Editors' pick

Devils Backbone Brewing Company


Editorial Review

D.C. beer lovers might be familiar with Devils Backbone brewer Jason Oliver from his stints at the now-closed Virginia Beverage Co. in Alexandria or the Gordon Biersch near Verizon Center. But Oliver has truly come into his own since moving to Devils Backbone in 2008. Oliver picked up four medals at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival, and another four medals there in 2010. Four beers also picked up medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup, where Devils Backbone was awarded champion brewery and Oliver was named top brewmaster in the small brewpub category.

Oliver says he has brewed about 60 beers at Devils Backbone, with 10 on tap at any given time. (It's best to get a sampler of all 10 draft beers for $12 before deciding which to order.)

Devils Backbone has the feeling of a hunting lodge, with worn wooden floors and stuffed and mounted wildlife over the fireplace. Grab a table on one of the two patios for a view of the triple-humped mountain and the craggy peaks of nearby Wintergreen ski resort. The brewery hosts mountain bike races and trail running races in the summer, as well as outdoor concerts. The setting is as important as the beer, Oliver says. "The physical beauty of it is amazing. I've brewed for 15 years and I've never seen a brewery with a view like ours."

-- Fritz Hahn (July 29, 2011)