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Devil’s Backbone Brewery Basecamp won the ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) Merit Award in 2016.  Working with great companies such as Windridge Landscaping, Tectonics II, Ltd. and David Anhold of Anhold Associates Landscape Architecture allowed the vision of Steve and Heidi Crandall to become a reality.

Tectonics 2 has been an integral part of the building process for the Devil’s Backbone Brewery Basecamp.  Both Steve and Justin Crandall, owners of Tectonics 2, have lots of experience building unique and creative structures.

Just Crandall is now managing the construction buildout of theDevil’s Backbone Distillery.

This is a repost from Eagle Bay Hardscape Products

ASLA Merit Award Recipient: Devil’s Backbone Brewery Basecamp


Photo by Windridge Landscaping

Nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Devil’s Backbone Basecamp is a sprawling facility centered on a beautiful beer garden. David Anhold of Anhold and Associates, PLC, designed the facility to fulfill the vision of Steve and Heidi Crandall, the owners. The Crandalls traveled to several European biergartens and U.S. brewpubs to get inspiration for the space at Devil’s Backbone, according to a recent article on C-Ville. “It was just an open area,” Heidi said in the article. “We wanted to create an environment that was more conducive to events.” The end result included an outdoor bar set on Eagle Bay Pavers, along with paths to each of the buildings and the facility’s main gardens.In 2016, the beer garden received a Merit Award in the Design Category from the VA ASLA. The American Society of Landscape Architects is a national organization focused on “advancing landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship.” The prestigious award signaled the project as a crowning achievement for the area. We spoke with David Anhold about designing and completing such an ambitious project and what it feels like to receive the Merit Award.

Photo by David Anhold

“It’s an interesting story because the Crandalls already had an engineer and architect involved when we were invited to design the beer garden,” says Anhold. “Steve is active in craft beer around the country and he and his wife have seen some of the best beer gardens in the world. They wanted to bring that same inspiring and visionary environment to Devils Backbone, to fully match the site to the beer.”

Photo by David Anhold

The design phase for the basecamp was a complex and lengthy negotiation of several moving parts. “There was an architect designing the buildings and an engineer assisting with drainage and storm water management,” says Anhold. “We produced the overall design for the facility. While we weren’t designing the buildings, we were showing where they needed to go, we designed the layouts out the paths and the paver patios.” Designing this layout was no easy task. Devil’s Backbone consists of 9 buildings, surrounded by parking and a large event field. Within the complex stand a huge outdoor bar, a custom-built fire pit, a stage and a large garden area.

Photo by David Anhold

The biggest challenge according to Anhold was “…the number of structures. There’s a restaurant, a distillery building, an outdoor bar and more around the basecamp. It was challenging to decide how to locate those things within the space and create different areas for people, while still allowing visitors to circulate. It came down to organizational thinking, making the buildings work together and flow without feeling too regimented.”

The decision to use Eagle Bay pavers came to the design team when they were finalizing the aesthetic element of the design.  In order to match the colors of the local stone being used in the project, the team used a combination of Kingsland Antiqued in Jefferson and Bullrun and Cottagestone Textured. “We really wanted to reflect the ‘basecamp’ feeling. We wanted to use elements that showcased the natural terrain of Nelson County, and some of the hunting and camping heritage associated with the area,” says Anhold.

Photo by Windridge Landscaping

Since design was such a crucial element in the planning of the basecamp, it’s easy to see why the ASLA chose it for the Merit Award. “It was between us, the owners and the contractors to choose the right building materials,” says Anhold. “The Eagle Bay pavers had the perfect patterns and colors to enhance the design of the beer garden. The pavers enhanced the mood and feel that we were striving to meet. Eagle Bay has a huge range of colors and we were able to find one that matched exactly what we were thinking.”

Devil’s Backbone has grown into a regional tourist attraction and local favorite, due in part to the incredible atmosphere and award-winning design work. “I think it’s an extraordinary project in many ways. There’s a really strong garden experience. Guests can enjoy the character of the place as well as the brewery’s products. It’s unusual and attractive because of that.” Says Anhold.

Congratulations to the team at Devil’s Backbone, Windridge Landscaping, Tectonics II, Ltd.and Anhold Associates for the ASLA Merit Award. Eagle Bay is proud to be included in such a unique and prestigious project. Thanks to everyone involved!