Wine, Beer & Cider
You've explored Lee Chapel. Attended the VMI Dress Parade. Gazed at House Mountain. And strolled past the historic homes. And now you're staring at a handful of lemons scattered across Stonewall Jackson's tomb. Is this best day of my life, you ask? It could be. But a brew with a view, a glass of Virginia wine or a well-crafted cocktail might make it even better.
Perched like a ski lodge above Route 11, Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen is a popular end-of-trail stop for hikers heading home from nearby mountains. Look for outdoor adventurers on the patio, where the mountain views are best enjoyed with a pint of Vienna Lager. The adjoining taproom is a lofty industrial space smelling of beer and adventure. Stop by for a brewery tour on weekend afternoons.
Great Valley Farm Brewery. Is it a farm or a brewery? It's both! While specializing in the Belgian Farmhouse tradition, the brewery will offer something different – small batches of high-quality beers using hops, fruits and herbs from their own on-site farm. The brewery is kid and pet friendly so bring the entire family and drink in the breath-taking views.
Brew Ridge Taps in downtown Lexington offers 18 taps of craft brews from around the United States, many made right here in Virginia. Oh, and the wall? There are 200 bottles of beer on that wall.
Drink in the Shenandoah Valley!
The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail brings the increasingly popular craft beer experience together with easy access to the beautiful farms, scenic mountains, unique arts and culture events and vast outdoor recreation opportunities available in the Shenandoah Valley. Spanning from Natural Bridge to Harrisonburg, craft beer enthusiasts can experience 15 breweries all within an hour's drive. Many of these breweries offer tours and live music.
* NEW * The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail Passport is your chance to be rewarded for exploring the breweries. Collect six stamps from any of the 15, mail in the passport, and receive a free t-shirt. Cheers!
Rockbridge County Wineries
As you sip your cab franc and gaze at the pastures and silos that frame Rockbridge Vineyard, it's easy to feel like a character in a grand painting, endlessly enjoying the good life. Sitting on a bend in the road in Raphine, this welcoming vineyard and tasting room is open daily. In the spring and summer, pull over for live music during the Sundays on the Deck series, usually offered twice per month.
On the way to Goshen Pass, stop by Lexington Valley Vineyard for a robust Norton and a traditional Mediterranean snack basket. Sit on the deck, pet the dogs and delight in the mountain views, just call before you haul. Further down the road in Rockbridge Baths, Jump Mountain Vineyard specializes in Old World dry wines. Open on weekends, shoot 'em an email then stop by for a tasting, a tour and bottle of cabernet sauvignon.
Rockbridge County's first cidery is Halcyon Days Cider Co. in Natural Bridge. Right alongside Route 11, you can't miss the cabin below the apple orchard labyrinth. Stop in for a flight of these brand new old flavors and learn the process of cidermaking.
For a well-crafted cocktail step into Haywood's or TAPS, both housed in The Georges boutique inn. At either bar you can raise a glass to heroes and legends from W&L and VMI with a college-themed cocktail. Housemade bitters are a highlight. If you want to party like it's 1799, order one of the Colonial-era shrubs, infused with local fruit.
Cocktails seem even sweeter when mixed with fresh air and enjoyed from the terrace of Rocca Bar Ristorante with Virginia Military Institute and Washington & Lee University as impressive backdrops. People watching from the bar at the Southern Inn or the Bistro on Main is also a popular activity...you just never know who you will spot walking down the brick sidewalks on Main Street!