Beer on tap at Lake Anna

The Lake Anna Taphouse is the latest arrival on the lake’s burgeoning drinking scene.

A vision of brothers Brian and Eric Gilbreth, the taphouse opened Aug. 30 on the waterfront next to Lake Anna Plaza. The bar’s 24 draft beers and refrigerator stocked with many more craft varieties quickly drew a crowd.

Brian Gilbreth is the owner of Pivotal Insurance in the town of Louisa and the former proprietor of CVALink, now part of SCS Communications. Eric is the actual beer expert, according to Brian, though both men were busy behind the bar on their opening weekend.

The bar serves a limited food menu so far, including charcuterie, salads and a hummus platter. The Gilbreths are encouraging customers to have food delivered across the parking lot from Vito’s and other neighboring eateries. Boaters can pull into the docks, buy a case of their favorite microbrew and head back out on the water.

Beer aficionados will appreciate the ability to take home draft beer in crowlers, 32-ounce cans sealed on the premises. They can use Untappd, a phone app, to file a report and a rating about the beer they’ve just consumed. The results appear on an electronic menu above the bar.  

Beverages made in Virginia are among the popular selections on the menu, reflecting the growing number of breweries around the Commonwealth. The flavors on tap are eclectic: If you aren’t satisfied with your Choosy Mother peanut butter porter from Isley Brewing Co. in Richmond, the bartender may encourage you to mix it with Isley’s Plain Jane blueberry beer, which yields a drink with the distinct flavor of peanut butter and jelly.

Visitors will find the bar itself to be rather cozy, with limited indoor seating. But there’s also an outdoor patio, or customers can pull up a chair by the cast-iron fire pit on the grass. The taphouse also has cornhole for guests, with a vision for a volleyball court in the future. 

Next summer the Gilbreths plan to have an outdoor bar facing the patio with even more beers on tap. They will also re-open a portion of the visitors center, since much of their traffic is likely to include out-of-towners.