Latest Posts

Crystall Brett, Three Notch’d and Devils Backbone Brewing Cos.

  3 months ago     292 Views     Comments Off on Crystall Brett, Three Notch’d and Devils Backbone Brewing Cos.  

Say what you want about Devils Backbone for cashing out, selling out, or buying in, but their 2017 Adventure Pack, featuring collaborations with five major Virginia breweries, was genius.  RVA aside, you almost could not have picked a better representation of some of the better brewers throughout the Commonwealth.  True to form, many of the collaborations are fairly specific to each brewery's style - Mad Fox, which goes heavy on English/Irish styles, did a Dry Irish Stout, for instance.  This was not one I would have expected.  When I think of Three Notch'd, it starts with Hydraulion, Ghost of the…

View More

Grateful Pale Ale Remastered, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)

  3 months ago     274 Views     Comments Off on Grateful Pale Ale Remastered, Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)  

The first question some of y'all are asking is 'who are these gentlemen in the picture to the left?' Well, the man standing in the front is named Ron McKernan, and while you might not recognize him or his compatriot from first glance, you should all know the story we are about to tell (and yes I tie it into the beer). What you are looking at are the founding members of....the Grateful Dead. The man in the background in none other than a young Jerry Garcia, but you can not tell the tale of the band without the other…

View More

Recap: 2017 NoVA Summer Brewfest

  3 months ago     334 Views     Comments Off on Recap: 2017 NoVA Summer Brewfest  

To say that my wife put on her happy face while accompanying me to a beer festival our first weekend back home would be a bold-faced lie.  But she came with the kids, who were fairly happy and well-behaved.  Between that, good weather, good beer, and a good food lineup, what more could you want?  The NoVA Brewfest, long sponsored by Mad Fox, is an event we've missed for one reason or another the past few years.  There have been basement floods and cross-country drives, but this year I was determined to make it.  With the family in tow and…

View More

EBK [open your eyes edition] (Ghost 560), Adroit Theory Brewing Company (Purcellville, VA)

  3 months ago     345 Views     Comments Off on EBK [open your eyes edition] (Ghost 560), Adroit Theory Brewing Company (Purcellville, VA)  

I'm exhausted. I've been on this street a thousand times. It's never looked so strange... The faces: so cold! In the distance, a child is crying. Fatherless...a bastard child, perhaps. My back aches, my heart aches, but my beer... my beer tastes amazing! Thank the gods I opened a bottle and poured some EBK [open your eyes] from Adroit Theory! The first production run of Adroit Theory's EBK line of New England-style IPAs, EBK [open your eyes] NE triple IPA possesses a smooth flavor and powerful punch, making it an extremely worthy entry into VA's growing NE IPA market. EBK…

View More

Shower Beer, Champion Brewing Co. (Charlottesville, VA)

  4 months ago     269 Views     Comments Off on Shower Beer, Champion Brewing Co. (Charlottesville, VA)  

I missed the East Coast.  The trees, the gentle breezes, the ocean...  Zeus Almighty, did I miss the ocean!  After a year of dodging tornadoes and running headlong into literally quadirectional winds, that first quaff of salt-laden air erased months of longing.  Just in time for summer, I've had to bide my time and not load up on every Virginia beer in sight because there's unfinished business.  See, a year ago as I hit Kansas, I put the finishing touches on a plethora of reviews that you may have read in the time since.  It was also Virginia Craft Beer…

View More

Oak Aged Kings Mountain, Heritage Brewing Co. (Manassas, VA)

  4 months ago     322 Views     Comments Off on Oak Aged Kings Mountain, Heritage Brewing Co. (Manassas, VA)  

If you're ever going to take beer with you on a long trip (as in, a few months or longer), you want to make sure the beer will taste just as fresh, if not better, than the day it was bottled.  Hoppy or wheaty beers won't make it more than a month or three, and malty brews are doable but still lose a bit of their edge.  Big stouts and some sours, and especially bottle-conditioned varieties are a better bet.  This is the second-to-last of the beers I brought with me last June for my year studying in Kansas.  Nine…

View More

Wrath of the Lamb, Apocalypse Ale Works (Forest, VA)

  5 months ago     342 Views     Comments Off on Wrath of the Lamb, Apocalypse Ale Works (Forest, VA)  

The argument over the best beer in Virginia is liable to give way to style or even regional preferences.  For best beer artwork?  Um, did you look at that intro banner?  Those folks at Apocalypse have the Heavy Metal side of beer down like few others.  I just wish I could afford to hire their artist to do a beer-centric mural in my basement!  All the art in the world won't do much to hide bad beer, and since these same brewers promise the "end of bad beer" right in their web address, let's take a look to see how…

View More

DEADBOLT, Virginia Beer Co. (Williamsburg, VA)

  5 months ago     416 Views     Comments Off on DEADBOLT, Virginia Beer Co. (Williamsburg, VA)  

It is a great thing when a plan comes together.  I have probably used that line before, but as I approach 100 beer reviews for Virginia Brew Review, things tend to come around again.  I dig Virginia Craft Beer and I also love my jam bands.  It so happened that this past weekend both came together for a beer release party at Virginia Beer Company.  Many months of planning and setting aside that day took a little bit of effort (as most of our finds and reviews are spur of the moment).  But in the end, it was well worth…

View More

A Way Too Early Look: The Black Squirrel (Dunn Loring, VA)

  5 months ago     774 Views     Comments Off on A Way Too Early Look: The Black Squirrel (Dunn Loring, VA)  

Late last week, VBR got a sneak peek inside look at The Black Squirrel's new Dunn Loring, VA location in the Shops at the Avenir Place.  Currently completing the build out, the new location should open sometime in late May.  Amy Bowman, President of The Black Squirrel, gave me a tour as several craftsmen kept hard at work to meet their opening goal.  The downtown DC location in Adams Morgan holds a place in local craft beer lore as one of the original craft beer hot spots in the District. Their new location, mere steps from the Dunn Loring Metro…

View More

Pineapple Grenade, Young Veterans Brewing Co. (Virginia Beach, VA)

  5 months ago     457 Views     Comments Off on Pineapple Grenade, Young Veterans Brewing Co. (Virginia Beach, VA)  

With my sojourn out in Kansas I've been studying alongside the U.S. Army on tactics and doctrine.  This includes everything from the "operational art" of integrating grand strategy to unit-level decisions to how to mass forces on the decisive point of an engagement or an enemy's center of gravity.  Alongside the other Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines in the staff group I'm part of, there's quite a few craft beer aficionados, and let's just say that we've appropriately applied Clausewitzian principles of war such as economy of force, maneuver, and unity of command.  In other words, I get us to the…

View More