This is a large place in a beautiful setting. Plenty of parking. Not five minutes after I sat down, one of the brewers came out to the bar and said, "Come smell the beer!" So four of us dutifully trundled into the brewery to inhale the malty goodness of the boil. Nice appetizer for a tasty lunch and plenty of unique beers I hadn’t had before. Worth the trip.
It started off well. Beautiful ski chalet type building, gorgeous scenery, very good hefe but it went downhill quickly mainly to a lack of air conditioning. It’s already the hottest summer in existence but by the time we left the thermostat was at 85 degrees. By the ends I just wanted to get the hell out of there which kind affects one’s ability to rate a place. That being said I also wasn’t feeling the gas station chic the bartenders were forced to wear. Why dress your employees in something that no one but helroin addled hipsters could look good in? Also no cell service in the area So plan accordingly.
Braudog (901) Yorktown, Virginia | February 15, 2009| Updated February 20, 2009
February 2009 - On the road to the Wintergreen resort, this is a beautiful building erected just for this brewery. We went on a slow weekday afternoon, so our service was very attentive and friendly. The menu is relatively standard pub fare with a few unique twists on old favorites -- we shared a hummus pizza and some soup, both of which were outstanding. We tried a total of 5 beers between us and all were well made, ’inside the box’ offerings. You have to mean to be out in this part of Virginia, but if you find yourself out there, definitely stop by! Brewery #468
Update 2/2916: They have expanded an outdoor area. Fire pit, outdoor "food truck-ish" kitchen, outdoor bar with some rudimentary climate control and often different options than inside. Beers are still of excellent quality. Old reviews follow...
11/27/08: The brewery is located right off 151 behind a Ski Barn with a very blue roof. If you are coming from the North, watch out as it is easy to miss the turn. Big place, with the brewery clearly visible behind the bar, lots of wood and other touches, much of which is made from recycled material. Not all the beer was ready opening day, but the five available were all drinkable and three of those were very nice. Food was tasty. Prices reasonable. Service was friendly, but not too terribly knowledgeable about the beer, but this can be forgiven on opening day. They have 2-3 guest taps dedicated to other Virginia beers at all times, which is cool. Absolutely beautiful surroundings. This is a very cool place, and one that I will be visiting time and time again.
5/5/09... one that I HAVE visited time and time again!
12/12/11: I see I haven’t updated this in a couple of years, so I shall now. I’ve had every beer they’ve produced, or very close to that. If they’ve made a beer I haven’t had, I’m not aware of it. Wide range of beers, there are of course ups and downs but the overall quality of the beer is high and standouts are common. The food is always good as well. Lots of local stuff, and the meat smoked on premises is simply astounding. The place where their popularity affects them negatively is customer service which can vary quite a bit, though the bar staff is generally very good. I’ve gotten to know Jason the brew-master and he’s a cool guy. I originally rated this a 78. I expect that’ll be going up a fair bit in the next few minutes.
Another update 7/3/13. Boy these guys have grown. They now have a second production brewery with packaged product seeping into other states. Both breweries are currently undergoing expansions. I wish I could give this place a higher score for ambiance, because the outdoor setting is simply stunning any time of year. The customer service can still be iffy at times, but seems to be a bit better, and some people have now been there for years which certainly helps. The beer is still excellent and quality control is more consistent. The food is still excellent. Prices are still in line with the competition. Old score 84, new score 86
jackl (740) Minneapolis, Minnesota | September 15, 2013
Worth the trip just for the scenery alone. The 180 degree view of the blue ridge mountains from the patio has to rank as one of the best vistas offered by a brewpub. The building itself is pretty cavernous. The ambiance is not unlike a refurbished ski lodge. Sort of dark, lots of wood and taxidermy. The service was prompt during my Saturday lunchtime visit. 12 Devils Backbone beers were on offer at reasonable prices. The food’s solid pub fare. Perfectly acceptable though certainly not life-affirming in quality. Prices were fair. Overall, a must-visit stop if you’re in the area. I’ll definitely be back.
This brewpub is designed like a ski-lodge in a small rural town (apparently ski village). There are no signs for it on the side of the road, so it was difficult to find (especially in the dark) but just look for a big ski lodge. It was quite packed when we got there (~8:30pm on a Monday night) but slowly thinned and we were eventually able to get seats at the bar. The crowd was your typical skiing-type crowd with a fair amount of young children (who also sat at the bar...). There was a guitar-playing singer performing as well...who was not very good at all...but the children liked him at least. There are a fair number of beers on tap (can’t remember exactly) and the beer is pretty good so it’s worth a stop for that I guess. I didn’t try any of the food. The service was pretty decent, given the amount of people there. Overall, the crowd and design was a bit off-putting but the beer was enjoyable, so it’s worth a stop (especially if you are stopping at Blue Mountain first).
radagast83 (321) Arlington, Virginia | January 19, 2013| Updated January 21, 2013
Headed on down to the Devils Backbone from a house we were staying at the Wintergreen resort area. There is a lot of parking - probably far more parking than the actual brewpub could ever support, lots of space. Place was fairly crowded but we were able to sit in a nice fireplace and space heater heated covered outdoor area. Servers were very chipper, and easy to talk with.
Lots of beers available from them, so it was good to be able to try many of their brewpub only brews. Food came out pretty promptly. Burger was HUGE, so it made up for the slightly over-salted (at least for me) fries that came with them.
Went there a second time two days later and the place was busy, even for roughly 4:00pm, but still got seated immediately in the covered patio. Service was quick. One addendum to this that other reviewers have noted - no one in the group of 8 (both with Verizon and AT&T) had cell signals. It’s dead. There isn’t any free wi-fi available, something that at least Wild Wolf provided just down the street. Not a deal breaker, but virtually impossible to check-in or write reviews on the fly when there.
Roomy interior has the feeling of a ski or other wilderness lodge. Waitstaff are alert and quick. Food is classy, if not gourmet, and very tasty. They have a bunch of beers on tap, all theirs, and all good. Worth going down the winding back roads of Blue Ridge Virginia.
On the same road as Blue Mountain (Afton) and Wild Wolf (Nellysford). This is being made into a destination in the style of what Walt Disney might do for a rural brewery. The effect is mixed, because, with the improvements the p;ace has a lot of potential activity, but, along with that, it seems a little inauthentic and artificial. The staff was friendly and attentive on a Wednesday afternoon, and there are several really solid brews available as flights (at a very good rate). I didn’t try the food. Overall, very positive.