Where to Watch this Year’s UVA-VT game
Where should you watch this year’s UVA-VA Tech football game? Originally scheduled to be played in September, this postponed date is a little more familiar for this heated rivalry over The Commonwealth Cup. But what are the best places in Charlottesville to watch safely? Here are our top 6 recommendations.
First, let’s establish the stakes. An uncertain bowl season means added incentive for both teams, as this could be their last chance to take the field this year. Add to that the fact that UVA is coming off of their first victory over VT in 18 years, something that certainly hasn’t sat well in Blacksburg. Finally, UVA hasn’t won in Blacksburg since 1998, something Bronco Mendenhall’s group will be well aware of as they pull into Lane Stadium. In a bizarre season full of postponements and uncertainty, one thing is for sure, the UVA-VT rivalry is as meaningful as ever and we can expect a heck of a battle Saturday night.
Kickoff is at 8pm and the game will be televised on the ACC Network. Note that all recommendations below are required to stop serving alcohol at 10pm by Governor’s orders. Possibly, that will make the 2nd half a little calmer.
No matter where you watch, we hope that this game can offer some feeling of normalcy and respite in this difficult year. It may be December in a (mostly) empty stadium, but something about watching the Cavs and the Hokies face off will always feel right.
This mecca for delicious beer and comfort food is set up nicely for both socially-distanced quaffing and viewing. First, the space is cavernous and may remind you of an indoor arena, with the pleasant wafts of toasted barley and hops drifting from the brewing facility on the other side of the wall. Three Notch’d has numerous large screens above the main bar inside, and another bank of screens across from the common tables, so you can see the game standing or sitting. Outside under an enclosed tent is another bar with more screens above.
Another mecca for delicious beer, Random Row is open and broad but also a little more intimate, attracting sports-loving tribes of many types. If you go, be sure to sample their Mosaic Hazy Pale Ale, which recently won bronze at the Great American Craft Beer Festival. The game will be shown on large screens both inside and out. Alas, no food truck will be on hand for the game.
Charlottesville’s newest brewery space (at least until Starr Hill opens in The Dairy Market) is a good choice to watch the game because, being new, it’s likely to be quieter. Also, its interior space is open so it’s easy to see the screen from numerous vantages, all within steps of the bar. Best of all, Skipping Rock is super tasty! Try their award-winning International Dark Lager or their Amber Lager, both of which won medals at this year’s Great American Craft Beer Festival.
Champion Brewing Company not only brews excellent beer, they also see the future before the rest of us. When the popular eatery RockSalt closed in 2019, Champion grabbed the lease, steps away from the Hyatt Place Hotel. Inside, they decorated in a mid-90’s sports fan man-cave theme, while across the way in the Shops at Stonefield’s large greenspace, they erected a party tent with an al fresco large screen for sports fans. Bundle up, let the craft beer and pub grub warm you, and you’ll feel like you’re virtually in the stadium.
Another craft beer destination that has proven super popular throughout the pandemic is Pro Re Nata Brewery in Crozet. With their park-like setting across from Old Trail and near the I-64 exit, and the recent addition of a music hall, Pro Re Nata is an ideal destination for fans. They have installed three outdoor TVs to add to their 12 indoor TVs and 16’ projector TV. You can watch games from three levels in the main taproom. To add to the excitement, Pro Re Nata is hosting a holiday market with dozens of local craft makers from 11am-6pm on game day.
Located on the outskirts of Madison, Va., in classic, rolling Central Virginia farmland, Bald Top is a go-to place for locals, DC-escapists, and hikers returning from Old Rag or White Oak Canyon. The views are great, indoors and out, and their food truck assures you’ll have what you need to pair with their delicious stouts, pale ales, and lagers. They’ll have the game on indoors on their large screen. Bald Top Brewery is just far enough from The UVA Corner that you are welcome to wear the cap of your favorite team, hoist your lunch pale, or jingle your keys to express your loyalties. May the best team win!