Golden Ox, Old Ox Brewing Co. (Ashburn, VA)

  1 year ago     876 Views     Comments Off on Golden Ox, Old Ox Brewing Co. (Ashburn, VA)  

While the NoVA beer scene now counts nearly 20 breweries and brewpubs (with an average of 3-4 new ones every year), the vast expanse of the region means that some of the brewery clusters require a full day of planning and driving just to hit 3-4 on a Saturday afternoon (with a DD or Uber to help out, of course).  For those of us with rugrats, a better bet can sometimes be to uncover new releases at the many forward-leaning restaurants and bars which increasingly serve regional brews under the popular #drinklocal mantra.  A few years ago, we moved our…

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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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Integral, Port City Brewing Co. (Alexandria, VA)

  1 year ago     1206 Views     Comments Off on Integral, Port City Brewing Co. (Alexandria, VA)  

Putting a new beer release directly into your regular lineup is a bold move.  And Port City is nothing if not careful in how they curate their menu.  Locking down their core beers was party of their early strategy, which to judge by overwhelming successes such as Optimal, Monumental, Essential, and the Porter was the smart play.  And you just have to wonder how important it is to them to have their beers end in -AL (such as Revival,  Maniacal, the COLOSSALs, and the seasonals)...that can't all be a coincidence.  Still, when the press release hit my inbox for Integral,…

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Sensitivity Training, Aslin Beer Co. (Herndon, VA)

  1 year ago     913 Views     Comments Off on Sensitivity Training, Aslin Beer Co. (Herndon, VA)  

I have to give it to fellow writer Ben.  He held onto a whole lot of beer that released this Spring so I could try it when I got back from Kansas.  With the whole NE IPA explosion that made Aslin an obvious candidate to have on hand, but they're a lot like other well known canning operations such as The Veil - they sell out so fast you're either in line to get it, or you're out of luck.  It's an intriguing plight for nano- and smaller microbreweries.  Do you keg the stuff and have a packed house, or…

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Wraith, Vanish Farmwoods Brewery (Lucketts, VA)

  1 year ago     1124 Views     Comments Off on Wraith, Vanish Farmwoods Brewery (Lucketts, VA)  

I would never have thought that Kansas and our first BBQ back could transition so smoothly, but life is full of coincidental quirks.  Case in point:  of the 1,200+ military officers and civilians who attended school with me, of the maybe 10% I actually met, four had come directly from NoVA, and three of those would be going "home" with me.  One of them was in my class, a National Guard Major who lives about 20 minutes away.  This guy is a huge Hefeweizen and Witbier fan like I am, and during a trip home to Virginia this past year…

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Lindy’s Weiss, Mad Fox Brewing Co. (Falls Church, VA)

  1 year ago     840 Views     Comments Off on Lindy’s Weiss, Mad Fox Brewing Co. (Falls Church, VA)  

I will say this about a forced year-long separation from Virginia beer:  everything old is surprisingly new again.  I remember what I liked a lot (with the occasional help from Untappd, friends, and the VBR archives themselves), but having been inundated with another region's take on all my favorite styles - generally with a little less success on the whole - has reminded my taste buds that Virginia beer is so. damn. good.  The Midwest has lots of German and British influence; Kansas City, a short drive from where I was living, has the national World War I museum for…

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Droste Effect, AleWerks Brewing Co. (Williamsburg, VA)

  1 year ago     828 Views     Comments Off on Droste Effect, AleWerks Brewing Co. (Williamsburg, VA)  

When most people think "hot chocolate" they think cool winter months.  Then, for some reason, they drink hot coffee year round.  Honestly, I find that logic asinine.  Hot chocolate is awesome, whatever the temperature.  That said, I do subscribe to the idea that contrast can be a good thing - after all, who doesn't dig some ice cream, lemonade, or sweet tea in the summer?  The question then becomes how to make "hot chocolate" without it just being, ahem, "chocolate milk" in the summer.  Luckily we have all sorts of, ahem, "crafty" brewers out there who experiment in flavors bold,…

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Friday Night Flights: Ocelot Brewing Co. (Sterling, VA)

  1 year ago     764 Views     Comments Off on Friday Night Flights: Ocelot Brewing Co. (Sterling, VA)  

After a year away from the NoVA beer scene, among my priorities was to reacquaint myself with familiar spots, including how they had adapted in my time away.  I also had this little problem of cleaning out my kegerator and stocking it before family hit town ahead of the July 4th festivities.  In both senses, Ocelot made sense as in all my previous visits they've offered both something new and delicious.  Their Still Upside Down APA and Profits of Pride Citra/Cascade IPA were one-offs that were among our favorites in the region the years they came out.  My goal on…

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