Author Archives for Hamilton Riley

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

  11 months ago     706 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)

  1 year ago     570 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)

  1 year ago     631 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)

  1 year ago     589 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)

  1 year ago     745 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.)

  1 year ago     636 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)

  1 year ago     986 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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Live Beer Blogging from #BBC17

  1 year ago     563 Views     Comments Off on Live Beer Blogging from #BBC17  

While every year at the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, there are a ton of fun events. The highlight from our writing stand point is the Live Beer Blogging. 10 beers (samples) in 60 minutes and we pick a winner. What you are reading right now is as close to 'live' as possible: raw and unedited. We are definitely not worthy to have all these great beers, but only one can be the champion. Here was the field and the winner at the bottom: D14 Brewery & Pub, Milwaukee, Wisconsin B: Barrel Aged Pomegranate Sour R: Chard barrel smooths out…

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VBR invades Milwaukee for #BBC17

  1 year ago     751 Views     1 Comment  

This is one of my favorite articles every year. Don't get me wrong, I love all my kids equally, but when I get to put fingers to keyboard for this one, I genuinely get excited. Why? Because it means that the annual Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference is right around the corner. And as we are only a mere week away from the festivities, I am already getting pumped. This year, we travel to Milwaukee, which is Algonquin for "the good land." It also marks our 3rd appearance at the conference, which started back in 2010. VBR has been to…

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

  1 year ago     816 Views     Comments Off on Grateful Pale Ale Remastered, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)  

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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