Did we have a fun time or what? For us it was a 7am wake up call to drive across the state from Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia to meet up in Charlottesville, carb up some, and head down to Devil’s Backbone Basecamp for an exciting afternoon of drinking beer and meeting new people. To everyone we got to talk to, from brewers, reps, and patrons, thank you for indulging us, especially as the day went on. To everybody else (which was like 99% of the total populaces) we’ll catch you next year.
But this day was not just about a huge beer festival, it was time to reward all the hard working people who make craft beer in The Commonwealth with some awards. If you haven’t seen the official list, you can CHECK IT OUT HERE. But we just did not want to stop there. So in true VBR fashion, we decided to give out some awards as well. So we would like to present our own VBR Awards from the brews we were able to sample. Enjoy!
Awarded for being the beer most likely to accidentally end up as two, six, or more beers when all you wanted to have was one with dinner, the Glo is a Blonde Ale that was one of the few samples we actually finished. Yes, we poured beer out all day long, but only because in order to try 70+ new beers you have to keep it civil. So imagine our delightedly surprise when after chatting with the Pleasure House team we look down to find empty glasses. Real good stuff.
Awarded to the beer which was the biggest surprise of the day, as in, “Oh my, what was that again?” We hadn’t heard of Extra Billy’s, and the name alone seemed bold enough until we actually took a sip. With robust flavors, it’s easy to imagine a full pint evolving as you get to the bottom of the glass.
(runner-up, Spencer Devon Soleil Wit)
(runner-up, Apocalypse Lustful Maiden)
Sponge Worthy – Ardent Batch 15
Ever been in a relationship that looks like it could go somewhere, but you don’t quite feel ready to commit? And then you do, and it was worth the wait… Our Sponge Worthy award goes to the Batch 15, which starts hoppy and brings out some malts for balance as you let it linger on your tongue. This is the kind of beer you stick in the kegerator and are still totally head over heels for months later.
(runner-up, Blue Mountain Dunkel Lager)
You can tell the brewers are having fun when the names are so double entendre-laden they actually have three meanings. Our award for best beer name goes to Loose Shoe’s Wyld Ryed (a decent beer in its own right), but let’s give some props to runner-up My Bitter X, the aforementioned Wake Me Up Before You Gose, Triple Crossing’s Clever Girl, Citra Ass Down, and oh so many more…
(runner-up, Belly Love My Bitter X)
Here’s My Card – Beer Hound, Culpeper
One of the best parts of these sorts of festivals is getting to chat with the very people who made your beer. Our VIP passes got us some extra face time with several of our favorite breweries (as well as some we’d never heard of), and the sheer breadth meant many lines were short enough to continue conversing without depriving other revelers of beer. Our favorite conversation was with Frank from Beer Hound, who literally promised a good time (and begged us not to share the details). We’ll be visiting those guys soon, and are also keen on checking out Pleasure House.
(runner-up, Pleasure House, VA Beach)
Most Likely to Succeed – Brothers Imperial Milk Stout
Our Best in Show is also a crowd pleaser, even despite that 8.5% ABV threatening to cut your night short. The Brothers Imperial Milk Stout was silky smooth with a great roasted backbone. We’d kill to see this on nitro, or just to get more than a 2 oz. taster in general. There were a number of other great entries (including some not available to the tasting public), which is what made the 2015 Virginia Craft Brewers Festival such a great time. Cheers!
(runner-up, Seven Arrows Fallen Timbers)