As a fan of DW&S, you no doubt have read our stories about Virginia’s beverage and food trails. The Commonwealth is crisscrossed with themed trails. The home base of DW&S is on the Nelson 151 Trail, in the heart of Nelson County. You can read a story about Nelson 151 here
During our fight against COVID, we decided to stay within a ten-mile radius of our home base and visit the restaurants, breweries, and cideries along Nelson 151. (FaceBook @Nelson151) We set out with gloves, masks, and lots of hand sanitizer, and here is a snapshot of our ten-mile drive.
First, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and purchased a bag of beans from Trager Brothers Coffee. You can call in advance (434-263-8916), and they will have your coffee waiting. You can even pay before arrival for a zero contact jolt of caffeine. We have often enjoyed our coffee while sitting in the coffee shop. Still, we were delighted to have the opportunity to enjoy a cup on our drive. This was our first example of a local business pivoting to continue to offer service.
Next up was Bold Rock Hard Cider which is currently open Thursday – Saturday, 11AM– 5PM for curbside pick-up. We pre-ordered six-packs of both the whiskey-based Bold Fashioned and the vodka-based Copper Mug Mule. (Yes, Bold Rock now features cocktails in a can). Upon arrival at the Cider Barn, we saw signage to pull up next to the building and call. Our order was delivered by Lindsay Dorrier, III—Bold Rock’s Brand Manager. Lindsay was on-site to assist the team, and we were eager to ask a few questions. He let us know that yes, there is a new Bold Rock Seasonal Cider on the horizon launching in May. No, he would not give us any hints. We can say that the Bold Rock Team is planning a virtual launch, and everyone is invited. They also have just released two new seltzer styles – Berry and Passion Fruit – as well as a new variety 12-pack called the Mix Pack that features both of those selections along with the original Cucumber Melon and Grapefruit. All are made with apple-based alcohol and feature a super light and refreshing taste. Lindsay let us know that more innovation was on the way in other neighboring craft categories so stay tuned for additional news on that front later this summer.
Our third stop included food and beer. A whole lot of food. We pre-ordered two family-style meals from Devils Backbone Brewpub and Meadows. Devil’s Backbone has pivoted in foodservice and beer. You can now order a meal box that serves 6+++…It was a lot of food. You heat the meal entrée and sides at home, with enclosed heating instructions. If you want to enjoy something immediately in your car, they also have their traditional food menu available as curbside pickup. You can call or order online and pre-pay for your box. Let them know of your arrival, and they deliver your box to your car. Plus, if you have a kegerator at home, you can now order a keg for curbside pickup. Special Promo Alert: If you love Devils Backbone Draft Beer, you can now pick up draft crowlers for $4 and growlers for $8—in new containers.
As we write this story, hours at Devils Backbone are 12PM-7PM, seven days a week. To call in your order: 434-361-1001. Or browse the menu and order online: www.devilsbackbone/curbsite-pickup
Just across the street from Devils Backbone, we stopped at Blue Toad Hard Cider. Picked up their seasonal cider and enjoyed seeing their new curbside Tiki Hut for Cider-To-Go. They are open on weekends. As a special release, Blue Toad partnered with Silverback Distillery, also on Nelson 151, to launch Barrel-Aged Blackberry Silverback Distillery Rye. Available for pickup from the new Tiki Bar.
As a special weekend dinner, we pre-ordered dinner from The Farmhouse at Veritas. For a Farmhouse-to-Table experience, they are offering a three-course dinner for two and a bottle of wine. The dinner was delivered to the trunk of our car and was enjoyed. (For details, visit www.veritasfarmhouse.com)
While on our ten-mile drive, we began to wonder about the future. We know that business will return to “normal” in time. We wonder how many of these new Pivot Plans will remain. Will Devils Backbone continue to prepare family-style meals (we hope so)? Will Bold Rock add virtual seasonal cider launch parties to their plan? Can we continue to celebrate special date night with Farmhouse to Table by Veritas in our own home? We learned a lot on our ten-mile drive. We learned that Virginia business leaders know how to pivot during a crisis. And we learned that we still enjoy our time on Nelson 151. (and we gained about 10 pounds in one weekend, but that’s OK)
Many of Virginia’s Food & Beverage Trails are still open. We are showcasing news from the trails on our public FaceBook group page, @DWS Food and Beverage Lovers of Virginia. Check it out.