Ask almost anyone what they think of when you say “Shenandoah Valley” and you’ll probably hear similar responses: pristine views of the surrounding mountains. But the Shenandoah Valley has more to offer than just beautiful scenery; the region is quickly making a name for itself in the craft beer market. With 19 breweries already serving up some of the finest brews in the Commonwealth and more opening each year, Shenandoah Valley is a must-visit destination for craft beer lovers visiting Virginia. Get your fill of stunning landscapes and delicious craft beers at these 19 breweries when you plan a trip to the Shenandoah Valley.
Pale Fire Brewing Co.—Harrisonburg
Pale Fire Brewing Co. specializes in crafting hoppy and Belgian-style beers like their award-winning Salad Days American Saison. The full-service taproom features garage doors that are opened on temperate days to reveal a patio area where patrons can sip on their brews. Bookcases cover the far wall of the brewery, creating a cozy atmosphere that is reminiscent of a chic, upscale coffee shop. The brewery is centrally located in Downtown Harrisonburg and is open seven days a week from 4-11pm Monday-Thursday, 1-11PM Friday and Saturday, and 1-9PM on Sundays.
Alesatian Brewing Co.—Winchester
Located on the walking mall in Old Town Winchester, Alesatian Brewing Co. has only been open about a year, but it has already become a staple to the community. Check the chalkboard over the rustic wood bar for the daily craft brew offerings, and pair with one of the brewery’s savory wood-fired pizzas. Visit on Saturdays from 12-3pm to sample the special “Brew Brunch” menu and get $1 off all draft beers.
Backroom Brewery marries craft beer with farming, using their own farm-grown ingredients such as hops and a wide range of herbs to create unique beers like the Chili Pepper Red Ale and the Cilantro Lime Wheat Beer. The brewery also utilizes the herbs grown on-site in their kitchen, preparing fresh dishes with local produce and meats. After sampling the excellent food and beers, head outside for a game of cornhole and take a walk through the farm’s labyrinth and lavender fields. During the summer months, the brewery welcomes visitors to head out into the flower gardens and cut their own bouquet to take home.
Brothers Craft Brewing—Harrisonburg
Visit Brother Craft Brewing in Harrisonburg for an immersive craft beer experience. After you sample a flight of beers, join a public tour of the brewery (held on Saturdays 12-2pm) to learn about the entire brewing and bottling process. Reclaimed wood paneled walls and rustic lighting adorn the tasting room, and an assortment of board games are available for visitors to play while sipping craft beers. The brewery hosts events on a weekly basis, like Nacho and Taco Thursdays with Harrisonburg’s Nacho Bizness food truck serving up tasty Mexican cuisine at the brewery.
Devils Backbone Outpost Brewery—Lexington
Built in 2011 as a second location for the constantly-growing brewery, Devils Backbone Outpost Brewery is a massive 15,000 square foot facility featuring an outdoor patio with shaded wooden picnic tables and cornhole sets. Try out a few of the brewery’s flagship offerings, like the Eight Point IPA and the Vienna Lager, as well as some of the unique seasonal brews, such as the Café de Manana, a Mexican Coffee Porter. On Saturdays and Sundays from 2-5pm, the staff will walk you through the working brewery, sharing the secrets of the brewing process and the history Devils Backbone.
Escutcheon Brewing Company—Winchester
Head to Escutcheon Brewing Company in Winchester and sample a flight of your choosing, with summer brews like the Spica Hefeweizen, Reluctant Splice Gose, and Secchi Disk Saison. Bring along your growler to fill with your favorite beer in the taproom, or grab a six-pack of some of the brewery’s year-round selections. Play a game of ping pong or bubble hockey while you relax with a glass of craft beer at Escutcheon Brewing Company, and visit on Thursday evenings for live music performances that are free to the public.
Front Royal Brewing Company—Front Royal
Bringing you artisan-inspired beers paired with hand-crafted, locally-inspired entrees, Front Royal Brewing Company creates a true craft-brewing experience. Their brew-master specializes in hand-crafted German style beers and trend-setting IPAs, with a couple of experimental recipes thrown in. Enjoy locally-inspired pub food that changes with the season, daily and weekend specials, Sunday Brunch and unique holiday offerings. Stop by for live music three nights a week.
Parkway Brewing Company—Salem
A micro-brewery in Salem, Parkway Brewing Company specializes in distinctive ales for the discriminating beer enthusiast. Kick back and relax on their couch while sipping on one of their flagship or seasonal brews. Join them for trivia night or live music. They also have rotating food trucks, special film screenings, fundraising events and more.
Great Valley Farm Brewery—Natural Bridge
Photo Credit: Leslie Cramer
Early settlers in the Shenandoah Valley referred to the region as the “Great Valley”. Gleaning inspiration from those early residents, Great Valley Farm Brewery acknowledges the splendor of those charmingly simple times. The 27-acre property produces small batches of Belgian farmhouse-style beers using many ingredients grown on the farm or sourced from nearby farms.
Winchester Brew Works—Winchester
A female-owned and run operation, Winchester Brew Works is a one-of-a-kind craft brewery and tasting room just a few blocks from the Old Town Walking Mall in Winchester, convenient to many of the major restaurants and attractions. Community-style seating invites you to come in with your friends or meet some of the locals as you savor a refreshing craft beer. Food trucks serving local fare set up in the brewery parking lot on Monday and Friday evenings, but visitors to the brewery are always welcome to bring their own food into the tasting room.
Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co.—Staunton
In Downtown Staunton, Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. is more than just a taproom and brewery; they also sell everything you need to make your own homebrew, wine, cider, and mead. The brewery specializes in ales and lagers, crafting refreshing beers that you can enjoy year-round, but don’t miss out on sampling darker brews like the Belgian Stout, as well. On the weekends, live performances are held at Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co., and you can either bring your own food to the brewery, order from food trucks, or from the Farmhouse Restaurant’s limited menu provided on the weekends.
Queen City Brewing—Staunton
Featuring live music every Wednesday and Friday, Queen City Brewing blends great craft beers with exciting entertainment in Staunton. In addition to making standard lagers and ales, the brewery crafts unique beverages like a cranberry ale and a ginger beer, as well as their own homemade wines and sodas. A total of 32 beers available on tap offer an impressive selection that even the most discerning beer drinker can appreciate.
Redbeard Brewing Company—Staunton
Staying true to their slogan of “Small Batches of Big Beers”, Redbeard Brewing Company experiments with new beer recipes on a regular basis, and the results are overwhelmingly impressive. Currently, the menu includes Citra Grissette Saison, a Belgian Tripel, and the A.M.O.G. Stout. Visit in the fall to try seasonal offerings like the Sweet Potato Pie Porter and the Wet Hopped Harvest Ale. Every Friday brings live music performances and Sunday evenings showcase the local talent during Karaoke.
Seven Arrows Brewing Company—Waynesboro
Seven Arrows Brewing Company offers a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy delicious craft brews paired with tasty dishes prepared in the in-house restaurant, Nobos. In addition to shareable finger foods like the Cheesy Bacon Tots and Fried Pickles, the menu features an array of sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. Four flagship beers (the Eventide IPA, Sinistral Wheat, Aurora Pils, and Three Ridges Vienna Lager) are available on draft at all times, along with a seasonal brew and limited edition selections.
Housed in what used to be the Casey Jones work clothes factory in historic Woodstock, Woodstock Brewhouse put painstaking effort into restoring the structure to its original industrial-style glory. The space is cavernous, with 14-foot ceilings and worn wood flooring, but small lights dangling sporadically from the ceiling act like electric fireflies, lighting up the space to create a truly magical ambiance.
Stable Craft Brewing—Waynesboro
Built in the renovated portion of the property’s horse stables, the tasting room at Stable Craft Brewing utilizes equestrian equipment to create a rustic and warm atmosphere, with design features like stall dividers and a chandelier built entirely from horseshoes. Large floor-to-ceiling windows on either side of the taproom let in tons of natural light, and stone fireplaces nestled in the corners welcome visitors to cozy up during the chilly winter months. Every other Saturday, the brewery releases rotating small batch beers to complement their selection of mainstay brews.
Swover Creek Farm Brewery—Edinburg
In the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Swover Creek Farm Brewery serves hand-crafted small batch beers in their taproom and the outdoor beer garden. Many of the beers are made using hops and other ingredients grown on the farm, which has been in the owner’s family for over 100 years. Order up farm-crafted sausages, homemade pretzels, and wood-fired pizzas from the kitchen while you sample the craft beers. While dogs are not permitted inside the tasting room, pet owners can utilize the dog park adjacent to the taproom while visiting.
Three Notch’d Brewing Company—Harrisonburg
Three Notch’d Brewing Company features a sensible “a la carte” flight system that allows you to pick and choose your own custom sampling from their selection of craft beers. On weekends, food trucks set up outside offer menus that pair perfectly with the craft beers. The brewery provides board games and novelty activities like giant Jenga, and on Saturdays, they host community events like Bend and Brew, a yoga class followed by a beer tasting.
Basic City Beer Co.—Waynesboro
Housed in the former Virginia Metalcrafters building, the tasting room of Basic City Beer Co. retains some of the industrial architecture of the foundry with high ceilings, saw-tooth windows, and tables made from reclaimed wood and piping. The craft beers produced at Basic City Beer range from flavorful IPAs to rich and creamy stouts, as well as house-brewed nitro coffee and several Kombuchas.
Have you visited any of these Shenandoah Valley breweries? Tell us which is your favorite craft brewery in the region and why!
You missed a few breweries. Skipping Rock, Staunton; Elkton; The Friendly Fermenter and Restless Moons, Harrisonburg; Cave-something in Magheysville, and another in Lexington. And I’m not even familiar with anything north of Woodstock, so there could be more. Some of these have been around for several years.