It’s no secret that craft beer has been on the rise in Virginia, and Staunton is fortunate to have three breweries concocting flavor-filled suds. A trip to any of their tasting rooms yields not only a flight of whatever is on tap, but an education about the process of creating great beer. The breweries aren’t the only places to immerse yourself in this small craft culture, however. Read on.
When Queen City Brewing opened in 2003, it became Staunton’s first post-Prohibition brewery. A visit to Queen will offer more than you expect with 22 beers on tap and the opportunity to craft your own beer or soda. There’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the indoors or the out at Redbeard Brewing Company, and you’ll love their small batch/high demand brews. In warm weather, a food truck or two is known to pop up for belly fill-ups. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company shares their home-brewing knowledge, making them an undeniable destination for aspiring brew masters. Stop by to curate your own flight, fill a growler, or scoop up the stuff needed to pull off DIY craft beer. *Recipes*
BEER GARDENS & TAP ROOMS
The By & By has grown from a coffee shop on the corner to a Staunton beverage mecca. The menu includes a rotating stock of craft beer and wine, gourmet espressos, loose leaf teas, and Italian sodas to enjoy with paninis, pastries, and pies. To sweeten the stop, the beer garden is a cool place to chill from May to October. Newtown Baking probably wouldn’t be on your radar when seeking craft beer, would it? Oh, but it should be. Order a wood-fired pizza (Thursday-Sunday, 5-9 p.m.) and enjoy it out back in the garden with a frosty brew; there’s a picnic table waiting.
TO TAKE HOME
Shenandoah Hops is your go-to for mix-and-match six packs of bottled craft beer as well growler refills. Stop by Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. for beer tastings, often poured by the brew masters themselves. The Wine Cellar is a misnomer for our purposes, as they do indeed stock a healthy selection of craft beer from around the world. You can also mix up your own six pack of singles here, and doing so will earn you 10% off. It pays to try something new! You can’t visit the Cellar without taking home a box of their handmade chocolate truffles.