The next logical stop is Starr Hill in Crozet. Starr Hill is now distributed by Anheuser-Busch, which means the previously regional-only beers are starting to be seen further afield. It’s unclear if the recent InBev-A/B merger will affect their distribution deal with Starr Hill.
A short drive up towards the mountains from Crozet leads to Afton, where Blue Mountain brewing is located. A gorgeous mountain view from the outside patio is the perfect complement to a Full Nelson Pale Ale or Blue Mountain Lager, and the brewers are always doing experimental batches of seasonal beers. The brewery has been open for only a couple years and is notable for also being the site of a hop farm: The Cascade hops grown on the premises are used in several of their beers.
From Afton, it’s a fun 20 minute drive into the mountains to hit up Devil’s Backbone, a ski resort brewpub that has opened last fall.
Living in Crozet just gets better and better. Mountains, hiking, great breweries and vineyards … to be honest and fair, Blue Mountain and Devil’s Backbone are in Nelson, but Blue Mountain is close enough to be considered Western Albemarle.