Reviver, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)

  3 years ago     1194 Views     1 Comment  

This snow stuff is getting old. I have friends that are from Buffalo, NY that live in Hampton Roads now and just write all of this off. Getting up and shoveling your driveway and sidewalk (and your neighbors) are normal, everyday activities. I think it is for the birds and that is why I'm in The Commonwealth. While we are about to get hit again Wednesday/Thursday, I have come to an executive decision that even thought the bitter cold weather is still here I'm done with stout reviews for now. It is time to embrace spring whenever it gets here…

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Black Me Stout, Champion Brewing Company (Charlottesville, VA)

  3 years ago     1847 Views     1 Comment  

I don't consider myself a 'square', although referencing that moniker probably makes me one and shows my age as well. When looking back on my 30+ years of my life, I found that while there has been some slight variations on the particular artists and bands that I listen to, the overall genre has the same. Many would call them 'jam bands', but its really original bands who mix a variety of music elements together and who have innovative instrumentation. That some/most of their songs are 15-plus minutes long for the live versions (and that's really all that count) and…

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Cowcatcher, Smartmouth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)

  3 years ago     1470 Views     1 Comment  

Well the groundhog was right about winter. Two weeks out from his solemn prediction and The Commonwealth is staring down single digit temperatures and in the southeast somewhere around a foot of snow plus ice this week. This was going to be about the time where we moved away from the stouts and get into some more spring friendly beers, but as it seems Mother Nature will have me stick with the frigid status quo at least for now. No matter, I can roll with the punches. One of the stouts that has gotten us through the winter has been from…

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BR: Little Red RooStarr, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)

  3 years ago     1133 Views     1 Comment  

I keep a huge Excel file with all my reviews. I like to see our scoring breakdown of different styles of beer and how each of us come to our conclusions about the beer we taste. It is also of note that we don't write review about everything we taste, as this is a blog trying to promote Virginia Beer, not register complaints and knock down the industry. Now it doesn't mean we can't be critical and objective, but beers we find good in the Commonwealth that we want other people to try are up front. Well, I also see…

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Trademarks and Beer: Why Can’t We Be Friends?

  3 years ago     1053 Views     1 Comment  

Unlike by last blog, I don't get to work in Simpsons' quotes or anecdotes as much as I used to. There are very few moment's in my day that I don't reference something Homer says. In my college Natty Light days (we all had them), we used to have cups printed up that said "Alcohol: The cause of and solution to all of life's problems.", a direct quote from Homer in the Beer Baron episode. Even today, your vernacular contains the word 'meh', which can be directly attributed to early Simpsons' episode. Well finally, I get to do it again.…

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BR: Vanilla Virginia Black Bear, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery (Goochland, VA)

  3 years ago     1564 Views     1 Comment  

Welp, I have tried to convince myself that spring is coming, regardless of what an overgrown rodent in Pennsylvania says. And while the temperatures this past weekend in Southeastern Virginia said that were are on our way, I know better. And so do the local breweries. We are hitting the home stretch of winter beers for the season as the Farmhouses and DIPAs start to slowly hit the market like Pumpkin beer in August. But before we get there, I have a few more reviews this week to wrap up some of the heavier fair we have been enjoying this…

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Friday Night Flights: Off the bike trail @OldOxBrewery

  3 years ago     1083 Views     2 Comments  

I first found out about Old Ox from a friend who'd noticed their signs while biking down the WO&D trail.  Advertising bathrooms, water breaks, and a place to sit down to weary bikers, then ambushing them with beer?  Brilliant!   After determining they were close by to Lost Rhino, that made it (seemingly) easy to add them to the docket.  It being many months later, in practice it's simply difficult to trek well outside the Beltway so I'd had to suffice with a few tastes here and there and so discovered the delightful Oxtoberfest and Black Ox back in the…

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BR: COLOSSAL IV, Port City Brewing Co. (Alexandria, VA) – @PortCityBrew

  3 years ago     2476 Views     1 Comment  

When Port City announced the pending release of their COLOSSAL IV, I had to shake my head at the news that it would be a Belgian-style Quad.  My tweet back went like this: @h4ximus:  @PCBJason @PortCityBrew @vabrewreview do you just hate our livers or something? @PortCityBrew:  @h4ximus @PCBJason @vabrewreview No, we just love making beer more ;) #dcbeer Well played.  As the big anniversary release drew near, the scope of their celebration escalated quickly...I mean, it really got out of hand fast!  Having been late to the COLOSSAL roadshow in years past, my self-imposed mission first and foremost was to…

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BR: Raspberry Stout, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery (Richmond, VA)

  3 years ago     1793 Views     1 Comment  

Beer fests are a great time to hang out with your friends and try new beer. It is not the best place to conduct a true beer review. For one, the distractions are everywhere. Just trying to keep up with social media while meeting new people takes up 75% of your time, while the other quarter is spent making sure you can sample what brews you came to the event in the first place. But what you can do there is find beer you like and hunt for them later, in a less chaotic setting. You would think that finding a…

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Friday Night Flights: Hanging out for @PortCityBrew Anniversary Week

  3 years ago     1263 Views     1 Comment  

When I dropped by Port City this past Friday, I knew I couldn't a) hang out for 3+ hours and not drink beer, b) hang out for 3+ hours drinking the COLOSSAL beers (all near 9%, uf!), or c) go with my usual Port City beers (Optimal Wit and Essential Pale Ale) due to having sixtels at home.  That plus an earlier Friday Night Flight at Port City left me combing the menu for things that were either new, unusual, or simply worth getting.  Turns out that wasn't a problem. Friday Night Flight:  Port City Brewing Company (Alexandria, VA) @PortCityBrew…

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