In 2008, I left Morgantown on that beaten path that leads to an out-of-state job. The path was a short one that followed the Mon, and I landed due north in the wonderful City of Pittsburgh. My bags were packed full of many things, one of which was a novice’s taste for wine developed in part by access to Slight Indulgence, one of my favorite Morgantown small businesses.
But I didn’t find another Slight Indulgence in Pittsburgh, because, much to my dismay, the Commonwealth desperately clings to its control over the state’s wine and liquor stores. The result is a limited selection at many stores, so the day I followed my husband into a beer store was the day I chose to explore a fizzy booze alternative: craft beer. Compared to the dust-covered “selection” available in Morgantown at the time, Pittsburgh’s craft beer scene was almost dizzying.
Flash forward to now: life’s unexpected turns have dropped me (and my suitcase full of craft beer love) back off in Morgantown. And while the American craft beer market explodes, the West Virginia market has been slow to respond (hampered at least in part by former legal restrictions). Even so, options have increased during my six-year absence: breweries such as Morgantown Brewing Company, Mountain State Brewing and Chestnut Brew Works are fixtures in town, and establishments such as Apothecary Ale House and Black Bear Burritos serve both local options, as well as selections from a few established craft breweries that have entered the WV market.
So what does the WV craft beer future hold? Consider my glass half full; the success and increased availability of local craft beers will only increase WV’s thirst for beer variety. The trend is bound to continue locally and nationally, and it’s my simple goal to help with spreading the good news.