The mid-Atlantic is known for many things: historic cities and quaint small towns, stunning displays of fall leaves, beaches and bays… and now, lucky for us, beer! Over the past few years, the craft beer craze has settled in nicely in the mid-Atlantic, with new microbreweries popping up seemingly every day featuring the best ingredients, locations and creative techniques the area can offer.
Here are a handful of the best mid-Atlantic breweries worthy of a road trip!
BEST MID-ATLANTIC BREWERIES WORTHY OF A ROAD TRIP
BEST BREW WITH A VIEW: Blue Mountain Brewery
(9519 Critzer’s Shop Rd., Afton, Virginia 22920)
Blue Mountain Brewery is known for gorgeous mountain views, great food, homegrown Cascade hops and some exceptionally good craft beer. It’s a favorite of many mid-Atlantic craft beer conneiseurs as well as UVA and Charlottesville day-trippers. Grab a seat (outside if you can) and start with the sampler their current selection of beers on tap for just $7-9. If you’re hungry, try one of the big-enough-to-share artisan pizzas ($20-22), which are so good that people have been known to travel long distances just for a slice.
Make it a road trip! 2 Days in Charlottesville, VA
BEST BREWERY BAR FOOD: Tröegs Brewing Company
(200 E. Hershey Park Dr., Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033)
Tröegs is one of Pennsylvania’s most well-known breweries, and the company has built a huge 5,000-square foot space in Hershey. It’s a popular spot with a fun, lively vibe that attracts both locals and visitors, and the food and the beers are top notch and affordable. Share the Mad Elf Fondue served with a baguette and fruit ($12) or perhaps try the massive seasonal meatloaf sandwich, topped with hearty slabs of bacon and a scoop of red-skin mashed potatoes. Wash it all down with the $7 beer sampler and discover your favorite. (My favorite was the Pale Ale!)
Make it a road trip! A Grown-Up Weekend in Hershey, PA
BEST CITY FOR CRAFT BEER LOVERS: Richmond, Virginia
Over the past few years, Richmond has quickly established itself as one of the best craft beer cities in the United States. With around 13 craft breweries in Richmond proper (more are being added every day…) and countless more in the surrounding area, it’s a must-visit destination for discerning hops-lovers and novices alike. Some standouts include Legend Brewing (the oldest brewery in Virginia with a patio boasting one of the best views of downtown Richmond), Hardywood Park Craft Brewery (perhaps Richmond’s most well-known and acclaimed brewery) and Blue Bee Cider (Virginia’s only urban cidery that causing a big buzz with sophisticated ciders).
Make it a road trip! 2 Days in Richmond, Virginia
BEST FARM BREWERY: Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm
(8253 Dollyhyde Road, Mt. Airy, MD 21771)
Located along the rural back roads between Mt. Airy, New Market and Libertytown lies Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm. Open since 2013, Maryland’s first farm brewery creates hop-focused beers brewed with cascade hops and other ingredients grown on the neighboring Stillpoint Farm. Enjoy a crisp pint on the brewery’s scenic patio while picnicking on local cheeses and meats available for purchase on site.
Make it a road trip! An Agritourism Road Trip in Frederick County, MD
BEST CRAFT BREWERY THAT’S NOW MAINSTREAM: Dogfish Head Brewery
Dogfish Head started as a simple 12-gallon microbrewing operation in their local brewpub in downtown Rehoboth (and the smallest commercial brewery in the whole United States) has turned into a huge operation making over 20 types of beers and selling in more than 25 states. If you visit their 100,000 square foot brewery in Milton, you can sign up for one of their free brewery tours, which includes 4 generous samples so you can try their “off-centered ales for off-centered people” for yourself!
Make it a road trip! Southern Delaware for History Buffs
BEST “COLLEGE TOWN” BREWERY: Brothers Craft Brewing
While my college town of Harrisonburg, Virginia (go Dukes!) still excels at the art of providing drinks on the cheap, craft beer really dominates the beer scene here. On many restaurant drink menus, local Virginia beers are featured alongside craft brews from all over the world. The locals have so embraced the beer scene that Brothers Craft Brewing opened downtown in 2012 and continues to grow in popularity with locals and travelers alike.
Make it a road trip! Harrisonburg: More than a “College Town”
IS YOUR FAVORITE CRAFT BREWERY INCLUDED IN THIS LIST? SHARE ANY THAT I MISSED IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!