Sunken City Brewing Company is a 25-barrel, four-vessel brewhouse, featuring a tasting room and pub, retail store, and beer garden. We’re located along Route 122 at Westlake Towne Center near the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. What most might not realize though is that nearly 300 feet down lies a once incorporated town which now serves as a submerged relic for nearly 22,000 residents and thousands of visitors each year who enjoy the lake’s incredible beauty and recreation.
In 1819, local land owner Abnor Anthony successfully petitioned the Virginia General Assembly to incorporate the City of Monroe in Pittsylvania County on a portion of his land along the banks of the Staunton River. His vision of a bustling city in the valley (between modern day Vista Pointe and Parkway Marina) and any further development was wiped off the map with the the Civil War and subsequent economic down turn.
In 1963, a 40-mile long beautiful body of water with 500 miles of pristine shoreline was created when the area was dammed up and flooded to generate electricity. Known as the “jewel” of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Smith Mountain Lake is now our home and serves as an inspiration for creating beers that celebrate our area.
One must wonder if economic conditions were right and Anthony was successful, the population density of Monroe would have prevented the construction of Smith Mountain Dam, and no lake would exist today.
So Lakelubbers: Let's raise a glass, and “Sink a Few”... and toast the failed venture of Abnor Anthony’s Sunken City.