It started awkwardly, as it sometimes does. Like the nerds we are, Brandy and I got to Three Brothers Brewing Co. before they opened. In our defense, we’d started back to work that week and were just a wee bit anxious to get in there and finally see Harrisonburg’s new brewery and taproom. Adding to the awkwardness, Brandy’s car door make a strange sound as she opened it, sending the kids into spasms of giggles as the sound reverberated across the parking lot. To make matters MORE awkward, my coffee thermos had leaked all over the passenger seat, and when Brandy decided to get in my car so we could chat while we waited, she sat right in it. And because I always have a large quantity of cardboard in the back of my car (?), I made her a cardboard blotter to sit on. Thank goodness the time to go in came quickly. We were getting less presentable by the minute.
We met Jason behind the bar, one of the three brothers. Adam, Jason, and Tyler own and operate the facility, and Adam’s wife was our bartender. She and Jason graciously served and described several samples to us. I asked about food… and at first I was a little surprised when Jason said they don’t have a food menu. BUT, get this — as a brewery, they operate on “vineyard rules.” Customers can bring in any food they want! You can order food and have it delivered there! You can pack your own picnic! You can come in with a giant tub of cheese puffs if you want! The possibilities are endless. For some reason, this completely blew my mind. It’s a new level of freedom for me. I’m thinking about just rolling a mini-fridge and a hot plate in there and pitching a tent.
Furthermore. The place is ridickers beautiful. And huge. You can sit out on the patio at a cute little table, there’s no shortage of stools at the lengthy bar, and they even have a nice, cushy lounge area with leather seating. Decadent. The rich tones of the wooden wall above the bar, the rustic lighting, the aqua sea foam green tiles in what used to be the old Coca Cola plant, the spacious taproom, and the gleaming metal equipment create an elegant blend of vintage and modern, warm and cool.
They offer 5-sample flights for $8, or you can get a full-size draft, or you can buy a growler and have it filled. They also distribute their beer for purchase at various locations all over town. We sampled several beers, including their Pilsner, the American Amber, the Tri Brathair (this one would be enough for me for dessert), the Hoptimization, and the Admiral (super hoppy and bold). Brandy is partial to the Belgians, so she really liked the Belgian Dubbel and the Belgian Blonde, and my favorites were the Virginia Dark Ale, which has a smooth milky texture, and the Great Outdoors, a pale ale not quite so bitey as an IPA, and it tasted a little buttery to me.
I have to say, since I’ve lived here, Harrisonburg has had a beer-splosion of sorts. You can find almost any beer you want in this town, whether it’s at a restaurant or a festival, a wine shop or even a convenience store. And now we have this awesome hometown brewery to enjoy. It’s no wonder we’re about to be named Best Beer Town. (Have you voted yet? Good grief, do it!!)
Hopefully we’ve convinced you to go visit the Three Brothers as soon as you can. Their normal hours are Thursday – Saturday, 4 – 9pm. From time to time they feature live music and stay open a little later. And if you’re not sure where they’re located, it’s easy. They’re at 800 North Main. Just head north like you’re going to the Little Grill, and go a little further, and it’s on the right side of the street. Here’s to good beer!
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