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One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new area is to discover its breweries, cideries, and wineries. You get to meet many locals and find out the scoop on the best places that are off the beaten path.
If you’d also like to explore the drinking from the source ( think breweries, cidery, and wineries – which I’m calling drinkeries) you can visit during your trip to this fabulous city in the Shenandoah Valley.
Breweries in Harrisonburg, VA
Brothers is truly a family business! They don’t just want to give back to the community; they have formed their own community. They offer 14 taps, including one authorized by James Madison University. Come here for one of their big events or to watch sports on their big screens.
Not a beer fan? Try one of their craft cocktail series. Looking for a non-alcoholic option? Try a guest kombucha or soda.
With a tagline of “Beer like Momma used to make,” you know you’re in for a fun crowd. If you have a group, arrange a “3 T Experience” where you get a tasting, a tour of the brewery, and a teaching.
Located in a basement, sit for a spell to try a brew and a bite. They have 8 beers, which you can try on their full flight. Try burgers, hot dogs, flatbreads, soft pretzels, and pepperoni rolls! It’s hard to recommend a beer since they constantly rotate their offerings.
Ideally located in the middle of the action downtown Harrisonburg, Pale Fire Brewing is the most accessible. The brewery usually has a dozen brews on tap. Try Taking Water, an award-winning cream ale.
Feeling a little hungry? Try one of their pizzas, sandwiches, and snacks. They even serve dessert!
A love of good beer and a homebrew kit – that’s where it all started. Restless Moons brews all their beer in small batches – five barrels at a time. There is an impressive mural in the back patio.
Considering their small batches, they have an impressive list of beers and styles. There were 14 when I visited. Try the Call Me Pawpaw, a New England pale ale flavored with pawpaw. If you’re unfamiliar with pawpaw, it is an indigenous fruit that tastes like a banana and a mango had a baby!
If you’re looking for variety, this may be your brewery. They brew a new beer every week. It’s been called a hidden gem in the Shenandoah Valley. Their IPA-heavy rotation appealed to me. This was personally my favorite brewery.
The taproom is large and suitable for all sorts of groups. Whether you’re visiting solo, on a date night, or hanging out with your friends, everyone will find a beer to suit their taste!
(You can also visit them in Charlottesville, their headquarters, at IX Park.)
For more information on breweries in the Shenandoah Valley, check out the Beerwerks Trail.
Cidery in Harrisonburg VA
Using locally sourced fruit to create their fresh ciders. Plus, I like their tagline: Drink Apple-achian Cider. Owned by a couple who brewed mead in their home. If you like dry, tart ciders, this is for you! I never even knew there were so many varieties of apples and how they would affect the taste of the cider. They offer standard, seasonal, and specialty ciders.
Not a huge cider fan? Sage Bird also serves slushies, cocktails, and mocktails.
Feeling peckish? Outskirts Food Truck is permanently located in their parking lot. Try their “I can’t believe it’s not meat” vegetarian chili!
Wineries in Harrisonburg, VA
The Shenandoah Valley is home to fabulous wineries. And the area surrounding Harrisonburg is no exception. There are five vineyards in the area, though technically, they are outside the city limits, even if three have a Harrisonburg address.
Confession time: I’ve been dying to visit this vineyard since I learned about it while researching lavender farms in Virginia. How can you go wrong with a combination of lavender field and vineyard? If you want to enjoy the lavender, schedule your visit in late June or early July when the blooms are at their peak (purchase tickets for a tour!).
This vineyard was the most family-friendly vineyard in the area. A large children’s play area will keep the little ones busy while you sip on your favorite vintage. Participate in one of several classes, including wreath making. There’s even an opportunity to meet small farm animals and horses (with reservations).
Visitors can select from a variety of adult beverages, including beer and wine by the glass, wine or beer flights, and wine slushies.
The fanciest of the vineyards I visited in the area was CrossKeys Vineyard, in fact, their restaurant was closed because they were preparing to host a wedding reception. Visitors to CrossKeys can opt to visit the tasting room or choose indoor or outdoor seating.
I recommend starting in the tasting room if you’re unsure of which type of wine you’d prefer. If you already know that you’d like to order a flight or a glass, then ask for a seat on the outdoor patio (weather permitting) where you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the vineyards.
CrossKeys offers a large selection of wines and will be a hit for the wine lovers reviewing this list.
The smallest of the vineyards in the area, Marceline is more laidback compared to the other options. The selection of wines is smaller here, but it offers a more casual atmosphere.
While there are multiple tables on the patio area, grab your glass and take it over to the picnic tables just beyond the main building. You’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of rolling hills.
Based on the recommendations of other visitors, I ordered the mixed slushy, which was the perfect blend of red and white wine slushies. Add a twisty straw to your drink and watch families play cornhole while you enjoy local musicians.
Technically located in neighboring Bridgewater, Bluestone Vineyard offered the most picturesque setting out of the drinkeries I visited. Purchase wine by the glass or try a flight.
My recommendation is to take your flight (or glass) and pick a seat outside. The grounds offer multiple seating options. Seating on an upper balcony or next to the vineyards allows views of the beautiful rolling hills in the background. If you like to cozy up to a fire, you’ll find them both outside and inside, adding to the cozy atmosphere.
Technically in McGaheysville, Brix & Columns is only 20 minutes from Harrisonburg. This vineyard offers a selection of red, white, rosé, dessert, and sparkling wines. Like the other vineyards, Brix & Columns offers wine flights.
One of the unique experiences here is the reserved wine tasting. For a few dollars more than a regular flight, visitors get to taste eight pre-selected wines guided by a wine specialist. Check it out!
Final Thoughts on Breweries, Cidery, and Vineyards in Harrisonburg, VA
No matter which type of drinkery (yes, I’m making that word happen!) you prefer, you’ll find a new favorite in Harrisonburg, VA. I had a fabulous time exploring breweries, a cidery, and vineyards, and you will too!
Check out these other related posts:
- Most Instagrammable Spots in Harrisonburg
- Harrisonburg VA: A Foodie Destination
- Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison
Annick, The Common Traveler