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    #Grape harvesting has begun in some parts of #Virginia and will continue through October, Virginia's #Wine Month. @orecul13 gathered this bounty for #canning purposes. Anyone for some locally made juice or jelly? #loveva #vawine #waynesboro #countryliving #photooftheday #jelly #vafood
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  • Archive for the ‘Beer’ Category

    15 Places to Sip and Savor Virginia Craft Beer

    by Casey | Posted on August 28th, 2014

    Vibe is everything. Vibe is the mood, the company, and even the flavors. If you’re looking to experience great Virginia craft beer in an ultra-cool setting, you might check out this list – and please – add to it with your opinion of what makes a great sip-and-savor craft beer experience.

    Breweries with Outdoor Seating and Great Views

    1. Legend in Richmond is situated on the south side of the James River. Their deck has umbrella patio tables and an unobstructed view of the downtown Richmond skyline. Evenings are beautiful.

    Wild Wolf, Nellysford

    Wild Wolf, Nellysford

    2. Blue Mountain in Afton also has umbrella patio tables, but their view is reflected in their name. Settle in with a pizza of fresh local ingredients and a cold Full Nelson Pale Ale to appreciate the blue mountains on display.

    3. Devils Backbone Basecamp is in Nellysford, just down the road from Blue Mountain, thus sharing a very familiar view. The grounds at DBB are expansive, as they play host to festivals and other large events from time to time. And they have an awesome bar area, too.

    4. Also in Nellysford is Wild Wolf, but their set up is like a little town square. The biergarten has a koi pond with a waterfall and a gazebo overlooking it, all situated beneath a magnificent old tree. The on-site restaurant serves up scratch-made delights that you can enjoy on the wrap-around porch, if you desire. The mountain views are outstanding; just see the photo above!

    5. Old Bust Head in Vint Hill has a brand new beer garden – complete with a pergola for shade – to go with their brand new tap room. It’s a happenin’ place, with live music and a lively crowd, plus you never know when beautiful macaws or baby goats may drop by. Be sure to read the label on your bottle as each beer name is tied to a local tale, which the label explains. I wonder if Vixen Irish Red’s story might make me blush …

    Restaurants with a Great View Serving Virginia Craft Beer

    6. Bubba’s Restaurant and Crab House is a waterfront restaurant just off the Lynnhaven Inlet in Virginia Beach. It’s situated such that you can enjoy the sunset on one of the decks and sip a Virginia craft beer with your delicious straight-from-the-sea fare.

    7. Catch 31 is also a Virginia Beach restaurant, and you’ll find it right on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Toes in the sand? They can be within just a few steps.

    Mountain Lake Lodge & Conservatory

    Mountain Lake Lodge & Conservatory

    8. The Waterfront Market in Old Town Alexandria is perched right on the Potomac River. The views are immense and Port City is cold on tap!

    9. Stony Creek Tavern at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke has Virginia craft beer on tap, sweet views, and quite the story to tell, too. Did you know the beloved film, Dirty Dancing, was filmed at Mountain Lake Lodge? Now you know.

    10. In McGahyesville, Massanutten’s Fareways Restaurant and Lounge offers a Tuesday night Beer Lovers’ Dinner, a five-course pairing that includes details from the chef as well as from the resident beer expert. If you’re not into beer tasting at quite that level, you can still enjoy a craft beer anytime at Fareways with a view of the Mountain Greens Golf Course.

    11. Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill offers a great view of the Clarendon / Courthouse neighborhoods of Arlington, and the rooftop truly is a fun place to be. At least two Virginia brews are on tap for your sit-sip-savor enjoyment.

    12. Supper is a brand new Southern restaurant located in the trendy neighborhood of Ghent in Norfolk. The comfort food will beckon your return, but it may be the knowledge of rooftop dining that draws you in. The Norfolk skyline glistens not too far away and the tapped Virginia craft beer is cold.

    13. Continuing with the rooftop theme, try Postbellum in Richmond. Don’t go for the view on this one, but the overall feel. The space includes a long bar, TVs, pub and patio tables, booths (!), and lights strung above. There’s plenty of room and an unobstructed view of blue skies or stars, whichever your preference.

    James River Brewing, Scottsville

    James River Brewing, Scottsville

    Breweries Cloaked in History and a Story to Tell

    14. James River Brewing in Scottsville is located in a 19th century tobacco factory alongside Mink Creek, a tributary to the James. The tasting room has a rustic, down-home feel with timber accents and barrels for tables. Out back, by the creek in the beer garden, you’ll find a wooden swing in the shade, waiting for you to linger with a Green Eyed Lady.

    15. Jefferson Street Brewery is housed in the same Craddock Terry shoe factory as the Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg. Learn a little something about the history of the facility while sampling the latest suds.

    So where do you go for a great Virginia craft beer? Leave a comment to tell us about the best vibe you’ve found and why it’s great.

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    Beer, Travel Ideas | 0 Comments

    Crafting a Quality Cocktail for Virginia Beer Month

    by Patrick Evans-Hylton | Posted on August 25th, 2014

    From time immortal, beer seems to have been part of the human experience; 7,000-year-old earthen vessels in Mesopotamia show signs of having housed the amber liquid.

    But when someone first decided to marry beer with the cocktail is anyone’s guess, however Victorian-era notations from Britain support the idea that it’s been around for quite some time.

    Todd Thrasher, of PX, Restaurant Eve, The Majestic, and other Alexandria restaurants, crafted his Atypical Chocolate Martini using a stout beer.

    Todd Thrasher, of PX, Restaurant Eve, The Majestic, and other Alexandria establishments, crafted his Atypical Chocolate Martini using a stout beer.

    Beer cocktails (the Germans call them Biermischgetränke, or “beer-based mixed drinks”) are quick-and-easy to prepare and very refreshing. And, because most beer has a lower alcohol-by-volume than spirits, you may want to indulge in more than one imbibe.

    I can’t think of a better reason to raise a glass to August being Virginia Craft Beer Month than getting crafty with some of the commonwealth’s best beverages. Below are some of my recipes; I hope they will become favorites of yours.

    Please note that some beers are flagship offerings, while others may be limited to certain times of the year. Brews may also be available by the bottle or can, growler, or keg, depending on the quaff; check with breweries for seasonal and packaging availability.

    The good news is that, if one of our suggested beers happens to not be around at the time, there are dozens of great craft breweries across Virginia offering countless varieties and styles – something for every palate.

    -

    The Cocktail: Beer-A-Rita on the Rocks

    A year-round favorite cocktail is the margarita; there have even been songs written about this concoction that helps folks hang on.

    The classic gets a makeover with the addition of a slightly hoppy lager which plays very nicely with the flavors of tequila and frozen limeade concentrate, which is the base for this drink.

    Fill a growler at Starr Hill in Crozet to make a Beer-A-Rita on the Rocks.

    Fill a growler at Starr Hill in Crozet to make a Beer-A-Rita on the Rocks.

    The Brewery:

    Starr Hill Brewery
    Tastings and tours available; check with brewery for details.

    5391 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet
    434-823-5671

    The Brew Used:

    Starr Pils
    “… A classic German Pilsner. This beer is crafted with pilsner malt, German hops and Bavarian lager yeast. It is golden in color with a subtle malt backbone and pleasant hop aroma.” – tasting notes from the brewery website

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients
    1 12-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 cup tequila
    48 ounces lager
    2 limes, cut into wedges
    Sea salt

    Method
    Chill beer.

    In a large carafe, add limeade concentrate, lemon juice and tequila and stir to incorporate. Squeeze wedges from one lime into container and toss in. Add the beer and fill container with ice, slightly stirring.

    Take one lime wedge and run around the rim of each glass. Pour salt onto a plate and dip the rims of the glasses into the salt to coat. Pour margaritas into glasses and garnish with remaining lime wedges.

    Yields 4-6 cocktails

    -

    The Cocktail: Black Velvet

    Black Velvet is a beer cocktail made from floating chilled stout beer on top of a sparkling white wine. The drink has its origins at Brook’s Club in London in 1861. This cocktail is a great substitute for mimosas.

    We recommend using a Virginia sparkling wine for the cocktail; find a favorite.

    The Brewery:

    O’Connor Brewing Co.
    Tastings and tours available; check with brewery for details.

    211 West 24th St., Norfolk
    757-623-2337

    The Brew Used:

    Dry Irish Stout (ODIS)
    “A robust dry Irish stout with a rich roasted malt aroma. Smooth and velvety on the palate, concluding with a lingering dry finish.” – tasting notes from the brewery website

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients
    3 ounces sparkling wine
    3 ounces stout beer

    Method
    Chill the sparkling wine and stout beer.

    Pour the sparkling wine in a champagne flute and carefully pour the stout beer atop. Serve immediately.

    Yields 1 cocktail

    -

    The Cocktail: Red Eye

    Tomato juice is added in a number of beer cocktails, including the Mexican classic Michelada, a concoction of beer, lime juice, Worcestershire (and other) sauce and spices, including peppers.

    Sometimes even the venerable Bloody Mary is made with beer, with monikers like Bloody Beer and Red Beer. The Red Eye is similar.

    Popularized in the 1988 Tom Cruise movie Cocktail as a morning after, hair of the dog drink to ease into the day after a long night of imbibing, the Red Eye traditionally has a raw egg added as a final flourish; that is certainly optional.

    Another option: use a bloody mary mix in place of tomato juice. There are several incredible bloody mary mixes which hail from the commonwealth.

    Visit Virginia’s Finest for a list of regional products, including bloody mary mixes and hot sauces, which is also an ingredient in this drink.

    Take a tour of Port City when you go to buy their Downright Pilsner.

    Take a tour of Port City when you go to buy their Downright Pilsner.

    The Brewery:

    Port City Brewing Company
    Tastings and tours available; check with brewery for details.

    3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria
    703-797-2739

    The Brew Used:

    Downright Pilsner
    “… Our take on a traditional Bohemian-style pilsner [golden color, prevalent hops, spicy floral flavor and aroma] … perfectly refreshing lager …” – tasting notes from the brewery website

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients

    6 ounces tomato juice or bloody mary mix

    1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
    1 teaspoon hot sauce
    9 ounces pilsner
    1 raw egg, optional

    Method
    Chill the tomato juice and beer.

    In a pint glass add tomato juice, lemon juice and hot sauce and stir to incorporate. Fill glass with beer and serve immediately. Optionally, before serving, crack open a fresh egg and add to the drink.

    Yields 1 cocktail

    -

    The Cocktail: Shandygaff

    Crisp and refreshing, the Shandygaff, or Shandy, has origins to the mid-19th century when the word was used in am 1853 novel by H. G. Wells to describe a drink of beer mixed with ginger beer; sometimes ginger ale was substituted.

    Today there are many variations, and in our neck of the woods, often a lemon flavor is introduced and the drink is called a Lemon Shandy.

    Northern Neck Ginger Ale for the kids; Northern Neck Ginger Ale and Parkway's Bridge Builder Blonde for the adults.

    Northern Neck Ginger Ale for the kids; Northern Neck Ginger Ale and Parkway’s Bridge Builder Blonde for the adults.

    We infuse our drink with fresh lemon juice and top it off with ginger ale. We recommend Northern Neck Ginger Ale, which is now produced by Coca-Cola, but has had strong ties to the Northern Neck of Virginia since 1926.

    The Brewery:

    Parkway Brewing
    Tastings and tours available; check with brewery for details.

    739 Kessler Mill Rd., Salem
    540-314-8234

    The Brew Used:

    Bridge Builder Blonde
    “An easy drinking Belgian-style ale … [with] a wheat flavored backbone from the malt, tempered with hints of clove, banana and pear.” – tasting notes from the brewery website

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients

    7 ounces Belgian-style ale
    2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    7 ounces ginger ale

    Method
    Chill the beer and ginger ale.

    In a pint glass, add the beer and lemon juice, gently stirring to incorporate. Add a few ice cubes and top off with ginger ale. Garnish with a lemon slice and serve immediately.

    Yields 1 cocktail

    -

    The Cocktail: Snakebite

    With equal parts beer and hard cider, a shot of vodka and some raspberry liqueur added for good measure, the Snakebite is a refreshing, easy-to-drink cocktail that will sneak up on you and take a bite before you know it.

    Old Hill Cider is just one of the Virginia cideries to choose from when concocting a Snakebite.

    Old Hill Cider is just one of the Virginia cideries to choose from when concocting a Snakebite.

    British in origin, it is sometimes made with stout rather than lager, and often a cassis (blackcurrant) liqueur is used rather than a raspberry one. The drink is also sometimes known as Diesel.

    One of the quaff’s components, cider, is celebrated each November with Cider Week Virginia. See the map and locate your closest cidery at Virginia.org/Cider. Be sure to use Virginia cider when making this drink.

    The Brewery:

    Devils Backbone Brewing Company
    Tastings and tours available; check with brewery for details.

    Basecamp:
    200 Mosbys Run, Roseland
    434-361-1001

    The Outpost:
    50 Northwind Lane, Lexington
    540-462-6200

    The Brew Used:

    Gold Leaf Lager
    “A striking gold color, light bodied with subtle, bready malt flavors. A quenching, crisp and dry finish.” – tasting notes from the brewery website

    Of note, this beer won Gold Medal in 2009 and 2010 at the Great American Beer Festival and an International Style Pilsner Bronze Medal at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients
    7 ounces cider
    1 ounce vodka
    1 ounce raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord
    7 ounces lager

    Method
    Chill the cider and beer.

    In a pint glass, add the cider, vodka and raspberry liqueur and gently stir to combine. Fill the glass with the beer and serve immediately.

    Yields 1 cocktail

    -

    The Cocktail: Sundae Funday Beer Float

    For a spiked, sweet ending to a meal, or a tipsy treat anytime, this beer float fits the bill with the rich, delicious porter – with aromas and flavors of chocolate and caramel – with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream added for extra decadence.

    This is what you'll be looking for when seeking AleWerks' Washington Porter for the Sundae Funday Beer Float.

    This is what you’ll be looking for when seeking AleWerks’ Washington Porter for the Sundae Funday Beer Float.

    We enhance coffee notes from the beer with a drizzling of a coffee-based liqueur, such as Kahlua, drizzled on top.

    Serve this cocktail with a straw and a spoon.

    The Brewery:

    AleWerks Brewing Company
    Tastings and tours available; check with brewery for details.

    189B Ewell Rd., Williamsburg
    757-220-3670

    The Brew Used:

    Washington’s Porter Ale
    “Very dark brown/black in color with an aroma of chocolate and malt and flavors of caramel, sweet chocolate and a touch of roasted barley.” – tasting notes from the brewery website

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients
    10 ounces porter beer
    1 large scoop vanilla ice cream
    2 ounces coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua

    Method
    Chill the beer and add to a pint glass. Add ice cream and drizzle coffee liqueur on top. Serve immediately.

    Yields 1 cocktail

    -

    Patrick Evans-Hylton

    Patrick Evans-Hylton, a Johnson & Wales University trained chef, is a Norfolk, Va.-based food journalist, historian and educator. His work has appeared in print, television, radio and social media since 1995. Evans-Hylton calls his cookbook, Dishing Up Virginia, his love letter to the state’s foods and foodways. He blogs at PatrickEvansHylton.com.

     

    —–

    Enjoy a Beer Cocktail at these Virginia Restaurants:



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    Virginia Beer Trails & Tours

    by Casey | Posted on August 18th, 2014

    Ready for a ride on the Virginia craft beer bandwagon? If so, please do one of two things: 1) Designate a driver or 2) Take a chauffeured tour. Here’s how you can responsibly sip, sample and enjoy Virginia craft beer.

    Virginia's Blue Ridge Beer Loop

    Virginia’s Blue Ridge Beer Loop

    – TASTING ON YOUR OWN –

    Virginia’s Blue Ridge Beer Loop was unveiled just in time for August Virginia Craft Beer Month and includes six breweries around the Roanoke Valley. The Loop is a self-guided tour, which enables you to take your time and truly enjoy that one beer you find and love.

    • Big Lick Brewing Co. – Roanoke – opening Labor Day weekend!
    • Callaway Brewing Co. – Callaway
    • Chaos Mountain Brewing – Callaway
    • Flying Mouse Brewery – Troutville
    • Parkway Brewing Co. – Salem
    • Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers – Roanoke

    Here’s Something … When you visit all six breweries this month (and have your passport stamped) you’ll be entered to win prizes! Download the Brochure and Map

    Spread your craft beer experience over a couple of days and throw in a winery (10 to choose from), a distillery and a cidery to make it a well-rounded Virginia tasting. An example is the Red, White and Brew Trail in Nelson County:

    • Blue Mountain Barrel House
    • Blue Mountain Brewery
    • Devils Backbone Brewing Company
    • Wild Wolf Brewery

    Some of the Red, White and Brew sites are also on the Nelson 151 Trail. See the Map

    In a similar way, the Brew Ridge Trail incorporates many of the sites mentioned above, plus hops over to Charlottesville to pick up Starr Hill and South Street breweries. Additional attractions and places to stay are also listed for consideration.

    – CHAUFFEURED TOURS –

    Richmond Brewery Tours

    Richmond Brewery Tours

    Richmond Brewery Tours has been doing the driving for craft beer enthusiasts for two years, and there’s no sign of business slowing down. Craft beer is exploding in the Richmond region, with new breweries seeming to pop up all the time. The 14 passenger bus delivers you and your friends to three Richmond breweries for tastings and tours. Special tour events, like “Brews & Burlesque” are a hit with locals and visitors alike. Regular public tours are available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Book Your Tour

    Reston Limousine is running the NoVA Brew Bus to Mad Fox Brewing, Port City Brewing and Forge Brew Works on September 6, departing from Reston Town Center. Get behind-the-scenes tours, tasting, and even lunch at Mad Fox when you book this all-day craft beer excursion. Book Your Tour

    Additional Upcoming Tours:

    – STAY LONGER –

    The Mark Addy Inn

    The Mark Addy Inn

    Holladay House Bed and Breakfast in Orange is offering private tours for two to six in a luxury Cadillac Escalade. Tour sites can include breweries, wineries or cideries. This is an add-on to your stay with rates from $225 for six.

    Stay with The Mark Addy Inn in Nellysford and get a taste of the aforementioned Red, White and Brew Trail. This package is good for two nights until August 28 (better hurry!), and includes their three-course breakfast, plus a bottle of red Virginia wine, a bottle of white Virginia wine, and a six-pack of Virginia craft beer to take home. Six VIP vouchers are included for wine and/or craft beer tours and tastings, plus a $50 discount on a four-hour chauffeured tour. Rates start at $355 for two (room included). Book Now

    Belle Hearth Bed and Breakfast in Waynesboro invites you to stay two nights and receive a welcome basket of wine or beer and other goodies. Your stay will include a chauffeured tour to three wineries and/or microbreweries. Rates from $380 (room included). Offer good through November 30, 2014.

    Now that Staunton has two craft breweries to boast, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel has put together a craft beer package for your visit. Stay a night and receive a six-beer flight at Redbeard, two pints at Shenandoah Valley Brewing, and a free tasting at Hops retail store, plus a gift certificate to Shenandoah Pizza, breakfast, and parking. Rates from $199 for two. Book Now

    Where will your love of craft beer take you? Check out Virginia.org/CraftBeer to see what you’re missing.

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    11 Award-Winning Virginia Craft Breweries

    by Casey | Posted on August 13th, 2014

    Virginia is brewing some really tasty craft beer and the nation is noticing. The craft beer industry in Virginia has boomed very quickly from just a handful of breweries a couple of years ago to more than 80 as of this writing. It appears that Virginians and visitors passing through our beautiful Commonwealth are enjoying the liquid love on tap.

    Devils Backbone Brewing Company and Restaurant

    Devils Backbone Brewing Company and Restaurant

    If 80+ breweries seems overwhelming, let this be a quick-start guide. Go where the big awards are (World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival, for starters) and then launch your flight tastings from there. Here are 11 award-winning craft breweries you should try now in Virginia.

    1. Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland is a solid craft beer starter experience. DBB has certainly made a mark for itself in the world of craft beer since its 2008 opening. In 2013 alone DBB brought home six Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medals, plus two World Beer Cup (WBC) medals this year! Such acclaim boosts you to statuses like Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year (2012 and 2013 Great American Beer Festival) and Champion Brewery and Brewmaster (2010 World Beer Cup).

    • Old Virginia Dark American-Style Dark Lager – 2014 WBC Gold Medal, 2013 GABF Gold Medal
    • Vienna Lager – 2014 WBC Silver Medal (Outpost in Lexington)
    • Danzig Baltic-Style Porter – 2010 WBC  Gold Medal and 2013 GABF Bronze Medal
    • Morning Bear Coffee Flavored Beer – 2010 WBC Bronze Medal
    • Schwartz Bier German-Style Schwarzbier – 2010 WBC Bronze Medal
    • Kollaborator Traditional German-Style Bock – 2010 WBC Bronze Medal
    • Azreal Belgian- and French-Style Ale – 2013 GABF Gold Medal (Outpost)
    • Gold Leaf Lager American-Style or International-Style Pilsener – 2013 GABF Silver Medal
    • Berliner Metro Weiss German-Style Sour Ale – 2013 GABF Silver Medal
    • Ale of Fergus English-Style Mid Ale – 2013 GABF Bronze Medal
    • See More Awards
    Starr Hill Brewery

    Starr Hill Brewery

    2. Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet near Charlottesville is one of Virginia’s oldest craft breweries (1999). Starr Hill’s eight core brews, four seasonal brews and select limited edition brews have together garnered 21 medals from the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup over the years. Here are the most recent accolades:

    • Whiter Shade of Pale White IPA – 2014 WBC Gold Medal
    • Dark Starr Stout Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout – 2008 WBC Silver Medal
    • Amber Ale Irish Red Ale – 2002 WBC Bronze Medal
    • Soul Shine Belgian-Style Pale Ale – 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship Bronze Medal
    • See the Complete List

    3. Apocalypse Ale Works in Forest proclaims, “the end of bad beer is here!” and they invite you to try what championship judges have loved.

    • Heavy Red Horseman Scottish-Style Ale – 2014 WBC Gold Medal
    • Red Hoppocalypse Imperial Red Ale – 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship Silver Medal
    • Lustful Maiden Belgian Abbey Ale – Dubbel – 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship Gold Medal
    Blue Mountain Brewery

    Blue Mountain Brewery

    4. Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton is Virginia’s first countryside brewery, hop farm and tasting room, not to mention, they have a farm-to-table restaurant on-site. Ten brews are on tap daily. Here are their latest accolades:

    • Blue Reserve American- Belgian-Style Ale – 2012 WBC Silver Medal
    • Rockfish Wheat American-Style Wheat – 2010 WBC Silver Medal

    5. Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond operates a sustainable operation, with their energy being charged by wind and other renewable sources. If that doesn’t make you feel good about a visit, maybe a World Beer Cup acknowledgement will. Hardywood Gingerbread Stout won a 2012 WBC Bronze Medal in the Herb and Spice category.

    6. Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria is just a hop, skip and a jump from Washington, DC, making it a favorite reprieve from Capital life. Their recent acclaims include …

    • Optimal Wit Belgian-Style Witbier – 2013 GABF Gold Medal
    • Oktoberfest Vienna-Style Lager – 2013 GABF Silver Medal
    • Colossal One Aged Beer – 2013 GABF Bronze Medal
    • Colossal Two Smoke Beer – 2013 GABF Bronze Medal
    Three Brothers Brewing

    Three Brothers Brewing

    7. Lost Rhino Brewing Co. in Ashburn pairs locally-sourced eats with their gently handcrafted brews. Try the Rhino’fest Märzen, just released for the season today! It was awarded a gold medal in the German-Style Märzen category at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival.

    8. Smartmouth Brewing Co. in Norfolk claims to “geek out to the science of brewing,” which is becoming evident when the judges of the Great American Beer Festival award them a bronze medal in 2013 for their Notch 9 Double IPA. Great effort sometimes equals great reward.

    9. Three Brothers Brewing in Harrisonburg is actually comprised of three brothers a’brewin’. The brothers and their brewery are homegrown and loyal to their local roots, which makes a bronze medal for their Rum Barrel Belgium Dubbel Style IPA all the sweeter (2013 Great American Beer Festival).

    10. Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon only distributes locally to ensure optimum freshness and flavor. That being said, more than the region is taking notice of their brews.

    • White IPA Out of Bounds IPA – 2014 U. S. Open Beer Championship Gold Medal
    • White Blaze Honey Cream Ale American Cream Ale – 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship Silver Medal
    • Ordinary Bitter – 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship Bronze Medal

    11. South Street Brewery in Charlottesville was founded in 1998, but you’ll have to wait a few weeks for the grand re-opening of this local brewpub. Here’s to hoping their award-winning beverages are still on tap!

    • South Street Tripel Belgian Abbey Ale – 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship Gold Medal and 2011 Bronze Medal
    • Anastasia’s Chocolate Stout – 2011 U.S. Open Beer Championship Silver Medal
    • Satan’s Pony Scottish Ale – 2011 U.S. Open Beer Championship Bronze Medal and Judges’ Award for one of the Most Creative Names
    • South Street Dubbel – 2011 U.S. Open Beer Championship Bronze Medal

    Without a doubt there are tons more medals hanging around bottles in Virginia’s brewpubs. Explore and taste for yourself, especially during August Virginia Craft Beer Month, and let us know via the comments section about your favorite award-winning Virginia craft beer.

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    Great American Beer Festival – Virginia Winners – 1990-2013



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    Late Summer Travel Packages

    by Stefanie | Posted on August 7th, 2014

    Don’t start pulling out the sweaters yet! We have quite a while until we’ll need those, but before the cool air starts coming in, these vacation hot spots are great for your late summer escape.

     

    Horseback Riding

    Horseback Riding

    Bunk and Bridle 4-night Package, Reba Farm Inn – Aug. 17-20 
    -Starting at $400/person plus taxes.

    Virginia has its own “dude ranch” located in Bedford County, with 75 horses on 300 acres near the Peaks of Otter. Become an East Coast Cowboy at Reba Farm Inn/Saddle Soar Equitainment with the “Bunk and Bridle” package. This travel package is for the true horse lover who wants to learn more and/or improve their horsemanship; or the novice, a great introduction to common sense horsemanship, and includes:

    • Four nights of lodging at the Inn
    • Meals (some meals will be served at the Inn, others at the barn and one out on the trail)
    • Hands on activities with horses and lots of riding

     

    Salamander Resort

    Salamander Resort

    Restore and Discover Path, Salamander Resort & Spa
    -Starting at $543 per person, per night.

    Take some “me” time and enjoy an escape to Salamander Resort, and enjoy a soothing weekend pampering yourself. This package includes:

    • Deluxe accommodations
    • Heart-healthy breakfast
    • Fitness center & indoor pool access
    • Participation in group fitness and exercise sessions
    • 50-minute spa service of choice each day
    • $125 wellness credit per night, per person to be used toward a resort activity
    • Complimentary car service within a 5-mile radius
    • Seasonal welcome gift

     

    Hokie Football Overnight Stay Package, Blacksburg – dates are for all home Va. Tech games
    -Starting at $238.00 per night

    Stay with the Holiday Inn University Blacksburg & Lane Stadium for one of Virginia Tech’s home football games and receive:

    • Free shuttle to and from the football field (9am-2am)
    • Free tailgate near the stadium
    • Free parking
    • A special, unique gift for each game

     

    Virginia Golf Package at the Tides Inn – Thru Aug. 31
    -Starting at $380 per night, based on double occupancy

    Located on a private peninsula in the Northern Neck, near Chesapeake Bay, Tides Inn is home to the Golden Eagle Golf Course designed by George W. Cobb. Surrounded by woodlands, the course features exciting elevation changes, well-placed bunkers, signature holes, and water elements that all levels of golfers can enjoy.  Golden Eagle at the Tides Inn is the perfect getaway for golf with a group, as a romantic escape, or a trip with the whole family. Package includes:

    • Deluxe room accommodations
    • Full breakfast daily, per person, at the restaurant or room service
    • Unlimited daily golf at the Golden Eagle course, with cart, club storage and range balls
    • Unlimited use of the practice facility at the Little Eagle course
    • Golden Eagle souvenirs

     

    Maury River Kayaking

    Maury River Kayaking

    Twin River Rafting Adventure Package, Natural Bridge – Thru Aug. 31
    -Starting at $159

    Stay at the Natural Bridge Park Historic Hotel and enjoy a river excursion with friends and family in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Enjoy all the benefits of a Natural Bridge Family Hotel Package including:

    • Natural Bridge and Caverns tickets
    • Standard room for 2 adults and 2 children
    • Served, hot breakfast
    • A single trip each for the River Paddle or Tubing Adventure

     

    Williamsburg Flex Vacation Package, Williamsburg Plantation Resort – Thru Sept. 1
    -$1,859 total

    A great end of summer vacation for the family! The Williamsburg Flex Vacation Package includes:

    • 2 bedroom/2 bath condo, equipped with a kitchen, living and dining area
    • Unlimited visits to Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield, Busch Gardens, Water Country USA and more

     

    American Music Festival, Virginia Beach – Aug. 29-Sept. 1
    -$319 per night; special rates for Thursday, Aug. 28 and Monday, Sept. 1

    Enjoy 3 days of rock, jazz, country, R&B and more at the 2014 American Music Festival, presented by Chevrolet. Featured artists include Three Dog Night, Barenaked Ladies, Daughtry, Third Eye Blind, just to name a few. Package includes:

    • 3-night stay at the Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront
    • 2 Passport Pins for the festival

     

    Yoga at Primland Resort

    Yoga at Primland Resort

    Summer Hydration, Primland – Thru Sept. 21
    -Starting at $1,015
    Having one of those summers? Plan a relaxing trip to Primland Resort and enjoy the Summer Hydration package. This is the season of warm summer winds with the sun at its zenith. Abundant warmth and light beam confidence and strength. experience summer through its element – nourishing water as it opens us to our natural resources. The Summer Hydration package treatments have been especially selected to represent the nourishment and replenishment of the summer season. Package includes:

    • 3-day, 2-night stay at the resort
    • Breakfast and dinner each day
    • Yoga sea salt scrub
    • Stone of eternal youth facial
    • Harmony massage

     

    Civil War Experience, Fredericksburg – Thru 2014
    -Starting at $205

    Travel back in history and walk in the footsteps of Grant, Lee and the thousands of Americans affected by the Civil War. This historic package includes:

    • 2-night stay at a Fredericksburg-area hotel (selected upon booking)
    • Admission to the Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center and the White Oak Civil War Museum
    • Admission to all National Military Park Battlefields, a VIP dining card and more

     

    For the Birders Travel Package, Mountain Rose Inn
    -Starting at $569

    Experience birding in luxury with this package at the Mountain Rose Inn that is just for bird lovers who might want to also be guests at our Inn. Experience birds of many varieties on the Inn’s property. You can even get face-to-face with a ruby-throated hummingbird during the summer months as you sip a glass of sherry & enjoy an afternoon snack on the Inn’s front porch. Package includes:

    • 3-night stay
    • Breakfast of choice and picnic lunches.

     

    Fishing at Cornerstone Farm, Red Oak
    -Starting at $450/couple

    Whether you are young or young-at-heart, fishing is a relaxing pastime. You’ll discover the fishing is great sport on Cornerstone’s large private stocked pond. Cast a line for largemouth bass, crappies, catfish and more in our spring-fed pond for early morning or late afternoon fun. After dinner, enjoy the warmth of a evening bonfire while sharing stories and roasting marshmallows. This package includes:

    • 2-night stay
    • Snack tray and beverages
    • Country breakfasts, light lunch, full evening meals
    • 1 evening bonfire roasting marshmallows
    • On-site pond fishing (bait and tackle included)

     

    Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville

    Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville

    A Winelover’s Retreat, Orchard House Bed & Breakfast
    -Starting at $285/couple

    Enjoy a weekend in the country, sipping on Virginia’s finest wines. Package includes:

    • 2-night accommodations
    • 1 bottle of local Virginia wine and cheese platter
    • Full country breakfast each morning
    • Complementary soft drinks, coffee and tea
    • Complementary snack basket in room
    • Self-guided tours of local wineries and breweries

     

    Creeper Trail Bike Shuttle Package, Summerfield Inn Bed & Breakfast
    -Starting at $224

    The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34-mile long Rails-to-Trails footpath and recreational trail used for hiking, birding and cycling. The Summerfield Inn Bed & Breakfast package includes:

    • 2-night accommodations
    • 1/2 day bicycle rental for 2
    • Gourmet breakfast

     

    Family Fun Package at Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia Beach
    -Starting at $356

    Have a complete vacation experience with the Hilton Garden Inn Family Fun Package. Enjoy a family outing on the beach during the day and then have a night out on the town! Along with the breathtaking views of the Atlantic, this package also includes:

    • Tickets to Beach Movie Bistro (enjoy a full menu of dining options while you watch a movie!)
    • $50 dining card to be used at any of the hotel’s 5 Virginia Beach Boardwalk restaurants

     

     

     



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