Nestled in the hills of Nelson County and surrounded by the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll find the Devil’s Backbone Basecamp Brewpub and Meadows which is where my Valentine took me this year for V-Day. We’re the type of couple who prefers going places and having experiences rather than gifts, and, since we’re still exploring our little patch of VA, this was perfect.
After an hour’s drive through really beautiful countryside and zero cell phone signal, we got to Basecamp around noon, starving and ready for a few beers. It seemed as if most of Central Virginia had the same idea, so there was a wait for a table. Normally I’d be bummed and bored stiff waiting, but never fear! In addition to the bar inside, there was a bar outside, complete with heaters galore and a massive firepit.
Despite the freezing temps (yeowza!) we bundled back up and headed outside for drinks while we waited. I’ve never actually tried Devil’s Backbone, so I went with a beer I’d seen in stores before—the Vienna Lager. I wasn’t disappointed! Warmed me right up as we sat next to the firepit, ash clinging to our hair. Nick opted for the Cocoa Bear which is so strong they only serve it in a half pint glass. I’ve never really had a beer like the Cocoa Bear before—chocolatey with a definite coffee taste. In a word? Delicious.
After about half an hour, our buzzer went off and we were welcomed back into the warmth of the main Basecamp building. Decorated to look and feel like a hunting lodge, Basecamp was cozy, warm and inviting, despite how busy it was!
Hungry, we decided on fried pickles (my favorite thing in the world) for appetizers. Nick went with ribs, which he’d been craving all day while I opted for the fish and chips. We split a side order of beer braised cabbage which was heavenly. I never thought I’d describe cabbage as much more than “good”, but this stuff was amazing. Overall, the food was great—neither of us had any complaints. Service was efficient and we weren’t left wanting for anything. It’s hard to strike a balance between too much and too little attention—but Devil’s Backbone staff have it right.
After dinner, a little more than merry, we decided to sit back outside and split another beer before the trek home. Clearly the food and drink had warmed us enough to brave the super crazy cold. This time we tried the Sugar Plum, a seasonal brew chock full of plum flavor. Very, very nice.
So we had a great time at Devil’s Backbone. Will we go back? Most definitely. We both agreed that we could see it being a weekend haunt in the summer, despite being an hour away. There’s loads of space to sit outside, plenty of grass to spread a blanket out on and, in addition to the restaurant, food is also available outside. Here’s to the warmer weather to come!
Devil’s Backbone Basecamp & Brewpub
200 Mosbys Run
Roseland, VA 22967