Out of the 14 breweries on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, five of these breweries (almost 40% of the venues) are located in the heart of Harrisonburg, Virginia -- making Harrisonburg a pretty big deal in the craft beer scene.  

As an aspiring beer aficionado and on a journey of self-discovery, I set out to explore "some of the best craft beer in the country" from the local breweries here in Harrisonburg. Whether these breweries are your weekly hangout spots or you're new to craft beer, everyone should check out these local venues that have put Harrisonburg on the map for craft beer. 

Brothers Craft Brewing | N. Main Street

Alexis Metzgar

You've probably seen their beer at your local grocery store without even realizing it. Brothers Craft Brewing offers a relaxing, spacious, and edgy venue with a range of features: TV screens to watch sporting events, board games, comfy couches for lounging, tables to accommodate large groups, and customizable beer flights so you can taste the array of beers they serve. Adding the friendly, down-to-earth people who work there, Brothers Craft Brewing is a great place to grab some brews. 

Restless Moons Brewing Co. | W. Wolfe St. 

Alexis Metzgar

Located just a slight walk from the heart of Downtown Harrisonburg, the modern, industrial atmosphere of Restless Moons offers the perfect venue. For general clarification, Restless Moons took over the Wolfe Street Brewing venue and opened up its own taproom in February 2018. If you're wanting to try something new, the beer selection at Restless Moons is certainly diverse. They offer eclectic, nontraditional beers other local breweries do not offer -- which turned out to be some of my favorite.  

Pale Fire Brewing Co. | S. Liberty Street

Alexis Metzgar

Based on their level of community engagement and involvement, it's only fitting that Pale Fire is located just across the street from the Harrisonburg Farmers Market. Central to downtown, Pale Fire is frequently engaged in the community through food, music, social events, and business partnerships. For example, if beer isn't really your thing, Pale Fire and Brothers Craft Brewing are two local sellers whose menu features kombucha from the local Blue Ridge Bucha

The Friendly Fermenter, LLC | South Mason St. 

Alexis Metzgar

As their name suggests, the people at Friendly Fermenters are known for their customer service and friendly faces. Opening their -- basement -- doors in September 2017, you would never know that they are relatively new to the Harrisonburg beer scene. Heavily involved with the community, The Friendly Fermenter hosts local food trucks and have proven themselves as an intimate music venue for local artists. The Friendly Fermenter continues to peak interests with frequent beer releases (such as their four breakfast beers), social events, brewing courses, and free information sessions on homebrewing. 

Three Notch'd Brewing Co. | E. Market Street 

Alexis Metzgar

Last but certainly not least, Three Notch'd is another exceptional brewery in downtown Harrisonburg. They have taprooms located across Virginia -- to include Charlottesville, Richmond, and (coming soon to) Roanoke -- so you can enjoy their beer state-wide. Arguably, one of the best brewery atmospheres, the taproom is spacious, has a variety of seating to make you comfortable, and fosters the perfect environment to relax, hang out with friends, and grab a drink. With a wide array of beer served by their friendly staff, you're sure to find a new favorite brew. 

All five of these breweries are featured on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail Passport. So before you begin your journey to support local craft brewing in the valley, be sure to pick up a passport and fill it out along the way for a free t-shirt, bragging rights, and pride in knowing you supported local business in the community we all love.