Yes, this place is huge. Why? Well Anheuser-Busch, the evil empire has bought them only after a year in business. Sickening. The beer here is below average, and they have SET flights, which mean you can’t build your own. Not worth the stop, unless you’re a novice beer drinker.
Oh look, another place I haven’t reviewed. Ambiance is great - I love the look of the place (though I’m not a hunter and couldn’t kill an animal myself), and the outdoor area in good weather is also fantastic. I have never gotten good service here - it’s never been bad, it’s just been getting me the beer. I could get the same service at Draft Taproom in Charlottesville where I serve myself (though the folks there are friendly and are around if you have questions). Selection is usually quite good - and very time there’s a good amount of new shit on tap I haven’t tried. Twice within the past 6 months I’ve attempted to visit and it was overpacked and I left without sampling everything. I was initially quite put off that they sold out to Budweiser, but then remembered that most of their beers were average to slightly above anyway, so obviously they were never going for the craft crowd (quantity over quality in many cases, in my opinion). However, it is a really nice place - and if you can get in (and not have a 40-minute wait - which, in that case, is not worth it) I’d say go. Food is expensive - enough to the point I’ve always gone elsewhere for grub.
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
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.
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.