200 Mosby's Run
Roseland, VA 22967
We arrived after an hour and 45 minute drive from Raleigh Court, taking 460 East to 29 North, to 151 North. The ride home (north to 64 and south on 81) appeared to take an extra few minutes. Virginia's newest brewpub is one of its classiest. The brand new, tall, wood-framed building could be mistaken for a ski lodge, which is fitting considering its proximity to Wintergreen. While we didn't get a good glimpse of the mountains I'm sure the view is impressive - we did see plenty of stars.
The restaurant was just thoroughly impressive in every aspect. From the giant windows on the main facade, to the cozy bar with about 16-20 taps, swiveling wooden stools with backs, deer, bear, and other animals mounted on the walls, all of which were claimed to have been shot in Nelson County except the giant moose head above the working fireplace, from Maine. A sign on the bathroom stall breaks down the origins of all the carpentry and decorations, most of which was recycled and/or purchased locally.
On to the good stuff. We were seated immediately, thanks to reservations, but the wait would not have been too long if there was one. The place was just barely filled at 7:30, and would clear out pretty well by 9:30. We had an attentive server all night, who did well to at least check on our questions if he didn't know the answer (it was opening night). I got a flight of house beers to start, 5 styles, 2 ounces each for $3. The lineup as of Friday consisted of:
Wintergreen Weiss: Picture perfect version of the style, clean banana and clove flavor, very refreshing. 4.7% 12 IBU - I later had a pint, served in the house weizen glass, which will be on sale soon but were not in stock for sale yet.
Eight Point IPA: Typically-flavored American IPA, presumably finished with Cascade, very solid and drinkable. I had 2 of these. 5.9% 60 IBU
Spike: "An unfliltered American pale ale." More of a blonde or golden ale, very light, good if you like that sort of thing. 4.5% 45 IBU
Black Rock Oatmeal Stout: Served on nitro, very creamy head, very sharp reddish hues on the edges, but otherwise black. Very smooth and tasty. I had a pint. 4.5% 20 IBU
Ale of Fergus: A more-than-serviceable, 60 Schilling Scottish session ale, goes down easy, with a good, albeit subtle toffee flavor. 4.0% 22 IBU
As you can see, the stronger ales and lagers are still being allowed to age properly, but the beers they have now are clearly carefully constructed by a pro. The food was also creative and tasty. We started with cheese fries, topped with sauteed green chiles. I tried their bacon cheeseburger ($10, very good) and Bailie had the Hanger Steak, tender slices of steak rubbed with a chili and espresso bean rub, with char-grilled veggies and mashed potatoes ($15), all of which was full of flavor and delicious.
To sum up, Devil's Backbone impressed with quality beer, a classy, yet cozy atmosphere, and tasty food on their opening night. Service was great, and it seems like they really tried to pay attention to detail, as well as run a fairly "green" business. With the 20% coupon we received on Friday for December, we won't hesitate to make the drive again if the opportunity arrives.