The area around Charlottesville is historically known for its wine, but that is changing because beer is becoming the new table beverage, just as it was for Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson served beer and cider with his meals and he brewed his own in the basement of Monticello. Today, there are plenty of stops to make in the area, if you want to explore the local beer scene (for an example of the type of trip you can make, see this WashPost article). They are even creating a brewey trail (think vineyard trail, but with beer).
Here are a few of the breweries and brew-pubs in the area … all of which I would love to visit:
Starr Hill Brewery – Saturdays, Tastings: 12pm – 5pm & Tours (half-hour): 1pm and 3pm
Blue Mountain Brewery and Hops Farm – They are reviving the cultivation of hops in Virginia, which used to be considered the hops capital of the USA.
Devils Backbone Brewing Company – From the WashPost article, this place sounds like a great little pub.
Hopefully I can visit a few of these places next time that I am back in the USA …