A visit to Steeles Tavern, VA is not complete without sampling several of the craft beers produced by the local breweries in the Shenandoah Valley.
Lexington is home to Blue Lab Brewing Company – the city’s first and only microbrewery. Blue Lab opened in 2010 when two friends turned a hobby into a small business. Their homepage tells which five standard brews are currently being served and the special seasonal flavors. They also give a great description of all their creations on the “About out Beers” page. The “Hefeweizen” is described as “a summer wheat style that is a perfect thirst quencher” on a warm summer night. Add a slice of lemon for an added refreshing flavor.
Also in Lexington, you can find The Outpost for Devils Backbone Brewing Company. It’s located on the beautiful hillside outside of town and actually houses a custom- built brewery featuring a 30bbl Rolec Brewing system, SBC bottling and canning lines and Tap Room. Brewery Tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays on the hour from 2 to 5 PM. Try the seasonal special, Pumpkin Hunter that was designed to have the flavors layer “like a liquid pumpkin pie”. You can almost taste the graham cracker crust in this rich, “comfort beer”.
Traveling north through the Shenandoah Valley, you will find Saunton – home to several local brew companies.
Queen City Brewing Ltd. has 22 beers on tap, homemade soda, and sweet Fruit Wines. At this brewery you can “Become the Brewer” by choosing one of three package plans: Brewer’s Apprentice, Private Batch, or Blue Ridge Brewers (a class through the Blue Ridge Community College). Try the Hard-Pressed Apple Ale – a sweet and delicious ale that has a “cidery” flavor.
Staunton is also home to the Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company – a craft brewery with a tasting room and a home-brew supply store. Try one of their brews in their taproom (this is a BYOF place – bring your own food); Talk about your home brewing challenges and get the answers, the equipment, AND the recipes you need for some brew fun at home! Recipes can be found on their website with a detailed description of the resulting beer or ale. Their stock for homebrew is quite extensive with Dry and Wet Extracts, grains, hops, kegging equipment, and Bayou Classics Brewing Systems and part for sale. This is the place to get all your homebrew supplies!
On your adventure through the Shenandoah Valley, be sure to sip a few beers, buy your homebrew supplies, become the brewer, or tour a brewery. You will find that Virginia is for (beer) lovers!