Ballad Brewing: River District Brews


Ballad maintains a selection of 16-20 craft beers.

Jackson Prebe, Staff Writer

From Averett’s main campus, a short drive down Main Street will lead you into Danville’s River District, the most authentic downtown atmosphere within driving distance for Averett students. Composed primarily of former tobacco and textile warehouses, the River District is in the midst of a revitalization, trying to bring the downtown experience to life for the city of Danville. This revitalization includes many small businesses, restaurants, and modern apartment complexes situated in the historical architecture. One of these buildings is home to Ballad Brewing, a local brewery located on Craghead Street. Ballad, a craft beer brewery, features a selection of anywhere from “sixteen to twenty” craft beers brewed right in their building. Ballad, however, goes far beyond their alcoholic beverages.

“What we really focus on, and are proud of, is community,” assures Austin Bunn, Ballad’s taproom manager. “We like to be welcoming to people who are new to craft beer, or to people who have been enjoying craft beer for a long time. At the same time, we’re very family friendly, so we have people of all ages in here at any given time.”

Ballad has a wide range of events, which go hand in hand with the community atmosphere they are dedicated to providing.

“We have events that appeal to people who like live music. We did a human foosball tournament not too long ago. We did a drag show. We really want this to be a place that people can, whoever they are, however they are, can come and feel welcome and at home.”

In addition to special events, they have selection of recurring entertainment. Local musician Matt Crowder hosts an open mic night every Monday from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Wednesdays are home to impromptu board game nights, where all are welcome to join in or bring their own games to play with friends. Finally, Thursdays are trivia nights, as well as a $5 yoga class hosted by Firefly Yoga, and the weekend usually features live music from an assortment of artists within Virginia and nearby states, including bands who come all the way from Nashville. A full schedule and more descriptions for these events can be found on Ballad’s website. (

The events are not the only thing which set the tone for the community atmosphere Ballad presents, as Austin explains the space as you first walk in the door.

“You’ll find a very spacious taproom that has a lot of attention to detail, a lot fun things to do (including cornhole, bubble hockey, shuffleboard, Jenga, and brand new pinball machines). It’s meant for people to be able to come relax, enjoy each other’s company, as well as enjoy some great beer.”

While Ballad has an extensive selection of beer, the brewery does not make their own food. However visitors will certainly not be disappointed in the dining experience. They have a very open policy on food, as any outside food is welcome.

“We’ve had people who had pizza delivered, that’s not uncommon. We’ll have people who will bring fast food or bring leftovers from home.”

But for those looking for a finer dining experience, the full menu from Mucho Taqueria is available, and will be delivered to Ballad at no additional cost. Finally, Ballad rounds out their food by bringing in food trucks whenever possible. A full schedule for their food trucks can be found on their website.

While Ballad is dedicated to a family friendly, community atmosphere, it is still a brewery at its core, and Ballad welcomes Averett students who are of age to drink to come try their craft beer, whether you are experienced with craft beer or brand new to it.

“Don’t be afraid to come in and try things. Know that the craft beer world is an ever-changing world, and there is a flavor for everybody. Our staff is trained to help someone find a beer that they like. You’re not going to hurt our feelings if you try something and don’t like it.  We want to know what you didn’t like about it, and then our staff can point you in a direction to find something you will like. We’ve got plenty of options.”

Ballad is gearing up for an exciting few months, with Oktoberfest coming in only a couple weeks, as well as their annual themed parties such as Halloween, a speakeasy themed event, and a tropical themed party near the holidays. Head downtown and check out an open mic night, learn some beginner yoga, or just hang out with members of the community, and if you are 21, find what craft beer suits your tastes.

Ballad brews their beer from within the building.