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Sensitivity Training, Aslin Beer Co. (Herndon, VA)

  1 day ago     39 Views     Leave your thoughts  

I have to give it to fellow writer Ben.  He held onto a whole lot of beer that released this Spring so I could try it when I got back from Kansas.  With the whole NE IPA explosion that made Aslin an obvious candidate to have on hand, but they're a lot like other well known canning operations such as The Veil - they sell out so fast you're either in line to get it, or you're out of luck.  It's an intriguing plight for nano- and smaller microbreweries.  Do you keg the stuff and have a packed house, or…

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Wraith, Vanish Farmwoods Brewery (Lucketts, VA)

  4 days ago     51 Views     Leave your thoughts  

I would never have thought that Kansas and our first BBQ back could transition so smoothly, but life is full of coincidental quirks.  Case in point:  of the 1,200+ military officers and civilians who attended school with me, of the maybe 10% I actually met, four had come directly from NoVA, and three of those would be going "home" with me.  One of them was in my class, a National Guard Major who lives about 20 minutes away.  This guy is a huge Hefeweizen and Witbier fan like I am, and during a trip home to Virginia this past year…

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Lindy’s Weiss, Mad Fox Brewing Co. (Falls Church, VA)

  1 week ago     98 Views     Leave your thoughts  

I will say this about a forced year-long separation from Virginia beer:  everything old is surprisingly new again.  I remember what I liked a lot (with the occasional help from Untappd, friends, and the VBR archives themselves), but having been inundated with another region's take on all my favorite styles - generally with a little less success on the whole - has reminded my taste buds that Virginia beer is so. damn. good.  The Midwest has lots of German and British influence; Kansas City, a short drive from where I was living, has the national World War I museum for…

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Droste Effect, AleWerks Brewing Co. (Williamsburg, VA)

  2 weeks ago     97 Views     Leave your thoughts  

When most people think "hot chocolate" they think cool winter months.  Then, for some reason, they drink hot coffee year round.  Honestly, I find that logic asinine.  Hot chocolate is awesome, whatever the temperature.  That said, I do subscribe to the idea that contrast can be a good thing - after all, who doesn't dig some ice cream, lemonade, or sweet tea in the summer?  The question then becomes how to make "hot chocolate" without it just being, ahem, "chocolate milk" in the summer.  Luckily we have all sorts of, ahem, "crafty" brewers out there who experiment in flavors bold,…

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Friday Night Flights: Ocelot Brewing Co. (Sterling, VA)

  2 weeks ago     130 Views     Leave your thoughts  

After a year away from the NoVA beer scene, among my priorities was to reacquaint myself with familiar spots, including how they had adapted in my time away.  I also had this little problem of cleaning out my kegerator and stocking it before family hit town ahead of the July 4th festivities.  In both senses, Ocelot made sense as in all my previous visits they've offered both something new and delicious.  Their Still Upside Down APA and Profits of Pride Citra/Cascade IPA were one-offs that were among our favorites in the region the years they came out.  My goal on…

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Crystall Brett, Three Notch’d and Devils Backbone Brewing Cos.

  3 weeks ago     160 Views     Leave your thoughts  

Say what you want about Devils Backbone for cashing out, selling out, or buying in, but their 2017 Adventure Pack, featuring collaborations with five major Virginia breweries, was genius.  RVA aside, you almost could not have picked a better representation of some of the better brewers throughout the Commonwealth.  True to form, many of the collaborations are fairly specific to each brewery's style - Mad Fox, which goes heavy on English/Irish styles, did a Dry Irish Stout, for instance.  This was not one I would have expected.  When I think of Three Notch'd, it starts with Hydraulion, Ghost of the…

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Grateful Pale Ale Remastered, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)

  3 weeks ago     156 Views     Leave your thoughts  

The first question some of y'all are asking is 'who are these gentlemen in the picture to the left?' Well, the man standing in the front is named Ron McKernan, and while you might not recognize him or his compatriot from first glance, you should all know the story we are about to tell (and yes I tie it into the beer). What you are looking at are the founding members of....the Grateful Dead. The man in the background in none other than a young Jerry Garcia, but you can not tell the tale of the band without the other…

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Recap: 2017 NoVA Summer Brewfest

  4 weeks ago     201 Views     Leave your thoughts  

To say that my wife put on her happy face while accompanying me to a beer festival our first weekend back home would be a bold-faced lie.  But she came with the kids, who were fairly happy and well-behaved.  Between that, good weather, good beer, and a good food lineup, what more could you want?  The NoVA Brewfest, long sponsored by Mad Fox, is an event we've missed for one reason or another the past few years.  There have been basement floods and cross-country drives, but this year I was determined to make it.  With the family in tow and…

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EBK [open your eyes edition] (Ghost 560), Adroit Theory Brewing Company (Purcellville, VA)

  1 month ago     196 Views     Comments Off on EBK [open your eyes edition] (Ghost 560), Adroit Theory Brewing Company (Purcellville, VA)  

I'm exhausted. I've been on this street a thousand times. It's never looked so strange... The faces: so cold! In the distance, a child is crying. Fatherless...a bastard child, perhaps. My back aches, my heart aches, but my beer... my beer tastes amazing! Thank the gods I opened a bottle and poured some EBK [open your eyes] from Adroit Theory! The first production run of Adroit Theory's EBK line of New England-style IPAs, EBK [open your eyes] NE triple IPA possesses a smooth flavor and powerful punch, making it an extremely worthy entry into VA's growing NE IPA market. EBK…

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Shower Beer, Champion Brewing Co. (Charlottesville, VA)

  1 month ago     153 Views     Comments Off on Shower Beer, Champion Brewing Co. (Charlottesville, VA)  

I missed the East Coast.  The trees, the gentle breezes, the ocean...  Zeus Almighty, did I miss the ocean!  After a year of dodging tornadoes and running headlong into literally quadirectional winds, that first quaff of salt-laden air erased months of longing.  Just in time for summer, I've had to bide my time and not load up on every Virginia beer in sight because there's unfinished business.  See, a year ago as I hit Kansas, I put the finishing touches on a plethora of reviews that you may have read in the time since.  It was also Virginia Craft Beer…

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