A while back my boyfriend, his parents and I traveled to Virginia for hiking, trail running, a birthday celebration and my favorite hobby of all, beer tasting. We had beer and cider at 5 spots and managed to miss quite a few. Here are my thoughts:
- Albemarle Ciderworks – Over the summer, I was visiting my friend Lindsey in Portland, OR and she mentioned that cider tastings seemed to be catching on. She in fact had a favorite cider bar. I couldn’t imagine since I’ve had so many sweet sugary ciders, but after my visit to Albemarle Ciderworks, I can see why this trend will catch on! So many refreshing and crisp ciders, not too sweet and presented very similar to a wine tasting, Albemarle turned me into a cider fan! Added bonus, I LOVED all the apple history we learned from our hostess!
- Blue Mountain Brewery – I want to say this is the only place we drank a stout, I know that must be a lie, but it is the only place we sat outside. The stout, very good. Some of the seasonal brews stuck me as having a British taste and the whole experience was pleasant enough.
- Devils Backbone Brewing Company – This place was a lot of fun! We ran a 5K here, the Trail of Terror, and runners were given a pint glass for keeps along with chili and unlimited free beer after the race. We drank a lot of the Vienna Lager, the brewery’s pride, as well as the pumpkin ale – both were fantastic and we returned to this brewery several times during our four day stay. I got the cute half growler, which we kept refilling with the pumpkin brew!
- South Street Brewery – We arrived here after dark, so we didn’t have much chance to explore Charlottesville, VA, but if it’s anything like this brewpub, I love it. Everyone in our party was pleased by how spacious and friendly the atmosphere was. And the beers were served in very large sample glasses and with the exception of the very sweet barley wine Anniversary Ale, they were perfect for a festive evening. A few members in our party didn’t enjoy the – it had a little bit of an odd aftertaste.
- Wild Wolf Brewing Company – We went here for breakfast once (that’s what beer connoisseurs do!) and for a pre-dinner drink once. The staff was friendly and the beer was tasty. Our first visit was for the Sunday brunch, which is a fun menu with southern charm! We returned on Monday night to “Steal the Pint” and take home a little souvenir.