Bursting with historic charm, scenic beauty and Southern culture, Williamsburg has lots to offer its throngs of annual visitors. Though most known for major attractions such as Busch Gardens, the College of William and Mary, and Colonial Williamsburg, this area of James City County is also home to attractions that would appeal to craft beer lovers.
Make sure to visit the nice folks at Brass Cannon Brewing Co. in Toano. Three home brewers opened the spot in 2012, and they’re producing some mighty fine beer, including four year-round brews, three types of ale, one stout and a rotating selection of seasonal beers.
In addition, these guys put forth a series of small-batch experimental brews they call their Langrage Line. Langrage is the technical term for loading a cannon with whatever materials are around instead of an actual cannonball. It’s an exciting series that allows the brewers to test their creative limits and get these special concoctions to their customers.
A few exits away you’ll find the well-established Alewerks Brewing Co. — a must-visit for any craft beer lover. Tucked away in an unassuming industrial park, this brewery has produced expertly crafted ales since 2006.
Visit the taproom to sample what’s on draft, or take a brewery tour to learn about Alewerks’ brewing process.
Brass Cannon Brewing Co.
8105 Richmond Road, No. 105, Toano
Alewerks Brewing Co.
189B Ewell Road, Williamsburg
Gastropubs and More
If you’re looking for a cozy spot to enjoy some good food and excellent brews, head to the DoG Street Pub. With a rotating menu of draft beer selections — think Founders Breakfast Stout, Baladin Nora and the like — as well as plenty of bottle choices, this gastropub is the perfect spot to pause for while.
DoG Street’s menu showcases American casual cuisine with a British flair, and there are dishes to please everyone. Choose from small plates, burgers, salads and typical pub staples like bangers and mash, and fish and chips.
If you’re at the pub past suppertime, check out the late-night menu, which features a healthy handful of hearty bar snacks. We hear the Reuben croquettes ($5) — corned beef, swiss cheese and sauerkraut rolled in bread crumbs and fried — are worth every mouth-watering calorie.
Another well-known and beloved eatery is the Fat Canary, right next to the Cheese Shop in Merchant’s Square. Elegant and upscale, the Fat Canary is a nine-time AAA Four Diamond-winning restaurant that offers a seasonal menu to tantalize your palate at any time of year.
Find things as varied as fresh seafood and French- and Asian-inspired dishes, as well as a line-up of decadent desserts to tempt your sweet tooth.
And, don’t be dismayed, beer lovers: The Canary carries local brews on tap and a small bottle menu.
DoG Street Pub
401 W. Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg
410 W. Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg
If You Stay
Should you decide to crash for the night, the ’Burg has plenty of places to rest your head.
If you’re watching your pennies — or collecting Marriott points — check out the accommodations at SpringHill Suites Williamsburg. Enjoy an indoor pool, free Wi-Fi and a complimentary breakfast at this central spot.
For a luxury stay, plan a night at the Williamsburg Inn, an elegant 62-room hotel in the heart of the Revolutionary city. Besides an unforgettable setting, top-notch service and golf and spa offerings, the inn also features guest-only events and discounts for tickets to Colonial Williamsburg.
After a good night’s rest, what’s better than a hearty breakfast?
Enter Shorty’s Diner, where you can enjoy a quirky, fun and filling dining experience. Choose from pancakes the size of your head, omelets galore and specialty breakfast platters like the Hangover ($6.49) — one egg, any style, on top of a large portion of corned beef hash. Served with a half order of biscuits and gravy, this pile of perfection sounds like a cure.
SpringHill Suites Williamsburg
1644 Richmond Road, Williamsburg
136 E. Francis St., Williamsburg
627 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg