#VirginiaCraftBeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Close your eyes for a minute, and clear your mind temporarily. Take yourself back to when you were a kid playing outside with your friends on a hot summer day. You have sweat rolling down your forehead, and it’s just so humid that water isn’t going to cut it to cool you off. Faintly in the distance you hear the unmistakable sound that every kid loves to hear. Sure enough, coming down the street, you catch the first glimpse of a faded pink and yellow van with a huge ice cream cone attached to the roof. Ice cream, that will do the trick!
Judging a beer by its label is a bias we often encounter as craft beer drinkers. If you resist the urge to check a beer’s score inside the bottle shop, then you’re relying on the beer’s look and description to hook you in. You would assume that a humble beer coming from a brewery such as The Virginia Beer Company would be an old standby, reflected in the simplistic art and presentation. But the craftsmanship and modern innovation they put into their Liquid Escape goes far beyond what to expect.
Get ready, beer fans: Oozlefinch Beer and Blending is hosting Friends with Benefits Sour Beer Fest on May 22, 2021. The best part is, unlike in normal times when events were only held in-person, if you live in the District of Columbia or one of the 32 states that allow beer shipping for the event, you can attend from the comfort of your couch. Plus, if you do live near Oozlefinch’s Fort Monroe, VA location, they are considering–COVID conditions permitting, (fingers crossed)–holding an in-person event to coincide with the virtual one, according to the website.
The Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., are home to more than 60 craft breweries. Each has its own unique atmosphere and vibe. They produce almost every style of beer imaginable and are winning national recognition for their deliciously creative brews. But it wasn’t always that way. After Old Dominion Brewing relocated to Delaware in 2007, this incredibly vibrant region was without any packaging breweries for almost four years. Then, in 2011, an intrepid team of pioneers reclaimed the Commonwealth’s faltering brewing heritage with the opening of Port City Brewing Co. in Alexandria, Virginia.
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.
Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery in Waterford, VA sits on 30 acres of rolling Virginia farmland approximately 50 miles west of the urban bustle of Washington, DC. This working farm is a beautiful spot to enjoy a pint in the repurposed, 200-year-old tasting room and century-old brewhouse barns nestled amidst the charming bucolic countryside. These are the parts of Wheatland Spring most guests experience, but they only hint at the revolutionary approach to brewing that is blossoming within these unassuming rustic walls.
My Secret Santa may still be a secret, but his great taste in Virginia beer is definitely not. I was gifted Hardywood’s Gingerbread Stout and shared it with my family during Christmas. Despite enjoying it in Florida’s 80-degree December heat, we found the Imperial Milk Stout delicious, sip-able and surprisingly light.
A Craigslist ad posted Nov. 6 in the Washington, D.C. region caught the inquisitive chatter of local beer forums.
The term “little hellion” can only be used endearingly for this brew, from the Harrisonburg-based Virginia brewery. It’s relaxing to drink, harbors a thoughtful approach to the style and is a flagship selection from Brothers Craft Brewing.
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.
September is a tricky month for outdoor beer drinking in Virginia. You pray for a break in the heat, for those fall-like temperatures to appear and bring with them the perfect weather for enjoying a brew or two at your favorite festival. “No more warm beer!” you cry. “Bring me fall!” Sadly, more often than not, you have to get real, accept that for some reason it’s still 90 freaking degrees outside, slap on your sunscreen and roll with it. The second annual Old Bust Head Brewing Company Bleu and Brew Beer and Cheese Festival was held this month on, you guessed it, a steamy, sunny September day! Lucky for us we’ve been blessed with some of the best beer coming out of Virginia, making that late summer heat much more bearable when you have a variety of beer styles at your fingertips. And when you pair local cheeses with local beers? The only heat you end up feeling is from that Smoked Gouda Jalapeño cheese bite sizzling in your mouth!