Welcome to the June edition of Field Trip Friday!
In case you missed the April and May editions, “Field Trip Friday” is a new blog series that is something different to this blog. I hope you will enjoy reading the local food and beverage reviews. We especially hope that they will help should you ever decide to visit this part of Northern Virginia. Perhaps you can check out some of the places we talk about.
Today’s edition of Field Trip Friday is about our visits to Pen Druid Brewery, a brewery in Sperryville, VA, and Griffin Tavern, a restaurant in Flint Hill, VA.
Before I begin with today’s great places, I just want to say that I’m not being compensated in any way for this post. Field Trip Friday posts are based on a good-faith, honest opinion of some of the places David and I visit. I will admit, the research is fantastic! 😋
Pen Druid Brewing
Pen Druid Brewing is located at 7 River Lane, East Annex, just off Highway 211 in Sperryville, VA. Sperryville is just minutes from Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, approximately 8 miles from the Thornton Gap Entrance Station.
Pen Druid Brewing focuses on wild fermentation, barrel fermenting and aging, traditional spontaneous fermentation and naturally carbonated beers. A mixed fermentation, meaning they use cultured and wild yeast and bacteria to make and often sour their beer. Their beer is inspired by the Belgian and English traditional beer. A true craft beer.
The brewery is owned and operated by the three brothers Lain, Van and Jennings Carney who also happen to be in the pretty successful psychedelic rock band, Pontiak. They opened Pen Druid Brewing in August 2015 as a past time between music tours.
The name, Pen Druid, comes from their old family farm just a few miles downstream on the Thornton River in Rappahannock County, Virginia.
Our first visit to Pen Druid was last year while David and I were on our Staycation. I was a bit curious about this place and the antique store next door. So we stopped in for a flight of beer.
I’ve mentioned before that I have never been much of a beer drinker until last year after I stopped drinking soft drinks. This brewery is the reason why I fell in love with beer!
This style of beer is perfect for a wine drinker that has been drinking out of a barrel so many years. I especially love the sours, while David enjoys the ales, blondes, ambers, and porters.
David tried so hard to tell me how complex craft beer could be, and I wouldn’t listen to him. Actually, I don’t think he even realized just how complex really good beer can be.
It takes about an hour and a half with typical Friday afternoon I-66 traffic to get to Pen Druid from work, but we sometimes make the trip because its a good way to start the weekend. However, Pen Druid is about 30 minutes south of our home outside of Front Royal.
I really like this place because it’s kind of like someone put a bar up inside my daddy’s farmstead. It’s rustic and nothing fancy, well except maybe the barrels, copper coolship, and kettle.
We say we wish Pen Druid was closer, but it’s probably a really damn good thing they aren’t!
For hours of operation and more information about Pen Druid Brewing, visit their website at www.pendruid.com.
Griffin Tavern & Restaurant
Griffin Tavern is located at 659 Zachary Taylor Highway in Flint Hill, Virginia. This is in Rappahannock County about halfway between Highway 211 and Front Royal, Virginia.
The crazy thing about this restaurant is that David and I passed by it and even ate down the street from it a million times. However, we never stopped in to check it out.
We kicked ourselves for not trying it out sooner because the food is phenomenal!
Griffin Tavern is owned by Jim and Debbie Donehey, a couple who gave up corporate careers to seek out their passion to run a restaurant and tavern inspired from visits to the UK.
Griffin is a casual dining restaurant and serves as the local social gathering place for everyone. Which means you can enjoy a nice quiet meal in one of the dining areas or belly up to the bar.
We like sitting in the bar area. Griffin has a full bar with eight beers on tap with multiple craft beers, and one tap for hard cider. Of course, they have some nice cocktails and a great variety of affordable wines, with some local Virginia wines too.
This restaurant offers home-style cooking with fresh and local ingredients. The menu includes: Fish n Chips, Tavern Wings, Hamburgers, Seafood and Steaks and is ever-changing for the seasons.
There are darts, chess, and trivia on weeknights and there is live music or karaoke on weekends. It’s worth mentioning that you need to get there early when they have live music, the bar can get very crowded.
We keep trying new things from the menu and will keep on trying until we find something we don’t like. 😉
For more information about Griffin Tavern visit their website at GriffinTavern.com
That concludes this edition of Field Trip Friday. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the local food and beverages we experienced.
Field Trip Friday is supposed to be about local spirits and that is to include both beer and wine. If you are wondering where all the Virginia wine is, we hope to plan some field trips before my next posting. It’s really easy to visit breweries on Friday evenings because the breweries stay open a lot later than the wineries do and some wineries are closing when we finally get out to them.
Did you enjoy hearing about the two places we visited? Want to hear about more places we visit on Field Trip Friday? Comment below.
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