Author Archives for Hamilton Riley

Cruise Control, Crooked Run Brewing (Sterling, VA)

  1 week ago     81 Views     Leave your thoughts  

It's not sexy. It's not popular. It's not what's now. As we shift out of a fall season that has shown utter disdain for seasonal beers the likes I haven't since I started opining, this should be the time to start getting into stouts. Most of our faithful readers know that this is where a lot of brewers across The Commonwealth shine on the national stage. Don't worry, we'll get to all those. But I didn't want to get too far into the season without talking about this beer. I usually start all my pilsner reviews the same way: complaining…

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Are There Too Many ‘International Beer Days’?

  1 month ago     102 Views     Comments Off on Are There Too Many ‘International Beer Days’?  

Happy International Beer and Pizza Day! Huh? What's that? You....you didn't know? Well you need to change all your plans today to make sure you celebrate it, or you aren't truly a fan of pizza and/or beer!!!! (r/gatekeeping) Every day here in America, one of your friends post on #social #media so they can start trending or that guy you don't like at your office sends out a company wide FWD: FWD: FWD: email so that you will let them know the location of the Wednesday happy hour. They're just making sure that you know that today is "International Whatever…

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Has Virginia found Equilibrium at the GABF?

  1 month ago     307 Views     Comments Off on Has Virginia found Equilibrium at the GABF?  

Two years ago, I was extremely excited to recap what was the most amazing Great American Beer Festival Awards Ceremony I've ever seen. To say that Virginia crushed it would be putting it mildly. The old guard dominated. The new players showed up and out. The surprises, well, surprised us. The overall medal count was tied for the most ever in Virginia history and showed that they were a power east of the Mississippi. But as the dust settled at last years GABF, a lot of people were left scratching their heads. Four medals were the lowest total count that…

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Yes, Virginia, There Is a Beer Conference #BBC18

  3 months ago     231 Views     Comments Off on Yes, Virginia, There Is a Beer Conference #BBC18  

As I are engineer, my limited vocabulary will not genuinely convey how excited I am for this time of year. As this will be my 4th Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, I am always psyched to experience new beers and old friends. What makes it that much more exhilarating is that is on our home turf! This week, we not only have the honor to travel to Loudoun County in Northern Virginia for The Conference, but it is one where we get to show off what amazing progress this state has made in just a short amount of time. I…

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Tapestry, Commonwealth Brewing Company (Virginia Beach, VA)

  3 months ago     263 Views     Comments Off on Tapestry, Commonwealth Brewing Company (Virginia Beach, VA)  

It's not like I can't write about what I want, but I will use my birthday today as an excuse to get back into one of my most favorite beer styles. It is a full-time, day job with benefits to keep me from composing every article about Belgian-style sour ale. Several VBR members have been known to clear out cellars at local watering holes that offer this ruby goodness. But the one issue we face is that it is still extremely hard to find in the state. Yes you can find sours and fruit beer, it is rampant through Northern…

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Minute Man IPA, Three Notch’d Brewing Company (Charlottesville, VA)

  4 months ago     383 Views     Comments Off on Minute Man IPA, Three Notch’d Brewing Company (Charlottesville, VA)  

What's the best thing about being part of an independent website? You get to write about what you want. I could ramble on about the effect of dust mites on interior wooden structures or 16th century Polish rulers, but we tend to stick to beer. And that extends to beer reviews and what we choose to write about. With no oversight, it means that we don't have to review the newest thing out there or are paid to write about bad beer. While we tend towards writing about what is new on the scene or hard to find brews, this…

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Biere de Miel, Fine Creek Brewing Company (Powhatan, VA)

  5 months ago     349 Views     Comments Off on Biere de Miel, Fine Creek Brewing Company (Powhatan, VA)  

The line between good and great is a hazy one. In this industry, the combination of several factors could impact your overall decision on one thing. For example, you might love a particular brewery, but then you are handed a new beer, and while it is noticeably not up to quality, you give it a good review. You could also love one of their beers, and think that the cuisine at a brewpub is the best thing you have had, even though you see them opening up aluminum cans and sticking it in the microwave. We want great, but will…

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Sir Vesa, Smartmouth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)

  5 months ago     325 Views     Comments Off on Sir Vesa, Smartmouth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)  

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

  6 months ago     556 Views     Comments Off on 2018 Virginia Brew Review Hops of Fame  

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

  6 months ago     442 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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