The Mountain State
The early leaders in West Virginia brewing were located in Wheeling, the capital of West Virginia, around the 1830s. The Ohio River made Wheeling a desirable brewing location since it is a great route of transportation and had caves beneficial for cellaring beer.
Pre-Prohibition, the most prosperous West Virginia brewery was the P.P. Beck Brewery, established in 1847, and later became known as the Reymann Brewing Company. In the early 1900s, Reymann Brewing Company was yielding over 150,000 barrels of West Virginia beer each year.
Schmulbach Brewery, which had previously been Fredrick Ziegler Brewery when it opened in 1855, and Nail City Brewing after that, was another largely successful brewery. Schmulbach eventually became the final name of the brewery in 1881 and produced more than 200,000 barrels of beer each year.
The Prohibition arriving early in 1914 brought all brewing at the time to an end. It wasn’t until the West Virginia beer law allowing brewpubs to sell beer on the premises was passed that craft breweries really began opening again. The oldest brewery still in existence today is the North End Tavern & Brewery, which first opened in 1899 as a tavern, and was later expanded to a brewery almost a century later in 1997. The 2005 established Mountain State Brewing remains West Virginia’s largest brewery.
A few big attractions are the West Virginia Craft Beer Festival, and West Virginia Craft Beer Week. The West Virginia Craft Beer Fest was designed to support and encourage growth of the craft beer movement and industry. The festival is often filled with great food, music, and of course brews! The craft beer week typically takes place in mid-June and celebrates all the local West Virginia craft breweries.
With many incredible West Virginia beers, we have found the most popular beer in West Virginia comes from:
• Bridge Brew Works
• Big Timber Brewing Company
• Stumptown Ales
• Short Story Brewing
• Screech Owl Brewing
• Chestnut Brew Works
• Greenbrier Valley Brewing.
With all of these great breweries, it is surprising that West Virginia has yet to bring home any awards from the GABF (Great American Beer Festival).
We have yet to have had the pleasure of featuring any of the remarkable West Virginia craft beer from the many amazing West Virginia craft breweries. However, we are always looking for new micro breweries to add to our craft beer subscription boxes, and would love to have some West Virginia breweries in the near future. Cheers!