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Devil’s Backbone Brewery Works Toward November Opening

By Tommy Stafford : Brewmaster, Jason Oliver, stands behind the newly installed copper topped bar at Devil's Backbone near Wintergreen. [1]

By Tommy Stafford : Brewmaster, Jason Oliver, stands behind the newly installed copper topped bar at Devil's Backbone near Wintergreen.

As NCL has been following since the beginning [2], the wait will soon be over for Nelson’s second microbrewery scheduled to open next month in the Beech Grove area of Nelson County, Virginia. That’s on the two lane highway leading up to Wintergreen Resort [3], just south of Nellysford. Steve Crandall, founder of Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company [4], tells NCL they are shooting to open next month. “We’re looking at mid November, depending on which way things fall,” he says. This week, the building reminiscent of a Rockies style lodge, was covered up with carpenters, electricians, and a lots of other contractors scurrying to finish by next month. Steve says he wants to make the mid November opening, but realizes a variety of factors and timing could alter that by at least couple of weeks.

Left, Shawn Goodwin, Executive Chef at Devil's Backbone, discusses new kitchen equipment with Crandall, center, and one of the equipment suppliers. [5]

Left, Shawn Goodwin, Executive Chef at Devil's Backbone, discusses new kitchen equipment with Crandall, center, and one of the equipment suppliers.

“This week the kitchen appliances are being installed. We’re running some of the last bits of the electrical and gas lines. The cabinetry and plumbing fixtures are going in this week. We’re also working to put the last finishing touches on the brew house where we’ll actually be making the beer,” adds Crandall.

One worker puts stain on the trim of a second story window. [6]

One worker puts stain on the trim of a second story window.

Devil’s Backbone will join Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton [7] as Nelson’s second microbrewery that opened in October of last year. Crandall sees his brewery and restaurant as a compliment to Blue Mountain and says the relationship of brewers is a special one. “Taylor’s been down here to see what we’re doing and has even offered to help us with different parts of this. There’s a very unique brotherhood of brewers in the brewing community. There’s a belief that a rising tide lifts all ships, and Taylor was certainly the pioneer in coming into Nelson County,” Crandall continues.

Contractors are busy finishing up the exterior of the brewery and restaurant near the intersection of VA Route 664 & 151. [8]

Contractors are busy finishing up the exterior of the brewery and restaurant near the intersection of VA Route 664 & 151.

Eventually Devil’s Backbone and Blue Mountain will both be a part of a beer trail stretching out of Albemarle and Charlottesville, similar to the wine trails for the already established wineries in Nelson.

Executive Chef, Shawn Goodwin, stands in the soon to be completed kitchen of the restaurant. [9]

Executive Chef, Shawn Goodwin, stands in the soon to be completed kitchen of the restaurant.

Look for more updates as things progress.