#virginiabeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
The 2020 Virginia and DC Best in Beer features a community surviving and even thriving in this most unusual year. It was a time of coming together where local breweries invented new ways to reach their loyal customers, and those customers took their “drink local” mantra to new heights. Together, the local craft beer community weathered the storm with remarkably few breweries closing, and even a few new ones opening.
Local breweries continued to put out some wildly creative and delicious beers and perhaps more than ever proved their worth as creators and sustainers of social bonds. The Virginia and Washington, DC craft beer communities look forward to a more “normal” 2021 while taking pride in their remarkable resiliency throughout the unprecedented global challenges of 2020.
Tis the season for Saison, and Väsen Brewing out of Richmond, Virginia, has put out one of the best in the mid-Atlantic. Their Triple Peach Saison hits all the right notes for the cooler weather and shorter days, perfect for leaf-peeping along the Blue Ridge Parkway or sipping next to the year’s first bonfire.
It’s always impressive when a brewery breaks away from their most popular beer. For years, O’Connor Brewing Co. was known for its El Guapo, an Agave IPA that you’d find at just about every supermarket and Mexican restaurant. The brewery had some nice beers here and there, but most got overshadowed by El Guapo. O’Connor finally broke through the mold last year when it released Proper Lager, a new flagship Helles-style lager that ranked #4 on Paste’s 102 of the Best Craft Lagers, Blind-Tasted and Ranked.
Aslin Beer Company has been producing some of the best beer in Virginia for quite a while now, and the addition of a new taproom in Alexandria, VA last year has upped their game to another level. Known for their high-ABV stouts, fruited sours and hazy IPAs, Aslin continues to hit the mark across the board with solid beers.
About an hour’s drive west of Richmond, Virginia, the small city of Charlottesville offers an ideal weekend getaway for beer lovers. Being a college town, summer is a great time to visit with many of the college kids home for break. Here are some ideas on how to spend a weekend here.
Virginia’s beer market is booming, with big names and new, sprawling establishments. Among those, Sinistral Brewing Company, located in Manassas, VA, really embraces simplicity, though it certainly isn’t dull. Sinistral takes family and community to heart: its location is right near a commuter rail station; they provide a venue to featuring local musicians and they name beers after colleagues’ children, just to give a few examples.
A Craigslist ad posted Nov. 6 in the Washington, D.C. region caught the inquisitive chatter of local beer forums.
The Veil Brewing Company’s is still gathering long lines of dedicated fans from across the United States for their phenomenal beers. Yet, what I really appreciate about them is that even though they are considered one of the best breweries in Virginia; they do not rest on their laurels. They are willing to alter a perfect recipe just to give drinkers a new flavor experience. Hornswoggler has worked as the great canvas to show off their brewing skills by using difficult ingredients beyond what anyone could have believed.
Featured imaged photo credit: Portner Brewhouse’s facebook page.
Portner Brewhouse is trying to do many, many things: resurrect pre-Prohibition family recipes, encourage local experimentation among homebrewers, serve delicious German food and of course, brew and serve beer.
And prost! They are actually doing it all — and doing it well.
The largest independent craft brewery in Virginia is expanding swiftly, but doing so with intent. Starr Hill Brewery has doubled its Virginia sales team within the past year, and from July 2015 to now, has increased Virginia sales by 16 percent — and packaging in particular by 20 percent.
Heritage Brewing Company was started in 2013 via a Kickstarter campaign, so it’s fitting they looked to the same tool to help launch their next big move: An Arlington-based brewpub and coffee roastery, about 30 miles from their home location in Manassas, Virginia.
Instead of just attending the Bands, Brews and Barbecue event on September 10th in Manassas, Virginia, my husband and I decided to volunteer and get to know some of our neighbors (who also happen to love music, beer and smoked meats).
It was a sweltering Saturday for the 6th year of the event, which was again located in Old Town Manassas, near its picturesque small-town train station, Civil War museum and local bars and causal restaurants. Despite the heat, folks turned out; we passed out wrist bands, glasses and sent eager imbibers on their ways.
ABV: 5.6% | IBU: 21
Old Bust Head Brewing Co. has appeared on taps throughout bars in my new hometown and because it’s made in Warrenton, which isn’t far from me, I knew I had to give it a shot. At my glorious Harris Teeter, I bought a 6-pack of their English-style pale ale, interested in both the beer but also the beer category itself — I’ve circled around English pale ales, but never dove into the style.
Lake Anne Village Center in Reston was active Saturday, April 16 with the opening of Lake Anne Brew House. Reston residents Melissa and Jason Romano purchased a retail space at 11424 Washington Plaza and renovated it, seeking an English pub concept for their new Virginia establishment. The husband and wife team were pleased with the turnout, and the Reston community was enthusiastic Lake Anne Brew House finally opened.