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Women-run Blacksburg brewery aims to be a welcoming drinking spot for the community

The ‘pub vibe’ brewery is located in what used to be an old Prices Fork kindergarten classroom

Beer flight from Moon Hollow Brewing
Beer flight from Moon Hollow Brewing (Moon Hollow Brewing)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Celestial themes, a kindergarten classroom and a woman-led team. That’s what you’ll get at this Blacksburg brewery.

Whether you’re a beer lover or an ale newbie, Moon Hollow Brewing will welcome you with open arms.

“We’re very much a pub vibe. You come in with your friends, sit, have a few drinks, and you get to, like, share and connect,” said head brewer Hannah Lester.

Lester runs operations at the brewery alongside Sam Dempsey, the brewery’s taproom manager. As a female-led team, Lester said she thinks it may be the reason they appear as a more welcoming environment for other women who may be intimidated to try craft beer.

She said because brewing is “such a male-dominated field,” she and Dempsey see a lot of women submitting applications to work at Moon Hollow.

“It’s quite uncommon for a business such as ours to be pretty much completely women-led,” Lester said. “Sam and I have really developed Moon Hollow as the craft brewery we want to see in the world.”

Moon Hollow's head brewer Hannah Lester with beer kegs from June 4, 2020 (Moon Hollow Brewing)

Lester is the brains behind the brews. From IPAs and sours to Belgian-style beers and stouts, she’s been whipping up drinks since the very start.

“Anybody from a complete craft beer newbie to someone that considers themselves really well-versed in craft beer, I want them to walk in and find a beer that they’re going to like,” Lester said. “I try to really run the gamut on beer styles so that you can get a fun variety.”

Fun fact: All the beer names are based on the moon and outer space!

There’s a Scottish ale available named “Lunar Highlands” based on the light mountainous parts of the moon as well as a sour called “Ebb and Flow” based on the ocean tides caused by the moon.

Lester’s favorite though? A session IPA called “Forest Beer Endor.” And yes, that’s a “Star Wars” reference.

We have a new beer on tap! Check out the Forest Beer Endor, our piney Session IPA! As lovable as our small, furry...

Posted by Moon Hollow Brewing on Saturday, February 1, 2020

Space references aside, another addition to Moon Hollow’s charm is that the brewery’s location used to be a kindergarten classroom before the Old Prices Fork School Revitalization Project back in 2017.

The old elementary school was transformed into a hub for a variety of Blacksburg businesses, including Moon Hollow.

Though the space is now a beer haven, there are still nods to the original kindergarten classroom. Different aspects of the bar include black soapstone and wood from the old elementary school while the ceiling holds the original beam structure that resembles the sun. And of course, they kept a couple of chalkboards that they use to write down drink names.

Along with the spacey beer names and the female empowerment, Moon Hollow also holds events for the Blacksburg community.

The brewery just started a book club by partnering with Blacksburg Books and also holds trivia nights and live music.


About the Author:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.