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

  5 months ago     352 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)

  5 months ago     344 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)

  5 months ago     325 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)

  6 months ago     226 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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2018 Virginia Brew Review Hops of Fame

  6 months ago     556 Views     Comments Off on 2018 Virginia Brew Review Hops of Fame  

Hoppy Anniversary to, well, us!  Four years, hundreds of beer tastings/reviews, and 1 big Oktoberfest later, we have always striven towards our goal:  to find the best craft beer Virginia has to offer and let others know about it. And y'all have helped.  We are still getting tens of thousands of visitors to our site every year and more and more regular visits throughout our social media platforms.  This is something that we are very humble about and we thank every single person who reads (and shares) our work.  You know how it works:  first you tell a friend, then…

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2017-2018 Beer In Review: Beers of the Year

  6 months ago     443 Views     Comments Off on 2017-2018 Beer In Review: Beers of the Year  

Somehow, someway, we put another candle on the cake today. Today 4 years ago, we got together on a Google chat and agreed to do something that would change our lives forever.  Now.....eh, it's just the same. Yep, it has been that long.  It's been so long that most of this intro is just cut from last year's celebration, which was cut from the year's before.  With age come experience, and none of us want to experience another anniversary party. Why should we?  This is way longer than I thought we would be around when we started this and the…

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Rudee Inlet, Pleasure House Brewing (Virginia Beach, VA)

  7 months ago     414 Views     Comments Off on Rudee Inlet, Pleasure House Brewing (Virginia Beach, VA)  

It's National Beer Day!  As if we needed an excuse to drink some delicious, independent craft beer.  Our feature Virginia beer comes from the very tip of the Commonwealth, jutting almost right out into the ocean itself.  No really, there's like one building between these guys and the beach.  When I realized that despite picking up a slew of statewide awards, and being featured in our very own, we've never done a standalone review for Pleasure House Brewing, I felt real shame.  That changes today, one of the great American holidays!  It's National Beer Day!  And it should be every…

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Peanut Butter & Jelly, Isley Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)

  7 months ago     500 Views     Comments Off on Peanut Butter & Jelly, Isley Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)  

I don't get to Richmond much, even though I have family living just above I-295.  With kids in tow it's just a hard day, prone to traffic jams and bad tempers.  We've gotten the whole family unit to Legend and Triple Crossing before (because they have food), but the others are a bit harder.  Scott's Addition is just plain daunting.  So when my wife issued me a pass to go see the Killthrax Tour (Killswitch Engage + Anthrax), it was game on for a Sunday afternoon of beer and heavy metal.  Isley ended up being our last stop.  All I'd…

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Yes, Virginia, We Have Market Saturation

  7 months ago     1198 Views     Comments Off on Yes, Virginia, We Have Market Saturation  

Yup, it's here.  With the news from the last 24 hours that Green Flash is liquidating its Virginia Beach production facility, there's no denying that the Virginia craft beer market has not only reached, but is now screaming past its tipping point.  The same may be true nationally, as Green Flash joins other giants such as Smuttynose that have fallen on hard times.  Peak saturation is here, and just as when the housing bubble burst a little over a decade ago, the signs have been around us for some time.  In reality, the warning signs appeared as early as 2016.…

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Biggie S’mores, Three Notch’d Brewing Co. (Charlottesville, VA)

  8 months ago     516 Views     Comments Off on Biggie S’mores, Three Notch’d Brewing Co. (Charlottesville, VA)  

After living out of the Commonwealth for a year, upon our return we immediately set about on an extended vacation...again leaving Virginia behind for a bit.  When we finally got back it was a whirlwind of family visits, new jobs, baby doctor stuff (we'd just found out we were due with our third right before getting back), and there seemed no time for "adventures" as our kids call it.  And especially not for beer stuff.  But then we had an idea!  An amazing, terrible idea!  What if we combined summer beer festivals, which are all outdoors-y and have lots of…

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