Henry County’s Newest Brewery

Scuffle Hill Brewing has been open now for a couple of months. They are the second craft brewery to make Henry County their home and the first in Collinsville. They are located in the Colony Place Shopping Center at 2620 Virginia Avenue.

Colony Place Shopping Center Sign

If you haven’t been yet, they have generous hours*:

Wednesday & Thursday 5 to 9

Friday 4:30 to 10:30

Saturday 2 to10:30

Sunday 2 to 7

*These are their hours as of Halloween 2021, so double check their hours if you are reading this later in the future.

Scuffle Hill Brewing Entrance

They have a good line-up of beers and I overheard some fantastic flavors they are planning on in the future. If you are a fan of domestic beers, it looks like the first three on their list have you covered.

Beer Menu

If you want to try a few of their beers without committing to just one, order a flight. Since this was my first time, that’s what I did. I ordered a flight that included the Campfires and Canteens smoked rauchbier, the Country Inn dark mild, the Dick &Willie oatmeal stout, and the pineapple seltzer. I also lucked out and got a gift certificate to Papa’s Pizzeria (a cute little pizzeria up in Bassett on the banks of the Smith River). Scuffle Hill was awarding the certificates randomly for Halloween.

My flight

I liked the oatmeal stout but I have to say that my favorite has to be one of the first two. Campfires and Canteens has a smoky flavor but is a gentle and smooth beer that is not too unique to be enjoyable. The County Inn mild ale almost has a coffee taste to it but does not actually contain coffee. It’s hard to say which one I’ll order the next time I’m in, except that it will be one of these two.

One of the owners and the man at the bar dressed as a caveman talked with me about how he’s been struggling to get the new brewery listed on Google Maps. He had no trouble getting the business added to Apple Maps but Google keeps insisting that they can’t verify that the business exists. He is continuing to try but, if you are a Google Maps user, you might be able to help him out by asking Google to add the business. (When you pull up Google Maps, hit the 3 horizontal bars on the upper left and select “Add a Missing Place”). If enough of us do it, at some point Google is going to have to admit that this business exists.

A Technologically Advanced Caveman

Scuffle Hill has made some mentions in the Martinsville art world too. They hired local artist Ashley King to paint some beautiful murals on the walls. She did a phenomenal job.

They were busy installing television mounts on Halloween evening and plan to have sports streaming by Wednesday.

If you need any more incentive to go and take a look at Scuffle Hill, there’s one more thing that might just push you over the edge: they have a very healthy Pint It Forward board. The entries on this board represent pints that have been paid for in advance for someone coming in later that is either named or described on the board. You can only get one per visit so, based on the board when I took a picture of it, three firefighters can go in and have a pint a piece, prepaid. One firefighter cannot go in and have three pints.

Take a look and see if there is a description that fits you and you may have the reason you need to go.

Hmmm… I know a lineman who likes breweries. I’ll have to give him a ring.

The Pint It Forward Board

Sunday Afternoon at Hamlet Vineyard

This is one of the best kept secrets I’ve ever seen. And it’s a secret from the locals, it seems. I’ve been there twice now. Both times it was sold out. The first time it was Labor Day weekend so I figured, holiday weekend. This past Sunday (August 7th)? Lobster rolls, apparently.

Hamlet Vineyard is up in Bassett, just a stone’s throw from Stanleytown Health & Rehabilitation Center, where my mom went to recover from a stroke. I was there every day and I never realized that there was a vineyard just down the road. Literally, within sight.

There is just a small sign on the left side of road and a long gravel drive leading off into the trees.

Driving into Hamlet Vineyards

I arrived only about a quarter of an hour after the 1 o’clock opening and the parking lot was already quite full. There is ample parking. It is all on mown grass.

I’m told that this rush always happens when lobster rolls are available and that was what I was here for. Salty’s Lobster & Co had brought them down from Roanoke.

There was still a line at the door

I think that the fireside seating and the picnic tables up by the vineyards are new since the last time I came. That time, I just gave up in the parking lot when people were coming back to their cars saying that there was no more seating.

The place filled up quickly. I didn’t dilly dally that much looking around but I missed my opportunity at the last table. I think other people are aware of the limited seating and do not waste any time getting seated.

Shaded picnic tables on the vineyard may be the best seats in the house

I wasn’t about to miss my opportunity here a second time so I ended up taking up a chair in the fire pit area. The chair was comfortable and the umbrella provided good shade. This seemed like more of a waiting area than a dining area but any port in a storm, right?

The waitress came and took my order and I sat and watched other late arrivals. Most decided not to stay. Two ladies from Greensboro and the lovely labradoodle, Willow, decided to brave the limited shade and joined me.

We chatted and had a wonderful conversation about all types of things. One was a physical therapist and one was a teacher. One was a single mom and the other, a fur mom. They had driven quite a ways for a day of wine and lobster rolls. Unfortunately, Hamlet had run out of lobster rolls. And it was really hot. Their day wasn’t shaping up too well.

We managed to keep Willow in the shade and two of the three humans. We were on the brink of rearranging their fire pit furniture to get all three of us in the shade when tables started clearing on the covered patio.

That made a huge difference. We all moved together and finished our wine and conversation in the shade. The covered patio, we noticed, has heaters in the ceiling for cold weather. They said that they enjoyed their day enough to come back. I hope so.

Tips for going to Hamlet Vineyard:

Get to the location early. There is a gate across the drive so get in line if you can. If you can’t, there is a drug store across the street where you can lay in wait for a good opportunity to get in earlier.

Try the sangria. It really is out of this world. They have a peach sangria and a pomegranate sangria. I had the pomegranate sangria and I LOVED it.

Budget to get a truffle a piece. They are $2.50 each but they are so worth it. They are made by local chocolatier Cocoa Trails Chocolates and I think they may be their best flavor.

Be persistent. This really is worth the wait.

A Rainy Morning in Downtown Madison, NC

This post is really about pictures.

Downtown Madison

I was at the 2021 Dan River Boat Race wearing a cardigan over shorts and a sleeveless top (it was supposed to be 80 degrees) when I got to thinking about the fru-fru coffees they sell at The Mad Bean in downtown Madison.

Beverage Menu at The Mad Bean

They also offer hot breakfasts or you can get a premade croissant or apple fritter.

Wrapped Pastries

Down by the train tracks, they have a beautiful building with a commemorative clock. I love the bricked up arches. I assume that those were windows back in the day. I have no idea what this building was.

The Madison Town Clock

The plaque reads:

The Madison Town Clock

1919

A memorial to the men who served and died in World War I

Jim Vaughn, The American Legion and local citizens contributed to the purchase of the clock. The purpose of the clock was to serve as a local war memorial for those who served in the Great War. The clock is a rare number two striking clock with still operates by winding.

The Commemorative Plaque

The clock rang as I was standing there.

The Clock Face

Right next door to the Madison Town Clock is the American Legion. I think that this is an anti-aircraft gun.

An Anti-Aircraft Gun?

There is a beautiful old depot just across the street. Just as old rail trails are being turned into hiking/biking trails, old depots are being fixed up in some small towns and turned into tourist attractions. (We have one up in Bassett but I haven’t seen it open).

Historic Depot

But this historic depot is not empty. It is home to the GIA Distillery. Open on Fridays and Saturdays in the afternoons and early evenings. I’m not a huge fan of whiskey but it wouldn’t kill me to stop in and see what they offer.


GIA Distillery

My husband and I used to be very good about getting down to Madison to see new businesses. We loved Southern Spirits, an old fashioned downhome restaurant with fun specialty drinks to go with dinner. If there is such a thing as an American pub, Southern Spirits is it.

Southern Spirits

And now there’s another new place … Wine Nox. Check out their Facebook Page. It looks like they have a wonderful sitting area in the back and live music?

Wine Nox

Madison is just a pretty place. Even the local recycler’s building is beautiful on a rainy morning in August.

Just a Pretty Building