Category Archives: WV Barrel Trail

Breweries, wineries, distilleries, and festivals in West Virginia.

Front Porch Brewing WV license approved

Front Porch logoFront Porch Brewing Company becomes the 24th West Virginia-company to receive its brewery license. The license was issued this week, however, it will still be a month or more before Front Porch begins pouring beer at its downtown Charles Town brewpub.

“We are very excited to learn that we have been added to the growing list of great breweries in the state,” said Josh Vance, Front Porch owner.

Josh and his brewer-brother Mike have teamed up to put this project together. They become the second brewery license within the city of Charles Town. Mash Brewing Company received its license last December and opened in February. The breweries are about two blocks apart.

West Virginia Day Block Party planned

A soft opening for Front Porch has not yet been scheduled, but could happen sometime before mid June. The brewery’s big coming out day will take place Saturday, June 17.

“It has been a long journey and we still have a bit more work to do to get operational, but we look forward to our West Virginia Day block party on June 17 in Charles Town when we can introduce our unique take on beer to the world.”

That block party should be some kind of treat for Eastern Panhandle beer fans. If I lived out that way, I wouldn’t want to miss it.

Do you want to work at Front Porch?

Josh says they are currently putting together a staff “so if any beer lovers in the state would be interested in joining our team, they can email us at”

The business will need a variety of help in their restaurant, bar, and brewery  operation.

front porch
Barrel fermenting at Front Porch Brewing. Courtesy photo.

Barrel fermentation underway

Mike Vance is heading the brewing side of the business. He is a former brewer at Morgantown Brewing Company.  When he heard their brewery license had been approved, his enthusiasm was understandably tempered by all the work ahead.

“Our excitement is overflowing,” he stated. “Our immediate plan is to hose down the floor.”

Honestly, Mike is among the more talented brewers in the state and likely will be the only one regularly fermenting beer in wooden barrels. Expect his wild and funky ales to be a big hit. He also plans a full line of traditional brewpub beers, such as IPAs, wheat beers, blondes, and stouts.

Brilliant Stream reviewed some of Mike’s test batch beers last year.

Welcome Front Porch Brewing Company


State Fair, Rotary partnership creates attractive craft beer festival

The upcoming West Virginia Craft Brew Festival announced its expected brewery line-up and it’s a good one. This partnership effort between The State Fair of West Virginia and Lewisburg Rotary brings fourteen West Virginia breweries to the State Fairgrounds in Lewisburg on Saturday, April 29.

State Fair brew festival

Many of the participating breweries will be selling in Lewisburg for the first time. That will give folks from southeastern WV and parts of Virginia an opportunity to sample the great variety of craft brews being produced in West Virginia today. It would also be a pretty attractive road trip from the Charleston and Beckley areas.

Here’s the line-up.

  • Bad Shepherd Beer Company, Charleston
  • Berkeley Springs Brewing Company, Berkeley Springs
  • Big Timber Brewing Company, Elkins
  • Blackwater Brewing Company, Davis
  • Bridge Brew Works, Fayetteville
  • Chestnut Brew Works, Morgantown
  • Dobra Zupas, Beckley
  • Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company, Maxwelton
  • Morgantown Brewing Company, Morgantown
  • Mountain State Brewing Company, Thomas
  • Parkersburg Brewing Company, Parkersburg
  • Sophisticated Hound Brewing Company, Princeton
  • Weathered Ground Brewery, Cool Ridge
  • Wheeling Brewing Company, Wheeling

What you get

State Fair Brew Festival
Beer from Chestnut Brew Works will make a rare appearance in Lewisburg, along with brews from 13 other WV breweries.

A $30 General Admission ticket includes eight 4-oz. beer samples and a commemorative brew fest mug. Additional beer will be available for purchase. An on-site food truck rodeo will offer food for sale.

A $50 VIP ticket ups the included beer samples from 8 to 10, gets you special parking, and one-hour early admission to the fest.

An eclectic group of musicians and bands are performing. They include Larry Keel, Tyler Childers, The Holy Ghost Tent Revival, The Jon Stickley Trio, and Black King Coal. Live music plays all festival long from the performance stage.

The festival takes place outdoors, rain or shine. Gates open at 2:00 P.M. and the festival closes at 10:00 P.M.

Advance tickets may be purchased at this link.

Festival supports education scholarships

Festival organizers state that their goal is to raise funds for the State Fair of WV and Lewisburg Rotary Endowment Funds to support scholarships in the Greenbrier Valley area and across the state. All profits will be split between to the two foundations. We’re certain to see many Rotarians out volunteering on festival day. If you go,  don’t forget to say hello to the Rotary members and tell them how much you appreciate their volunteer work.

Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company logoThe folks at Greenbrier Valley Brewing have been talking up this festival since it was in the early planning stages. Wil Laska and other GVBC people have been an asset to The State Fair crew in helping them take the concept to a reality.

It’s great to see a new festival in this part of the state that promotes West Virginia breweries and higher education.




Pipestem Spa adds summer beer, wine, and bourbon events

Coming off their uber-successful Oktoberfest celebration last year, which featured West Virginia breweries, the Pipestem Spa, Event Center & Mountain Chalets in Pipestem, WV,  has moved strongly into the craft beer arena to help promote all their festivals and music events. Using the popularity of craft beer to build business at your southern West Virginia event center is what BrilliantStream calls smart business. Continue reading Pipestem Spa adds summer beer, wine, and bourbon events

West Virginia wineries attend Tourism Day at Legislature

It was Tourism Day at the Legislature and among the businesses exhibiting in the Capitol halls were two small West Virginia wineries. The owners of  Stone Road Vineyard and Chestnut Ridge Winery say tourism continues to have a very positive impact on their business, even accounting for a majority of the sales at their wineries. Continue reading West Virginia wineries attend Tourism Day at Legislature