Blue Mountain Brewery

Our two hop fields in Afton and a new hop yard in Arrington grow 1,000 hills of Cascade variety hops that we use year round in our Full Nelson strong pale ale, and in seasonal and harvest beer offerings. We hold medals at the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival for our 100% brewery-grown fresh hop ale Blue Reserve, and in 2010-2011 were honored to be the only brewery in Virginia to hold back-to-back Gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival. Opened in 2007 as the first brewery in Nelson County, Blue Mountain Brewery is a unique destination in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. All our ales and lagers are brewed, bottled, canned and kegged onsite in Afton or down the road in Arrington at our new Blue Mountain Barrel House. We have made our home for both facilities in beautiful, friendly Nelson County and are proud to be the pioneers of the Virginia rural brewery. Our two breweries will craft 10,000 barrels (310,000 gallons) of Virginia’s finest beer this year, made from deep well water and the best barley malt and hops the world has to offer.

Blue Mountain Barrel House Logo

Blue Mountain Barrel House

By 2011, Blue Mountain beer was in demand across Virginia at a rate that exceeded the capacity at the original Blue Mountain location in Afton. The next evolution became Blue Mountain Barrel House, a larger production-minded facility with almost tenfold capacity of the brewery in Afton. First, we picked a 15-acre spot in the south of Nelson County that has the stunning mountain views to match our Afton location. As the most mountainous county in America east of the Mississippi, the stark line of the Blue Ridge is woven into the fabric of our inspiration. Next, we designed a facility that had special capabilities to produce the barrel-aged beers we hang our hat on, beers like Dark Hollow. With a unique brewhouse and a fluctuating temperature-controlled barrel aging room, Blue Mountain Barrel House operates one of the largest barrel-aging facilities on the east coast.

Devils Backbone Brewing Company

One might say the spark for the idea behind the brewery happened about 20-years ago in Cortina, Italy. Co-Founders, Steve and Heidi Crandall were on a ski trip and were introduced to a German beer called Weihenstephan. This first real “craft” beer experience started a trend in the Crandall household, planting the seed that slowly grew into an idea, and then bloomed to become Devils Backbone Brewing Company.

More travels throughout the Western United States brought more exposure to craft beer, as the common denominator for most great outdoor destinations was a brewpub… and, there were lots of them. Brewpubs, mountains, skiing, biking, hiking, bird watching and running go together, right? In Europe most small towns have their own pubs that are an important part of the social fabric of the community. This added water to the original seed and further solidified the idea that there needed to be a brewpub in the Nelson County community; the Three Ridges Wilderness area seemed like a perfect place to bring great food and beer to the people.

Starr Hill Brewery

As the second oldest craft brewery in Virginia, Starr Hill has been a pioneer in the industry and helped lay the groundwork for the growing craft beer community in the region. Starting out with only a handful of regular employees, kegs of Starr Hill were delivered and sold by hand out of a van, including the milestone first account where C&O Restaurant tapped Amber Ale. We have been humping kegs and spreading the love at live music festivals since the first Bonnaroo and FloydFest in 2002. In response to the growing demand, Starr Hill moved from our small downtown storefront to a larger facility, once home to a ConAgra Foods plant, located several miles away in the town of Crozet during the summer of 2005. The brewery and Tap Room are still based there today, nestled in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.In the early 1990s, Charlottesville native Mark Thompson took his biology degree from James Madison University and moved to Portland, Oregon, ground zero for craft beer’s growth in America. The natural blend of art and science that is poured into brewing inspired him to take up the craft. Working alongside brewers in Oregon and Colorado, Mark honed his artisanal beer recipes. An old friend of Mark’s was looking to start a brewpub and music hall back in Charlottesville. In September 1999, they partnered to found Starr Hill Brewery out of a passion for great beer and live music. Named after the local neighborhood, the brewery shared its space with the legendary Starr Hill Music Hall. The historic storefront on Main Street was once home to the state of Virginia’s first craft brewing operation, Blue Ridge Brewing Company.

Wild Wolf Brewing Company

In November of 2011, Mary Wolf, and her son Danny, renovated a 100 year old Nelson County schoolhouse into a restaurant, built an adjacent brewery, and began the story of Wild Wolf Brewing Company. Mary, a business-savvy entrepreneur, takes care of the business, and Danny, a formally educated Brewmaster, oversees production of an ever-expanding portfolio of award-winning ales and lagers. We now distribute cans, 22 oz. bottles, and draught throughout the entire state of Virginia, and also Washington, DC. Our current portfolio includes six year-round beers, over a dozen rotating and seasonal beers, and occasional single-batch creations. We are located in the heart of Virginia’s Brew Ridge Trail, on Nelson County’s scenic Rt. 151, minutes from hiking trails, orchards, wineries, distilleries, and lodging. We’re very proud of our beautiful setting in little Nellysford, Virginia. Our dog-friendly shaded biergarten, with koi pond and fountain, is the perfect place to enjoy pints and lunch (weather permitting). Weather not so great? Check out the four-season pavilion.

From the Blog

Contact Us

8519 Thomas Nelson Highway
Lovingston, VA 22949

Phone: 434.263.7015


The Brew Ridge Trail is Virginia’s original beer destination. With breathtaking views and the best brews around, there is no reason NOT to try something new today!