8 Craft Beer Towns in Virginia That You Need to Visit

by Patricia Keppel | Posted: Mar 3, 2017 | Updated: Mar 5, 2020

Comments: 53 Comments


Virginia’s craft beer scene just keeps growing, with big names like Stone Brewing and Deschutes Brewing Company opening East Coast locations in Virginia. But hundreds of locally owned breweries are popping up throughout the Commonwealth, creating some of the most popular craft beer destinations in the U.S. Whether you’re a craft brew aficionado checking a few stops off your beer bucket list or simply a traveler looking to instill a little more fun into your Virginia visit, these 8 craft beer towns are “hopping” destinations for brewery tours.


—RICHMOND—the veil brewing co richmond

Insider Advice: Want a unique brewery tour? Book a brewery tour on one of Richmond’s historic trolleys or with another local brewery tour company.

Breweries to Visit:

What to Do After Brews:

Before visiting, check out the schedule at music venues like The National or The Broadberry, which routinely feature popular bands and the biggest names in music. Richmond is also well-known for its established outdoor scene and kayaking, fishing, and mountain biking enthusiasts traveling from around the world to take on the city. Many of the locals spend summer months on the James River paddle boarding, boating, or merely soaking up some sun on the rocks of Belle Isle, a 54 acre island in the heart of the city. A bevy of critically acclaimed restaurants round out Richmond’s food scene, giving you every option, from Thai to Southern Comfort meals. Beer lovers should check out Mekong, a Vietnamese restaurant voted the #1 Great American Beer Bar in the country by craftbeer.com, and The Answer Brewpub, which is the full brew bar opened next door by the owners of Mekong.



South Street Brewery

Insider Advice: The breweries in Charlottesville are fantastic, but the city is also surrounded by craft beer towns like Scottsville, Crozet, and Afton, which are home to some big name beer masters including Devils Backbone Brewing  Company, Blue Mountain Brewery, and Starr Hill Brewery.  Book a weekend trip with Cville Hop On Tours to catch a bus to the breweries outside the city.

Breweries to Visit:

What to Do After Brews:

Charlottesville has a little bit of everything when it comes to travel, including historic sites like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and a variety of world-class wineries along the Monticello Wine Trail (there are even trolley tours that take you to a few wineries along the trail!). Tour the University of Virginia campus to see stunning architecture designed by Thomas Jefferson, and then head to the Corner for a bite to eat at Bodo’s Bagels, a favorite spot for students and locals alike. For shopping and fine dining, visit the Downtown Mall, an outdoor walking mall that welcomes leashed pets. If you enjoy active outdoor pursuits, the Blue Ridge Mountains are just a short drive away.


—VIRGINIA BEACH—back bay brewing company virginia beach

Insider Advice: About 30 minutes west of the beach, Norfolk has another six craft breweries for you to try during your coastal Virginia vacation.

Breweries to Visit:

What to Do After Brews:

Work on your sun tan as you lie out on the sandy Atlantic shores, bring a boogie board to ride the waves, or charter a boat for a fishing trip. After a full day of beach fun, walk up the Virginia Beach Boardwalk to have dinner at Waterman’s Surfside Grille, an oceanfront seafood restaurant that will even cook up the fresh catches from your earlier fishing expedition. Learn about Virginia’s coastal ecosystems at First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park, both just a few miles away from the beach.



Downtown Blacksburg

Insider Advice: About a 30 minute trip by car, Cascades National Recreation Trail is a relatively easy 4.4-mile hike that ends with an awe-inspiring 66-foot waterfall.

Breweries to Visit:

What to Do After Brews:

During the fall, attend a Hokies football game at Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium and stroll through the six acres of Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden, which features idyllic woods, cultivated gardens, and a peaceful 200-foot stream. Get in a full 18 holes at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, a course that sits on the New River and received 4.5-out-of-5 star ranking as one of the “Best Places to Play” in America. Head out on the New River for a guided fishing trip with New River Outdoor Company, a local guide and outfitter that also rent out cabins along the river. Claytor Lake State Park is another popular waterfront destination for boating, swimming, and fishing in the region.


—HARRISONBURG—pale fire brewing company harrisonburg

Insider Advice: During the summer, nothing beats the heat better than an ice cream cone from Kline’s Dairy Bar, an old-fashioned ice cream stand that has been serving up homemade frozen treats to Harrisonburg residents since 1943.

Breweries to Visit:

What to Do After Brews:

Visit White Oak Lavender Farm for a wide variety of lavender products, including their surprisingly delicious lavender ice cream. Don’t miss a tour of the grounds, which feature a duck pond, life-sized checkerboard, labyrinth, drying barn, and a petting zoo that kids and adults alike will love. Sample wines with lavender oil at the on-site tasting room. Outdoor enthusiasts find plenty of opportunities to discover the mountain landscapes of the region, and mountain biking is especially popular for visitors to Harrisonburg. Check out Food.Bar.Food in the downtown Harrisonburg area for an excellent example of the locally sourced food movement happening throughout Virginia. Finally, if you’re traveling with your significant other, plan a trip to “The Kissing Rock” on James Madison University’s campus, a limestone rock that predicts that if you kiss at the location, you’ll marry that person.


—ROANOKE—deschutes brewery tasting room roanoke

Insider Advice: Salem, a small neighboring town, has several other breweries worth a visit, including Parkway Brewing Company and Olde Salem Brewing.

What to Do After Brews:

There’s plenty to do in and around Roanoke. Check out our full three-day guide to the region.



Downtown Staunton

Insider Advice: Plan your trip for July and catch the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, an annual event that combines live performances from national and regional bands with hiking, biking, fishing, and other outdoor activities in the scenic Shenandoah Valley.

Breweries to Visit:

What to Do After Brews:

Recognized by Travel + Leisure as one of “America’s Greatest Main Streets”, Staunton’s Downtown avenues are lined with historic brick buildings that date to the late 19th century. Learn the story behind photography in America at the Camera Heritage Museum, then tour the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, the birthplace of the former U.S. President. Staunton offers a variety of fine dining options such as Zynodoa, but for a more laid-back meal, grab a table at Kathy’s, a local restaurant that has been voted “Best Breakfast in the Shenandoah Valley” for six years running. The best part? Breakfast is served all day long at Kathy’s!



Adroit Theory Brewing

Insider Advice: Purcellville is part of the LoCo Ale Trail, a string of breweries in Loudoun County that are sure to quench your thirst for great craft beer. Download the map to plan your brewery road trip of the area.

Breweries to Visit:

What to Do After Brews:

Purcellville is nestled in the heart of D.C.’s Wine Country, so if you’re traveling with a wine lover, a few stops at the area’s wineries is recommended. Rent bikes during your stay and venture over to the Washington & Old Dominion Bike Trail, which runs through 45 miles of Northern Virginia’s beautiful countryside from Purcellville to Shirlington.


Craft Beer Town Honorable Mentions:



Plan a trip to one of these nine craft beer destinations this year and discover why Virginia’s brewery scene is quickly becoming recognized as one of the best in the world. Leave a comment below to share your favorite places for a Virginia Craft Brewery Tour!






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Avatar Jeff says:

Where’s Sterling at on this list? They’ve got atleast a dozen in the area. Crooked Run, Rocket Frog, Beltway, Old Ox, Solace, Dynasty, twinpanzee, plus Mustang Sally and Ono are only 10min down road in chantilly and vanish and black hoof 10 min other direction in leesburg!

Avatar Aaron says:

What a total joke this post is without Roanoke! Did you have a rookie write this article?

Avatar jibberjabber says:

Umm?? Third one from the bottom, dude