Craft beer is epic in Virginia Beach

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In so many cities throughout the nation, craft beer is not an outlier or a novelty — it comes customary, nearly to be anticipated. So how does anyone place handle to face out from the group?

Virginia Seaside has figured it out. Perhaps it’s the proud army heritage, the wealthy bounty of close by agricultural communities, or the distinctive marine mixture of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. Both manner, Virginia Seaside is shortly changing into its personal particular craft beer vacation spot. Must see for your self? Try how these Virginia Seaside breweries are doing craft beer just a bit bit in a different way.

Again Bay Brewing Firm

The seashore cruisers (and the random surfboards) parked out entrance sign that you simply’ve discovered the suitable place. The super-chill tasting room is half energetic brewery and half seashore shack — the sort of place the place flip-flops and tank tops are mainly a uniform. And the backstory? Years in the past, hunkered down in a duck blind within the marshes of southern Virginia Seaside, two mates mentioned their desires of proudly owning a brewery — and in 2011, Back Bay Brewing Company was born.

Surf-loving locals and in-the-know guests make up nearly all of the group right here. However anybody in search of a strong beer with out pretense (and maybe a seasonal choice or three) will really feel at house. The False Cape Amber Ale is a quintessential amber with a smooth-yet-slightly-bitter caramel end, whereas the Metal Pier Bohemian Lager has a notice of honey hops and is ideal after a day on the seashore.

However when you actually need to get native, go for the Drikko, a nod to historical past’s final seafarers. The model originated with Vikings from the Swedish isle of Gotland and was historically fermented in a Rostbunn (“a picket vessel layered with juniper branches and straw”). It’s smoky, herbaceous, and complicated.

Younger Veterans Brewing Firm

Virginia Seaside is each a trip vacation spot and a proud army city. People right here know find out how to respect a superb beer, so the success of Young Veteran’s Brewing Company isn’t any shock.

Virginia Seaside’s Naval Air Station Oceana is close by, making YVBC a typical pit cease for native sailors and pilots. The taproom is sort of at all times packed, and the army and beer memorabilia hanging on the partitions seals the deal (critically — the military-themed bottle artwork at YVBC is on level).

House owners Thomas Wilder and Neil McCannon, each Military vets and die-hard beer lovers, have been brewing on this location since 2012. One among their finest military-themed choices is the Semper FI.P.A. — with citrus overtones and simply the correct quantity of bitter hoppiness, it’s an IPA for individuals who don’t like IPAs. The Evening Imaginative and prescient Stout is one other standout, with notes of darkish chocolate and espresso. The Pineapple Grenade, a fruity hefeweisen, is refreshing and has grow to be a summer season go-to for YVBC followers. Kudos to YVBC for providing a reduction to active-duty army and veterans as effectively.

Reaver Seaside Brewing Firm

Reaver Beach Brewing has gained a loyal following due to their ever-changing roster of experimental beers. Releasing a brand new bottle each month, their numerous repertoire contains sours, barrel-aged ales, and wild beers brewed with native micro-flora from Coastal Virginia for a really native style.

The native connection doesn’t cease at flowers and yeasts — they collaborate with space farms for a lot of of their seasonal releases. The Lunatic is an ale re-fermented in oak barrels with blackberries, whereas Inside the Flood Marks is a bitter re-fermented with blueberries. Simply in time to rejoice Reaver Seaside Brewing’s seventh anniversary is the discharge of the Jolly Roger Pumpkin Porter. There’s no blasé suds or lawnmower beers right here, that’s for certain.

Commonwealth Brewing Firm

What do you get once you take an superior Chesapeake Bay location, add a renovated firehouse, and throw in a few brewers who like to experiment? The reply: Commonwealth Brewing Company.

The historic Chesapeake Bay Hearth & Rescue Station #four has been remodeled right into a smooth beer corridor with polished concrete flooring, communal tables, glass bay doorways, and 28 faucets flowing with the newest liquid creations from proprietor Jeramy Biggie and head brewer Greg Fleehart. Belgian-style ales dominate the expansive beer menu, however Commonwealth followers come again for the weekly launch of experimental beers, together with an ever-changing roster of barrel-aged brews and sours. Present standouts are the Barrel Aged Dysphotic, a black saison aged in red-wine barrels for 21 months, and the Halcyon, a blonde bitter aged in white-wine barrels for 13 months after which re-fermented with apricots and passionfruit. After we say “craft” beer, it’s really, really, a craft.

Pleasure Home Brewing Firm

Pleasure House Brewing Virginia Beach beer

Picture: Tim O’Brien for Pleasure House Brewing

Steps from the Chesapeake Bay, within the Chick’s Seaside space of Virginia Seaside, the brewers at Pleasure House Brewing take “merroir” (as in terroir of the ocean) to the following degree. With the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, and the miles of inlets round Virginia Seaside, it’s no shock Pleasure Home will get its inspiration from native waterways.

Take their Rain Barrel Bohemian Pilsner, for instance — constituted of 300 gallons of rainwater collected from the Chesapeake Bay Basis’s Brock Middle, it’s an easy-drinking eco-friendly brew you possibly can be ok with. Farm-to-table is so 2016 — subsequent up, it’s sky-to-bar.

Inexperienced Flash Brewing Co.

With its laid-back seashore vibe and thriving craft beer scene, Virginia Seaside was an apparent spot for San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing Co. to plant their East Coast flag. The tasting room menu is heavy on California-style IPAs, however the Passionfruit Kicker, a heady wheat ale layered with tropical notes of passionfruit, is a crowd-pleaser no matter which coast you’re on.

A one-acre beer backyard full with fireplace pits and a bocce ball courtroom have shortly made Inexperienced Flash a favourite native hangout, and although you possibly can sense the California affect, this place is 100% Virginia Seaside. It’s run by locals — and stored in enterprise by locals — and is the actual deal.

Wasserhund Brewing

Impressed by a love of the seashore, canine, and beer (and actually, it doesn’t get extra Virginia Seaside than that), Wasserhund Brewing is all about bringing German beer tradition to the seashore. Navy veteran Aaron Holley and his spouse Christine, an engineer, brew German-style beer at their cozy Hilltop location.

A brick oven churns out some fairly wonderful artisanal pizzas, however I like to recommend their Jumbo Beer Pretzel, served with mustard or beer cheese. And, clearly, you’ve obtained to comply with it up with a standard beer brat to enrich Wasserhund’s lineup of German brews. The German Shepheweizen, a vibrant wheat beer with notes of banana and cloves, is a neighborhood favourite — although do notice that Wasserhund has everybody coated. Additionally they serve a totally gluten free-beer: their Glutenless Retreiver.

Bonus: Wasserhund’s dedication to the local people extends past the brewery, with the Holleys donating 5% of their income to a special charity every month.