After driving all the way up the seemingly steepest mountain in all of Virginia, the craft-brew fanatics of Virginia’s Craft Brewers Festival arrived at th
After driving all the way up the seemingly steepest mountain in all of Virginia, the craft-brew fanatics of Virginia’s Craft Brewers Festival arrived at their destination: Devil’s Backbone Basecamp Brewpub in Nelson County.
The drive, however, was definitely worth it. With plenty of room to park and not far to walk, the festival was a hit from the very first glance.
Upon entering the site, once past the ticket booth, everything the event had to offer was in plain sight. With all the brewers’ tents set up in a circle, complete with food trucks and finishing off with the festival’s stage, it was easy to just walk around casually or just plop down right in the middle of it all on a blanket or chair.
Each person who purchased a ticket went through the same process, with the exception of those persons who were labeled the designated driver or underage, like I was.
Once on the grounds of the festival, the festival-goer received a small cup the size of a juice glass with a 2-oz. marker on it. With this, each person could go to whichever of the 52 brewers’ tents, which participated and collectively entered 221 beers in the Brewers Cup competition on August 16th times they wished. Each tent usually had two beers on tap, with Devil’s Backbone having the most at four under two tents.
If you wanted to take a break from all the beer for a while, you could step into Devil’s Backbone’s restaurant for a bite to eat, or just head over to one of the six food trucks added to the lineup this year.
These included South Fork Food Truck, Blue Ridge Pizza Co., Morsel Compass, The Big Cheese Food Truck, The Pie Guy, and Blue Ridge Kettle Corn.
I can attest to the Big Cheese Truck—it was amazing. With seven types of grilled cheese sandwiches to choose from, anybody could find one that they like…or maybe even all of them.
Even after all the beer and food, there was even more activities. With three bands playing the event, there was never a quiet moment.
The opening band, Sharkophagus from Norfolk, and the second band Sunliner from Nelson County itself, provided local tunes. The festival’s biggest musical guest was without a doubt Richmond’s own No BS! Brass band. These bands were especially welcomed by the under 21’s and DD’s, since the main event’s activities were unavailable.
The guests who purchased VIP packages and stayed overnight definitely got the biggest bang for their buck. Included in the VIP package was early access to the event itself, hourly tastings led by the brewers, air-conditioned restrooms, and a VIP sitting area where the tastings took place, right in view of the stage.
Staying overnight allowed people to drink as much as they wanted and not worry about driving off of the side of the mountain, and the option looked even more enticing with the “glamping” option added this year.
All in all, this event was a hit. Of course, as it should be, the packages which offered the most were definitely more than worth the money – Especially since this event aids the Brewer’s Guild more than any other. Its worth checking out this festival in the middle of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.