Author Archives for Alex Hannagan

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

  13 hours ago     17 Views     Leave your thoughts  

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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Proven Theory, Benchtop Brewing Co. (Norfolk, VA)

  1 week ago     56 Views     Leave your thoughts  

Usually my business trips take me to the Midwest.  For once (and maybe the only time), a trip kept me in the Commonwealth and I was able to meander around the 757 of all places.  One of my evening visits took me to Benchtop, which was fresh off its GABF Gold Medal win for its Mermaid's Scorn Oyster Gose.  Yes, I tried that, too.  What caught my attention most of all was their NE-ish IPA, and the cheeky name attached to it.  A Proven Theory for what, exactly?  That yours is the best?  That this is a superior style?  Endless…

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Friday Night Flights: Ornery Beer Co. (Woodbridge, VA)

  3 weeks ago     93 Views     Leave your thoughts  

Asking a Northern Virginian (NoVAn?  NoVite?) where the boundaries of the region lie is basically a test of one's place and tenure of residence.  A brown-sandled bro in Arlington might snobbishly delineate it as the Beltway, but then each successive neighborhood out probably looks one or two major North- or West-running roads further down I-66 as a similar barrier.  Just outside the Beltway in Vienna or Fairfax?  Route 50.  Chantilly or Manassas?  Route 234.  Leesburg?  The Greenway.  And so on it goes with the pretense that as long as you make the nigh insufferable commute down that Hades-forsaken corridor to…

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Citra Triangles, Triple Crossing Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)

  1 month ago     111 Views     Comments Off on Citra Triangles, Triple Crossing Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)  

"Drink now or don't bother."  Cloudy beer sure is a demanding passion.  We troll social media, call in "sick" on Thursdays or Fridays, and practice the worst forms of road rage to get our parking spots and places in line.  This was the result of one such adventure. Citra Triangles, Triple Crossing Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA) New England IPA, 6% ABV, 0 IBU Presentation:  Can pour into tulip. Appearance:  Pulpy, cloudy orange juice that catches a lot of golden hues in the right light.  Webs of lattice follow the beer down the glass fairly generally (but without a ring pattern).…

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Monk’s BBQ (Purcellville, VA)

  1 month ago     134 Views     Comments Off on Monk’s BBQ (Purcellville, VA)  

We get out to Purcellville, near the borders with West Virginia and Maryland, quite frequently.  Whether that's to snag beers from a blossoming brewery scene that features Adroit Theory, Old 690, Corcoran, and others, or for some wine club memberships in one of the best places for terroir on the East Coast, that town has a lot to offer for fans of great libations.  Just a few blocks off the W&OD Trail you can also find some superlative BBQ.  And since this is a site all about Virginia beer, you know they're going to have a great tap list, too. …

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Radegast, BadWolf Brewing Co. (Manassas, VA)

  1 month ago     189 Views     Comments Off on Radegast, BadWolf Brewing Co. (Manassas, VA)  

"Be careful, both of you.  The enemy has many spies - birds, beasts!" "Radagast is, of course, a worthy wizard, a master of shapes and changes of hue; and he has much lore of herbs and beasts, and birds are especially his friends." -Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring Oh, hearts of geekdom.  Yes, yes, we know that "Radegast" refers to a Czech style of beer as well as the Slavic god of hospitality.  But you can't look at this bottle's label without nerding out over some very Tookish flowery script!  BadWolf also likes to…

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Mango Habañero Red IPA, Bald Top Brewing Co. (Madison, VA)

  2 months ago     203 Views     Comments Off on Mango Habañero Red IPA, Bald Top Brewing Co. (Madison, VA)  

With so many breweries starting to pop up in Virginia, it's easy to miss a few as they're still quite scattered throughout the Commonwealth.  What makes me embarrassed, though, is basically driving by some of the seemingly out-of-the-way locales on a somewhat regular basis.  In this case, I was at the 2017 VA Craft Brewers Festival when I encountered Bald Top out of Madison.  I somewhat cheekily asked them "how deep" they were into Madison County, only to have my sun-tinged dome glow a bit more red when they replied they were right off Rt. 29 Business in Madison proper. …

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Kentucky Christmas Morning, Hardywood Park Brewery (Richmond, VA)

  2 months ago     187 Views     Comments Off on Kentucky Christmas Morning, Hardywood Park Brewery (Richmond, VA)  

Oh come, let us adore them... Oh come, let us adore them... Oh come,  let us adore them...  Hardywood Park! Kentucky Christmas Morning, Hardywood Park Brewery (Richmond, VA) Barrel Aged Coffee & Gingerbread Stout, 10.6% ABV, 55 IBU Presentation:  Bomber pour into Crystal Tulip.  Yeah, we went extra high class for this one. Appearance:  The head pours rusty before oxidation leaves it more tan - it's creamy but no lattice results.  The beer base is a deep black without any coffee inflections. Taste:  The nose is incredibly complex and, honestly, the best part of this beer.  Remember - smell is…

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Dutchess, Caboose Brewing Co. (Vienna, VA)

  2 months ago     320 Views     Comments Off on Dutchess, Caboose Brewing Co. (Vienna, VA)  

Last night I informed fellow VBR crewmember Ben that I'd scored a rather large reservation at Caboose.  We got into a version of the "5 Whys" game that would make a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt rather proud, but the gist was, "why bother to make a huge reservation at a place like that?"  Two reasons:  Craft Beer in the Commonwealth is a thing.  Popular places get crowded, especially ones that also have a food service that causes folks to stick around and hog space for a long while.  I grew up and went to middle and high school…

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Great Scotch, Center of the Universe Brewing Co. (Ashland, VA)

  2 months ago     280 Views     Comments Off on Great Scotch, Center of the Universe Brewing Co. (Ashland, VA)  

Though I'm in the midst of something of a Stout Renaissance for this winter season, the homebrewing club I recently joined has a number of folks who, like me, are huge fans of Scotch Ales/Wee Heavys.  (Wee Heavies?  Skip it...)  We've had a running debate about which are our favorites here in the Commonwealth.  I had previously nominated a few different barrel aged Scotch Ales here and there from NoVA, because it turns out that's something our local breweries up here seem to do quite well.  After a bottle shop run a few weeks ago, I had a neighbor over…

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