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Five Can’t-Miss Virginia Craft Beer Events

by Casey | Posted on August 8th, 2013

Craft beer lovers are invited to converge upon several festivals and special events this month – August Virginia Craft Beer Month.

Saturday, August 10 is Microfestivus at Roanoke’s Elmwood Park. More than 100 beers from 40 Mid-Atlantic micro and craft breweries will be on tap for 4 oz. and 8 oz. tastings. The event is rain or shine and a valid ID must prove you’re 21. Admission is $5 plus the cost of tastings. Purchase tickets in advance for discounts. Virginia has 19 participating craft brewers for Microfestivus. Festival Map and Beer List

Virginia Craft Beer Week at Boar's Head Inn

Virginia Craft Beer Week at Boar’s Head Inn

Monday through Friday, August 12-16 is Craft Beer Week at Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville. Burgers are the main menu item and a different craft beer or cider will be suggested as an optimal flavor enhancement for each.

Need an example? Ask for the Boar’s Head Sirloin Burger covered in aged cheddar, Applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle, and served with handcut fries. The suggested beverage is Starr Hill’s Jomo Lager, described by Starr Hill as “a crossover beer that appeals to the broadest spectrum of brew aficionados.” Burgers are $16 to $22 and beers are $5.75 per bottle. Available for lunch and dinner. Beer and Burger Week Menu

Saturday, August 17 is Three Brothers Brewing Co.’s Beer Month Celebration in Harrisonburg. Enjoy live music from three different bands, as well as fantastic local food from Jack Brown’s and Log Cabin BBQ, plus iced coffee from Lucas Roasting Co.

Virginia Craft Brewers FestSaturday, August 24 is the Second Annual Virginia Craft Brewers Festival hosted by Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday night camping is offered for a fee of $15 per person, $10 per car and $50 per RV.

The Virginia Craft Beer Cup presented by Virginia is for Lovers will be awarded to the best overall beer as selected by certified judges. Festival-goers will enjoy live music from five different bands, craft beer from 29 Virginia craft breweries and great local food. Admission is $10 for designated drivers and non-drinking attendees ages 13 and older (soft drinks and water included in admission). Purchase a $35 tasting package in advance to save $10, or a VIP tasting package for $45 that is available in advance only. Children 12 and under are free.

Looking for the lastest brew to be tapped? It just might be Exquisitely Evil Ale, a Double IPA that will be released Thursday, August 29 at Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford. Come out at 5 p.m. for a brewery tour prior to sampling Exquisitely Evil, and stay for paired food specials until 9 p.m.

In addition, consider these opportunities:

Looking for more on Virginia Craft Beer? Look no further than for a map of brewery locations and more upcoming events.

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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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Book Now! 15 Summer Travel Deals & Packages

by Casey | Posted on July 22nd, 2013

If you have a few days to get away and are looking to save a few bucks, too, this list is for you. Happy travels!

Accommodation Deals

SpringHill Suites, Virginia Beach

SpringHill Suites, Virginia Beach

Lynchburg – Care to make a deal? Email The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, pitch them an offer they can’t refuse and within 48 hours they’ll reply to say ‘deal’ or ‘no deal.’ They’re looking for a per night rate for a stay of two nights or longer. Good luck! Valid through December 29.

Newport News – Stay at the Marriott Newport News at City Center and your kids (up to four of them, ages 12 and under) eat free – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Valid through September 8.

Pearisburg – Book two nights at the Inn at Riverbend and take 50% off your third night. The Inn overlooks the New River and Appalachian Mountains. Don’t miss this offer! Valid through July 31. Book Now with offer code IARBSSM13.

Stephens City – Book a stay for any Sunday through Thursday (non-holiday) between now and December 19 at The Inn at Vaucluse Spring and receive 20% off the regular rate.

Virginia Beach – SpringHill Suites (oceanfront) invites you to stay three nights or longer and they’ll knock $25 off the daily rate. Breakfast is included. Book Now

Warm Springs – Celebrate your birthday by going away! Stay at the Meadow Villas at Warm Springs ON your birthday and get a second night for 30% off. Call 717-951-3955 to make a reservation. Valid through December 20.

Waynesboro – Receive 20% off your second and/or third night when you stay midweek (Tuesday-Thursday) at Tree Streets Inn. Valid through August 29.

North Mountain Outfitters, Swoope, VA

North Mountain Outfitters, Swoope, VA

Attraction Deals

Charlottesville – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello should be on everyone’s history #bucketlist. If it’s on yours, you’re going to love this. Teenagers (ages 12 to 18) receive a 33% discount on their ticket between now and September 2. Adult rate: $24; children 6 to 11: $8; children 6 and under: free.

Manassas – Civil War enthusiasts (or those just getting started with Civil War history) will appreciate a $15 Civil War Experience Pass that gives you entrance to six historic sites. It’s a 50% savings over single admissions for each site. Valid through December 31.

Swoope – North Mountain Outfitters is offering half-day guided trail rides for two for 50% off between now and September 30. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an accomplished rider, you’ll love what you find. Reservations required. Call 540-886-7768.

Williamsburg – Boo! Creep along on a Spooks and Legends Original Haunted Tour of Williamsburg a bit cheaper. Tell them you saw their deal on and they’ll discount each ticket by $2. Note, this tour is is geared toward adults. Call 757-784-6213 to make your reservation. Valid through December 31.

Packages: Stay and Enjoy!

Lynchburg – August is Virginia Craft Beer Month and the Virginia Craft Brewers Festival will be held August 24. Want to go? Need a place to stay? The Craddock Terry Hotel is offering a two-night stay for two with festival admission, tasting glasses, tasting tickets, and transportation to and from the festival. Must be 21 or older. Package starts at $249. Valid August 23-25. Book Now

Pembroke – Stay three nights at Mountain Lake Lodge and get the fourth night free, but better than that is you’ll also receive a $100 activities credit to enjoy all of the family fun Mountain Lake has to offer. BRAND NEW: Treetop Adventures Aerial Adventure Course * Harvest Restaurant * Stony Creek Tavern * Mountain Lake Outfitters
Valid through September 7. Book Now

Richmond – Love jazz? Stay at The Jefferson Hotel August 9-11 and enjoy the Richmond Jazz Festival as part of your stay. Two tickets for each day of the festival, a traditional Southern breakfast for two each morning and three nights in luxury for $305/night. Book Now

Virginia Beach – Stay at The Oceanfront Inn and receive the pin that gets you into all of the American Music Festival concerts during Labor Day weekend. A three-night stay is required. Valid August 30 through September 2.

And these aren’t all! Find dozens more deals at


Arts, Beaches, Beer, Deals & Discounts, Family, Festivals, History, Outdoors | Comments Off

12 Classic Virginia Experiences

by Casey | Posted on December 12th, 2012

In honor of 12/12/12 we’ve put together a list of 12 classic, not to miss experiences in Virginia. If you’re following the Mayan calendar, you’ll need to fit them in by December 21. Good luck!

Humpback Rocks, milepost 5.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Humpback Rocks, milepost 5.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway

1. Hike the Appalachian Trail. No, not the whole thing, but a chunk of it would make you feel good. Start in Shenandoah National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hey, did you know Virginia has more miles of the AT than any other state? Trivia and exercise. You’re welcome.

2. Find your way through the Triangle. Not the spooky Bermuda Triangle, but America’s Historic Triangle – Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. All of America is rooted in the happenings of this area, from the 1607 landing at Jamestowne to the new nation ideas bred at Williamsburg and the conclusion of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown. That’s a lot of historical action in a pretty tight radius.

3. If seeing sites that include words like biggest, endless, deepest or tallest are on your bucket list, we can help you mark them off. Virginia has eight caverns, including the largest in the eastern United States (Luray), one that has no end (New Market), the deepest (Natural Bridge) and one that has the tallest stalagmite in the world (Middlesboro).

McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach

McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach

4. For one key annual event, you’re welcome to drive the longest boardwalk in the country - the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It’s the McDonald’s Holiday Lights on the Beach, part of Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights connecting seven twinkling cities.

5. Walk on cobblestones! There’s nothing neater than cobblestone streets and you can still find them across Virginia. Check out Virginia’s Main Streets and then look in places you wouldn’t suspect, like Richmond‘s Shockoe Slip, the Freemason District of Norfolk and Old Town Alexandria.

6. Have a whale of a time on board a boat bound for winter wildlife viewing off the coast of Virginia. The team at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is happy to take you into the Atlantic for a chance to see the fin and humpback whales migrating this time of year. Of course, no one controls the whales and where they swim, so don’t get too upset if you don’t happen to spot one.

7. Visit the Mother of Presidents when you visit Virginia. Eight United States Presidents have hailed from the Commonwealth and you can visit their homes and libraries as well as the places they dined, studied and enjoyed the social scene.

8. Drink life in at your choice of more than 200 wineries, more than 40 craft breweries or a quickly growing number of cideries and distilleries. Designated drivers are mandatory, we said so.

9. Strike a chord in the birthplace of country music – Bristol - and travel The Crooked Road to see and hear music history and tradition at places like Carter Family Fold and the Ralph Stanley Museum.

F. Chan, Luray

Luray, VA

10. Walk in Steven Spielberg’s footsteps when you check out Lincoln – The Movie Trail. The cast and crew were on set in Virginia for 53 days filming the new movie LINCOLN. Go eat where they ate, see the film sites and enter for a chance to win a three-night Lincoln-themed vacation.

11. Zip line through a snowy winter wonderland at Wintergreen Resort. It’s 900 feet at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Don’t forget to wear a ski mask. Brrr!

12. At the end of everything, what really matters? We’d argue and bet many would agree that LOVE is the answer. Find the LOVEworks location nearest you and take a family photo for posterity’s sake.

So, what would be your 12 Virginia travel experiences not to miss before the end of the world?

We wish you the best and when the end doesn’t come on December 21, 2012, well, you’ll still be able to put LOVE at the heart of every Virginia vacation you ever take!  Go ahead and order a Virginia Travel Guide just in case we do make it to New Year’s Day.

Beaches, Beer, Destinations, Family, Filmed in Virginia, History, Outdoors, The Holidays, Winter | 3 Comments

Virginia Home Brews

by Casey | Posted on February 9th, 2012

Whether you’re planning a week-long Virginia vacation, a weekend getaway, or you’re just passing through, be sure to experience the best of what we have to offer. That includes our beer.

St. George Brewing CompanyFrom pale ales to pretty stout stouts, you can most certainly find your favorite brew in Virginia, along with a custom etched pilsner and t-shirt to show your pride.

In Fredericksburg, go for the Blue & Gray Brewing Co. and Lee’s Retreat Brewpub. A microbrewery offering free tours and tastings certain days of the week, Blue & Gray has four beers on tap all the time with specialty beers available seasonally.

Historic downtown Lexington boasts a new business in the Blue Lab Brewing Company. Sample the beers on tap, and when that certain one finds you, buy a growler or a keg.

Blue Mountain Brewery and Restaurant is located in Afton, just a short drive from Charlottesville. Enjoy one of their 10 handcrafted brews paired with a fresh, local menu. Beers are available by the glass, six-pack, growler, or keg.

To put a spin on home brewed beer, Queen City Brewing in Staunton invites you to brew your own from more than 60 recipes! Beer not quite your thing? You can also vint your own wine or make your own soda. For those who’d rather leave the brewing to the experts, there are 12 Queen City brews on tap. Feel free to take some home in a mix-and-match six-pack or a Party Pig®.

St. George Brewing Company crafts 14 brews – some award-winning – in Hampton. Each season has its own beer, and then there are the mainstays – all available in kegs and bottles. Take a tour of the microbrewery, sample what’s on tap, and visit the retail shop, too.

Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon offers Growler Hours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings where you can tour the facility and then sample the regionally-named flavors handcrafted at this old Ice House near the Virginia Creeper Trail.

Bold Rock Cidery and Brew PubWhile this is certainly a long enough list to keep you busy for a while, Virginia has quite a few more breweries you’ll want to check out.

Beer, Couples | 3 Comments