Recent changes to state law will likely lead to a burst in extracurricular brewery events.
When breweries have special events throughout the year – like a block party – they need special permits from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Until now, only four a year were awarded to each brewery. That number is about to double, thanks to lobbying from the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild.
“It allows us to be creative and engage the consumer in exciting ways,” said Porter Hardy, president of Smartmouth Brewing Company and the guild’s legislative chairman. “Before, with only four permits, breweries were hoarding them, and now we hope that breweries will loosen up and be more likely to engage in events not at their own brewery.”
This is great news for breweries looking to engage wider audiences that might not make it into taprooms. And if this new law leads to more great events like the popular Common Grounds festival in Virginia Beach, that’s a good thing.
Representing Hampton Roads on a bigger scale
The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild selected its leadership for 2017-18 and two local brewery owners are among the leaders. Smartmouth’s Hardy will serve as the co-chair of the government affairs committee, and Coelacanth Brewing Company’s Kevin Erskine will serve as co-chair of the marketing and tourism committee.
Hey, Portsmouth: Are you ready for Legend?
Legend Brewing Company has been planning for a mid-July opening at its new outpost in Portsmouth. When we checked in mid-June, Legend’s Brewing Depot brew tanks were in place, and the bar and pub renovations were nearly finished.
You’ll be able to find the full line of Legend beers, as well as specialty beers brewed on-site. On its menu will be some favorites from Richmond, plus a raw seafood bar. The brewery’s oysters will come only from Virginia’s local and sustainable oyster farms.
Keep an eye out for…
O’Connor Brewing Company will re-release Bells Beach Saison. It’s got galaxy hops from Victoria, Australia, which is also home to this beer’s namesake. It promises to be a balanced beer with saison yeast, flaked oats, and local wildflower honey. It’s available July 14.
Save the dates
Looking for a reason to skip town before summer’s over? Why not head down to Brevard, North Carolina, for Oskar Blues Brewery’s Burning Can Beer Festival? It’s exactly what it sounds like: A celebration of canned craft beer. There’s music, too. And camping. And outdoor activities. Pick
up a weekend pass for $75 or day passes for $30-$55 each. It runs July 21-23 (Sunday morning features a breakfast for campers). Visit www.burningcan.com/nc.
Green Flash Brewing Company in Virginia Beach is finally giving tours. They’re offered Thursdays through Sundays at 2 and 4 p.m., and the brewery suggests reserving a spot online. This tour isn’t like other area breweries. The system’s actually a whole lot bigger and on a scale you won’t see around town. It’ll impress your out-of-town friends, if they’re beer nerds, and even more if they aren’t. Visit https://tinyurl.com/ycya3ng.
Check out the third annual TAP! TAP! Craft Beer Festival at Greenbrier Farms in Chesapeake from 2 to 7 p.m. Aug. 19. More than 30 beers will be on tap, and the food will be good. Proceeds benefit children of Maison Fortune Orphanage in Haiti. Get more info at taptapfest.org.
Couldn’t make it to the Savor festival in Washington, D.C., this year? No problem. Pick up a bottle of Savor X, the collaboration from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and New Belgium Brewing Company. It’s a Baltic porter with cacao husk.
It has the sweetness of chocolate, the richness of coffee, a strong aftertaste, and a subtle smokiness. Weighing in at 10 percent alcohol by volume, sip this after-dinner beer by itself. It will coat your tongue and the sweetness will just sit there in your mouth.
You’ll taste the alcohol in this one, too. It’s black, with red hues, as it should be. Wine lovers may enjoy this one. Oh, and if you don’t have a light dinner before drinking this brew, it will put you right to sleep. Or in the bathroom.
Hello, peach! That’s what hits your tongue as soon as you take a sip of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s Cuvee Peach. It’s a white wine barrel-aged peach tripel ale. Refreshing like white wine, but with a peach zest, it has a yeasty aftertaste. If you like white wine and need a transition beer, this one could work. It’s definitely a summer brew that will be easy to sip on a hot day.
Dates to remember
July 15 – Local Cheers presents Galaxy Dynamite, Nate Sacks & the LifeHacks, and Delirious George at O’Connor Brewing Company.
August 19 – Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Virginia Craft Beer Fest. From 1 – 8 p.m. at IX Art Park in Charlottesville. Craft beers, food, music, and of course, fun.
August 19 – 96X, WHRO and HRGrowler present Starfire Festival’s Launch Sequence Countdown 4 concert at O’Connor Brewing Company in Norfolk with Galaxy Dynamite, ThreeSound, DJ NINI, Magician Hunter Rhodes, Artist Khalil Riddick, Jackie Paoella of DJP and MrT, video game contest, cosplay contest and more. Free admission. 7 – 11 p.m.