Road Trippin’ the Breweries and Cideries of the Shenandoah Spirits Trail

WanderLove is about reconnecting with what you love. Experience local breweries and cideries, traveling food trucks, and all of the winding roads in between when you road trip the Shenandoah Spirits Trail through the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

As you travel through six counties, several cities, and countless towns, you’ll find some of the finest outdoor recreation and craft drinks Virginia has to offer. Running along the Interstate 81 corridor through the Shenandoah Valley, the spirits trail is a great way to take in the mountain views and delightful downtowns with a drink in your hand.

Featuring 22 breweries and three cideries, you’re sure to find a drink that satisfies your post-adventure cravings. Discover the best spots for beer and cider in this guide to the Shenandoah Spirits Trail.

Crafted in the Valley

There’s nothing better than sitting down with a refreshing drink after a long day exploring all the northern Shenandoah Valley has to offer. The breweries and cideries of the Shenandoah Spirits Trail offer the perfect atmosphere to unwind and catch your breath.

The brewers at Hawksbill Brewing Co. have crafted their brews with the goal of using ingredients from the local farms in Page County, including hops, honey, and blackberries. Their menu features a rotating list of regular and seasonal beers that’ll hit the spot. Make sure to try a glass of their Boo Beer, a non-alcoholic root beer made with local honey. Pair your beer with some classic barbecue and a side of southern hospitality from Triple Crown BBQ.

Located just minutes from the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park, Front Royal Brewing Co. is the perfect post-adventure hang out spot in Warren County. You can also order their delicious eats and canned beer to go. If hard cider is more your style, Winchester Ciderworks offers a full menu of signature drinks made with apples grown in Frederick County. With over a dozen ciders to choose from, spend some time trying to find your favorite.

Offering the full farm to fermentation experience, Ridge Runner Farm Brewery is a great place to kick back and take in the rolling hills of Shenandoah County with a drink in your hand. Down the road, Life is Hard Cider features small batches of cider on tap or bottled ciders to take with you back home. While in the area, hit up the Pancake Underground food truck for waffle sandwiches, sweet treats, and potato bowls for breakfast and lunch.

Community is the name of the game at Elkton Brewing Co. in Rockingham County. With ten brews on tap and a lively atmosphere, this is a stop that evokes the tradition of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Made with apples picked from Showalter’s Orchard, you’ll find a mixture of small batch ciders available exclusively on the farm and bottled ciders to go from Old Hill Cider. Pair your drink with takeout from Mama’s Caboose, a favorite at local events and festivals.

Head downtown for a drink at Harrisonburg’s first cidery, Sage Bird Ciderworks. Although they just opened in the summer of 2020, the menu already features a wide range of dry, sweet, and fruity ciders to go with any meal. Keep an eye out for the Mashita food truck for a Korean-inspired menu sure to delight hungry adventurers.

With all of these stops and more, you’ll want to keep coming back year after year. Experience WanderLove for yourself when you visit the Shenandoah Spirits Trail.

Please check local guidelines and regulations before making plans to get outside. Remember to practice social distancing guidelines, wear a mask, and respect others’ health when outside.

All photos courtesy Shenandoah Spirits Trail

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