REVELRY 2018

revelry - noun - rev·el·ry - /ˈrevəlrē/:

lively and noisy festivities

· · ·

On Friday, October 12th, VBC sets sail for the Martha Wren Briggs Amphitheatre at Lake Matoaka. Steer your way to Williamsburg’s most idyllic music venue for an evening of Revelry! The gates open at 5:30 PM and local favorites BrassWind take the stage at 6:30 PM. America’s Yacht Rock Captains, Three Sheets to the Wind, follow at 8 PM.

TICKETS

At least six Virginia Beer Co. offerings (including new releases and old favorites) will be available for purchase. Food will be available for purchase from Old City BBQ and The Catering Company of Williamsburg.

Parking fees are included with ticket purchase. Additional information can be found in the Event FAQ. Join us as we revel in good food, good beer, and good company!


Three Sheets to the Wind

Named "Best Band" by STYLE Weekly seven years running (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017), Three Sheets to the Wind is "America's #1 Tribute to Yacht Rock."

Three Sheets to the Wind pays authentic tribute to soft rock classics from the late '70s and '80s—undoubtedly the smoothest music ever created by mankind. It was an era of high gas prices and oil embargos that led America back to the simple joys of sailing, pina coladas, moustaches, and makin' love…sweet love.

The heartbeat of this sexy-tet belongs to short-shorted drummer Danny Marnier. Bass duties fall to steady shipmate Sonny Pockett. The saccharine saxophone sweetness is supplied by Goldman Sax, while manly keyboardist Walter Ego, guitarist Captain Max Power, and multi-instrumentalist Topper Dandy rock you softly with their sincere vocal delivery and sweeter-than-TaB™ harmonies.

When your soft rock needs a little extra kick, Three Sheets to the Wind will appear with world renowned, three-piece brass section, The Rounding Cape Horns. Book at your own risk and hide your daughters, though, because the combined talents of this noble nonet are smoother than Billy Dee Williams--and rest assured that it works…every time.

BrassWind

Brasswind started in November of 2017. All friends with one another but hardly ever playing together in the same room...they all decided it was time! Some of the most talented musicians in the area coming together to form a 'SuperBand' of sorts! Brasswind specializes in executing high-quality vocal and instrumental displays and recreating the classic horn-band sound of our yesteryear's!

Envision being in a big hall venue or amphitheater seeing Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, James Brown, The Temptations, or The King of Pop Michael Jackson! Music back when music was music! An era of culture filled with prolific musicians and quality repertoire that was written with substance and purpose! Brasswind can do it all. High-energy horn arrangements to get you moving, or beautiful ballads that will have you swaying with that special someone.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12TH

LAKE MATOAKA

5:30-10:30 PM

TICKETS

FAQ

Set Sail With VBC! 

Help Us Make More Of The Good Stuff

Help us make more beer! We're starting the search to grow our production team. We have new tanks, more taps, growing territories, and a canning line on the way! If you're interested in a career involving everything that goes into beer & brewing, click on the link below to learn more about joining our badass brewing team.

https://discussions.probrewer.com/showthread.php?78806-Brewer-Cellar-Position-Virginia-Beer-Company
Brewery.jpg

VBC does ACBW: May 14-20, 2018

VBC is celebrating small, independent craft beer with a week of events in honour of American Craft Beer Week! Join us every day from open on Monday, May 14th through close on Sunday, May 20th for a week of taproom events, new beers, new food trucks, daily specials, and a surprise or three.

May 14th-20th / "CraftBeer.com Spirit Week Special”
🍺 Rock ANY American craft brewery swag and receive 20% off VBC swag!

Monday, May 14th / 4-9 pm
🍺 Event: Walk-Thru with Willey
(brewery tours and Q&A on the half-hour, 5-8 pm)
🍺 Special: Treat Yo' Self to Industry Night
🍺 Food Truck: The Black Pearl

Tuesday, May 15th / 6-9 pm
🍺 Event: WSOL Encore Affairs Live Music, Food Truck & Brewery Tour
(Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra League Encore Affairs fundraiser)
🍺 Live Music: Bill and Pam Gurley with Fiddlesticks
🍺 Food Truck: FoodaTude..Food with Attitude

Wednesday, May 16th / 4-9 pm
🍺 Event: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Beer!
(Rock/Paper/Scissors tourney for prizes!)
🍺 Special: Gather The Tribe
🍺 Food Truck DEBUT: The Hungry Pug

Thursday, May 17th / 4-9 pm
🍺 Event: Arcade Hero: ACBW Video Game Night
(classic systems, FREE play!)
🍺 Special: Hot For Teacher
🍺 Food Truck DEBUT: Bojangles'

Friday, May 18th / 12-9:30 pm
🍺 Event: Taproom Battle: Dueling Pins
(TWO cask tappings @ 4 pm)
🍺 Special: Discounted to-go fills, 12-3 pm
🍺 Live Music: Cole Stevens and the Delta Daggers
🍺 Late Night: Salsa Night at VBC
(DJ + dancing w/ Victor Haskins & DJ Alex.VA)
🍺 Food Truck: Cubania

Saturday, May 19th / 12-9:30 pm
🍺 Event: Brewers Brawl: Flight of the Daylights
(THREE limited variant tappings @ Noon)
🍺 Special: FREE brewery tours, 3 pm & 4 pm
🍺 Food Truck: The German Snack Shack

Sunday, May 20th / 12-7 pm
🍺 Event: Tie-Dye Party: Deadbolt Style
(Tie-dye your own Deadoblt t-shirt)
🍺 Special: Takeaway discounts on Cans + Fills
🍺 Live Music: Haze & Dacey
🍺 Food Truck: Suck On This BBQ

Plus: An entire month of #DeadboltDay events!

#BeerItForward

Full-Time Friends FAQ

As of 1/1/2018, all openings in the inaugural Full-Time Friends club have been filled. Please check back in November 2018 for 2019 membership information! 

Interested in becoming a Full-Time Friend of The Virginia Beer Company? Join us: 

Where are the benefits of becoming one of our Full-Time Friends? 

There are a myriad of specials, personalized swag, and VIP events that come with an annual membership! The full list of benefits can be found here: bit.ly/FTF2018

Where do I purchase a 2018 Full-Time Friends membership?

You can purchase your membership right here! Memberships are also available for sale in the taproom. Sign-ups end on 1/1/2018. 

When do the benefits begin and end?

Purchasing a Full-Time Friends membership entitles you to benefits beginning on the first day the brewery opens in 2018 (January 3rd @ 4 pm) - lasting for a full year, through December 31, 2018. 

How does membership renewal work?

The annual renewal period will begin in early November each year and will continue through the end of December or until memberships are sold out. 

Who can receive these benefits?

The benefits are for you, the member, but not eligible to be used by anyone else. 

Can I use my FTF glass at the brewery?

The exclusive Full-Time Friends glassware is for members to enjoy at their home. We have 20 oz. glasses ready for you at the brewery! 

Why are beers above 8% ABV excluded from the up-sizing benefit?

Safe, responsible consumption is extremely important to us! Beers above 8% ABV are best enjoyed in servings up to 13 oz. But don't worry, as a Full-Time Friend you'll get 10% off our high gravity beers! We now have 16 taps and most of our beers are under 8% ABV, so you'll have plenty of options for the bump to 20 oz. pours!  

Can I buy an additional Full-Time Friends glass? 

Yes (while supplies last)! Additional Full-Time Friends glassware will be available for purchase at the first FTF event.

When will I receive all of my cool new FTF swag?

The majority of the items will be available at our first VIP sneak peek event in early 2018. Personalized items will be available soon after.

How will I be alerted to the 2018 FTF kick-off and additional news/notes/events? 

The brewery staff will be in touch (via email) for personalized details and upcoming exclusive FTF events throughout the year! 

How do I unlock my benefits when I get to the brewery? 

You will receive a FTF bottle opener keychain that can be flashed to our team. In addition, please be prepared to show your ID. 

Can I buy this as a gift?

Yes! In the Member Info form at checkout, please fill in the lucky recipient's information and choose "Yes" in the Is This Membership Being Purchased As A Gift? dropdown so we know not to spill the beans. Then get ready to be thanked. A lot. 

Is FTF refundable and/or transferable?

Not at this time. 

Can you mail the personalized items to me if I don't live locally?

Yes, for a nominal fee. 

Who should I contact if I have a question?

Please send all questions to:  Taproom@VirginiaBeerCo.com

The Entrepreneurs Connection

We are often asked the question: "Why open a brewery in Williamsburg?" It's a multi-faceted answer involving a connection to William & Mary, timing in the Virginia craft beer explosion, individual careers, and more. 

Recently we sat down with members of GW Launchpad (The Greater Williamsburg Incubator), Thomas Nelson Community College, and James City County at The Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center (at the William & Mary Mason School of Business) to discuss our roots, our adventures, and our progress. 

If you're interested in the story of The Virginia Beer Company, or in the entrepreneurial adventure, take a look at the video below to learn about ours. If you're in the Williamsburg area, keep an eye out for future Startup LINK meetings, and as always - feel free to reach out to us with any questions! 

VBC's Startup LINK

An inside look at how Virginia Beer Company started their journey to become one of the most talked about craft breweries in Williamsburg, Virginia. Presented by the Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurial Center, Launchpad, Thomas Nelson Community College and James City County.

The Barrel Fermentation Project

Within a few months of opening our doors in March 2016 we started putting beer in oak barrels at The Virginia Beer Company.  There's nothing particularly ground-breaking about barrel-aging high gravity beers. Pretty much every brewery is doing it, and for good reason - the results can be delicious. 

In July 2016 we started the Barrel Fermentation Project.  While most barrel-aged beers are fermented in stainless steel tanks, and then fully fermented beer is racked into oak to age, this project is a little different.  Taking inspiration from old world brewing techniques, the Barrel Fermentation Project fills used wine barrels with freshly cooled wort direct from the brewhouse, completely bypassing the stainless cellar tanks. Once in the barrels the wort for Batch I was inoculated with a variety of yeasts including multiple strains of Brettanomyces, a "wild" Saccharomyces strain, and Saison yeast. 

Spontaneous fermentation, this is not, and does not pretend to be. Known cultures were pitched with intention and flavor profiles in mind. That said, there is a definite lack of control involved in this project and that makes it that much more exciting. So much of my day as a brewer is about controlling fermentation - yeast cell counts, fermentation temperature profiles, sanitation, gravity readings, QA/QC lab sampling/incubation, etc. The Barrel Fermentation Project gets rid of most of that regimentation, instead leaving the blend of yeasts to do their own individual thing as they will over time. 

On the day we pulled Barrel Fermentation I from the Hungarian Oak red wine barrels for packaging, we were simultaneously brewing another batch, Barrel Fermentation II. As soon as the barrels were empty they were refilled with fresh wort for Barrel Fermentation III. Refilling the same barrels allows the now resident yeast culture in the barrels to take over with no additional yeast being added.  We'll see what happens with this one and let the beer and the barrels tell us when it is ready!

This first release is one of my favorite beers that I've ever had a hand in producing, and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I do. I think it had just the right amount of Brettanomyces fruity funk to complement (but not overpower) the Nelson Sauvin hops and oak character. 

Barrel Fermentation II (also brewed in July 2016) has been tasting quite nice out of the barrels. It has since been kegged and bottled, with an infusion of Brett Brux directly into the bottles to add a component of bottle-conditioning to this project. The bottle-conditioning will produce even more of the trademark esters and phenols that often mark a "Brett beer" as funky with hints of tartness.

Entirely approriate to enjoy now or to cellar for a future occasion, look for the bottle releases of Barrel Fermentation II, III, and IV - all blends that have fermented for months in Williamsburg Winery French & American oak red wine barrels. No promises on when Batch V will be ready - time and wild yeast will tell.

Cheers to lack of control and more barrel fermentations!

Learn more about...

Saison Tournante - Barrel Fermentation I

Saison Tournante - Barrel Fermentation II

Saison Tournante - Barrel Fermentation III

Saison Tournante - Barrel Fermentation IV

Careers & Beers

Last Updated: Monday, August 13th, 2018

The Virginia Beer Company is excited to announce that we are seeking another full time (40+ hours/week) staff member to join our taproom team in a long-term capacity! Please read through the description below and follow the instructions at the bottom of this page to apply. A career in beers & cheers awaits! 

Role Description
The Virginia Beer Company is hiring full-time staff to help with front of house needs. This includes working in VBC’s taproom to:

  • Pour beers, with attention to detail ensuring beer-clean glassware and proper head height. 
  • Restock and organize packaged beer in taproom reach-in - accurately rotate products. 
  • Service and fill crowlers/growlers/grunts for to-go purchase. 
  • Answer questions about beer styles, VBC products, and area events over the phone and at the bar. 
  • Clean/organize taproom, taproom amenities (eg, restrooms), and beer garden spaces. 
  • Maintain bar area before, during, and after taproom hours. 
  • Restock, organize, and change kegs in the taproom cooler - clean draft lines as required. 
  • Organize, keep tidy, inventory, and sell merchandise. 
  • Assist with live events and special releases (on and off-site). 
  • Open and close the facility as a key-holder. 
  • Compose nightly closing emails to communicate to Taproom Manager about shift occurrences. 
  • Complete transactions in point of sale system and accurately handle cash and credit receipts. 
  • In addition to taproom hours, help with private events on Tuesdays as needed. 
  • Execute weekly taproom specials and provide news about upcoming events. 
  • Demonstrate intimate knowledge and understanding of the Virginia Beer Co. story, beers, and culture. 
  • Participate in brewery events and knowledge-building exercises. 
  • Act as a positive brand ambassador for VBC - in person, online, and in the wild. 

Candidates should be committed to seeking a full time, long-term position; we are a close-knit group working together in a collaborative environment, so we take great pride in our team dynamic! Willingness to work both individually and in a team setting, and in a fast paced environment. Interest in learning about the brewing process and facets of operating a brewery + taproom + beer garden. A desire to be outgoing, conversational, and social (beer is fun!) but the ability to stay professional (brewing is work and ABC laws are no joke). Interest in being the face of a company; our taproom staff are the public facing persona of the brewery! A thirst for adventure...we are still a relatively new startup, so there are still many adventures yet to come! 

Backgrounds in the brewing industry and/or within the bar and restaurant worlds are helpful but not required. More important: passion for the community. Our company mantra is Beer · People · Purpose. We are dedicated to engaging the community around us and giving back to it. Whether it be the beers we brew, the events we host, or the interactions we have with each patron - our staff must be excited about the opportunity to build up and give back to the community that supports us. 

In addition, candidates should have flexibility in availability. Additional staff will especially be needed during peak hours such as Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons/evenings, and Sunday afternoons. If you foresee regular difficulty in being available during these times, please let us know before accepting a future offer. 

Taproom Hours:  

  • Monday:  4 pm - 9 pm
  • Tuesday:  Closed (open for private events)
  • Wednesday:  4 pm - 9 pm
  • Thursday:  4 pm - 9 pm
  • Friday:  12 pm - 9:30 pm
  • Saturday:  12 pm - 9:30 pm
  • Sunday:  12 pm - 7 pm

To apply:  Please send an updated resume along with a cover letter that includes your five favorite beers (and why) to - Taproom@virginiabeerco.com

We look forward to working with you and working together to serve the Williamsburg area and beyond! 

Waypost Week - 3/24 Music Fest

Thank you for joining The Virginia Beer Co. for our 2-year anniversary celebration! We can't wait to host you for beers & cheers throughout Waypost Week, and we hope that Saturday's all day brewery block party will be the second of many annual celebrations of local flavors + local sounds. Gates open at 12 pm and Music begins at 2 pm. Event is rain or shine! Below you will find all of the information regarding entry to 3/24's Music Festival

Entry - Pre-Purchased: 
  • If you've purchased your tickets online, you have purchased entry to Saturday's festival! In an effort to save our trees, there is no need to print anything out
  • We have a live record of everyone who has pre-paid for tickets. All you need for entry on Saturday is an ID matching the name of the purchaser for each set of tickets. 
  • We will have an Advance Tickets Purchase check-in at the right of the gate when you arrive and we will be handing out wrist bands, glassware, maps, and beer tickets upon arrival. 
  • Event is rain or shine - the Beer Garden & Beer Garden Stage are already tented, and we will tent the Festival Stage in the brewery rear and a large portion of the parking lot if inclement weather is expected! 
Entry - At The Door:  
  • We will be selling additional entry tickets at the door! If you have friends/family who do not have tickets, they may purchase entry upon arrival.
    • $12: Standard (21+) ticket for entry, wristband, glass, and beer ticket.
    • $5: DD / Under 21 ticket for entry.
  • Please Note:  For everyone who is receiving a Standard (21+) ticket that includes glassware and a beer ticket, we will need to see an ID for each ticket to verify everyone receiving a glass is at least 21 years of age.
  • Please make sure everyone who plans to retrieve tickets purchased under their name brings a valid photo ID with the same name, and that everyone in your group who will be receiving a 21+ ticket brings their own valid photo ID to verify an age of 21+.
  • Event is rain or shine - the Beer Garden & Beer Garden Stage are already tented, and we will tent the Festival Stage in the brewery rear and a large portion of the parking lot if inclement weather is expected! 
Parking:  
  • On 3/24 the entire brewery property (parking lot included) will be roped off for maximum beers & cheers! We have a number of nearby spillover parking options arranged for convenient access to the property. 
  • A shuttle (courtesy of Taste Virginia Tours) will be running from a pick-up point (denoted by signs and striped fire lanes) at the corner of the James-York Plaza off of Merrimac Trail / Rte. 143 at 603 Merrimac Trail from just before Noon until 9:30 pm.
    • Just look for the Taste Virginia Tours bus at the pick-up location and hop on when it returns from dropping fellow Waypost guests at the brewery every few minutes! 
  • Parking is conveniently located around the pick-up location: 
    • All Day:  Satellite parking is available at the James-York Plaza (603 Merrimac Trail) in the spaces adjacent to (but not in front of) Shorty's Diner and throughout the Plaza. 
    • All Day Spillover Parking: Additional satellite parking is available in the adjacent shopping center by Sherwin-Williams (457 Merrimac Trail), Family Dollar (461 Merrimac Trail), and Aaron's (471 Merrimac Trail). 
      • There is a sidewalk that can be followed via short walk from the Spillover Lot to the shuttle pick-up location at 603 Merrimac Trail (walking directions). Just follow the signs along the sidewalk to the pick-up area! 
    • Starting at 2 pm:  When Shorty's Diner (627 Merrimac Trail) closes for the day, they have agreed to let us use their lot and surrounding spaces for additional parking. 
  • See the below image for a bird's eye view of our spillover parking lots and shuttle pick-up location. 
  • Please Note:  Our neighbors are aware of our festivities but if you park in the lot of a neighboring business that is open for business or you block an entry at a business lot (such as the wooden gate next door at Ebby's) you may be towed! 
Walking: 
  • As there are no crosswalks near our facility, we highly recommend NOT WALKING if you are parking at the above locations.
    • The shuttle service will be running the entire event every 5 minutes or less, so we ask that you let Taste Virginia Tours get you safely to/from the anniversary party! 
    • If you choose to ignore this recommendation and decide on your own to cross the street, please be EXTREMELY CAREFUL when crossing the road. 
    • Again, we strongly discourage walking if you park across the street. If you do decide to do so, this path and this path at stoplights provide your easiest method for crossing the street. 
  • Fingers crossed for a beautiful day on Saturday, and we are an easy walk from Colonial Williamsburg (directions here)! 
Public Transportation:  
  • We have alerted Cardinal Cabs of Williamsburg to our festivities and they will have taxis at the ready! Phone: 757.345.5557
    • The easiest drop-off point is the Speedway (395 Second Street) located next to the brewery. 
  • Uber & Lyft are now options in Williamsburg! If you are a first time rider, use the promo code at this link (for Uber) and this link (for Lyft) to get discounts on your rides! 
    • The easiest drop-off point is the Speedway (395 Second Street) located next to the brewery. 
  • WATA has two bus stops on the Orange Line near the shuttle pick-up and runs from 6 am - 9 pm on Saturday. 
    • Outbound Stop #10 stops right across from the Spillover Lot near Sherwin-Williams. Follow the signs along the sidewalk to the shuttle pick-up at James-York Plaza! 
    • Inbound Stop #14 stops in James-York Plaza. Simply walk to the corner of James-York Plaza off of Merrimac Trail / Rte. 143 and look for the Taste Virginia Tours bus (pick-up location denoted by signage and striped fire lanes). 
Glassware & Beer Tickets:  
  • Every Standard (21+) ticket comes with a commemorative glass and one beer ticket.
    • Beer tickets may be exchanged for one pour (8 oz. for high alcohol beers or 13 oz. for low alcohol beers). 
  • Additional beer tickets ($5/ticket) may be purchased after entry at stations located throughout the brewery property (see attached map, which will also be provided upon entry). 
  • We will have rinse stations around the property so please hold on to your glass!
    • In order to make sure that only those who are 21+ are able to purchase beers, we can only provide one glass per 21+ ticket. 
  • If a glass is broken, we can provide a replacement glass for $5. Please note that 21+ ticket holders will have wristbands designating their age.
    • If anyone who is not wearing a 21+ wristband is found with a beer we will have to ask them to leave, per VA ABC law. 
Re-Entry:  
  • Once you have checked in at the gate, you will be given a wristband designating your ticket purchase (ie, Standard, Under 21, Designated Driver). 
  • Please do not remove your wristband! 
  • Staff will be monitoring the crowd to ensure that only those who with 21+ wristbands are sampling beers. 
    • Again, 21+ ticket holders will be given wristbands designating their age. If anyone who is not wearing a 21+ wristband is found with a beer we will have to ask them to leave, per VA ABC law. 
  • Equally important:  wristbands guarantee re-entry! 
    • If you need to leave for any reason (such as taking to-go beer to your car), showing your wristband at the gate will permit re-entry from open until close. 
Chairs:  
  • We will be placing tables and chairs throughout the property. If you would like to bring folding chairs, please feel free to do so! 
  • We ask that you limit these items just to chairs - no tables or oversized umbrellas will be permitted that may obstruct the view of other guests or access to the various stations set up around the property. 
Outside Food/Drink:  
  • We kindly ask that you do not bring any outside food or drink with you on Saturday. 
  • We will have FOUR food trucks serving from open to close (12-9 pm), and we'll have a bevy of beer and non-alcoholic beverage options available for purchase! 
  • No coolers will be permitted into the festival. If you plan to purchase bottles or cans, please do so when departing or feel free to take to-go package back to your car. Your wristband guarantees you re-entry! 
    • Per VA ABC law we are not permitted to allow additional alcoholic beverages on the property, so with the large crowd expected we are not able to permit coolers as a precautionary measure. 
Pets:  
  • This year we will be allowing pets to partake in Waypost festivities!
  • If you decide to bring a furry friend, please plan to keep them leashed the entire time. 
  • Due to the increased crowd capacity, we ask that you please plan to keep pets outdoors as the taproom may get crowded as the primary location for ordering beer. 
Smoking:  
  • We have a designated smoking area set up at the rear of the property (see attached map) and kindly ask that any smoking/vaping of any kind take place only in that area. 
To-Go Beer:  
  • No container (eg, Growler, Crowler) fills will be offered on Saturday due to the high volume of people expected. Please plan your fills for Friday (discounted fills from 12-3 pm) & Sunday (specials on 3-packs of Crowlers from 12-7 pm)!
  • We will have a station set up in the brewery for to-go purchases of packaged beer & merch. 
  • Unfortunately we can't store purchases throughout the day, so please plan to purchase your beer as you plan your departure, or feel free to leave with your to-go purchases and re-enter with your wristband. 
  • We are not able to allow access to the property with to-go beers as any beer purchased to-go must be consumed off-site, per VA ABC law. Any beers purchased to-go must leave the property upon purchase. 

We look forward to a fun and safe celebration of all the things we love here at 401 Second Street with all the people who've supported us through this milestone. Thank you again for your support and we look forward to raising a glass with you on Saturday, 3/24! 

For information about beer tappings + musical lineups, please reference the lineup card you will receive upon entry to the festival and check the live event on our Facebook page

Questions? Don't hesitate to email us at taproom@virginiabeerco.com or call us at 757.378.2903. 

BeerAdvocate’s Class of 2016: 34 of the Best New Breweries in the US

BeerAdvocate’s Class of 2016: 34 of the Best New Breweries in the US

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia – On the cusp of its first anniversary, The Virginia Beer Company was recently recognized as one of the top new breweries in the country by BeerAdvocate magazine. As part of BeerAdvocate’s annual “Class Of” honors, 34 breweries out of the 861 new breweries that opened across the country in 2016 were selected as the best in their class. Virginia Beer Co. was one of two Virginia breweries selected for last year’s honors.

Cans + QC

Bad news, my friends. We're out of Free Verse India Pale Ale cans.

"But you guys canned a fresh batch on Wednesday, right?"

Yes. Yes, we did. But we can't sell it to you yet.

We take quality control very seriously here at VBC. From our raw ingredients and water, to our cleaning regimen and packaging, quality control is our number one concern, especially with our growing Brettanomyces barrel-fermentation program (more on that later).

Every batch of beer we produce goes through rigorous, in-house microbiological lab testing to ensure that the beer is as intended and infection free. Unfortunately part of this process involves time.

After we move a batch of beer to the brite tank we take aseptic samples of the beer. To ensure sterility of the sample, we flush the sample valve with 70% isopropyl alcohol and flame the port with a propane torch. After cooling the sample valve by running beer through it, we collect an aseptic sample for testing in the lab. This sample is then added to two different selective media - one of which tests for lactic acid bacteria (lactobacillus and pediococcus) and another that tests for wild yeast (Brettanomyces).

Here's where the time part comes in... It takes a minimum of 4 days of anaerobic incubation at 20°-25° C to determine if there are beer spoilers in the beer, so we hold beer in the brite tanks for that long before we will ever package it. Once it clears this test (which thankfully has always been the case - knock on stainless AND wood), we are ready to package into kegs and cans.

After canning we take more aseptic samples from multiple cans and repeat these microbiological tests and incubation time. This of course brings us back to the beginning of this post... We're sorry, but even though Free Verse cans are full and cold in our cooler, we cannot, in good conscience, release this beer until we know it is exactly what we intend it to be (down to a microbiological level) even if it means being out of cans for a few days.

We may bend these rules for some very limited runs of brewery-only release cans in the future, but for our flagship Free Verse India Pale Ale that sees growing distribution, there's simply no risking the beer or our reputation simply to get the beer out a few days early.

All that said, assuming the lab work comes back clean...we'll have Free Verse India Pale Ale cases in the taproom ready to go on Sunday at Noon for all your Super Bowl shenanigans!

I'm an Atlanta guy, so:  cheers to high standards for beer quality and the Falcons!