Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Walking Tour of historic, downtown, Front Royal, VA

Or how to spend a couple of hours tasting beer instead of walking.

Tom and I set out for a look at Front Royal, VA on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. We did a bit of shopping, then went downtown to find the Visitor Center. The ladies there were very helpful and friendly. We had a great time talking with them, figuring out what we were going to do, selecting tourism pamphlets, and buying a Christmas present for my Dad.

Our plan was set. We would use the nice map they gave us and do the short, walking tour of the downtown. Off we went.

First, I got a shot of the information center which is located in an old train station. Tom returned from parking the truck and read the information about the train station, which was stop #1 out loud. We had established our pattern. I would take photos and he would read the info. So far, so good.
#1A is a neat sundial. It commemorates the beginning of the new millennium and canoes. Right next to it was stop #2. A caboose that had been donated by Norfolk-Southern that sits on original rails.
On to the lovely gazebo in the park that stands where they think soldiers drilled for the Revolutionary War.
The next stop was the Mullan-Trout House, circa 1806. It now houses a candy store, but Tom didn't let us fall to temptation and enter. Remember this, because temptation will rear it's wily head again on this journey.
What good, little tourists we were. Stopping to take photos, read the descriptions of the properties in our pamphlet and admire the architecture of the homes. We did this for sites #5, Garrison House and Site #6 Scott house. We were having a ball, enjoying each others company and the lovely, warm afternoon. We would make it to site #33 with no problem. This was nice.

Then, (cue the dramatic, but strangely cheerful music) our eyes fell on Stop #7, Board House. What was this? A large banner that said "Open." The words "Ales" and "Stout" prominent on the sign. This looked like the place for us. On closer inspection, we saw that it was the Virginia Beer Museum. We glanced at each other with sparkling eyes. We just had to go in.
Needless to say, stop #7 turned out to be the last stop on the tour for us that day. We had wonderful time with the host, David, who really knows the history of beer in Virginia. We were on a different trail now. One that included tastes of the past. He is a smart man and had Tom on one branch of the beer trail and me on another. We were able to learn more that way and to share tastes from each others glasses.

This museum is newly opened and still a work-in-progress. We encourage our friends to stop by and enjoy it. We plan to return.

This plaque explains the museum.

 We probably should have eaten first. I got a little flirty with George and Thomas.

Some of the steins and vintage beer cans. Boy, would I love to have a nickel for every can like this of Schlitz I carried to Grandad Ridall while we were building the cabin.
We completed our evening with a wonderful meal at The Mill where the regulars treated us like friends. What a great afternoon and evening. Thank you, people of Front Royal!

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