I missed some beautiful shots this morning. I had to drive down an unpaved road into the woods after a rain to get to a friend’s house so I was worried that I’d be able to make the trek at all without getting stuck or sliding down a hill. I hadn’t taken my camera with me. It turned out that I got down the road just fine and the rising sun through the trees, a light fog here and there, and otherwise crystal clear air was breathtaking. I passed a herd of longhorns that would have made an especially wonderful photo. Oh, well. Next time.
In the meantime, there are cats.
We’ve gotten a little over an inch and a half of rain recently and it’s been cold. It’s warming up to normal January temperatures now but last week we had a short but glorious taste of spring weather so I escaped the cabin and headed over to Henry County’s local craft brewery, Mountain Valley Brewing.
Now, the folks at Mountain Valley Brewing are friends of mine. We moved into Henry County around the same time and one of the owners, Herb, and I both tried a short stint in real estate before we went on to our respective livelihoods. Mountain Valley Brewing started as a hops farm. They still grow hops but the brewery has been growing like a weed.
For one thing, they make excellent beer. I went for a little Porter’s Porter (named after their newest canine family member) and got to try samples of some of their newer creations: Ginger Bread Man and Choc Full of Cherries. Both were incredible. They had just come out with a new red that is not even listed on their website yet. Despite being new, everyone coming in the door ordered it as soon as they set one foot over the threshold. I am not a fan of reds normally but I did try a pint and I can see what all the fuss is over. It may be the only red I like.
One important thing, my photos will not do Mountain Valley Brewing justice. Just take a look at their website and you’ll see some stunning photos. One of the reasons for their incredible growth rate, besides incredible owners, is its popularity for hosting events. For many around here, craft beer is a novelty. It really helps that it’s really good craft beer but they’ve gone a step further and tailored one of their beers to the domestic beer lovers so feel assured that, if you like any kind of beer at all, you’ll find something you like here. This helps make the experience inviting for everyone.
This past season they enclosed the pavilion. There is a separate set of taps in the pavilion that have different flavors than what is available in the tasting room. This is also where the live music is. They have some incredible talent come through, usually in the evenings. Herb has been known to pick up a guitar and sing a little “House of the Rising Sun” now and then in the afternoons.
There is also a new deck off of the back of the pavilion. It was a perfect spot to enjoy the music and fine weather last weekend.
They still have the fire ring and we may be fast approaching the temperatures that make that kind of thing enjoyable.
Making a mental note… scribble, scribble, scribble
There is still some finish work to be done but, all in all, you really can’t beat a trip to Mountain Valley Brewing on a reasonably warm winter afternoon.
I am still running the camera on “auto” but I plan on joining the Blue Ridge Photography Club that has just started meeting at the Martinsville branch of the Blue Ridge Regional Library. (The Blue Ridge Photography Club was previously the Spencer Penn Photography Club but has changed its name as it has changed venues).
Here’s to warmer weather and better photographs!