For decades, the American beer scene has been dominated by domestically-brewed beers by large companies that have built their business and reputation on marketing their beers as part of Americana. Slowly and steadily, as the demographics of the country changed, so did the choices in brews. International beers started to filter into bars and restaurants throughout the country.
Then came the beer revolution. Home brewers began to spring up around the country, and with that came new and exciting flavors and tastes. Thus was born the craft brewing industry. From the pacific northwest to the north east and finally making its way down along the east coast, craft breweries have taken root, and their popularity has only gained in full-steam ahead.
If you have visited downtown Richmond (take a trip through the revitalization of Scott’s Addition), the countryside of Powhatan and Goochland, further out to Charlottesville (once only known for its vast number of wineries), and east to Williamsburg and on to the coast of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, you will see patrons flocking to craft breweries.
If event planning and hosting is one of your favorite past times, and you like to introduce new flavors to your scene, why not add a local craft brew to the mix. The following article from blog.virginia.org will head you in the right direction.
Virginia craft breweries are quickly gaining in popularity and many weddings, birthday parties, corporate events and retreats are being held in their incredible tasting rooms and private event spaces. Many breweries will even take you behind the scenes on a tour upon request.
Photo credit: James City County
Billsburg is a destination brewery and venue in the heart of Williamsburg/Jamestown, VA. With rotating beers, there is always something new to try. They are able to accommodate group tours of up to 35. For larger groups, multiple tours are available. Indoor and outdoor event space is available. Read more.
Ono Brewing Company—Chantilly
Ono Brewing Company is a family-owned brewery with a unique tropical-themed tasting room and self-serve beer wall. Guests have a unique opportunity to be their own bartender and pour as little or as much of the beers in a true tasting room atmosphere. The tasting room has a 139 person capacity and is available for large and small group events and celebrations. Private tours are available upon request. Read more.
Solace Brewing Company—Loudoun
Flagship beers include a wit, session IPA, and a brown ale. The watermelon summer ale is most popular. The tap room has a designated space for families, with parlor games like ping pong and darts. Sitting at the bar, you get a beautiful view of the production brewery through over 600 square feet of glass. Also available is pet-friendly outdoor patio space. Read more.
Brick and Mortar Brewing Company—Suffolk
Situated inside a nearly 4,700-square-foot historic building in Downtown Suffolk that dates back to 1914, Suffolk’s first brewery features more than a dozen unique brews, a tasting room with impressive 20-foot ceilings, a window to observe the brewing process, a private party/meeting space for up to 150 and outdoor seating. Read more.
Ballast Point Brewing Company—Daleville
Ballast Point has an extensive listing of beers, a menu which lists daily specials and foods sure to please the palate. There is also an outside patio with spacious seating, fire pit and a wonderful view of the mountains and a small lake to enjoy. Event space is available to groups of up to 150. Brewery tours are available upon request. Read more.
Smartmouth Brewing Co.—Norfolk and Virginia Beach
Smartmouth has helped shape the Hampton Roads craft beer scene with unique styles, quality ingredients and an emphasis on flavor over flash. Their Norfolk facility is the primary location for brewing, packaging and distribution while the Pilot House in Virginia Beach offers additional private event space, a tasting room and a small-batch brewery system for making more unique and experimental beers. Read more.
Starr Hill Brewery & Tap Room—Crozet
The Starr Hill Brewery Tap Room is the ideal location for your next event or get-together. Combine unique and inviting industrial space with world-class beer on tap to ensure an unforgettable time for you and your group. The flexible capabilities of the Tap Room fit up to 125 people, feature a stage for live music entertainment, and include state-of-the-art A/V equipment. Food trucks or catering services are available to meet any culinary needs. Private brewery tours and guided tastings are also available as part of your event. Read more.
Strangeways Brewing Fredericksburg is a 10,100 square-foot production brewery that is open to the public daily. It houses multiple tasting room spaces, and has 96 draft lines, split between the inside tasting room and the outdoor Biergarten. Two fully temperature-conditioned private event spaces each have a different vibe to easily host anything from a smaller, more intimate gathering, to large 200+ person groups. A sizable arcade and free board game area provides fun and entertainment for all ages, and an art gallery and lounge showcases the work of local artisans. Read more.
Photo credit: Kate Magee Photography
Hardywood West Creek includes a public taproom with a built-in stage, a mezzanine-level private event space with conference room and balcony, an outdoor patio and beer garden, a food truck plaza and — coming soon — regulation-sized bocce courts & a natural amphitheater for live performances. A digitally interactive self-guided tour will further explore Hardywood’s mission to brew with purpose, while guided brewery tours will be offered regularly with advanced booking available online. Read more.
Chaos Mountain Brewing—Callaway
Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Chaos Mountain features a 3,000 sq. ft. tasting room where they serve some small batch brews totaling 6-10 different styles at any time. The tasting room can accommodate groups of up to 249. Get a behind-the-scenes look at their brewery and learn more about the brewing process! Schedule tours in advance for larger groups and special occasions. Read more.