The Old Dominion State
The colonists that first came and settled into the Virginia region of what they knew as the New World, were also the first to brew here. Early on in the later half of the 1500s, the settlers used corn to brew their beer. Of course it was consumed for the fun intoxicating properties, but it was also seen as safer than consuming water.
The first Virginia brewery was Westham Foundry, located in Richmond, along the James River, until it was demolished by the American Revolution in 1781.There was a period of time considered the olden age of brewing, which lasted until 1880, and was believed to have ended due to the Panic of 1873.
Pre-Prohibition, the leading Virginia brewery was the Robert Portner Brewery/Tivoli Brewery, started in 1869. Fun fact, in 1879, the owner of this establishment, Robert Portner became the very first president of the United States Brewing Association. The brewery eventually closed down just before Prohibition began, but was recently restarted by his great-great granddaughters. They have slightly altered the name calling it the Portner Brewhouse.
The next prominent brewery to open and one of the best breweries in Virginia Beach was Chesapeake Bay Brewing. This establishment earned the first GABF (Great American Beer Festival) medal in Virginia. Sadly, the brewery has since been shut down, which makes Legend Brewing the oldest still existing brewery in Virginia, which was established in 1994.
For all that wonder how many breweries are in Virginia today, the answer is just shy of 200 at about 190 breweries. With the brewing industry booming, the state has named August Virginia craft beer month.
A big Virginia beer lover’s attraction is the Virginia beer museum located in Front Royal. This museum has 18 beers from Virginia craft breweries on tap. The purpose of the museum is to appreciate the beer heritage and how far it has come in Virginia since the 1600s.
Another popular Virginia event is the Virginia Beach Craft Beer Festival. This festival often takes place in mid-October and features over 60 craft beers from more than 30 local breweries in Virginia to be enjoyed on the beautiful Virginia Beach.
With so many incredible Virginia beers, we have found the most popular and best breweries in Virginia to visit are:
• AleWerks Brewing
• Aslin Beer
• Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
• Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
• The Answer Brewpub
• The Veil Brewing
We have had the pleasure of featuring some of the best Virginia craft beer from some of the best craft breweries in Virginia, including:
• AleWerks Brewing Company
• Old Bust Head Brewing Company
• Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
• Fair Winds Brewing Company
• Brothers Craft Brewing
• Devil's Backbone Brewing
• Legend Brewing Company
We are always looking for new Virginia craft breweries to add to our popular craft beer club shipments, and hope to have more in the near future. Cheers!
Port City Brewing Company
An award-winning brewery offers an exciting lineup of world-class quality brews.
City Brewing Company is an award-winning craft brewery serving the D. ...Read more...
AleWerks Brewing Company
Williamsburg's only micro brewery is located in the heart of Virginia's early colonies, and has quickly established a reputation for fine craft beer.
Established in 2006 by Chuck Haines, Williamsburg AleWerks produces sm ...Read more...
Old Bust Head Brewing Company
New Brew, Old Soul in Fauquier County Virginia with award-winning, traditional beers
Established in 2014 by longtime community members Ike and Julie Broadd ...Read more...
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Richmond, Virginia’s Award-Winning Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Combines Imagination and Civic Pride to be Virginia’s Top-Rated Craft Brewery
Even though Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh had been close friends for ...Read more...