Author Archives for Hamilton Riley

Sir Vesa, Smartmouth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)

  2 days ago     48 Views     Leave your thoughts  

We have been given a stay of execution on the summer swelter and humidity, and Virginia looks like it will actually have a bit of Spring this year. What I miss about this season is all the beer styles that flourish in the April-June time frame. One of those that has cropped up in The Commonwealth over the past couple years has been the Mexican Lager. Whether this started out as a dare or just a quest to 'craft' a better beer is a mystery, but what we do know is that there are plenty of offerings this year. Thankfully,…

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2018 Virginia Brew Review Hops of Fame

  3 weeks ago     196 Views     Leave your thoughts  

Hoppy Anniversary to, well, us!  Four years, hundreds of beer tastings/reviews, and 1 big Oktoberfest later, we have always striven towards our goal:  to find the best craft beer Virginia has to offer and let others know about it. And y'all have helped.  We are still getting tens of thousands of visitors to our site every year and more and more regular visits throughout our social media platforms.  This is something that we are very humble about and we thank every single person who reads (and shares) our work.  You know how it works:  first you tell a friend, then…

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2017-2018 Beer In Review: Beers of the Year

  1 month ago     142 Views     Comments Off on 2017-2018 Beer In Review: Beers of the Year  

Somehow, someway, we put another candle on the cake today. Today 4 years ago, we got together on a Google chat and agreed to do something that would change our lives forever.  Now.....eh, it's just the same. Yep, it has been that long.  It's been so long that most of this intro is just cut from last year's celebration, which was cut from the year's before.  With age come experience, and none of us want to experience another anniversary party. Why should we?  This is way longer than I thought we would be around when we started this and the…

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James Bean Vanilla Oatmeal Porter, James River Brewery (Scottsville, VA)

  3 months ago     284 Views     Comments Off on James Bean Vanilla Oatmeal Porter, James River Brewery (Scottsville, VA)  

While the days are starting to get longer, the weather outside is still bleak. Snowfall after snowfall, it is breaking my spirit of adventure for time being. With that being said, my local watering holes have been filling in an important gap by bringing the good beer to me, rather than searching it out. One in particular started as just a 'drop off'. One can to see if you would like to order more. It has come to a point at one of my stops that the owner does not drink and usually puts it aside so I can have…

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Against the Wall (Contra El Muro), Coelancanth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)

  4 months ago     298 Views     Comments Off on Against the Wall (Contra El Muro), Coelancanth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)  

As we have just taken down all of our decorations and stowed the trees for another year, it's time for me to dig through my tasting notes from various celebrations to see what made the 'nice' list. This one was a no brainier. If you look at the tag, it was bottled the day it came out, given to me the next day, and consumed from Christmas to New Years. I'm sure I have reviewed fresher, but…

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Box of Chocolates, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)

  5 months ago     334 Views     Comments Off on Box of Chocolates, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)  

....You never know what you are going to get.... Ugh. The low hanging fruit was just too tempting. I know Starr Hill set us up for that one, but I don't really care. What I do care about is great brews. And now that winter is finally here, it was time to break open their most recent foray into varietals. It seems that most breweries put together 2 types of mixed packs. The first is the one that is most common to everyone: 4-6 different types of beers packaged as a series that shows off the range per season. It…

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Sweater Weather, O’Connor Brewing Co. (Norfolk, VA)

  6 months ago     329 Views     Comments Off on Sweater Weather, O’Connor Brewing Co. (Norfolk, VA)  

I have been playing with two intros to this story, so choose your own adventure (no page flip necessary): As it is Thanksgiving week.... (1) I was sent out to purchase the supplies for our first hosted Thursday dinner ever. While we have cooked for ourselves many years ago, this would be the first time other people would come to our establishment and eat. Last year's request to carve the turkey was just a warm up to the massive Turducken breast I was preparing this year. On my run to our local grocery thingy, as I normally do, a walk…

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Scurvy Dog, The Bold Mariner Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)

  6 months ago     365 Views     Comments Off on Scurvy Dog, The Bold Mariner Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)  

  It's too late. There is just no way. I should not be sitting here the day before Halloween and putting out this review. But it's good. Like really good. And if people can't hunt for it now, it will be next Spring/Summer before it pops back up. Well, if the past year has any precedent of reviewing beers 'out of season' (*ahem* Summer Stouts *cough*), then 1....ONE...saison review close to November is acceptable. I'll give y'all the line again about 'in the winter full of malty browns and stout, this is a great change of pace beer', but I'd…

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Grizzly Wizard House Mixed Culture Tart Grisette, Fine Creek Brewing Co. (Powhatan, Va.)

  7 months ago     313 Views     Comments Off on Grizzly Wizard House Mixed Culture Tart Grisette, Fine Creek Brewing Co. (Powhatan, Va.)  

Somehow, US Customs let us all back into the States, and while one of us is still fighting off the Bubonic Plague we picked up in Salzburg, we are ready to get back to what we love to do: eating processed food and drinking craft beer. Luckily, we had one mostly done before we left, and that's what y'all are getting today. We now join this beer review already in progress. ...and while searching for great Virginia beer is an ebb-and-flow process, sometimes on occasion, you just get it handed to you. The later was the case with this one.…

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Bad Donkey, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery (Goochland, VA)

  8 months ago     560 Views     Comments Off on Bad Donkey, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery (Goochland, VA)  

Now that I am fully recovered from the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, and have successfully settled into my new home in the Hampton Roads area, I am ready to get back into the swing of things. And while the move has been difficult and never ending, the quest to find great Commonwealth brews got a little easier. I have found a bottle shop close to my house that has a great selection from all over the country, but has no qualms about putting on beers from Virginia. With that being said, a lot of my reviews will be coming…

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