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Glass Half Full: Brewing Heritage Beer in West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley

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Early in the planning for Consensus Digital Media, I found myself thinking about beer – a lot. No, not to keep the creative juices flowing. It struck me that beer brings people together. Put a table full of strangers from any city together and ask them to discover a few things they have in common – somewhere on that list will be their favorite craft brew-house. And, it makes sense – who doesn’t love sitting around a hometown bar and toasting to locally made brew. Age, gender, bank account, political party – it doesn’t matter. We love our brew. 

This realization led me to seek great stories of craft breweries around the country, so many of which are doing good in the world. From helping the local community to pioneering sustainable business practices, every story we’ve shared about breweries reinvigorates this idea. It was only natural that we launch our first major web series – Made in America [hyperlink to my publisher letter] – with the story of a local craft beer. 

Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company is leading the charge to build a strong brewery community across the state of West Virginia. They are creating new jobs, forging ties, and making a name for WV beer. With beers like Mothman Black IPA, Bat Boy Black Lager, and Old Ran’l Pilsner and Devil Anse IPA, named after the legendary Hatfield & McCoy feud, Greenbrier brews heritage into each drop. 

People say they see themselves in the beer. It’s a sense of pride. So is their workforce. With a nearly 50% female production crew, Greenbrier is one of the more diverse breweries east of the Mississippi. They were the first in WV to participate in the US Department of Labor’s apprenticeship program, built to bring young people back to the state to invest in their communities and find the resources they need to call West Virginia home. 

Speaking of resources, Greenbrier is all about the natural kind, sourcing everything they can sustainably and locally. They donate proceeds of their 35 Parks beer to the West Virginia State Park Foundation, and encourage folks to adventure out into wild and wonderful West Virginia with their Explorer Series. Their motto says it all  — Get Out. Explore. Bring Beer.


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