Drake (449) Free Union, Virginia | January 13, 2009| Updated March 27, 2010
70 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 5/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 15/20
As of 1/21/10 this place is under new ownership. The downside is the new owner doesn’t have much brewing experience, he has been brewing beer for a few months. The upside is that he’s a nice guy, he’s doing a lot to learn and the hours are MUCH better. Hopefully he can get up to speed quickly and keep this place going strong. Also, they have moved to a new location within the same shopping center (this was under the old owners). Lots more room with a pretty good selection, though there were gaps here and there which are probably a result of the ownership change. All the malts are now stored in a rack in mason jars and you simply place your order from there and they fill it in the back.
Located about 10 miles North of Charlottesville, VA right on US29. Plenty of parking.
The owners both have day jobs, so the hours are a bit limited, but with evening and weekend hours, this shouldn’t be a problem for most as long as they plan ahead. Hours may expand some in the summer when the kids come home from college.
I met one of the co-owners who was very friendly and helpful, and who has fifteen years of homebrewing experience. The other person working (pretty sure it was his wife, as it’s a family operation) was also friendly and helpful. Good selection of ingredients and supplies, and they are currently relocating to another space in the same building with more than twice the current space, which should be fun. The owner complained that they were disorganized due to the current lack of space, but it looked to me well organized, well stocked and very clean.
Prices seemed reasonable.
They have website ordering and will ship for reasonable rates.
Overall a very nice resource.