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COLOSSAL SIX, Port City Brewing Co. (Alexandria, VA)

  4 months ago     433 Views     Comments Off on COLOSSAL SIX, Port City Brewing Co. (Alexandria, VA)  

Hello, darkness, my old friend I've come to drink with you again Because your anniversary reigning Left its fruits while I was training And the yearning that you planted in my brain Still remains Within your COLOSSAL SIX In restless dreams I drank alone Snifters filled by Russian clones 'Neath the halo of my cold stash I flipped the bottle cap off into the trash When my nose was crushed by The flash of buttered toffee Charred and oaky So spoke your COLOSSAL SIX And in fluorescent light I saw Ten hundred people, maybe more People drinking without speaking People…

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Live Beer Blogging from #BBC17

  4 months ago     176 Views     Comments Off on Live Beer Blogging from #BBC17  

While every year at the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, there are a ton of fun events. The highlight from our writing stand point is the Live Beer Blogging. 10 beers (samples) in 60 minutes and we pick a winner. What you are reading right now is as close to 'live' as possible: raw and unedited. We are definitely not worthy to have all these great beers, but only one can be the champion. Here was the field and the winner at the bottom: D14 Brewery & Pub, Milwaukee, Wisconsin B: Barrel Aged Pomegranate Sour R: Chard barrel smooths out…

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Round & Round, Ocelot Brewing Co. (Sterling, VA)

  4 months ago     200 Views     Comments Off on Round & Round, Ocelot Brewing Co. (Sterling, VA)  

Hoppy IPA Day!  There's only one way to celebrate such an occasion, and that is through the extravagance of some of the Lord of NoVA IPAtion, Ocelot.  These guys have been pushing the boundaries of West Coast, Belgian, and other sub-styles for more than two years now.  Sure, you might a different kind of experimentation elsewhere in the state, but for big hoppy flavors, you could do little better than to sneak out past the gates at Dulles and swing by a brewery so well hidden, you probably wouldn't know something good was there but for the cars sprawled all…

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

  4 months ago     239 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

  4 months ago     303 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)

  4 months ago     410 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)

  4 months ago     267 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)

  5 months ago     330 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)

  5 months ago     293 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)

  5 months ago     294 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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