Latest Posts

WH: spacebar – @spacebarva (Falls Church, VA)

  3 years ago     835 Views     1 Comment  

From the owners of Galaxy Hut (Arlington/Clarendon, VA), spacebar is Falls Church's only dedicated, full-time bar.  That's right, 21+ only, so this is not a family establishment.  It meets every classification of a "dive" or watering hole:  dark, crowded, and overflowing in locals and booze.  Since its opening in June 2012, spacebar has secretly paved the way for much more commercial ventures such as World of Beer (which opened 2 months later) over in Arlington.  But this is a no frills establishment, and it does not pretend to be anything other than a place to drink beer.  The one TV…

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BR: Port City Optimal Wit, Port City Brewing Company – @PortCityBrew (Alexandria, VA)

  3 years ago     1366 Views     1 Comment  

With my first review on the site, I debated where to start, but in the end I guess I should start with the first Virginia beer I ever had.  There's something about being on the bandwagon, and then there's driving the train.  Port City opened in January 2011 to some fanfare, as it lays claim to the oldest brewery in the DC metro area (that's right, kiddies, it beat DC Brau by 3 months!)  I remember my first experience with PCBC quite fondly, as I discovered it by accident.  Up the street from where I live there's a little gourmet…

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BR: Legend Hopfest, Legend Brewing Company (Richmond, VA)

  3 years ago     804 Views     1 Comment  

After a long day at the office and staring down the barrel of a four day weekend with my extended family, I needed a beer with some bite to take the edge off. Without being presumptuous and speaking for my fellow beer lovers, I will say that for me no style of beer is more calming to the nerves than a traditional American IPA. Enter Hopfest, an IPA from Legend Brewing Company out of Richmond, VA that brings a balanced approach to bitterness (say that five times fast after you drink a few). Legend Hopfest, Legend Brewing Company (Richmond, VA) American…

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BR: Ray Ray’s Pale Ale, Center of the Universe Brewing Company (Ashland, VA)

  3 years ago     679 Views     2 Comments  

Before we get ready for our first craft beer festival of the season, I decided to get one more review in this week. With it looking more and more likely that we are going to skip spring all together, we are shifting from hunkering down in our favorite brew pubs like the Lords of the Shire to relaxing out on the Bay kicking our feet in the water. While the beer purists will have my head for this, it's time to look at Virginia beers you can find in a can. We are going to put a solid list of…

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BR: Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale, Blue Mountain Brewery (Afton, VA)

  3 years ago     709 Views     1 Comment  

Stouts have always been something for me that require the right mood and mindset to be enjoyed. I had a Dark Hollow once before and did not remember much about it, but decided to give it another try on a rainy, cool night in Richmond. Turns out this beer was a perfect compliment, in name and in taste, for the mood mother nature had set even in late April. The brewers at Blue Mountain have really crafted something special with this blend of a stout's traditional smoothness intertwined in a bite you would expect to find in a neat glass poured from…

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A Not-So-Quick Guide to Beer Festivals

  3 years ago     720 Views     2 Comments  

We had a great first weekend here at VaBR. But as we push into May, we are starting to see more and more outdoor beer festivals pop up. It can be a great time to catch up with some friends and try some beers you might not find around your area, but it can also turn south very quickly if you don't know what you are getting into. We would like to offer up a couple of not-so-quick points to make your experience a little bit better and hopefully avoid the likely 'aftermath' of a long next day. 1. Plan…

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BW: Port City Brewing Company – @PortCityBrew (Alexandria, VA)

  3 years ago     893 Views     1 Comment  

When the pineapple's on the sign, you know they're open! Port City Brewing Company takes their name from Alexandria's history as a colonial seaport and their use of the pineapple stems from a colonial tradition as well. Opened just over 3 years ago, Port City was one of the first in a now-large group of D.C.-area breweries. Their beer is among the best in the region and can be found throughout the mid-Atlantic. While their flagship beers are quite excellent, Port City's seasonal and limited releases add character to the selection. Peruse their chalkboard lineup of what's on tap and…

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BR: Alter Ego Saison, Smartmouth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA)

  3 years ago     1272 Views     1 Comment  

Everyone has their 'go-tos', from favorite shirts and hats to late night orders at Taco Bell. It usually is a product of establishing a comfort zone, having something to fall back on whilst exploring other opportunities. When I first came across this Alter Ego Saison, I thought it was a decent choice, but nothing over the top. But as I keep coming back to it, it has grown on me as just a impeccable example in Farmhouse Ale 101. Alter Ego Saison, Smarthmouth Brewing Company (Norfolk, VA) Farmhouse Ale/Saison, ABV: 5.3% Presentation: Tap pour into chalice. Appearance: Orange to sunset,…

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BR: Missile IPA, Champion Brewing Company (Charlottesville, VA)

  3 years ago     1463 Views     1 Comment  

It seems nowadays every craft brewery has to have at least 4 IPAs on tap just to be taken seriously. Because of this, the market is just saturated with India Pale Ales that it (1) makes it hard for new breweries to get on local taps and (2) a lot of tap real estate is being used to carry IPAs that other, maybe better, variety of beers are getting knocked out. But when I came across the Missile IPA from Champion Brewing Company in a restaurant in Newport News, and the only IPA on tap, something had to be special…

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BR: Full Nelson Pale Ale, Blue Mountain Brewery (Afton, VA)

  3 years ago     819 Views     1 Comment  

Anxious to get my first-ever beer review under my belt, I ventured all the way to my basement kegerator for a glass of Blue Mountain Brewery's (Afton, VA) signature brews.  They style their Full Nelson Pale Ale as a "Virginia Pale Ale" but it's listed elsewhere as a simple American Pale Ale. No matter the category, Full Nelson is a tasty pale ale you can find throughout the Commonwealth in both draught and bottle form. Full Nelson Pale Ale, Blue Mountain Brewery (Afton, VA) Virginia Pale Ale, ABV: 5.9%, 60 IBUs Presentation: Tap pour into pint glass. Appearance: Dark orange, clear with…

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