August is craft beer month in Virginia. This industry is alive and growing in the state, but beer afficionados should look extra closely at the Fredericksburg region. From Adventure Brewing and Wild Run Brewery in Stafford County to Maltese and Rusty Beaver in Spotsylvania County, there is a world of craft, micro and nano-breweries here to be explored. (If you're looking for a great entry point, try the Grapes and Grains Trail.)
Here is what's new on the Fredericksburg region's beer scene:
Red Dragon Brewery
Located at 1419 Princess Anne St. in Fredericksburg, Red Dragon Brewery is the newest addition to the region’s craft beer lineup, and will hold its grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 20. A soft opening Aug. 15 saw lines out the door to enter the modern, industrial, black and gray interior, which brings a polished presence to this up-and-coming corridor.
Owners Thomas Evans and Danial Baker will offer a wide range of beer styles, and the brewery opened with its signature St. David’s Stout, a Belgian blonde, saison, ESB and Kolsch. Two IPAs were expected to come on tap by the weekend.
Red Dragon—a nod to the owners’ Welsh heritage—will not serve food, but customers will be allowed to bring food from other local restaurants.
Spencer Devon Brewing
This Downtown Fredericksburg brew-pub won a bronze medal at the U.S. Open Beer Championship in Oxford, Ohio, in July for its 3-4-5 Pilsner. As summer winds down, the brewery, whose restaurant emphasizes local ingredients, is pouring a seasonal Raspberry Ale, brewed with 120 pounds of raspberries from Snead’s Farm.
While you enjoy the beers inside Spencer Devon, don’t miss what’s going on outside. Local artist Bill Harris is installing a mural on the corner of the building that faces Sophia and George streets. Harris designed the mural to portray two different pub and brewery scenes—one from modern times, and one from the eighteenth century. Look closely and you’ll spot brewery owner Shawn Phillips and one longtime local official.
1781 Brewing Company
In the meantime, visitors can already enjoy beers brewed at 1781, which specializes in French and Belgian farmhouse styles but experiments with all kinds of beer varieties.
A great way to experience this historic and scenic Spotsylvania farm is through the regular selection of live music hosted at Wilderness Run. This Friday, Aug. 19, come out to see Jackson Ford’s popular mix of blues, rock and reggae. The show starts at 6 p.m., and wine tastings stop at 5 p.m., so arrive early to enjoy a tasting.
Adventure Brewing won second place at the Virginia Craft Beer Cup Awards this month for its 2nd Anniversary Rye Barleywine. This beer competed in the "Smoked or Wood-Aged Beer" category. This limited-edition beer was aged for six months in bourbon barrels from the A. Smith Bowman distillery. It was one of 378 beers by independent breweries entered in the contest for review.
This Stafford County brewery recently expanded by buying Spotsylvania-based Blue and Gray Brewing Co., which was a pioneer on the local craft beer scene. In September, Adventure will put its own spin on a tradition that had become a hallmark event for Blue and Gray: Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest will take place Sept. 17, from noon until 8 p.m., at Adventure South, 3300 Dill Smith Dr., in Spotsylvania County. Admission runs from $8 to $15, depending on whether you buy tickets in advance and which level of admission you purchase. Find all the details here.
The event will include live music, beer, German-themed entertainment and food and beer from other area craft brewers, including Spotsylvania’s Maltese Brewing Company and Rusty Beaver Brewery, and Stafford’s Wild Run Brewing Company.