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Just like the rest of the United States, the number of craft breweries in West Virginia has grown almost exponentially in the last twenty years. There are now over twenty breweries, all with a distinct West Virginia flavor that comes from the combination of fresh mountain spring water and a love of having a good time. Here are the ten best breweries across the state.
Ten years ago, Mountain State was the West Virginia craft brewery. Since that time, the number of small breweries in the state has exploded, but Mountain State still remains one of the best in the state. Brothers/co-founders/owners Willie Lehmann and Brian Arnett wanted this beer to be a truly West Virginian experience, and they’ve accomplished that with delicious beers served in three cozy, comfortable tap rooms in Thomas and Morgantown, West Virginia and Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. You can also get Mountain State in restaurants across West Virginia and western Maryland, and packaged in grocery stores and gas stations across the state.
Mountain State Brewing Company, 54 Clay St, Morgantown, WV, USA +1 304-241-1976
Just down the street from the flagship Mountain State Brewing Company in Thomas, West Virginia is Stumptown Ales in Davis. Tucked into a corner bar on the short main street, the taproom is crowded with skiers and snow bunnies in the winter and hikers and bikers in the spring and summer. The husband and wife team behind the brewery offer hoppy Indian Pale Ales, typical of the craft-brew industry, plus some really thick and delicious porters and stouts.
Stumptown Ales, 390 William Avenue, Davis, WV, USA +1 304-259-5570
Located about an hour south of Thomas and Davis in Elkins, West Virginia, Big Timber Brewing has established themselves in the craft brewing market. Started in 2014, the brewing has become a favorite among locals and those lucky enough to get a pint or a four-pack of their tallboy cans somewhere else in the state. They offer six beers year-round and seasonal specialties, and stumble in on the right night and you might hear some local live music too.
Big Timber Brewing, 1210 S Davis Ave, Elkins, WV, USA +1 304-637-5008
With the third brewery on this list named after the forest industry, you might be starting to understand how important the trees of West Virginia are to the economy – both as lumber and a place for recreation. Chestnut Brew Works was started in 2013 south of Morgantown, and due to popular demand, opened a tasting room in downtown Morgantown. Guests love the friendly environment and the bar has quickly become a favorite spot in town.
Chestnut Brew Works, 444 Brockway Ave, Morgantown, WV, USA +1 304-212-5079
In West Virginia, brewing seems to be a family business – Short Story Brewing being another family-run brewery just south of Morgantown in Rivesville, West Virginia. With a IPAs, a stout, and an amber, you’re sure to find something you like, and if you want to try a little of everything, you can get a flight served in an old library card catalog drawer.
Short Story Brewing, 5904 Fairmont Rd, Rivesville, WV, USA +1 304-933-2165
The New River Gorge is a West Virginia landmark and a must-see (almost) like no other place in the state. And while you’re in the area, check out Bridge Brew Works, a very small brewery located between Beckley, West Virginia and the Gauley River National Recreation Area. After a day exploring the wilderness on the river rapids or trails surrounding the river, the brewery is the perfect place to grab a drink.
With names like Wild Trail Pale Ale, Mothman Black IPA, and Devil Anse IPA, the owners and brewers at the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company take a lot of pride in the lore of West Virginia. In addition to drinking the beers in the taproom near Lewisburg, West Virginia, you can find their beers canned and for sale in stores across the state.
Even in the small towns in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia craft breweries have been popping up. In Charles Town, on the Maryland border near Harper’s Ferry, Mash Brewing Company has free tastings of their IPAs, ales, and stouts with growlers to-go, but no bar.
Mash Brewing Company, 122 N George St, Charles Town, WV, USA +1 681-252-1788
Close to Charles Town, the Berkeley Springs Brewing Company is expanding from a tasting room with growlers for sale to a full brew pub. You can also find their beers on tap in restaurants in West Virginia and Maryland.
As one of the longest operating restaurants in West Virginia, the North End Tavern and Brewery has a reputation to uphold. First opened in 1899, the tavern in Parkersburg, West Virginia started brewing beer in 1997, making it the oldest craft brewery in the state. At the tavern, you can get a pint of their award-winning classic beers, or a sampler of the current offerings.