Next time you’re planning a weekend outing, consider visiting one of West Virginia’s top breweries to not only sip on high-quality brews, but to see how your favorites are made! Breweries take guests inside the process of crafting your favorite beers, all while providing an ideal social environment between their tap and tasting rooms. From smooth stouts, to meads and ciders, to classic IPAs, you’ll find all that and more at West Virginia’s 10 best breweries.
Promoted as the largest and oldest brewery in the state, Mountain State Brewing Company in Thomas, West Virginia, has several locations that offer flatbread pizzas and other wood-fired appetizers and entrees from their brick oven. You're sure to find a crafted beer that will quench your thirst, like the light brown caramel Almost Heaven Amber Ale, Miner's Daughter Stout with its chocolaty smoothness, or the Belgian Wit Dolly Sods Cranberry Wheat.
Local legends, myths, and telling a great story are the motivators that co-owners Wil Laska and David Kucera had in mind when they created Greenbrier Valley Brewing in Lewisburg, West Virginia. With combined experience and a dream of launching a line of West Virginia beers, Wil and David offered their first beers in 2014. There are now six regular and seasonal varieties available like Wild Trail Pale Ale and Mothman Black I.P.A., and plans are ongoing for additional creative craft beers.
If you value locally-made craft beer, then you'll want to check out Bridge Brew Works in Fayetteville, West Virginia. Sample a tempting flavor in their taproom that's open every day except Sunday and Monday, and try one of their seasonal and year-round beers like the Mountain Momma Pale Ale that goes great with a bacon cheeseburger or hot wings. Or if you want more of a kick from your beer, try the Moxxee Coffee Stout that helps wash down your favorite chocolate cake or anything spicy.
Parkersburg Brewing Company in Parkersburg, West Virginia, rides on a long-standing presence in the community since the first brewery was opened in 1864 by German immigrants. Starting out with three crafted beers, the original brewery closed in the early 1900s because of the coming Prohibition. Since 2012, the new, improved, and post-Prohibition brewery has created favorites like From Ash & Ember, a tribute ale to West Virginia history, an American Pale Ale called Citrus Tsunami that will stimulate all your senses, and the Hip Hef Hefeweizen that celebrates the German beer roots with its balance of banana, clove, and wheat flavors.
From the moment you walk into the Wheeling Brewery Co. in Wheeling, West Virginia, you know there's something different and special about the place. The brick and wood décor provide an earthy atmosphere that invites warm conversation and fun. The tempting menu makes it hard to choose between delectable dishes like pan-seared Parmesan Barley Cakes topped with pesto sour cream, MoonDog I.P.A.-infused hummus served with veggies and flatbread, and handmade potato and cheese pierogis with your choice of basil cream sauce, balsamic glaze, or Cajun seasonings. Try any of the menu items with one of the house drafts like Weelunk Blonde Ale or Route 40 American Red.
After experimenting with home brewing for three years, owners Roger and Crista Johnson made their dream a reality and opened Preston County's oldest craft beer brewery, Screech Owl Brewery in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. Using only the best ingredients, mountain water, and a lot of love, there are seven beer choices currently available. Among traditional choices like Wild & Wonderful Strawberry Ale, they also have a seasonal Buckwheat Honey Porter, an American I.P.A, called Hoo's Your Daddy, and Threshing Floor Wheat, a Hefenweizen-style beer.
Steeped in tradition and going back to a time when quality trumped quantity, Hawk Knob Cidery and Meadery is the state's first brewery to offer dry aged meads and ciders. Using locally grown and produced ingredients, Hawk Knob has set a new and high standard for classic hard cider and months of bourbon-barrel aging builds a flavor balance that rivals perfection. And there’s a new style of mead coming to town called “Cyser,” made when honey is added to cider and fermented into a delicious wine which is then aged in oak barrels.
If you believe that quality is more important than quantity, then Patrick Brewing Company in Scott Depot, West Virginia, is the right brewery for you. This small start-up brewery is spreading the news about their hearty beers by participating in multi-state brewing contests like “Rails and Ales” and the “TriState Homebrew Competition.” They have a promising future, so if you're in the area, make sure to stop by and sample some of the great offerings.
Who said a brewery couldn't be classy? Lost River Brewing Co. in Wardensville, West Virginia, is just that. In addition to their own brewed beer, they offer classics like Irish Red Ale to go along with a delicious menu that will make your mouth water. Try their West Virginia Common with Chesapeake Bay oysters, smoked prime rib, or the pork rack with wasabi beurr blanc. These are just a few of the selections diners can pick in this pub nestled in the Potomac Highlands.
What distinguishes Town Run Brewery in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, from other breweries in the Mountain State is that it's also an art gallery and great gaming place. As if that wasn't enough to entice you to visit, they serve great craft beer and the food is awesome. Everything is homemade from the sandwich fillings to the chicken fried in a cast iron skillet. There's live music and a great atmosphere for friends and family to hang out and enjoy a fun-filled evening.