You set out on a Virginia beer trail one Saturday, looking to conquer a few of the craft breweries in your region with a handful of friends. All of the sudden, the image of a delicious cheesy pizza or a thick, juicy burger fills your mind, and you wish you could conjure up a meal without having to change your travel plans. Luckily, many breweries understand this plight, and to counteract these cravings, they provide some tasting meal and snack options to pair with your beverages.
If you need more than crackers or peanuts while visiting a few of the breweries, these places serve up some mouthwatering meals to get your mind back to what really matters: Savoring excellent Virginia craft beers.
Home Republic Brewery—Virginia Beach
Home Republic Brewery in Virginia Beach serves lunch Wednesday through Sunday, dinner every day, and brunch on the weekends. At brunch, pair mouthwatering meals with one of the specialty cocktails, many of which are made with their beers. The selection of beer burgers is impressive and original, and you’ll also find southern dishes like chicken and waffles or crab cakes at Home Republic. To wash it all down, add a beer from the bar, where they typically have about ten beers on tap, comprised of a few seasonal brews and the rest available all year round.
A Taste of the Menu: The Republic Burger with bacon jam, an over easy egg, and a homemade Boursin Aioli.
Devils Backbone Brewing Company—Roseland
Devils Backbone Brewing Company is located at the bottom of the mountain ridge that holds Wintergreen Resort, making it a popular spot for skiers and snowboarders that are looking to fill up and get warm with a big meal and a tasty craft beer after a trip to the slopes. The breweries has about 15 beers on draft at all times and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, as well as brunch on Sundays. Breakfast includes standard fare like omelets and biscuits or specialty items like the malted waffles. The lunch and dinner menus feature rich dishes like ribs, burgers, steak, and barbecue. During warmer months, head outside to the outdoor patio for a game of cornhole after your meal.
A Taste of the Menu: Smoked Salmon and Avocado Tartine, topped with capers and red onion and served on a thick slice of Goodwin Creek Bakery bread (off the breakfast menu).
taStable Craft Brewing—Waynesboro
Found on a working farm, taStable Craft Brewing knows the importance of farm-raised products. They source many of the menu items locally, using fresh ingredients to create unique appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, and even tacos. But the brewery offers more than just beer and food (although they have perfected both of these). Before dining on a juicy burger and sipping cold craft beer, take a tour of the hop fields and visit with the farm’s friendly horses.
A Taste of the Menu: Pulled Pork Burger, piled high with their smoked pulled pork, served with honey sriracha cole slaw.
Blue Mountain Brewery—Afton
Blue Mountain Brewery is another location off the Blue Ridge Trail featuring a fantastic restaurant, where you can get lunch and dinner every day, as well as Sunday brunches. On their daily menu, you’ll discover a handful of common appetizers like pretzels and nachos, sandwiches, salads, and burgers. But the real star on the food menu at Blue Mountain Brewery is definitely the pizzas. Many of the desserts are made using their beers, ten of which are on always draft at the brewery. The outdoor patio area is huge, dotted with picnic tables and large teal umbrellas, and guests frequent the area because of the gorgeous mountain backdrop and the cornhole sets provided by the brewery.
A Taste of the Menu: Bratwurst Pizza, topped with Double H Farm (Nelson County) bratwurst, caramelized onion, apples, mozzarella, fresh marinara, and a balsamic reduction.
Petersburg’s first craft brewery, Trapezium Brewing Company, pairs pizza and beer, with eight craft brews on tap and ten specialty pies on the menu. The brick building and hanging old-fashioned lights create a classic, enchanting ambiance inside the tasting room. Outside, sturdy wood picnic tables shaded by large red umbrellas provide alternative seating for guests visiting on clear sunny days. The outside bar is not your average dwelling, but a weathered old houseboat, where staff serve cold beverages and select food combinations.
A Taste of the Menu: Kealea Pizza, made with mozzarella, san marzanos tomatoes, pineapple, and prosciutto.
Wild Wolf Brewing Company—Nellysford
If you find yourself traveling down 151 near Wintergreen Resort, stop at Wild Wolf Brewing Company for a tasty detour. By renovating a building that was over 100 years old, the brewery created a scenic restaurant and taproom that blends in with the wooded mountain region. The beautiful outdoor Biergarten provides shade for visitors under a canopy of Siberian Elm trees, with a gazebo, waterfalls, and a koi pond adding serene touches to the atmosphere. The restaurant menu goes beyond local sourcing. The brewery participates in a “farm to fork” initiative, where they get almost all of their ingredients from local businesses. Any meats served at the restaurant are sourced from farms within a 30 mile radius of the brewery.
A Taste of the Menu: Pulled Pork Tacos on flour tortillas, topped with house-pickled jalapenos and fresh-cut slaw, served with cilantro lime rice.
Stop in to Woodstock Brewhouse and savor one of their ten draft beers along with something from the menu. From Sunday to Thursday, the brewery offers a select variety of rustic flatbread pizzas and small bites, but if you visit the restaurant on Fridays and Saturdays, you’ll get to choose from the full menu, with options like beef brisket and other smoked meats piled onto sandwiches or served with your choice of savory sides.
A Taste of the Menu: The Gobbler, topped with sliced turkey, Virginia bacon, melted Swiss cheese, topped with slaw, tomato, and pickles.
Mad Fox Brewing Company—Falls Church
This English-style gastro brewpub offers a seasonal menus and frequent specials in addition to their year-round menu. Stop by Mad Fox Brewing Company in Northern Virginia to sample craft beers and a full menu, featuring specialty pizzas, Paninis, sandwiches, and fresh salads. They always have 7-10 standard beers on tap and a rotating selection of seasonal brews in German, English, Belgian, and American styles.
A Taste of the Menu: The Anchor Bar pizza, with a garlic and olive oil base, topped with aged mozzarella, buffalo chicken, celery, red onion, and bleu cheese.
Legend Brewing Company—Richmond
Eat with the James River and the Richmond city skyline in the background when you sit on the scenic patio at Legend Brewing Company. They serve a full lunch and dinner daily and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. The daily menu consists of standard pub fare, plus ribs, steaks, and seafood options. You’ll find a dozen beers on draft to go with your meal and a front row seat to take in the capital city skyline.
A Taste of the Menu: The Brew Burger, covered in their famous Brown Ale drunken cheese and Applewood smoked bacon.
The Lost Rhino Brewing Company has a multitude of food fare available to go with their craft beers. For just a small bite, order the nachos or the chips and dip, served with a queso cheese made with the breweries Face Plant IPA. Bigger menu items include a small selection of wraps and sandwiches. Not full yet? Try one of the incredible desserts, like Root Beer Float made with Lost Rhino’s non-alcoholic Root Beer.
A Taste of the Menu: Besto Pesto Panini, served on grilled ciabatta bread with sliced ham, homemade pesto, arugula, tomato, and provolone.
Studio Brew resides in the downtown historic area of Bristol in a three-story brick building, which dates back more than a century. The draft menu consists of fifteen rotating beers, with seasonal options occasionally replacing the tried and true draft brews. In addition to drinking their craft beers, you can actually taste them in many of the menu items. They utilize the spent grains in pretzels, breads, and crackers, reusing the ingredient many breweries choose to simply discard. Several of the meats and cheese are made with the beers, and a few desserts even list the beers among the ingredients. The brewery knows how to use the flavors inherently found in their craft beers to complement the dishes, rather than to overpower them.
A Taste of the Menu: The Puerco Rico, made with carnitas, onions, fontina, slaw, and topped with their homemade “Beer-B-Q” sauce.
“Hopping” Breweries with Food Trucks
Not every brewery can boast a full size kitchen and restaurant. These breweries frequently host food trucks from local vendors to supply various delicious dishes right in their parking lots. For dates and details on food truck schedules, contact the breweries.
- Hardywood Park Craft Brewery—Richmond
- Adventure Brewing Company—Fredericksburg
- Reaver Beach Brewing Company—Virginia Beach
- Port City Brewing Company—Alexandria
- Big Lick Brewing Company—Roanoke
- Flying Mouse Brewery—Troutville
- Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers—Roanoke
- The Virginia Beer Company—Virginia Beach
- Commonwealth Brewing Company—Virginia Beach*
These are just a small sample of the craft breweries around Virginia that offer impressive fare inside their business. Which breweries do you frequent for the delicious duo of craft brews and tasty bites?
*Want to meet some of the Virginia is for Lovers team? Head to Commonwealth Brewing Company this Thursday, August 23 for an “Insta-meet”, where Instagrammers can samples some craft beers while hanging with our crew!
© pkeppel for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2016. |