“The more breweries the better.”
That was something Mike Alvarado, General Manager of the new Ballast Point Brewery in Daleville, Virginia, said to me several times during our interview on my recent visit home.
And Mike wasn’t talking about more Ballast Point breweries. He was talking about wanting more new, and local craft breweries as neighbors in Southwest Virginia.
I was raised in Southwest Virginia, mainly in Roanoke, and trust me, there’s plenty of room for craft booze.
That’s what makes the arrival of big west coast breweries such as Deschutes (Bend, Oregon) and Ballast Point (San Diego) so exciting. Even Virginia’s beloved Starr Hill Brewery opened a new location in Roanoke this year.
8 Reasons Why Roanoke is the Next Hot Spot for Craft Beer Drinkers
I’m telling you guys craft breweries are popping up everywhere back in my hometown! It’s unbelievable, but I think it’s going to transform the area and put Roanoke, Virginia, on the map as the next hot beer trail.
When I moved from southwest Virginia in Summer of 2016, there was a severe lack of craft beer, from festivals to pubs.
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Since I’ve been gone, the area has caught onto the same craft beer bug I have. And let me tell you what, nothing makes me happier to see how the area is coming alive while staying the same.
So if you’re traveling to southwest Virginia, or looking for the next hot spot for craft beer, here’s the Roanoke breweries calling this area home.
Big Lick Brewing Company
Once a 2bbl nanobrewery tucked away in a corner of downtown Roanoke, Big Lick Brewing just moved into a well-deserved, spacious new taproom with plenty of life. The new place is a bit closer to the heart of downtown and near a few hip new restaurants. There’s a massive patio area in front of the building with plenty of space to hang out with friends. Bring your dogs and keep warm by the fire pits on those chilly Virginia nights.
When it comes to the beers though, this brewery has always left me blown away. Big Lick Brewing in Southwest Virginia puts a huge emphasis on variety and quality. Don’t expect to see a board that leans heavy to a select few styles, this is a brewery that will have something delicious for everyone!
409 Salem Ave SW, Roanoke 24016| Website
Flying Mouse Brewery
A visit to Flying Mouse Brewery is going to take you a short, but beautiful drive north of Roanoke. The brewery sits on 15 acres of forest with views of Tinker Mountain, and is easily accessible for hikers of the Appalachian Trail. Inside and out, this Virginia brewery is very much dog friendly, and family friendly.
Flying Mouse has always had quite a solid lineup of beers at their 20-barrel brewhouse. Get a flight, they’re big enough to split with someone, and try the whole selection that goes from light to dark.
221 Precast Way, Troutville 24175| Website
Back when I was living in Virginia, Parkway Brewing was by far my favorite local brewery and one that I’ve seen grow and expand at an astounding pace. In the 3 years since they’ve opened, Parkway has undergone a massive expansion and renovation.
The only thing better than Parkway’s constantly revolving tap board is their core beers: Majestic Mullet Kolsch, Raven’s Roost Baltic Porter, Bridge Builder Blonde, Get Bent Mountain IPA. You can always expect something fun during your visit to this Virginia Brewery. There’s often live music and food trucks, plus plenty of space for dogs and groups. Now that it’s getting chillier in Virginia, it’s the perfect time to cozy up to the brewery’s inviting fireplace with one of the local beers!
739 Kessler Mill Rd, Salem 24153| Website
Twin Creeks Brewing’s three owners started making beer in a garage with a dream to build a local brewery. Now, that dream is a reality and the brewery is making and serving quality ales and lagers. Twin Creeks Brewing is Vinton’s first craft brewery and is located in beautiful downtown Vinton, Virginia. “Cross the creeks to great craft beer”
111 S Pollard St, Vinton, 24179 | Website
Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers
Right in what is sure to be a future brewery district in Roanoke, Virginia, Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers has a taproom that looks over downtown and the Roanoke Valley. This brewery was the first craft brewery to hit the area. Their spacious and breezy tasting room has massive garage doors that let cool breezes in all summer long.
This brewery is known for their 6 flagship beers named after creeks and hiking trails in the area. Those beers are available year-round, but Soaring Ridge does come out with a few notable seasonals throughout the year.
523 Shenandoah Ave NW, Roanoke 24016| Website
West to East: West Coast Breweries
So now that we have all the local craft breweries covered, it’s time to talk about the big guys coming into the area. Similar to Hill Country in Texas, Roanoke, Virginia has incredible water! Yes, water! (It’s super important when you’re making booze because, it’s the #1 ingredient)
Two massive breweries now call this area home, and one of the biggest Virginia craft breweries also jumped on board.
With beautiful views, lovely weather (and good water), and friendly people, who can blame them?? Oh, and since the local government is more than happy to have breweries popping up in Roanoke, it’s only made the area that much more irresistible.
Starr Hill Jumps on Board
In our state, Starr Hill is one the big craft brewers that many drinkers normally keep stocked up in the fridge. So it was only a matter of time before the Virginia Brewery decided to expand. And of course, Roanoke was an easy pick for the location of their ‘Pilot Brewery and Side Stage.’
When you’re visiting Starr Hill’s Side Stage outpost, you will be directly next to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Crane your head up and you can even see the beautiful Roanoke Star!
The name of Starr Hill’s new brewery in Roanoke, says it all though. This location will act as the pilot brewery allowing them to have a space to experiment more with their pilot system. While at their Charlottesville’s home location, they’ll now have more room to brew the flagship beers that have grown so popular in the last few years.
6 Old Whitmore Ave, Roanoke, 24016| Website
Read This: Starr Hill Brewery, My Thoughts
Ballast Point Brewing
During my last trip back home, I got to check out the brand new Ballast Point Tasting Room and Kitchen right up the road from Roanoke in Daleville. It’s the California brewery’s first move to the east coast, and they couldn’t be happier about their new home.
Ballast Point has an impressive lineup of beers on tap at their tasting room, plus a food menu that will have foodies drooling. At their brewery in Virginia, you’re surround by incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, seeing that view alone, would be more than worth the trip up here.
555 International Pkwy, Daleville, 24083| Website
In a lovely corner building down by Roanoke’s Market Square, Deschutes new East Coast taproom fits in perfectly. The space is airy and bright, with plenty of room for seating inside and a few tables for sitting outside and watching the hustle and bustle of Downtown Roanoke.
What I really love about the Deschutes taproom, is the exhibits on one side of the room. There’s yeast samples to smells, and a variety of dried hops to try. I had never seen anything like that in a brewery, but I loved it and learned so much about the beers Deschutes brews.
Speaking of, on my visit to their new taproom, Deschutes brewery in Roanoke had quite a selection, but it was mostly their flagship beers and a few new seasonals. They did have a few brews that are just for the Roanoke area, and of course they were delicious.
I actually spent a whole afternoon at this brewery, sitting by one of the large windows and getting some work done. While this location is Deschutes new second home, there are still plans to open a large distribution and brewing facility similar to Ballast Point’s. Expected to open in 2021, Deschutes looks forward to joining the craft beer boom currently happening in Roanoke.
315 Market St SE, Roanoke, 24011| Website
Have you been to any of these Roanoke breweries? Have questions about where to eat or stay while you’re visiting? Just let me know in the comments!
By the way, let’s get connected on social media. I’m always sharing my newest interviews and adventures, fun events, and exclusive beer giveaways.