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Tapestry, Commonwealth Brewing Company (Virginia Beach, VA)

  2 months ago     125 Views     Comments Off on Tapestry, Commonwealth Brewing Company (Virginia Beach, VA)  

It's not like I can't write about what I want, but I will use my birthday today as an excuse to get back into one of my most favorite beer styles. It is a full-time, day job with benefits to keep me from composing every article about Belgian-style sour ale. Several VBR members have been known to clear out cellars at local watering holes that offer this ruby goodness. But the one issue we face is that it is still extremely hard to find in the state. Yes you can find sours and fruit beer, it is rampant through Northern…

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Road Trip Report: Outer Banks, NC

  2 months ago     131 Views     Comments Off on Road Trip Report: Outer Banks, NC  

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)

  2 months ago     163 Views     Comments Off on Double Decker, Fair Winds Brewing Co. (Lorton, VA)  

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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Minute Man IPA, Three Notch’d Brewing Company (Charlottesville, VA)

  2 months ago     266 Views     Comments Off on Minute Man IPA, Three Notch’d Brewing Company (Charlottesville, VA)  

What's the best thing about being part of an independent website? You get to write about what you want. I could ramble on about the effect of dust mites on interior wooden structures or 16th century Polish rulers, but we tend to stick to beer. And that extends to beer reviews and what we choose to write about. With no oversight, it means that we don't have to review the newest thing out there or are paid to write about bad beer. While we tend towards writing about what is new on the scene or hard to find brews, this…

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

  3 months ago     170 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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Biere de Miel, Fine Creek Brewing Company (Powhatan, VA)

  3 months ago     208 Views     Comments Off on Biere de Miel, Fine Creek Brewing Company (Powhatan, VA)  

The line between good and great is a hazy one. In this industry, the combination of several factors could impact your overall decision on one thing. For example, you might love a particular brewery, but then you are handed a new beer, and while it is noticeably not up to quality, you give it a good review. You could also love one of their beers, and think that the cuisine at a brewpub is the best thing you have had, even though you see them opening up aluminum cans and sticking it in the microwave. We want great, but will…

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

  3 months ago     251 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)

  3 months ago     236 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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Sir Vesa, Smartmouth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)

  4 months ago     231 Views     Comments Off on Sir Vesa, Smartmouth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)  

We have been given a stay of execution on the summer swelter and humidity, and Virginia looks like it will actually have a bit of Spring this year. What I miss about this season is all the beer styles that flourish in the April-June time frame. One of those that has cropped up in The Commonwealth over the past couple years has been the Mexican Lager. Whether this started out as a dare or just a quest to 'craft' a better beer is a mystery, but what we do know is that there are plenty of offerings this year. Thankfully,…

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Mutt IPA, Beer Hound Brewery (Culpeper, VA)

  4 months ago     174 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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