Haymarket Hops: A brief history of craft beer in Virginia and four Haymarket, Warrenton & Manassas craft beer breweries …
For the past couple of years there has been a renaissance in Virginia’s craft beer industry. The Travel Channel recently included Virginia in their “Top 7 Beer Destinations” noting that the entire state of Virginia is so obsessed with its beer culture that, in 2012, it officially named August “Virginia Craft Brew Month”.
This surge follows state legislation passed in 2012 which changed a provision governing on-site consumption at brewery tasting rooms, and now allows the sale of pints of beer rather than just tasting samples. According to a Washington Post article published in July, since the law was revised, the craft beer industry in Virginia has seen 75 percent growth in the number of breweries.
With over 50 breweries in the state, tourism officials have found great potential in creating destinations called “craft beer trails”. Along these picturesque and historic routes, beer enthusiasts can explore parts of the state while making stops at select breweries to sample fine crafted beer and in some cases, culinary pairings.
Looking back, according to a BeerAdvocate.com time line, the history of American beer-making actually started in Virginia. Dating back to 1587, Native Americans and early colonists began brewing ale using corn. England was shipping ale to America however, in 1609 “Help Wanted” advertisements appeared in London seeking brewers for the Virginia Colony.
Beer crafting can also be traced through Virginia’s history in findings related to both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Historians have preserved George Washington’s beer recipe titled “To Make Small Beer” from his 1757 notebook. In 1812, a retired Jefferson successfully crafted his first home brew from local hops and malt. By 1814 Jefferson was malting his own grain in his own brew house at Monticello.
Today, the definition of an “American Beer Crafter” is a small, independent and traditional maker of beer that is distinctively flavored, brewed and distributed regionally. I have put together a list of craft breweries in the region surrounding Haymarket. I’ll call this collection the “Haymarket Hops” trail. In the spirit of football season, fall is a great time to go out and sample some unique flavors. At these breweries you can visit the tap room and try them out, or bring some home to enjoy.
When exploring local craft breweries or wineries, please remember to designate a driver and drink responsibly.
Thinking about moving to the Haymarket, Virginia area? Call Bryan Garcia and he’ll show you around. Call or text Bryan at 703-517-2574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
9776 Center Street, Manassas, VA
Located on Route 28 less than a mile from Old Town Manassas, BadWolf was the first of it’s kind to open in the Prince William County area in June of last year. Co-founders Jeremy, who has been making beer for over 10 years, and Sarah are local residents and are passionate about making craft beer (photo on left). The taproom is nothing fancy but they are proud to be serving the local community. Enjoy free popcorn to cleanse your palette while tasting a variety of always changing brews. The Tap Room is open Wednesday through Sunday. There is no food available but you can bring your own or order delivery.
BadWolf Brewery Website
9436 Center Point Lane, Manassas, VA
Heritage Brewing Company (photo on right) is a veteran-owned and operated microbrewery in Manassas, just of Route 28 before Old Town. As veterans and patriots, they believe strongly in producing the finest beer made with the best ingredients with the same level of attention to detail and passion that they brought to serving our country. Sit directly in front of the tanks that your beer was made from in the tasting room as you sip your brew. Enjoy great beer and even greater company with some live music on occasion. The tap room is open Thursday through Sunday.
Heritage Brewing Company Website
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7134 Lineweaver Road, Warrenton, VA
After just celebrating it’s successful grand opening in August, the Tap Room at Old Bust Head is now open Wednesday through Sunday with live music on most Saturdays. Located just a few miles west of Gainesville, the brewery is set in the old warehouses at Vint Hill (photo on left). The 30,000 square-foot brewery includes a 30-barrel and four-vessel brew house with tours available. There is no food served but various food vendors are there on weekends serving up local delights or you are welcome to bring your own picnic-style munchies. The name “Old Bust Head” came from old anecdotes in the local community which also helped name the beers—read about the story behind each label.
Old Bust Head Website
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Also worth mentioning …
3511 James Madison Hwy, Haymarket, VA
This unique shop combines the retail sales of select crafted beer and wine—many from Virginia craft breweries and wineries—with a glass blowing studio! I’ve included this funky shop located on Route 15 on our list because it’s right in Haymarket and they offer beer and wine tasting events as well as a build-your own six-pack option (selection shown in photo below). The owners of Crafted believe that an appreciation of all crafts is a great way to explore the world. So, they are sharing their love of beer, wine, and the glass that holds it all! Crafted is open Tuesday through Sunday until 9 pm.
Crafted Haymarket Website
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