Author Archives for Alex Hannagan

Road Trip Report: Outer Banks, NC

  1 day ago     27 Views     Leave your thoughts  

Why, you ask, would we bother writing about beers in North Carolina, much less on the barrier islands that are prone to having whole stretches swept into the ocean at the faintest whiff of a hurricane?  Because we know a lot of you go there, and there's no use pretending you don't.  It's a shorter drive than many of our daily commutes when you think about it, plus if you've grown up anywhere south or east of RVA over the past few decades (which is something like half the Commonwealth), you've probably witnessed all the growth from Corolla on down…

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Double Decker, Fair Winds Brewing Co. (Lorton, VA)

  5 days ago     40 Views     Leave your thoughts  

Those beer mariners over at Fair Winds have been steaming along for some time now with all their nautical puns.  They may have just tacked through their third lap, but they've been firing well across the bow since the beginning.  If you haven't paid attention to us, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, or the Great American Beer Festival, what will it take to get you on board with these guys?  They barged onto the scene with one of the largest production facilities in the Commonwealth, and now have strong berths not just in NoVA but also RVA and the 757.…

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Paranoid Aledroid, Triple Crossing Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)

  1 month ago     87 Views     Comments Off on Paranoid Aledroid, Triple Crossing Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)  

I can't help but stare at the name of this beer and think of all the movies and articles out there warning us of the possibilities of artificial intelligence.  For reasons only tangentially related to one of Triple Crossing's finest, here's an impromptu countdown of some of the best cinema involving "paranoid androids:" Star Wars Battlestar Galactica The Matrix Alien Terminator 2:  Judgement Day Blade Runner 2049 Ex Machina Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy I, Robot Alien: Covenant* This isn't even counting other similar movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron that mostly follow a common theme:  robots are smarter than…

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Charm Milk Stout, Crooked Run Brewing (Sterling, VA)

  1 month ago     142 Views     Comments Off on Charm Milk Stout, Crooked Run Brewing (Sterling, VA)  

I didn't really intend to stay, but some homebrewers I'd been chatting with at another brewery waved me in.  It was late enough in the evening that the 2nd band was getting ready to play a few licks.  The menu board read "returning favorite."  I was ready to head home, but the belligerent #judgy side of me said, "yeah, we'll see about that."  It was a stout, so I saved it for last as always.  The other beers lay largely unfinished, sacrifices to the Untappd Gawds and a full and happy tummy.  Then the first wisps hit my nostrils, and…

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Partly Cloudy, Solace Brewing Co. (Sterling, VA)

  1 month ago     138 Views     Comments Off on Partly Cloudy, Solace Brewing Co. (Sterling, VA)  

We're entering a Second Summer of Hazy Beer.  Beer purists everywhere groan at the loss of clarity, all the insane adjuncts, and the complete abandonment of many fining techniques.  Screw 'em, this stuff is too good to care.  We in our fine Commonwealth are so blessed to have so many of our breweries at the leading edge of the craze that has grown into a phenomenon.  Personally, I hope filtering dies out in brewing because the beer tastes better without it.  If the day comes that we don't need separate categories for filtered vs. unfiltered entrants of the same general…

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Mutt IPA, Beer Hound Brewery (Culpeper, VA)

  2 months ago     117 Views     Comments Off on Mutt IPA, Beer Hound Brewery (Culpeper, VA)  

What's in a mutt, anyways?  They make great companions as dogs, and are genetically superior to a lot of purebreds who have long been overly in demand.  The same isn't always true for beer, though.  In many instances we're beholden to the trappings of certain styles or recipe trends because they've been proven to be in some way superior.  And let's be real - cayenne and dark chocolate go just as great together in the real world as they do in beer!  Just because you're seeking a pedigree, though, doesn't mean that's what you get out of a batch of…

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Rudee Inlet, Pleasure House Brewing (Virginia Beach, VA)

  3 months ago     235 Views     Comments Off on Rudee Inlet, Pleasure House Brewing (Virginia Beach, VA)  

It's National Beer Day!  As if we needed an excuse to drink some delicious, independent craft beer.  Our feature Virginia beer comes from the very tip of the Commonwealth, jutting almost right out into the ocean itself.  No really, there's like one building between these guys and the beach.  When I realized that despite picking up a slew of statewide awards, and being featured in our very own, we've never done a standalone review for Pleasure House Brewing, I felt real shame.  That changes today, one of the great American holidays!  It's National Beer Day!  And it should be every…

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Peanut Butter & Jelly, Isley Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)

  3 months ago     296 Views     Comments Off on Peanut Butter & Jelly, Isley Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)  

I don't get to Richmond much, even though I have family living just above I-295.  With kids in tow it's just a hard day, prone to traffic jams and bad tempers.  We've gotten the whole family unit to Legend and Triple Crossing before (because they have food), but the others are a bit harder.  Scott's Addition is just plain daunting.  So when my wife issued me a pass to go see the Killthrax Tour (Killswitch Engage + Anthrax), it was game on for a Sunday afternoon of beer and heavy metal.  Isley ended up being our last stop.  All I'd…

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Yes, Virginia, We Have Market Saturation

  3 months ago     897 Views     Comments Off on Yes, Virginia, We Have Market Saturation  

Yup, it's here.  With the news from the last 24 hours that Green Flash is liquidating its Virginia Beach production facility, there's no denying that the Virginia craft beer market has not only reached, but is now screaming past its tipping point.  The same may be true nationally, as Green Flash joins other giants such as Smuttynose that have fallen on hard times.  Peak saturation is here, and just as when the housing bubble burst a little over a decade ago, the signs have been around us for some time.  In reality, the warning signs appeared as early as 2016.…

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Biggie S’mores, Three Notch’d Brewing Co. (Charlottesville, VA)

  4 months ago     294 Views     Comments Off on Biggie S’mores, Three Notch’d Brewing Co. (Charlottesville, VA)  

After living out of the Commonwealth for a year, upon our return we immediately set about on an extended vacation...again leaving Virginia behind for a bit.  When we finally got back it was a whirlwind of family visits, new jobs, baby doctor stuff (we'd just found out we were due with our third right before getting back), and there seemed no time for "adventures" as our kids call it.  And especially not for beer stuff.  But then we had an idea!  An amazing, terrible idea!  What if we combined summer beer festivals, which are all outdoors-y and have lots of…

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