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  • August Virginia Craft Beer Month Starts NOW!

    by Casey | Posted on August 1st, 2013

    In honor of the second annual August Virginia Craft Beer Month, we sought local input on the best places to get Virginia craft beer on tap. The response was passionate and inspiring. Get behind this homegrown initiative and take the “shop local” idea further with “drink local.” Where to do so? Read on, friend.

    First, the Breweries

    Devil's Backbone Brewing Company

    Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company

    Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company and Restaurant in Roseland received tons of love from the locals. A few of the remarks …

    - “Great variety of brews on tap. Eight Point IPA is my personal favorite.”
    - “Their Vienna Lager is a 2009 Great American Beer Festival silver medalist and a 2012 World Beer Cup Gold winner, and to my taste, the best representation of Vienna Lager I have ever had.”
    - “Best beer in Virginia, bar none! Beyond the beer, the food is fantastic and the atmosphere is 100% Virginia!”
    - “If you have not experienced the outdoor dining, then you must come as the sun is setting behind the ridge line.”

    Blue Mountain Brewery

    Blue Mountain Brewery

    Blue Mountain Brewery and Restaurant in Afton is another top pick for enjoying Virginia craft beer. A few comments …

    - “Great variety and everything is good. I especially like their Classic Lager.”
    - “Great array of beers in their sampler, often times including nine beers plus a Virginia cider from down the road.”
    - “Huge patio, porches and pergolas with the best mountain views east of the Mississippi.”

    Three Brothers Brewing Company in Harrisonburg is new on the Virginia craft beer scene, but getting good acknowledgment nonetheless. See what’s up …

    - “10+ taps … local food trucks present … huge event planned with three bands, foods, games and more on the 17th.”
    - “Great and varied tastes across their lineup, best is either Hoptimization or Great Outdoors.”
    - “The brewery works hard to give back to the community, hosting weekly “Cask for a Cause” events and giving excess grains and yeast to local farmers.”

    Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford  did well in the brewery round up with these helpful points …

    - “Awesome location, awesome brews — love the Blonde Hunny.”
    - “Be sure to try the signature fried chicken and fried Oreo cookies!”
    - “Offering gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian menu options … dog and kid-friendly … live music three to four nights per week on the patio.”

    Champion Brewing Company in Charlottesville is also a newbie, but beer connoisseurs know a good brew when they taste one.

    - “Small batch, amazing beers. Best IPA I’ve ever had. Amazing Kolsch.”
    - “Over 30 styles brewed, six rotating taps, neighborhood bar feel with a booming truck scene.”
    - “The Missile IPA and Pacecar Porter are excellent.”

    These breweries also received nominations as great places to enjoy Virginia craft beer:

    Second, the Restaurants

    Of course it makes sense to enjoy Virginia craft beer where it’s made, but several restaurants are stepping up this month, allowing “tap takeovers” to serve you some of the finest Virginia craft beer with your meals. Get started with these:

    Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint

    Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint

    Harrisonburg LOVES Virginia craft beer. Not only did we receive many nominations for their Three Brothers Brewing Company, but their restaurants are hip on the scene, too.

    Beyond Restaurant and Bar offers an “Asian fusion” menu for sophisticated palates. Of note to you, craft beer lover, is this tidbit:  ”… James River Brewery tap takeover [the] second week of August.”

    Billy Jack’s Wing and Draft Shack promises “fresh, never frozen chicken wings and ‘leghorns.’ It’s a hometown bar environment, so just be yourself. One local appreciates the neighborly vibe, writing, “Billy Jack’s participates in most Harrisonburg community events, usually providing music and fantastic choices of craft Virginia beer.”

    Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint is just what it claims to be – a beer and burger joint. If you see the longhorn steer on the sign, you’re in the right place. Notable quotables …

    - “… has a craft beer appreciation club and takes its members on field trips to craft breweries.”
    - “Four rotating drafts, and over 100 bottles in stock!”
    - “… if you reach 100 craft beers over your visits at JBs, you become what the restaurant calls a “notcher,” continuing to get rewards as you hit larger goals … prizes for drinking craft beers? Now that’s a draw.

    Blue 5

    Blue 5

    Roanoke’s Blue 5 is a Blues and Jazz themed restaurant and nightclub, where the mission was to create a five-star restaurant with world-class craft beer and exceptional Southern cuisine. Mission complete. Craft beer rules the 46 taps – the largest selection in Southwest Virginia – and live music reigns four to five nights per week. Blue 5 “has featured most Virginia breweries, rotating frequently … currently three from the state.”

    Capital Ale House has a presence in Richmond, Glen Allen, Midlothian, Fredericksburg and Harrisonburg, and has always been a go-to for “the avid beer connoisseur.” It is “one of the original places in Virginia to have a large selection of craft beer,” and of course that includes Virginia craft beer. Interested in how craft beer tastes as it ages? Each location highlights a keg-of-the-month. One keg from August 2012′s keg-of-the-month was reserved, so that NOW, one year later, you can sample aged Hardywood Mocha Belgique in Richmond and Starr Hill Cryptical in Harrisonburg. Get a glass while they last!Click here for a map of Virginia craft breweries.

    The Blue Toad in Afton is situated very nicely among the cluster of craft breweries in Nelson County. What’s more, they are proud to serve the wares of their neighbors. Nightly dinner specials include crab and shrimp, prime rib, and even bison burgers on the weekend. Don’t miss Pint Night. Pint Night includes the hand crafts from everyone along the Nelson 151 Trail and the Brew Ridge Trail.

    Boar’s Head Bistro in Charlottesville loves their local beverage scene. These special pairings speak for themselves …

    - Starr Hill Jomo Lager paired with Boar’s Head Sirloin Burger
    - Bold Rock Hard Cider paired with the Bistro 1834 Burger
    - Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager paired with Boar’s Head “SINN”

     Additional restaurants receiving nods from the craft beer-loving public:

    • Black Bear Bistro, Warrenton – Featuring “Devil’s Backbone, Three Brothers, Lost Rhino, Starr Hill”
    • Bonefire Smokehouse, Abingdon
    • Chowning’s Tavern, Colonial Williamsburg – “A true eighteenth-century alehouse, Chowning’s Tavern serves Old Stitch, a delicious English Brown Ale developed by Colonial Williamsburg and Williamsburg AleWerks.”
    • The Tavern, Abingdon
    • Union Jack Pub & Restaurant, Winchester – Don’t miss Devil’s Backbone Pint Night, August 16

    So? How’s that for kicking off August Virginia Craft Beer Month? Print it, share it, save it as you have a lot of ground to cover and only a short while to do it. Cheers!

    >> Brewery Map and Events



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