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About Us

Opened in 2007 as the first brewery in Nelson County, Blue Mountain Brewery is a unique destination in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. All our ales and lagers are brewed, bottled, canned and kegged onsite in Afton or down the road in Arrington at our new Blue Mountain Barrel House. We have made our home for both facilities in beautiful, friendly Nelson County and are proud to be the pioneers of the Virginia rural brewery. Our two breweries will craft 10,000 barrels (310,000 gallons) of Virginia’s finest beer this year, made from deep well water and the best barley malt and hops the world has to offer.

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Our two hop fields in Afton and a new hop yard in Arrington grow 1,000 hills of Cascade variety hops that we use year round in our Full Nelson strong pale ale, and in seasonal and harvest beer offerings. We hold medals at the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival for our 100% brewery-grown fresh hop ale Blue Reserve, and in 2010-2011 were honored to be the only brewery in Virginia to hold back-to-back Gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival.

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Blue Mountain Brewery is a proud member of the Virginia Green program. Our environmental efforts include many day-to-day activities aimed at reducing waste, recycling, and treating our brewery and restaurant effluent in an engineered water treatment facility that processes our waste stream through a recirculating wetland before returning clean water to the earth.

 

THE TEAM

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Taylor Smack

Taylor has been brewing beer professionally since early 2000 after receiving the Certificate of Brewing Technology from Chicago’s Siebel Institute, the country’s oldest school for the craft of brewing. He was the head brewer of both Goose Island brewpubs in Chicago and spent six years as the brewer for Charlottesville, Virginia’s South Street Brewery before opening Blue Mountain in 2007,and Blue Mountain Barrel House in 2012.

 

Mandi Smack

Mandi spent the years previous to opening Blue Mountain Brewery in the publishing business, working for Hoyt Publishing in Chicago, and C-ville Weekly newspaper and Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine in Charlottesville, Virginia, in capacities ranging from marketing to sales to business manager. Mandi graduated from Marquette University and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania. She is our CFO, marketing manager, and the lead force behind our front-of-house restaurant/pub operations in Afton, as well as the CFO and marketing manager for distribution sales for our production brewery, Blue Mountain Barrel House.

 

Matt Nucci

Matt spent the years prior to opening Blue Mountain Brewery working with Greenberry’s Coffee and Tea company, based in Charlottesville. He was in charge of production and new franchise developments and helped the company grow to a multi-state gourmet coffee business by the time he left in early 2007 to help found Blue Mountain Brewery.  He is graduate of New England College along with doing numerous courses with the National Outdoor Leadership School.  Matt oversees the brewer operations at the Afton location and is usually around on Saturdays to personally give tours.