After a long Friday night of cigars, bourbon, and politics I decided a pit stop was a necessity during a long car ride back from Roanoke. Having no knowledge of the craft beer scene in the small towns off 81 North I searched google for “Lexington Breweries” and stumbled upon Blue Lab Brewing Company. Located a couple blocks off Main Street and across the street from a horse carriage shop I was concerned while standing outside that I was about to walk into someone’s living room (see the photo below and you will understand). However, once we walked in my friends and I felt right at home thanks to their friendly staff, cozy atmosphere, and laid back style that seemed to align perfectly with the pace of life on a warm June Saturday afternoon in Lexington.
You will not find more welcoming owners of a brewery than Bill & Tom who were hanging out at the bar when we arrived. After we ordered our first round and said hello to the brewery dog Darby we ended up chatting with the owners and their staff about everything from music (always good to meet fellow Old Crow Medicine Show fans) to dogs (Bill & Tom’s first labs were named Sam & Guinness).
Blue Lab Brewing Company (Lexington, Virginia)
123 South Randolph Street
Lexington, VA 24450
Total Beers Tapped: Varies, usually 5 to 8.
Growler/On-Site Sale: Yes, Blue Lab sells 1 and 2 liter growlers and kegs are available.
Food: No on-site food but customers are encouraged to bring their own or order delivery.
Beer Selection: According to the owners their specialty is ales and selections currently include a IPA, Pale Ale, Hefeweizen, Irish Red, and Summer Blonde.
Amenities/Events: Appeared to be plenty of parking on the street (we walked from a few blocks away where we had lunch) and they have a parking lot. Blue Lab hosts weekly events like trivia night and often has local live music playing in their taproom.
Atmosphere: I do not know much about Lexington but I would imagine it would be difficult to find a more mellow spot to waste away a Saturday afternoon while drinking delicious beer and listening to great music. The only thing missing from Blue Lab’s taproom is a couch and an ottoman but that would likely lead to many customers catching Z’s before they catch a buzz.
Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed the couple hours we spent at Blue Lab because of the beer and the people. Bill & Tom seem to have struck a perfect balance here between brewing good craft beer while still making their customers feel welcome and appreciated. Seriously, the only thing that could have made this a more stereotypically awesome small town America experience is if the bartender had dropped a “Ya’ll come back now!” on us as we left. Like most of the up and coming breweries I have visited there were some beers I liked more than others but I did not try anything I would not order again. Hopefully, these guys continue to have success and can expand their space and selection while maintaining this brewery’s unique vibe. Their combination of good people and good beer will definitely bring me back the next time I am in Lexington.