Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., helped launched the new trail last week in downtown Bristol, Va. The announcement came as part of Virginia Craft Beer Month. The trail currently has 16 craft breweries throughout Southwest Virginia, including the Busted Still Brewery in Gate City.
“The Mountain Brew Trail is the product of years of conversations and planning between local stakeholders and my office, all working together to highlight the success of this growing industry in the region," Warner said in the release. "During my time as governor, heritage trails like these, which highlighted heritage music and local artisans, helped us bring new jobs and attract business and tourism to Southwest Virginia."
Breweries currently featured on the trail include Bristol Station Brews and Taproom in Bristol; Bull and Bones Brewhaus and Grill in Blacksburg; Busted Still Brewery in Gate City; Chaos Mountain Brewing in Callaway; Creek Bottom Brewing Company in Galax; Damascus Brewery in Damascus; Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur; Holston River Brewing Co. in Bristol, Tenn.; Right Mind Brewing in Blacksburg; Right Turn, Clyde Brewing Co. in Narrows; Rising Silo Brewery in Blacksburg; The River Co. Brewing in Radford; Studio Brew in Bristol; Sugar Hill Brewing Co. in St. Paul; Sunken City Brewing Co. in Hardy and Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abindgon.
Three more breweries will be added once they open. Those are the Buffalo Mountain Brewery in Floyd, Headspace Brewing Co. in Marion and State Street Brewing in Bristol.
Craft breweries are big business in the commonwealth, and Virginia is currently home to 206 licensed breweries. The craft brew industry contributes $9 billion annually to the commonwealth's economy and employs more than 28,000 people in production, distribution and retail.
“Craft beer is a booming industry in Virginia and an important regional asset for Southwest Virginia,” said Rita McClenny, CEO and president of Virginia Tourism Corp. “Visitors and Virginians alike can now come to Southwest Virginia and experience beautiful outdoors, arts, culinary delights and music heritage, all connected by the Mountain Brew Trail. There's no better way to get a taste of the local flavor to show visitors why Virginia is for craft beer lovers.”