150 Ridgemont Road | Middletown, VA 22645
Backroom Brewery is a boutique farm brewery in the Shenandoah River Valley. It is located on Sunflower Cottage, an herb farm that grows 120,000 potted herb plants from seed. The farm is near where Interstates 81 and 64 meet in northern Virginia.
In the fall of 2012, the farm added a hops field, then in 2013 the process began to create an ordinance in Warren County that would allow farm breweries. By late spring, Backroom Brewery became the first farm brewery in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.
Construction began in spring 2014, and the equipment was installed by July of that year. Backroom currently has over 20 beer recipes served in the tasting room along with food made with the fresh herbs and farm grown produce in season.
The brewer at Backroom Brewery previously brewed at Full Sail Brewing Company in Hood River, Oregon. He is originally from the Shenandoah River Valley, and joined Backroom when he moved back home.
The beers on tap during my visit included…
- Balance of Power DIPA – a 9% ABV double IPA with Chinook and Columbus hops
- Festival Wheat – a 4.75% ABV hazy American wheat beer
- Cilantro Lime – a 4.75% ABV wheat beer brewed with fresh lime zest and cilantro
- Rosemary Orange Amber Ale – a 6% ABV amber with rosemary and orange zest
- Black Truffle Pig Black IPA – a 7.2% ABV IPA with 10 pounds of hops per barrel
- Golden Strong – an 8.6% ABV Belgian with fruity and spicy flavors
- Oatmeal Stout – a 5.75% ABV full-bodied, roasty stout
- Pluperfect Porter – a 6.2% ABV robust, roasty porter
Other interesting beers from Backroom include Helltown Red IPA, an IPA brewed with fresh red basil and the super alpha German Polaris hop; Chili Pepper Red Ale, a red ale brewed with habanero peppers; and Hop Harvest Party Ale, a pale ale brewed with 7 pounds per barrel of their own Cascade hops grown on site.
Beers can be purchased in the tasting room in a sampler flight of six 1.5-ounce pours for $5, a larger flight of 4-ounce pours for $10, or a pint for $6. Growlers can be filled to go, and many Backroom brews are available in bottles. Wine can be purchased by the glass.
The menu at the taproom includes a Beer Bread Grilled Cheese, Pulled Pork Barbeque Sandwich, Bratwurst, Chicken Salad Sandwich, Beef Sliders, and Turkey Reuben. Other options include Pesto with Crostinis, Tuscan Olive Spuntino, Portabella Flatbread, Shrimp and Grits, Chicken Wings, Baked Soft Pretzel, and Triple Tapenade.
The brewery features several events throughout the year included the Holiday Market and Homebrew Contest in November, New Year’s Eve party, the Valentine’s Beer Dinner, the Virginia Herb Festival in June, and the Hop Harvest Party in August.
Backroom Brewery is open Wednesday through Monday 10 AM to 8 PM. They are closed on Tuesday.