Blue Ridge Biergarten

Wild Wolf Brewing Company has a new location

The Brew Ridge Trail is becoming quite the hop destination, with five breweries forming a loop through Nelson County, Albemarle County and downtown Charlottesville. There’s Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet, South Street Brewery in Charlottesville, and now between the Blue Mountain Brewery near Afton and the Devil’s Backbone Brewery in Roselamd, the Wild Wolf Brewing Company has a new location in Nellysford.

The optimistic mother and son duo, Mary and Danny Wolf have relocated their original homebrew store and smaller brewery (which was farther up the road) into a reclaimed schoolhouse building dating back to 1910. They have invested an impressive amount of time, work and money to revamp the original structure into a stellar restaurant, brewery, and sports bar with further room—and vision—for future expansion.

The 5-acre property is nestled under ancient elm trees and laden with tobacco barns, are which being transformed into gift shops and boutiques. Currently, Zestivities (formerly in Crozet) and a homebrew shop are open for business and plans are laid for an outdoor Biergarten. The other structures will be filled with shops by summer, creating a beer-laden village atmosphere. Mary’s background was in real estate, and it shows. Her knack and vision for development is impressive, and she was retired before catching the brew bug from Danny after he trained at the highly acclaimed Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, and decided to open the brewery in her home of Nellysford.  She says that after retiring she is “doing what I want to do, I’m not gonna sit around and do nothing!” These days, it seems she can always be found on the premises along with her hardworking Brewmaster son.

The newest addition to the compound is the sports bar, which is in the rear of the restaurant. They have 7-10 beers on tap and are open every day for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on Sunday. The bar is equipped with multiple big-screen televisions, making it the ideal spot to drink handcrafted beers, enjoy some snacks from the bar menu and watch the game. Beginning January 17, they are also offering trivia nights on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. with cash prizes for the winners. The menu and atmosphere are also kid-friendly for the whole family to enjoy.

Danny is earning his title of Brewmaster, creating popular brews such as the Alpha ale, which is a top-selling amber ale with citrusy notes and a malty, smooth finish. The Howling Pumpkin ale uses 800 pounds of hand-roasted local pumpkins and is surprisingly light, pleasantly spiced and not as weighty as some pumpkin ales can be. The Smoked Scottish ale is dark copper in color and is malty, smoky, has hints of whisky, and is a perfect cold-weather beer. I also greatly enjoyed the Porter which was well balanced, not too heavy, and had a nice bite on the finish. Mary sat down with us and sipped her favorite beer, the Blond Hunny ale which is golden in color, slightly hazy, and is approachable and citrusy. For the time being, most of their beer is being sold through the restaurant and is available in growlers—they have filled about 500 already. Bottles will be soon be found around the Charlottesville and Richmond area, with higher production on the way.

The menu has signature dishes with a creative Southern flair, including items such as James River fried oysters served with Wild Wolf remoulade, a southern style fried chicken sandwich served with sweet onion jam, arugula and smoked paprika oil which they claim to be a house specialty. On the lighter side, the Tofu Duo salad is also fantastic, with mixed field greens, basil marinated tofu, almonds, compressed apples, cider vinaigrette and a “tofu crouton.” For dessert they offer the infamous Beer Battered Fried Oreos with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, which is reminiscent of childhood, decadently rich, and deliciously playful. The atmosphere of the whole place also feels playful, with wolf paws decorating the menu, beer posters lining the walls and a friendly, uplifting attitude emanating from everyone who works there. Wild Wolf Brewing Company will bring something special to the beer community developing in the area, and is a pleasant and unique addition.

WildWolfBeer.com

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