Most people who think about alcohol in West Virginia will conjure up an image of a Mountain Man hunched over his illegal whiskey stills in the dead of night, paranoid the local lawman is about to find his secret location.
While legal moonshine is available in West Virginia these days, many people might be surprised to know there is also a booming craft beer industry.
In January 2022, the brewery-ranking website Brewery Stars released its rankings for thirty-three of West Virginia’s breweries. Using publicly available data on the beers, the venue, and the atmosphere, they create their own meta-score to rank breweries open to the public. The top three breweries in West Virginia showcase the precision, creativity, and hospitality that go into making a great brewery experience.
Located in Davis, West Virginia, Stumptown Ales takes its name from the city’s history in the logging and timber industry. Since 2015, head brewer Jon Robeson has focused on the hops first to craft IPAs that he enjoys, IPAs that have customers and other distributors begging for more. For those that prefer a less hoppy beer, there is often a stout, a porter, and an amber ale available, as well as wine for any non-beer drinkers. Food options are limited to specials and the occasional food truck near the taproom, so check social media for what is currently available. Stumptown Ales is located on William Avenue in Davis.
Weathered Ground Brewery
In a converted barn outside the small town of Cool Ridge, between Beckley and Princeton, beer fans will find the family-run craft brewery, Weathered Ground Brewery. Weathered Ground prides itself on sourcing its ingredients and equipment within the Mid-Appalachian region. With more than twenty beers on tap, the selection includes IPAs, lagers, stouts, pale ales, Belgian dark ale, German-style Kölsch, wild ale, fruit beer, and many more. The brewery hosts trivia nights and live music, and the food menu offers brick oven pizzas as well as snacks like wings, soft pretzels, and tortilla chips. Weathered Ground Brewery is located on Flat Top Road in Cool Ridge.
Short Story Brewing
Located in the small riverfront town of Rivesville, between Fairmont and Morgantown, the family-owned craft brewery and restaurant Short Story Brewing believes “every beer tells a story.” This brewery focuses on a few staple IPAs, stouts, and other beers, but they are not afraid to experiment with unique flavors. Unlike the other two breweries on this list, Short Story Brewing offers their brews in cans, in addition to the expected growlers and tap beers. The food menu offers wings, hoagies, burgers, and fried appetizers, while the venue has been known to host live music, bonfire nights, and holiday events. Short Story Brewing is located on Fairmont Road in Rivesville.