United States

Like a Local: 7 Destination Breweries in Virginia

by Michael C. Upton  |  Published October 8, 2020

Virginia’s brewing scene is growing rapidly in popularity. Annually, the commonwealth produces almost two gallons of beer for every adult, but it is not just Virginians enjoying the suds explosion as travelers seek out breweries in Virginia’s major cities and rural countryside. Here are seven destination breweries in Virginia worth visiting.

From the diverse Atlantic coast to the mountain lands in the west, Virginia is home to more than 200 breweries. Many of these proudly serve a small, local clientele while others fit the definition of destination brewery. Destination breweries are landmarks—for both tourists and nearby residents—combining the appeal of brewing with a draw to a locale. The common denominator defining a destination brewery is the distance visitors will travel to spend time—usually longer than a standard visit—at a brewery.

A range of beers at Black Narrows Brewing (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag.com)

Black Narrows Brewing

Until recently, breweries on Virginia’s Eastern Shore were non-existent. Black Narrows Brewing Company changed things by opening the scenic and unspoiled shoreline’s first brewery in 2018. The family- and farm-focused outfit on the barrier island of Chincoteague was immediately named Brewery of the Year by the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association. Beers here feature local ingredients like heirloom corn, sour cherries and local mushrooms, and can be enjoyed inside, on the porch or out in the backyard. Black Narrows is a bring your own food environment, which is a plus on a seashore island like Chincoteague rich with food trucks, carry-out eateries and ice cream shops.

4522 Chicken City Rd, Chincoteague

Fine Creek in southern Virginia’s Powhatan County (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag.com)

Fine Creek Brewing

Fine Creek Brewing was built solely as a destination brewery. Located in the historically rich area of Powhatan County, 25 miles west of the capital city of Richmond, the property is linked to a tract of land once owned by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson’s grandfather. This site of circa-1735 grist mill’s ruins has been a popular wedding destination for many years. After building a reputation as a wedding venue, with 13 cottages for overnight guests, a brewery was the next logical step. The limited production brewery opened in 2017 and prides itself on being upscale. Fine Creek Brewing offers an array of traditional styles like lagers, hefeweizens and ales.

2425 Robert E Lee Rd, Powhatan

2 Silos Brewing

“If you build it, he will come” is a famous line from the movie Field of Dreams. Well, if you build it big enough, THEY will come. And come they have—beer fans—to Farm Brew LIVE in Manassas. The destination brewery campus is home to 2 Silos Brewing Company, a large outdoor live music venue, and a bbq-themed beer garden. Weekends see hundreds of beer-thirsty visitors filling the 8-acre destination. 2 Silos offers four flagship beers anchored by a fruity India Pale Ale followed up by a constant rotation of seasonal beers. Canning takes place on site and beer is available to go.

9925 Discovery Blvd, Manassas

Beer travelers enjoy the view at Dirt Farm (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag.com)

Dirt Farm Brewing

Overlooking the 400-acre farm of the Zurschmeide family, Dirt Farm Brewing offers visitors a spectacular view of the Piedmont stretching from the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia to the Tysons skyline 45-miles away. Beer enthusiasts can reserve tables on a sprawling patio or pack in chairs to relax, enjoy the view and have a couple of beers. The beer at Dirt Farm is a reflection of the farming spirit of the family and features ingredients grown on-site; most notable is the Tart 31 Cherry Ale made with Montmorency Cherries grown in the orchard at the bottom of the mountain (where picking your own apples is encouraged). Families and four-legged friends are welcome at this respite for residents from inside the capital beltway.

18701 Foggy Bottom Rd, Bluemont

Pro Re Nata Brewery

The scenic roadway of Skyline Drive runs for 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Detouring from the Shenandoah National Park attraction at its southern terminus, drivers can head east to Pro Re Nata Brewery. Here, an expansive lawn and hardscaped patio provides cozy fire pits, mountain views, and a space to enjoy a variety of beers brewed in-house. Pro Re Nata is exactly what the doctor ordered, literally. The translation of the Latin means “as needed” and pertains to doctor’s orders, in this case the world’s oldest elixir—beer. Standout brews include several of the six flagship beers and seasonal offerings like saisons, Belgians and sours. Pro Re Nata also dabbles in a line of hard ciders.

6135 Rockfish Gap Turnpike, Crozet

Chaos Mountain is a true destination brewery (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag.com)

Chaos Mountain Brewing

Driving to the middle of nowhere is almost a rite of passage for the destination brewery traveler. Climbing the mountain roads south of Roanoke those in search of beer will come across Chaos Mountain Brewing. Named after the colloquial tag given to the 3,013 ft. Cahas Mountain the husband and wife-owned brewery is often filled with dedicated locals who spend hours in the former mattress factory turned brewery enjoying a selection of board games, eating regional nosh from a food truck, or taking in the entertainment. Nothing is too serious here—keep an eye out for sasquatch (this area supports the Virginia Bigfoot Research Organization) and other humorous adornments.

3135 Dillons Mill Rd, Callaway

Ballad Brewing

On the state line between Virginia and North Carolina sits the city of Danville. The railroad town was once a bustling epicenter of Confederate activity during the US Civil War and is now home to Ballad Brewing. Located inside a former tobacco warehouse built in 1891 the emphasis is on sophistication, from refined interior design to painstakingly crafted brews by a one-time microbiologist. The goal of comingling art and science results in creative renditions of classic beer styles. Specialty brews, like the Guava Gose, attract the attention of beer aficionados.

600 Craghead St, Danville