Waynesboro is quickly becoming a destination town. With each new restaurant and attraction that enriches the area, more and more people are headed above the Mason Dixon Line to check out what’s on tap. Waynesboro’s newest gig in town is the Michaux Brewing Company (Michaux Brew Co.), a family-owned and operated establishment fresh off its grand opening in July.
Owners Dane and Lauren Murray found its perfect location in the former Rolling Mill Restaurant, just off Buchanan Trail. They’ve revamped the building to achieve the perfect aesthetics for a brewing company.
The exposed logs make diners feel like they’re in a warm cabin, and the atmosphere is lively and bustling with activity.
Michaux Brew Co. features a variety of beers, with lagers, IPAs, and sours frequenting the rotation of drafts on tap. While the beers are great, there’s a whole lot to look forward to when visiting Michaux Brew Co. for the first time.
“This is Waynesboro’s fourth craft brewery/distillery, which is great,” Dane said. “We’re seeing traffic from outside the area, and now that there are four venues, people can kind of make a day or a weekend out of it.”
The proximity that each of the new watering holes shares is a huge boon for a growing town. While one new restaurant may pique the interest of the town’s bar scene, four in just a few short years is sure to pull people from out of town, which is nothing short of great for business.
If the beer and the food aren’t enough to entice locals, Michaux Brew Co.’s frequent patio-side live music should do the trick.
With just a few months of operation under their belt, the excitement of turning a longtime hobby into a thriving business is fresh. “I started home brewing over 10 years ago,” Murray said. “I was messing around with some brewing kits that my wife had bought me, and as I drank more craft beer, I wanted to try to make some styles of my own. I have way too many hobbies, so I threw brewing in the mix, and it got serious from there.”
The craft beer industry has caught fire over the past decade, and the Murrays have been ahead of the curve in experimenting and creating great beers they’re confident people will love. Variety is key, and the team has got patrons covered there.
“Sours are really popular, and we’ve already seen they’re tough to keep on draft because they sell so quickly,” he said. “IPAs are what drew me into craft beer, so we go through a good many of those.”
Part of what makes microbreweries so great is the small-batch style that allows for companies to churn out plenty of different beers over the course of the year. That’s especially important as the weather changes.
“I like to create with the seasons, so we’ll do darker beers in the colder months, bump up the ABV (alcohol by volume), and we’ll keep it lighter in the summertime,” Murray said.
Despite the whirlwind of coordinating all of the chaos that comes with opening a new business, the Murrays have still found time to put themselves out there at nearby brew fests and events, offering great beer to great people.
“We were just up in Chambersburg for their Sip and Stroll, but we’ve been held up getting our licenses and production up for a bit,” Murray said. “We’ve done a few events to get our name out there, but we’re definitely looking to do more.” Their outreach is working wonders, pulling people as far as Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania on the weekends, while still maintaining their regular local crowd throughout the week.
One of the most humbling things about bringing in a fresh, new place to an old town is the history behind the location. Customers who have remained in the area for years often reminisce about what used to occupy the space Michaux Brewing now owns.
“We’re glad that we could get a building that has the history that this one does,” Murray said. “It wasn’t easy tearing into an old building, but people have memories and stories in here, so it’s exciting to hear what they remember about this place and to give it new life.”
Michaux Brewing now sits where the Rolling Mill Restaurant, Chestnut Logs Restaurant, and the Varsity Room once were, but you can be sure people will be making plenty of vibrant memories in the years to come. Check them out on Buchanan Trail in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.