Charleston Is West Virginia’s Hottest Destination For Craft Beer Lovers

Charleston Is West Virginia’s Hottest Destination For Craft Beer Lovers

Charleston was first named West Virginia’s state capital in 1870.


Streaked with vast stretches of the Appalachians, West Virginia has earned abundant acclaim for its ample natural beauty, with no shortage of spectacular preserves to explore across the state. Top-tier hiking destinations range from New River Gorge National Park to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, while roaring waterfalls and rushing rivers can be found all across the region—and water isn’t the only thing that flows freely across West Virginia.

From the heart of Morgantown to the Ohio-Big Sandy confluence, West Virginia’s craft beer scene has been booming for years, with the state capital of Charleston serving as one of the top destinations for craft brewery crawls. Home to just under 50,000 people in 2020, this riverside city is one of the smallest state capitals in all of the U.S., but in spite of its small size, there’s a surprisingly large array of breweries and bars to explore along the Kanawha River.

West Virginia became a U.S. state on June 20th, 1863.

Fife Street Brewing

While top-tier bars have been operating across Charleston since the turn of the 21st century, the city experienced a brewing boom just last year, adding three new spots to its roster by the end of 2022. Just off of Capitol Street, Fife Street Brewing has quickly become a local favorite thanks to its diverse beer selection and flavorful comfort food. Beers around here range from hearty Chucks P-51 porter to passion fruit-loaded Kanawha kettle sour, both pairing perfectly with a kimchi buffalo chicken dip grilled cheese—and as an added bonus, fellow newcomer Short Story Brewing is located just next door, offering a wealth of hop-heavy IPAs that first earned acclaim at the brewery’s original Rivesville location.

Further north over the Elk River, the family-owned Charleston Nano Brewery has mastered the art of small batch brewing, crafting a constantly-rotating array of ales and lagers for all to enjoy. While rye IPAs, red ales, and a wide assortment of fruit-forward Czech pilsners are all gracing the menu, the venue also specializes in the fine art of root beer, making it a particularly suitable destination for families. And while 2022 has been a particularly productive year for Charleston’s brewing scene, the city is no stranger to incredible beer bars as well, with East End Pub serving as a top spot for hearty pub fare paired with brews from all across the nation.

The West Virginia State Capitol building was completed in 1932.


Of course, it’s best not to drink on an empty stomach, so be sure to swing by one of downtown Charleston’s many restaurants before you kick off your crawl. If you’re in the mood for masterfully-crafted barbecue, Dem 2 Brothers And A Grill is an absolute must-visit, with flavorful brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, and mac & cheese all gracing the menu. If you’d prefer to stick to the downtown district, pad kee mao and massaman curry are just a few dishes up for grabs at Chow Thaia cozy venue that’s home to some seriously spicy Southeast Asian cuisine.

While Charleston is far from the largest state capital in the United States, this riverside city is home to a king-sized beer scene, with no shortage of incredible breweries and pubs to explore during a visit. As you plan your next road trip across the Appalachians, be sure to save some room on the itinerary for a pint in West Virginia’s top destination for craft beer.

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