By Brandy Centolanza
Explore Central Virginia’s Craft Beverage Scene During Your Next Trip to Lynchburg
It’s no secret that Virginia’s craft beverage scene has exploded in recent years, with Route 151 in Nelson County perhaps at the epicenter. Nelson County is a mere 30 minutes from Lynchburg, so consider taking a ride along scenic Route 151 overlooking the mountains during your next stay in Lynchburg. From beer and wine to cideries and spirits, Lynchburg and Nelson County has you covered.
Nelson County is home to four breweries. Depending on where along 151 you want to begin your imbibing adventure, you can either fill up first at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton and work your way down, or start at Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland and work your way up. Both have ample outdoor seating with gorgeous views of the mountains as well as a full food menu. While enjoying a flight at Devil’s Backbone, you can nosh on a salad, a sandwich, or some barbeque or pasta. We prefer to fuel up first at Blue Mountain before getting our drink on, indulging in a burger or specialty pizza with our beer before heading to the next stop. Blue Mountain offers seasonal beers include a peach gose during the summer and an Oktoberfest in the fall as well as a holiday ale. There is also a second location, Blue Mountain Barrel House, on the other side of the mountains. In between Blue Mountain Brewery and Devil’s Backbone along 151 you’ll also find Wild Wolf Brewing Company, which also has outdoor seating, food options, and an extensive beer list. You can’t go wrong with a pint of Wild Wolf’s Blond Hunny, a Belgian style blonde ale made with orange blossom and wildflower honeys. Newer to the scene is Brewing Tree Beer Company, which just celebrated its third anniversary. Brewing Tree has a core list of beers including ales and lagers as well as a rotating list of beers featuring pilsners, IPAs, and a milk stout.
Those who prefer a glass of vino have six wineries to choose from along 151: Afton Mountain Vineyards, Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery, Flying Fox Vineyard and Winery, Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, Valley Road Vineyards, and Veritas Vineyard. Each of our Nelson County visits typically includes a stop at Veritas. Veritas has more than 50 acres of vineyards, a porch, and a lawn for sipping a glass of wine al fresco. Food options include a tasting room menu with cheese and charcuterie boards, salads, and sandwiches, or The Farmhouse At Veritas Restaurant. All of 151’s wineries have tasting rooms with samplings of a variety of white and red wines, while Flying Fox also produces vermouth and Hill Top Berry Farm also makes mead.
All The Others
Those who prefer a sweeter craft beverage will surely want to make a pit stop at Bold Rock Hard Cider in Nellysford. Though Bold Rock has made a name for itself with its hard cider in a variety of fruit flavors, Bold Rock also carries hard seltzer as well as hard tea and lemonade, and perhaps has the best view in Nelson County, so be sure to get there early to grab a seat on the back deck and relax while overlooking the mountains and the Rockfish River, which runs along the property. Meanwhile, Blue Toad Hard Cider uses a cider blend of three to four different apple varieties to make its more than a dozen seasonal ciders. A third cidery, Bryant’s Small Batch Cider, has also joined the fray, opening a second location in Roseland (the original is in Richmond). Don’t forget about Silverback Distillery, which specializes in gin, whiskey, and bourbon. Route 29 on the other side of the mountains also has a cidery, Albermarle Ciderworks, and a bourbon distillery, Ragged Branch Distillery, as you make your way back to Lynchburg.
Route 151 is also home to the popular Wintergreen Resort, where you can ski or snow tube in the winter and golf or play tennis or pickleball in the warmer months. Meanwhile, Crabtree Falls, a hiking trail overlooking beautiful cascading waterfalls, is also located in Nelson County, about an hour from Lynchburg.
Be sure to begin or end your craft beverage experience right in the heart of Lynchburg by grabbing a beer at either Three Roads Brewing Company, housed in a former Ford dealership, or Starr Hill Brewery on Main Street. Three Roads Brewing Company has four flagship beers always on tap, including a double IPA, a lager, a pale ale, and a lemongrass blonde, as well as a host of other seasonal brews. Meanwhile, Star Hill Brewery has numerous ales, lagers, stouts, and wheat beers as well as sour beers and hard seltzers. Don’t forget about Reserve Wine Room, a tasting room and lounge featuring a variety of Virginia’s best wines.
Brandy Centolanza is a freelance writer who covers health, family travel, and the hospitality industry.
She writes from her Virginia home surrounded by her husband of 20 years and their two teens, three cats,
and a bearded dragon named Craig.
See More of her work HERE