Thursday, May 2, 2013

Virginia is for {Craft Beer} Lovers - Devil's Backbone, Bold Rock Cidery & Blue Mountain Brewery

Let's just call this what it is -- a Thirsty Thursday post. 

Recently, I mentioned visiting a few of Virginia's breweries -- it's only fair to share my day with you! 

It's no secret that Virginia is my place -- my roots, my home, what I love, where I'll always be (maybe). I may have mentioned it once or twice -- especially the mountain areas. 

We chose a Sunday to venture on up to Charlottesville to visit Devil's Backbone Brewing Company and Blue Mountain Brewery. It turned out to be beautiful day. Seriously. I was drunk on the weather that day. 

Devil's Backbone is pretty well known, but their brews aren't really my thang. That's ok. My company -- we'll call him Truman -- is pretty into their beer. I didn't really know what to expect from a beer tasting. I just assumed it was kinda like a wine tasting (I've had my fair share of those) or similar to Hardywood's setup. From what I gather, once breweries become established they throw food/restaurant biz into the mix. Kinda makes sense, you just gotta have someone good manning your menu/kitchen. 

Devil's Backbone is in Roseland, VA -- read: no cell phone service. Just you, your brews, and the great beautiful outdoors. A media fast is kinda freeing sometimes. Try it. As you're headed down 151, roll your windows down and clean your lungs out with that deliciously clean air. Thank me later. 

So we get there. I was expecting a tasting room. I got a bar/small tables on one side and a restaurant-type setting on the other. Not what I was expecting, but it was different. What I really didn't expect was feeling like I was in an Applebee's. For real -- this place was gorgeous on the inside, yet no one seemed to care that they were working in a pretty cool awesome place. I don't know - I was shocked really and it kinda left a bad taste in my mouth. 

We ordered a couple flights and Truman enjoyed most of them because like I said, not really my thing. Before we knew it, a few hours had passed so we decided to head out. 

While on our way down 151, I had mentioned Bold Rock Cidery. The evening before, we had gone to Bellytimber and a friend of ours (a bartender at Capital Ale House) was drinking Bold Rock. A few Googles later (before losing service), I found that they were in Nellysford, VA. Low and behold, we passed it minutes after Googling it. 

We decided to stop there for a few before heading to Blue Mountain. I've pretty much decided that 151 is a road lined with beauty and breweries, thus making it my favorite road :) Can I just say, this was the best stop of the day {in my opinion}! Their operation is extremely small, but everyone there was so friendly. We tasted their Virginia Draft (my favorite - a mix of different apples), the Virginia Apple (a sweeter version of the draft), and their Crimson Ridge versions, which I could totally make mimosas out of and be a happy girl (these are more bubbly, kinda like champagne). 

After getting a little tour of their operation, we bought some Virginia Draft to-go and headed to Blue Mountain Brewery

The day started winding down and this was a perfect last stop for the day. Their view is awesome, the bartender was very sweet, and they have a brew for just about everyone! 

Again, we ordered a flight and ranked our favorites (their springtime ale was pretty spectacular). I can pretty much always guarantee that the first couple (in this case, 4-5) will be my favorites and the latter Truman will take care of. Just not a darker beer kinda girl. 

All in all, we had an awesome time drinking in the fresh, spring air and delicious brews. 


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