Saturday, January 26, 2008

Blue Mountain Brewery and Hops Farm

Lovers of craft beer and artisanal breweries have had recent reason to rejoice. Opening to the public in October 2007, Blue Mountain Brewery joined the ranks of South Street and Starr Hill. As Starr Hill nears the big time with its recent Anheuser contract, Blue Mountain replaces it as a local brewery content with a local following, at least for now. The beers have started appearing around town since the fall. Draughts of the Rockfish Wheat are served at the Blue Moon Diner and six-packs are sold at Harris Teeter. At least for now, the beer is also on tap at Mellow Mushroom, Michael's Bistro, and Beer Run and bottled beer is available at Wine Warehouse, Whole Foods, Market Street Wine Shops, and Continental Divide.

To get to the brewery from C-ville take 64 West. At exit 107, follow 250 West about 6 miles. Turn left on 151 South (Critzer's Shop Road). The brewery is on the left, 1.3 miles down the road.

The now dormant rows of hops are in front of the barn-like building and down the hill. The building includes the brewing operations and the tasting room. The facilities allow production of 3500 barrels a year. According to a December 7, 2007 article in the Nelson County Times, the brewery is already running at capacity and five weeks into operation had to pull back from distribution in Richmond and Roanoke. Large glass windows divide the brewing tanks from the bar and the tasting room. The large room reminded me of the Veritas tasting room. A small kitchen serves some appetizers with local ingredients.

Of the beers, the classic Lager, the Continental-style lager with more bitterness (hops) than an American lager, would please anyone who doesn't hate beer. These are the six packs I keep taking home from Harris Teeter. To try all the beers, there is a 6 beer sampler for 5 bucks. They are all excellent, tasty, well-balanced beers. Their website gives a better description of them than I could (link below). On the the heels of the movement to eat local, Blue Mountain Brewery makes it easier and enjoyable to drink local. Bring it home in six-packs or fill a half gallon growler for $10.

Blue Mountain Brewery and Hops Farm
519 Critzers Shop Road
Afton, VA 22920

Check out the local beer scene.

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