Deep in Jefferson Territory
Every so often we really do get out of town, and we had the chance to go to Charlottesville Virginia for a summer wedding. Yeah, Charlottesville is that place that had all the drama last year but is also home to the University of Virginia and Montecello as well as an unusually large amount of Brew Pubs and one pretty fine Sake distillery. We decided to take part, though rather unexpectantly, in a pub crawl to taste some of the local brands. First though, a quick stop through downtown to get to the crawling was necessary.
Downtown Charlottesville is a mini version of the French Quarter and has a bricked, open mall area that sets the stage for shopping and eating. Trees are everywhere so it helps with the heat. Craft cocktails are the new favorite in many of the restaurants but alas, they are a bit behind what we have done here. One of our favorite discoveries was one of the oldest bars on the street called Miller's. White tile floors,a classic wooden bar and wooden tables remind you a bit of Galatoire's but the pricing is anything but. A Beefeater and tonic was $4.94 a drink so you can only imagine how many of those little babies were consumed. If you wander upstairs in the bar, there are multiple posters featuring......wait for it..... The Ponchatoula Strawberry festival. Turns out the owner's girlfriend was the designer for most of these posters and thus the tie to Louisiana.
Just a street away are the brew pubs. Now unlike the New Orleans brew pubs, these Virginia pubs are full blown fun restaurants that brew beer and the one sake distillery. Some of the locations are huge, seating hundreds of beer lovers while others are comfortable bar like establishments making life more personable. One thing in common for all of them is the "flight" offerings. Flights range from full to half flights and we found ourselves imbibing from a 12 flight start and finally getting a bit smarter and splitting a flight so we could make it back to the hotel. Our favorite on the crawl was of course the sake distillery because who does not like rice wine that is locally distilled. And since you are wondering, no, you cannot have a go cup for anything in this town and yes the Seaweed beer would be lucky if it tasted like seawood.
1901 West Main Street
North American Sake Brewery and Restaurant
522 Second Street
Wild Wolf Brewing Company
313 Second Street