Author Archives for Hamilton Riley

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

  3 weeks ago     77 Views     Leave your thoughts  

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)

  1 month ago     118 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)

  2 months ago     173 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

  2 months ago     335 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

  2 months ago     245 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)

  5 months ago     355 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)

  6 months ago     351 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)

  7 months ago     404 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)

  8 months ago     391 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)

  8 months ago     463 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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