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There are many things for which the city of Norfolk is renowned. And one aspect that has brought it the city’s greatest notoriety is its thriving craft beer industry. There are several breweries in Norfolk and various pubs spread across the city center. Each of these establishments has distinct brews and signatures that make them shine among the rest. Here are 10 of the best breweries you can find in Norfolk, Virginia.
1. The Veil Brewing Company
One of Richmond’s most beloved breweries, The Veil Brewing Company, has expanded to the bustling Railroad District of Norfolk. Every floor of its three-story building serves beer, and there’s even a rooftop deck with great city views. The garage doors lead into the taproom, and the simple, contemporary decor complements the neon artwork on its wall.
This vast and lively brewery allows guests to enjoy artisan brews with unique flavor characteristics on tap or to take them to go in cans or bottles. They provide highly coveted brews without the huge queues that typically accompany them.
- Crowd Favorite: Doom Volume. A flavorful and smooth American IPA with 6% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: This World Is Not Real
- Hop-py note: Dog-friendly. Free Wi-Fi. Street parking. Wheelchair accessible.
- Fun Fact: The Veil Brewing sells a variety of merch and beers in cans that are available for pick-up and shipping to several states outside
Hours: Open Tue–Thur 4pm–9pm, Fri 4pm–10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm–8pm, Mon Closed
Address: 2314 Colonial Ave, Norfolk, VA 23517
2. O’Connor Brewing Co.
O’Connor Brewing, one of the first breweries to operate in Coastal Virginia, has been serving quality beers for over ten years in Norfolk. Just like any other brewery, O’Connor also had its humble beginnings. It first started as a small brewery situated in an old garage warehouse before becoming a regional brewery serving World Beer Cup Award-winning brews.
Today, O’Connor’s brewing facility and taproom is a significant spot for locals and tourists who share the same love for craft beer. The place features a spacious outdoor patio, rotating food trucks on-site, and offers over 20 beers on tap and tasty flights.
- Crowd Favorite: El Guapo Agave IPA. A smooth, medium-bodied agave-infused IPA with 7.5% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Norfolk Canyon Pale Ale
- Hop-py note: Monthly events. Indoor and outdoor seating. Live music.
- Fun Fact: O’Connor Brewing has won 14 medals at the 2017 Tastings World Beer Championship.
Hours: Open Mon–Thur 3pm–9pm, Fri 1pm–10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm–7pm
Address: 211 W 24th St, Norfolk, VA 23517
3. Smartmouth Brewing Company
One of Virginia Beach’s original breweries, Smartmouth Brewing, has expanded and opened a second location in the Chelsea district of Norfolk. Like its primary location, Smartmouth’s Norfolk taproom features innovative and handcrafted brews for the locals. You can drink and enjoy its tasty beers in its friendly facility or take some cans or kegs to bring to your place.
The brewery also partners with Ghost Kitchen’s food truck so you can have something to eat while savoring its delicious brews. Moreover, the brewery accepts private event bookings. If you have an event and require a place, Smartmouth Norfolk will handle it for you.
- Crowd Favorite: Alter Ego. A refreshing and juicy Saison with 6.2% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Notch 9
- Hop-py note: Street and private lot parking. Dog-friendly. Kid-friendly. Monthly events.
Hours: Open Mon–Thur 4pm–9pm, Fri 3pm–10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 2pm–8pm
Address: 1309 Raleigh Ave, Norfolk, VA 23507
4. Benchtop Brewing Company
When you stroll around the lovely Chelsea neighborhood in Norfolk, you will find a brick-walled brewery serving award-winning brews. Benchtop Brewing has been operating since 2015 and has always been a favorite for anyone that loves craft beer. All of its brews are crafted with the highest concentration and skills. They won ample awards from Veer Magazine’s Golden Tap Awards.
Benchtop’s tasting room and research facility are housed in a reclaimed dairy barn wood building, giving it a lovely, cozy vibe. The tasting room features over ten beers available on tap and cans to go, and you can also ask for a flight if you want to taste several brews at once.
- Crowd Favorite: Proven Theory. A refreshing hoppy, and aromatic American IPA with 7% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Gong Water
- Hop-py note: Dog-friendly indoor and outdoor space. Vegan options. Kid-friendly.
- Fun Fact: Benchtop Brewing has won the Veer Golden Tap Awards three times since 2018.
Hours: Open Mon–Thur 3pm–9pm, Fri & Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm–7pm
5. COVA Brewing Company
If you love beer and coffee just as much, COVA Brewing offers you premium beers and fresh coffee brews. Its facility is housed in a former auto garage converted into a nice and clean building. The tables are made from locally crafted ash wood, giving the place a cozy ambiance perfect for drinking.
Aside from hot or iced espresso and brewed coffee, COVA offers nitro cold press coffee on tap. But if you come for the beer, COVA will also take your tastebuds on cloud nine. You can find a variety of tasty sours, hoppy IPAs, and dark lagers on tap. Or, if you are not a beer-lover person, try several of their wines on tap.
- Crowd Favorite: Razzleberry. A Fruited Gose Sour with 5% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: East Beach Blonde
- Hop-py note: Food trucks on-site. Indoor and outdoor seating.Kid-friendly.
Hours: Open Mon 7am-7pm, Tue–Thur 7am–9pm, Fri 7am-10pm, Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am–7:30pm
Address: 9529 Shore Dr, Norfolk, VA 23518
6. The Bold Mariner Brewing Company
The Bold Mariner is a local favorite in Norfolk’s Lamber’s Point section. It is actively run by the navy veteran Michael Stacks. It officially opened to serve the locals in 2015. Since then, The Bold Mariner has never stopped making award-winning and worthy brews.
The Bold Mariner has made many local and veteran fans and distributes its beer and tap handles regionally. Its taproom features an array of award-winning brews on tap and a rotating list of guest ciders and several wines. The brewery also partners with Bar-Q, a local BBQ restaurant that serves a variety of food items in The Bold Mariner’s taproom from Wednesday to Sunday.
- Crowd Favorite: Frogman Lager. An earthy and well-balanced amber lager with 5.3% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Dog Zebra IPA
- Hop-py note: Dog-friendly wrap-around porches. Non-alcoholic beverages are available.
- Fun Fact: The Bold Mariner does a monthly Beach Clean-Up Drive at Capeview avenue.
Hours: Open Mon-Wed 3pm-9pm, Thur-Sat 12pm–10pm, Sun 12pm–9pm
7. Reaver Beach Brewing Company
Another Virginia Beach favorite, Reaver Beach Brewing, opened its second location in an old post office in Norfolk. Its taproom is dog-friendly and offers a wide selection of award-winning wild sours and a vast selection of IPAs.
Reaver Beach’s Norfolk features 20 of its unique brews on tap and hosts a variety of food trucks on site every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can also enjoy monthly events such as Taco and Trivia and Improv Nights and join the NFK Run Club Meetup every first Wednesday.
- Crowd Favorite: Hoptopus. A heavy dry-hopped double IPA with 8.8% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Hammerhead IPA
- Hop-py note: Growlers, grenades, and cans of beers are available. Offers takeout.
Hours: Open Tue-Thur 3pm-9pm, Fri & Sat 12pm–10pm, Sun 12pm–7pm, Mon Closed
Address: 3800 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508
8. Maker’s Craft Brewery
Fancy cigars and beers? Well, Maker’s Craft brings you the best of both worlds! It is the first brewery and cigar bar in the historic Railroad District of Norfolk. The brewery is owned by Rick Mariani, a former custom furniture manufacturer and a proud Norfolk local. Maker’s Craft focuses on crafting quality beers and sells a variety of cigars to accommodate both drinkers and smokers simultaneously.
Moreover, you can put high expectations on its beers as the head brewer is Michele Lowney. She is a skilled brewer with over 20 years of solid experience in the beer brewing industry. Maker’s Craft brews all its beers meticulously, ensuring that every batch is delicious, high-quality, and has incredible notes.
- Crowd Favorite: Experimental Pils Ale. A crisp, light, and refreshing Golden Ale with 5.3% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Red IPA
- Hop-py note: Accepts private event bookings. Dog-friendly. Food trucks on site. Offers brewery tour.
Hours: Open Mon-Thur 4pm-9pm, Fri & Sat 11:30am–10pm, Sun 12pm–8pm
Address: 735 E 23rd St, Norfolk, VA 23504
9. Elation Brewing
Elation Brewing is a top-of-the-class brewery boasting a massive taproom with a full bar, a gigantic ceiling with hanging lights, multiple tables and chairs, and couches. You will be amazed by its sophisticated bar architecture, wood-fired pizza oven, and indoor stage to host live bands and shows.
Elation Brewing will also thrill you with its award-winning brews that have gained medals and accolades. Moreover, the place also serves its beer with food items fresh from its in-house kitchen and various wood-fired gourmet pizzas.
- Crowd Favorite: Notice This. A classic and dank West Coast IPA with 6.4% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: Larchmont Lager
- Hop-py note: Vegetarian options. Private event rentals. Live music.
- Fun Fact: Most of the tables at Elation Brewing’s taproom are made with bowling alley lane wood.
Hours: Open Mon-Wed 12pm-9pm, Thur & Fri 12pm–10pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am–9pm
Address: 5104 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508
10. Rip Rap Brewing Co.
Rip Rap Brewing is another good microbrewery in Hampton Roads’ heart. It officially opened its doors in 2016. From a small brewery selling only four taps of beer, it has about 20 beers available for draft and cans to-go. Moreover, Rip Rap also distributes its beers across many restaurants and bars in the locality of Norfolk.
Rip Rap’s taproom is a cozy little space that gives off a strong rustic vibe because of its wooden tables, simple flooring, and a white wall showing the Chesapeake bay. You can also find a display of various merch and growlers.
- Crowd Favorite: Breakwater. An easy drinking and light cream ale with 4% ABV.
- Highly Recommended: New Moon
- Hop-py note: Dog-friendly. Food trucks are on-site every Friday and Saturday.
- Fun Fact: Rip Rap Brewing’s logo is a historic lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay known as the Thomas Point Shoal Light.
Hours: Open Wed-Fri 4pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 1pm–7pm, Mon & Tue Closed
Address: 116 E 25th St, Norfolk, VA 23517