. The first location for the brewery was also the first home for the state’s first craft brewery, Blue Ridge Brewing Company. One of the founders also used his biology degree to hone his craft beer skills with breweries in Oregon and Colorado before returning to Virginia to open Starr Hill.
The brewery has expanded to six locations. The Crozet taproom is only 15 miles from the Iris Inn. Dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio. The location occasionally has food trucks but you are welcome to bring in outside food. Tuesday is trivia night if you want to test your knowledge. Beer discounts are available on Mondays and Wednesdays. Visit on a Monday for happy hour draft prices and 20% off prepacked to-go beer. Have a growler to fill? Go on a Wednesday to get $2 off.
A visit to any of their taprooms will benefit a local non-profit organization. Each month, the taprooms donate part of the proceeds through Cheers for Charity. The Crozet taproom is currently donating to Side by Side which is dedicated to helping LGTBQ+ youth thrive through supportive communities.
The Small Batch Experience
WildManDan Brewery makes small amounts of each brew during the week and then sells beer on the weekends. They are an age 21 and over establishment. Check this brewery out if you want to try the “Smallest VA Brewery.”
Make Room for Ciders
Bold Rock Hard Cider joined the booming beer and cider scene in 2012. The flagship location and company headquarters is located in Nellysford. The “Chapel of Apple” timber-framed barn overlooks the Rockfish River. Visitors can learn about the hard cider process and try a sample then stick around to enjoy the scenery with a pint and food from Bold Kitchen. Cider flavors vary from apple to blackberry to pineapple. Small batch options may include a coffee infused cider. Bring your dog, this location is pet-friendly.
Also onsite is the barrel barn that has been transformed into the Bold Rock Distillery. Open Thursday through Sunday, guests can sip on Bold Rock spirits, craft cocktails, and canned cocktails. Sit out on the deck while you enjoy your beverage.