With three small-batch craft brewers, two beer specialty stores, and a host of restaurants that offer Virginia craft beers on tap, Staunton is becoming one of Virginia’s newest craft beer destinations. Whether you’re interested in tap-testing the latest flavors, attending a beer festival, or learning how to brew your own, Staunton is for beer lovers.
Queen City Brewing, Staunton’s oldest brewery, claims it is the first to locate in Staunton since the prohibition era. Queen City’s laid-back atmosphere provides a nice spot to enjoy a pint or sample a flight of your choice from 12 beers on tap. Queen City also offers patrons the opportunity to brew their own beer.
During the last year, two new craft beer breweries have set up shop in Staunton’s Wharf District. Specializing in small batches of big beers, Red Beard Brewing Company provides taproom seating, craft beer on draft, and growlers to go. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company is a craft brewery with an on-site tasting room with local beer on tap. They also have home-brew supply area featuring a wide variety of grains, hops, dry extracts, wet extracts, yeast, and brewing accessories.
All three craft breweries are committed to creating unique and delicious beers. Ask to meet the owners; they’re all passionate about advancing their craft.
Want to tap into more beer experiences?
Try Shenandoah Hops in the historic Wharf district, where drinking local is always in style. They provide a mix of local microbrews and world-class imports. Not far from downtown is The Staunton Abbey, where you can purchase beer by the bottle, or you can create your own four-pack from a selection of fifty different brews.
“Local flavor has always helped set Staunton apart,” says Sheryl Wagner, Director of Tourism. “More and more people are discovering Staunton’s small and independent brewing community.”
Local hotels are responding to the surge of interest in Staunton’s craft beer movement. The Stonewall Jackson Hotel now offers a “Downtown Beer Trail Package.” The package includes overnight accommodations , breakfast for two, parking , a six beer tasting flight (4 oz. pours) from Redbeard Brewing, two pints from Shenandoah Valley Brewing, and a free tasting at Shenandoah Hops retail store , along with a $15.00 gift certificate to Shenandoah Pizza (and their huge beer list!) The Beer Trail package is value priced from $199.00, and is valid on Friday and Saturday night stays only. All the action (and the pours) happen within a short walk of your room, so no driving is needed.
On August 9th, check out the 4th Annual Blues and Brews Festival on the grounds of the Frontier Culture Museum.
While you are in Staunton, dine out at any of these restaurants that have a great selection of craft beers available – AVA, Baja Bean Co., Byers Street Bistro, Clocktower Restaurant & Bar, Depot Grill, Mill Street Grill, Shenandoah Pizza, Yelping Dog, and Zynodoa.
If your beer adventures leave you thirsty for more, stay a little longer and take a day trip to visit Devils Backbone Brewery in Rockbridge County or Three Brothers Brewery in Harrisonburg.
Why Ale The Buzz About Craft Beer?
American craft beer production volume increased 18 percent during the first half of the year, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association, the trade group that represents the majority of U.S. breweries. But be warned – craft beers pack a punch and often have more alcohol by volume than traditional brands. Most craft beers range from 5-10% abv (alcohol by volume), but some craft beers can reach 20%, 30%, and even 40% abv!
August is Craft Beer month, so now is the time to quench your thirst. Don’t forget to tag your craft beer travels with #LOVEstaunton and #VAbeer. Please enjoy responsibly.