Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Active Beers: 78
Beer Ratings: 1,681
Beer Avg: 3.73
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 39 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Deuane:
4.22/5 rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there is a lovely mountain lodge where the creators thought of every detail before opening November 2008 to serve house-brewed beers. We finally got a chance to check out Devil's Backbone Brewing Company in February 2009, which is just south of Nellysford, VA at the intersection of Route 664 and 151. On the edge of a planned community in the making, this is the flagship business for the Village at Glen Mary.
It's modern beam and local stone construction, accented by recycled corrugated metal roofing and recycled wood from a variety of sources, make the building a work of eco-friendly art. The metal adorning interior walls comes from a 1900's dairy barn in Urbana, MD while the tables and booths are distinctively crafted from wood recycled from a horse barn in Uppersville, VA. The wide floor boards were pulled from a tobacco barn, while the stone is local river rock. Taxidermied wildlife has been provided by Nelson County hunters and sportsman - all local mammals, with the exception of a moose from Maine. It's a 3-million dollar investment and every dollar shows in the perfect detail.
My first impression of this over-sized building and perfectly detailed wood and stone work was that it would be a typical tourist-oriented steakhouse that serves house beer. But when I walked in the door, the first thing I smelled was mash - not wood smoke or grilled meat as expected - milled grain in the boil! That's a promising sign for a microbrewery!
We were seated at a table near a gorgeous fireplace and under a handcrafted metal chandelier - the metal shaped into hops vines and grain. Large windows created good lighting and beautiful views of the mountain surround. The staff were courteous and attentive, not just to us, but to every detail. They kept the place tidy and ready for guests to come.
The beers were very good. Nothing blew me away, but I wasn't disappointed by anything on our table. Devil's Backbone offers half-pints and several taster flight option (only 2-oz of each, though), so we opted for half-pints. Seven house brews and two guest tap were flowing when we visited. We tried:
* Wintergreen Weiss (4.7% ABV, 13 IBUs) - light, balanced and full of banana and clove aroma.
* Eight Point IPA (5.9% ABV, 60 IBUs) - seemed like more of a Pale Ale; very light in color and on the maltier side; not a lot of hop aroma.
* Alpen Bock (6.9% ABV) - drinkable and smooth with a touch of roastiness and a subtle hint of butterscotch.
* Dead Bear Imperial Stout (8.5% ABV) - full flavored brew, despite a quiet nose; ends with hints of dark chocolate and espresso.
The food was quite good, and there were so many interesting things on the menu that we didn't try. I had the fish and chips - the fish was prepared with a hint of chili powder prior to deep frying, and arrived in the shape of little fish "fingers"; the fries were substantial and tasty. C had a cream of spinach and bacon soup paired with a winter beet salad, made with roasted watermelon, spiced pecans and goat cheese.
If you find yourself in Nelson County, VA, stopping by Devil's Backbone Brewing Co. is worthwhile!
**Edit from a 11/30/2009 visit--Now had 10 house beers on tap--raising selection score from 3.5 to 4.0. Also raising service 0.5 points due to exceptional service from server Saporha(sp?) and from our lengthy chat with brewer Jason Oliver.
A most pleasant place I will visit with every opportunity I get!
09-13-2009 21:36:48 | More by Deuane
More User Reviews:
3.69/5 rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75 | $$
After a number of visits to Devil's Backbone, I've realized that while their beers are well made, they are not particularly distinctive and probably not aligned to my taste. They make a lot of obscure (to me) European lagers and each one I've tasted, I've thought, "Not bad, that's solid". That describes a lot of their packaged beer as well. I'll drink it but but not particularly excited to see it in the store. They do come up with some one-off high points at the brewpub; the 16 point Imperial IPA was amazing. However, my last visit (day before Thanksgiving), their draft line up at the brewpub was particularly weak.
The brewpub itself has solid food, not quite as good as Blue Mountain down the road. The vibe is a little strange as you have locals, retirees from the Wintergreen resort and beer geeks all together in a somewhat uneasy mix. If you're in the area it's definitely worth it to stop by as there might be something special on tap.
11-29-2013 04:50:27 | More by seanchai
Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland, VA
88 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.