Virginia has a booming beer scene, and Charlottesville is not asleep to not join the trend. With numerous world-class and award-winning breweries in the city, the brews in Charlottesville are indeed rocketing upwards.
If you want to know more about great craft beers, here is a list of the best breweries in Charlottesville, Virginia. Make sure to visit them, for who knows, you might be drinking the next world-famous beer!
1. Champion Brewing Company
From its name alone, Champion claims to win the hearts of locals by being the most community-driven brewery in Virginia. It hosts mini-concerts featuring local talents and performers. It also caters to vintage, vinyl, and artisan vendors on its grounds, with DJ in the background for a fun shopping experience. Moreover, it also participates in fundraising for many activities, such as sexual assault awareness and education programs.
In terms of creating beer, Champion still acts as a winner serving select brews of constantly rotating taps and some seasonal ones. Currently, it has a 30-barrel production facility shared with Reason Beer.
- Crowd Favorite: Missile IPA. A citrusy hop-scented American IPA with 7% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Shower Beer
- Hop-py Note: Bingo nights. Live music.
- Fun Fact: Champion has a retail arm called Champion Hospitality Group, which manages the five restaurants owned by the brewery.
Hours: Open Tues – Thur 4pm – 11pm, Fri & Sat 12pm – 11pm, Sun 12pm – 9pm.
2. Random Row Brewing Company
Since its opening in September 2016, Random Row has instantly become a local and tourist favorite. Its owner, Kevin McElroy, is driven by a great passion for sharing his love for craft beer while making an impact on the community. True enough, from its opening six years ago, it has donated $84,700 to less than 60 local non-profit charities.
Random Row is not only loved for giving back to the community but also for the wide array of excitement it offers. It has fun activities such as running club and yoga classes followed by a drink and snack in the brewery.
- Crowd Favorite: Mosaic Pale Ale. Light and hazy New England pale ale with 5.6% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Method IPA
- Hop-py Note: Private free parking. Trivia and bingo nights.
- Fun Fact: Random Row’s Mosaic Pale Ale won a bronze medal in the 2020 Great American Beer Festival.
Hours: Open Mon – Thur 4:30pm – 10pm, Fri 4:30pm – 11pm, Sat 12pm – 11pm, Sun 12pm – 8pm.
3. Three Notch’d Brewing Company
Since 2013, Three Notch’d has been committed to brewing the freshest and highest quality beer. It has five locations around Virginia in Charlottesville. Its Charlottesville location acts as its main production facility and also houses a restaurant, covered patio, taproom with sidebar, and semi-private lounge. If you have an upcoming event, you might want to consider the brewhouse as your location since it can accommodate approximately 600 guests.
Using locally-sourced fresh ingredients, Three Notch’d brewed numerous award-winning beers. You can order them readily on tap, together with other southern classic beers and modern favorites.
- Crowd Favorite: Minute Man. An unfiltered, smooth-mouthfeel, and slightly bitter New England IPA with 7% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: 40 Mile
- Hop-py Note: Family and dog-friendly. Indoor and outdoor seating.
- Fun Fact: Three Notch’d derived its name from an old thoroughfare across the heart of Virginia.
Hours: Open Mon – Sat 11am – 10pm, Sun 11am – 9pm.
4. Reason Beer
Reason Beer was established in 2017 by three beer-lover friends, who are also Charlottesville natives. Besides their life-long friendship, their reason for opening up the brewery is to serve world-class beers that exemplify balance, creativity, and flavor. It serves the best barrel-fermented sours, wild ale, and IPA, which are not just renowned in Charlottesville but throughout Virginia.
Reason Beer also boasts its tasting room, where you can sample some of its drinks in a flight of four. Here, you can taste some new styles from the brewery or your old favorites. If you get peckish, food is not something to worry about in the brewery as it invites local food vendors to serve the crustiest pizzas in town.
- Crowd Favorite: Pattern Recognition. A citrusy, piney, and fruity American IPA with 6% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Pale
- Hop-py Note: Indoor and outdoor seating. Dog-friendly. Sells merchandise and gift cards.
Hours: Open Mon 3pm – 8pm, Wed – Fri 3pm – 8pm, Sat 1pm – 8pm, Sun 1pm – 5pm, Tues Closed.
5. South Street Brewery
Since opening in 1998, South Street has been keeping its beers fun and experimental. It has created a beer menu with varying styles of beers like a sour ale, Kolsch, IPA, gose, and hefeweizen. In addition to these premium drinks, the brewpub also serves wines, cocktails, and ciders. A long list of food options is also available in the brewpub as it cooks the best meals in Charlottesville.
To further enjoy your stay in South Street, it has provided exciting table games to play. You can gather up your pals for a Jenga or meet new friends while playing Mancala and Uno.
- Crowd Favorite: Satan’s Pony. A light and malty amber ale with 5.3% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Barhopper
- Hop-py Note: Live music. Family-friendly. Sells to-go beers and crowlers.
- Fun Fact: South Street Brewery is the first brewpub in Downtown Charlottesville.
Hours: Open Wed & Thur 2pm – 10pm, Fri 2pm – 11pm, Sat 11am – 11pm, Sun 11am – 9pm, Mon & Tues Closed.
6. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
Started as a humble pizza joint, BJ’s has been an award-winning restaurant and brewhouse now with multiple locations around the state. Since its opening in 1996, it has acquired more than 220 awards under its name. Thanks to its own Research and Development Team in Boulder, Colorado, it has experimented with numerous styles and tastes of unique beers.
One of its thriving locations is on Lenox Avenue, Charlottesville. It features a wide selection of the best lager, stout, pale ale, and porter in town. It also has ciders and margaritas to flavor up your drinking. And while staying here, you should never miss out on Charlottesville’s best-selling Bone-In Wings.
- Crowd Favorite: HopStorm® IPA. A hoppy American IPA with 6.5% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Jeremiah Red®
- Hop-py Note: Non-alcoholic options. Movie nights. Family-friendly.
- Fun Fact: The brewery has its own non-profit organization, BJ’s Restaurants Foundation.
Hours: Open Mon – Thur 11am – 11pm, Fri & Sat 11am – 12am, Sun 11am – 11pm.