Just north of Lewisburg lies a delicious local secret of Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company, otherwise known as GVBC, has been creating craft beer since June 2014 and has developed quite a following. People have fallen head over heels withGVBC award-winning craft beers Wild Trail Pale Ale, Mothman Black IPA & Devil Anse IPA, the flagship beers created by Master Brewer Brian Reymiller. Available across the state, these and seasonal brews such as Steel Driving Stout, Lily Dipperand Wild & Wonderful bottle series, once in a lifetime specialties like the new bourbon barrel aged Black Saison add up to a very good recipe for success.
Located in a $1.3 million, 13,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility near the Greenbrier Valley Airport just north of Lewisburg, the brewery grew out of a chance meeting four years ago between Wil Laska and David Kucera, two beer enthusiasts. The Maxwelton facility began production as a package brewery and put out their first two beers July 2014 – Wild Trail Pale Ale and Moth man Black IPA. The very cool names are by design, Laska says, “We sought a West Virginia connection for each name. We want to keep everything as West Virginia as possible.”Wild Trail honors Sasquatch and the wonderful hiking and bike trails throughout the state. Mothman delves into the mysterious creature seen in Point Pleasant, WV in the ‘60s. Their latest flagship, Devil Anse IPA, pays homage to patron Devil Anse Hatfield.
Not quite a year after opening, January 2015 saw GVBC became the first craft brewery in West Virginia to can their beer, and at the same time, stayed true to their motto “Get out. Explore. Bring beer.” For Kucera the biggest appeal is a can’s portability. A lover of the outdoors, as are all involved with the brewery, Kucera knows bottles don’t work on a hiking trip. “The can is idea/for outdoors enthusiasts,” he said. “In addition cans are better for the environment, lighter and easier to ship, and block out beer-spoiling light.” The can designs add an extra layer of appeal with their brightly colored and stylized caricatures of the namesakes.
Coming quickly on the heels of the can release, GVBC opened their Tap Room last April with fanfare. Now, with a solid year of fantastic reception behind them, the Tap Room has become a place to listen to live bands on 1st Saturdays each month, take a tour on the weekends, or practice a bit of painting at their popular Arts & Ales. Stay tuned for more activities. GVBC is planning special Sunday BBQ’s this summer. General Manager, Jeff Bray, says “We want people to be able to visit the brewery, see where and how the magic happens, and taste the beers at their source. The Tap Room has been open for a year and it’s great to see peoples’ reaction whether they are longtime fans or first time tasters. The anniversary party offers an opportunity for us to celebrate and give back to the community that has supported us since our opening.”
The Tap Room 1st Anniversary Party fun happens this Saturday, Apr. 23 from 2 to 9 p.m. Informal tours, tastings and games will be on offer. The Rolling Stove, a grill food truck, will be on site throughout the day. As well, fan and brewery favorite, and former employee, Tyler Childers, returns to the brewery to perform his heartfelt Americana style with a special concert beginning at 7 p.m.
Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company is located on Industrial Park Road north of Lewisburg near the airport. For more information visit their website at www.gvbeer.com, follow their social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or call 304-520-4669. The Tap Room is open Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday 2-9 p.m. and Sundays 3-9 p.m.