According to the story of the brewery, it was named after Three Notch’d Road, a colonial era travel way famous for 3 notches cut or burned in trees along the way to mark the trail. Started in Charlottesville in 2013, it now has locations in C’ville, Harrisonburg (2014), and Richmond (2016).
For a relatively new brewery, it’s pretty amazing to see not only the number and quality of beers on offer, but also the impressive level of concept and marketing going on. This is not a fly-by-night thing; it has been carefully conceived and cleverly marketed. They’ve tapped into (pun intended) the rich Virginia history of each area in which they have established themselves, but have also not neglected the fact that each is located near a major public university. In terms of the taproom experience, they’ve done a nice job balancing the needs of their college-town presence (UVA in Charlottesville, JMU in Harrisonburg, and VCU in Richmond) with the needs of a larger community of beer drinkers.
The C’ville taproom is a great stop after a hike. It has a welcoming, casual vibe that could easily appeal to the college set wanting to hang out — including board and card games on the tables and a large chalkboard wall inviting folks to “Make Your Mark” — but has none of the hallmarks of a typical college bar that can be so off-putting to anyone older than 24. It is unassuming, but clean, well-lit, friendly, and focused on the beers. Decor is branding-focused, pretty cool and well-done, without being either fussy or trite. Pourers are knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. There’s ample seating outside, and lots of space indoors as well. You can order a pint of your favorite, or put together your own flight of 4 or 6 to taste.
Three Notch’d has a fun website that provides lots of information on most of the beers they have available. On this visit, Henri picked a flight of 6 while Fergus (the driver) opted for 4, so between the two of us we sipped and sampled quite a few of their offerings:
The Ghost (American Pale Ale)
Hydraulion (Irish Red)
No Veto (English Brown Ale)
Jack’s Java (Espresso Stout)
Minute Man (New England IPA)
40 Mile (IPA)
Blackwall (London Porter)
Peach Ghost (American Pale Ale)
Would You Be (Red IPA)
We thought they were all pretty good, really. Not surprisingly, Henri most appreciated the stout, porter, brown ale, and Irish red…while Fergus was more of a fan of the IPAs. Henri tried The Ghost because she’d read good things about it online as one of Three Notch’d flagship brews, and it was fine; however, it did not convince her to start liking pale ales as much as the darker, heavier stuff.
M-Th 4-10 PM
Friday 3-10 PM
Saturday 12-11 PM
Sunday 12-8 PM
Free brewery tours on Saturday at 2 PM.
There is no food available through the brewery; however, Cho’s next door will deliver wings, nachos or other menu items to your table at Three Notch’d. You can call in an order, use an ordering app on your phone (didn’t work for us), or just head next door to place an order…they’ll bring it over when its ready. You can also bring in your own outside food.