Quick Hits & Food Trucks, Part 2

It's been an amazing start to the new year in the Greater Williamsburg area. The biggest news (at least for us) is that The Virginia Beer Company's buildout at 401 Second Street is practically complete! With the exception of a few odds & ends on our punch list, we've been working steadily along to make this facility into the brewery of the future. With the wrap of construction and the start of brewing (maybe that's bigger news!), we've been busy getting ready for a grand opening in the spring, and find ourselves trying to take a moment to recap the amazing start to the year.

In our last update, we provided a few notes on the delivery of our brewing equipment and the progress of our buildout. In addition, we were getting hungry over the prospect of food trucks being allowed in York County. The December vote that was set to allow food trucks was tabled due to a complication (per WYDaily), but the New Year's resolution stuck early and the Board of Supervisors passed the updated regulations in January (per WYDaily) (almost a year after we first started the conversation)! We had initially worked to design 401's beer garden so that food trucks could pull alongside the space and provide access to their sumptuous morsels while our patrons were enjoying the outdoors with a Virginia beer in hand in front of the brewery. We're now excited about the opportunity to work with Williamsburg's amazing culinary artists and introduce the area to some new flavors (such as from our friends at Karnage Asada) now that we can formally host food trucks at 401!

Meanwhile, the Hampton Roads craft beer scene continued to grow in new and exciting ways. Future openings by fellow newcomers were announced and upcoming moves and expansions by other known brewers were unveiled. In addition, the year-end brought with it a time of celebration for the amazing brewing going on around the area. We were thrilled that our Public Frenemy No. 1 collaboration with fellow York County brewery Alewerks Brewing Company received a silver medal for Best Collaboration at the VEER Magazine Golden Tap Awards! To play even a small role in the HRVA craft beer scene in 2015 before we open was a great thrill. We CANNOT WAIT to get even more involved when Spring 2016 rolls around!

VEER’s 2015 Golden Tap Award Nominees

VEER Magazine (which recently featured a great article about Virginia Beer Co.) has unveiled it's spectacular list of nominees for it's 2015 Golden Tap Awards! There are over 40 categories featuring beer styles, breweries, beer stores, and everything in between.

The Virginia Beer Co. is thrilled to be included in the Collaboration category! Our Red Rye IPA collaboration brewed with Alewerks Brewing Company, Public Frenemy No. 1, is included in a delicious field of collab brews.

Make sure to show your support for your favorites (we may be biased in one category) by voting early & often ahead of December's awards ceremony party at O'Connor Brewing Company!


Alewerks Collaboration Beer

When Alewerks Brewing Company's Brewmaster, Geoff Logan, first approached us about doing a small batch collaboration beer, obviously, I was excited at the opportunity. It’s to the point that it’s cliché, but despite the inherent business competition, craft brewing really is a congenial and collaborative industry, and nobody exemplifies that more than Geoff.

Geoff and I first started talking casually about what we might want to brew back in the spring, at the local homebrew club, CASK (Colonial Ale Smiths and Keggers), spring party. Conversation over a couple well-done homebrews led to discussing some of the newer hop varieties that have gone into production in recent years, specifically varieties coming from the American Dwarf Hop Association.

Azacca is one of these hops, and will be featured heavily in The Virginia Beer Company's year-round IPA, so I have plenty of it contracted for the next few years. Geoff was interested in working with the new variety, so we had a bit of a direction for the collaboration, and we eventually settled on a Red Rye IPA as the base beer.

Azacca is a great, high alpha acid variety, which also has great oil content giving intense aromas of tropical fruit- mango, pineapple and the like. The fruity character of the variety is almost overwhelming as a standalone hop, so we decided to balance it with some Simcoe for a little bit of dank, resiny, pine flavor and aroma.

The brewday at Alewerks went quite well, and it was great to be back working in a brewery again after a year of pilot batching. The rye malt gives a nice crispness to the beer that allows the hops to really shine in the IPA. We also did all of our hop additions at the end of the boil and in the whirlpool, in order to keep the bitterness moderate for an IPA (around 65 IBUs) while still packing the wort with as much of the aromatic and flavorful hop oils as we could. The beer was then dry-hopped with copious amounts of Azacca to really pull out the tropical aromas of the hop- it seemed a fitting choice for a summer release. And with 2 lbs. of dry hops added per barrel (for 20 total lbs.), those tropical aromas and flavors should shine like the summer sun!

Speaking of the release, we’re excited to pour our collaboration Red Rye IPA alongside many of Alewerks’ other beers on Sunday, 8/2 at the Whistle Belly Virginia Beer & More Festival in Williamsburg, hosted by our friends at DoG Street Pub. It should be a great celebration of all things Williamsburg beer. And we're excited for the follow-up release at the Alewerks taproom on Thursday, 8/6 as part of the National IPA Day celebration.

Cheers to collaboration and exciting new hop varieties!

Williamsburg Craft Collab Gets The Full Treatment

We here at The Virginia Beer Company are pretty stoked for Sunday's upcoming Whistle Belly festival here in Williamsburg. Beyond this shaping up to be an epic Virginia beer (and more!) event, it will also mark the debut of our second collaboration, and our very first in Virginia - a Red Rye IPA brewed with/at Alewerks Brewing Company! Our friends in the press have picked up on the story of Williamsburg's hometown brewery and Williamsburg's newest brewery coming together to celebrate craft beer in Williamsburg & Virginia. Read more about how this all came together, and join us on 8/2 to be some of the very first to try this new brew!

"'We're excited and honored to debut the collected efforts of Geoff Logan and Jonathan Newman at Whistle Belly,' says Michael Claar, DoG Street Pub General Manager and Whistle Belly festival organizer. 'This is a long awaited peek at what's in store from The Virginia Beer Company, who has been building anticipation from this community for a while.'"

"[Virginia Beer Co. Co-Founder Robby] Willey said Alewerks had been helpful and offered insights into the industry as Willey and co-founder Chris Smith prepare for a fall opening of the Virginia Beer Company. Willey said Red Rye IPA was a natural extension of that relationship."

 - Ian Brickey, WY Daily Reporter

Williamsburg Craft Beer Reaches New Heights with a Collaboration IPA


Williamsburg Craft Beer Reaches New Heights with a Collaboration IPA

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia – July 22nd, 2015 – Alewerks Brewing Company and The Virginia Beer Company are collaborating on a new beer set to premiere at the upcoming Whistle Belly festival on Sunday, August 2, 2015. Alewerks Brewing Company is Williamsburg’s hometown brewery, having been in operation since 2006. The Virginia Beer Company is the newest addition to the local craft beer community with plans to open in the Fall of this year.

"The Virginia Beer Company team has the ability to produce a fantastic product, the desire to promote area businesses, and above all, the passion to celebrate the amazing craft beer scene in Williamsburg,” says Robby Willey, one of The Virginia Beer Company’s Co-Founders. “What better way to do all of the above than by combining forces with Alewerks Brewing Company and unveiling our shared vision at the premier local celebration of food & Virginia beer, DoG Street Pub's Whistle Belly!"

With plans to debut a brand new Red Rye IPA at the upcoming food and beer festival, the two companies have been busy with the brewing process. "Alewerks Brewing Company is proud to partner with The Virginia Beer Company to produce a beer in celebration of Williamsburg's burgeoning craft beer scene. Our collaborative Red Rye IPA will debut at DoG Street Pub's Whistle Belly on August 2, and will be available locally thereafter. This unique IPA is built on a foundation of spicy rye, luscious crystal, pale, and a touch of roasted malt, while also featuring one of the brewing industry's newer hop varietals, named ‘Azacca’. Expect this hop to bring notes of mango, papaya, pineapple and citrus to the beer's overall flavor and aroma profile,” says Geoff Logan, Brewmaster at Alewerks Brewing Company. “At Alewerks, we welcome our new brewing brethren to the local craft beer scene and are excited about working together for many years to come!"

“We're excited and honored to debut the collected efforts of Geoff Logan and Jonathan Newman at Whistle Belly,” says Michael Claar, DoG Street Pub General Manager and Whistle Belly festival organizer. “This is a long awaited peek at what's in store from The Virginia Beer Company, who has been building anticipation from this community for a while. Williamsburg is a burgeoning incubator for creative, locally conscious businesses and it is being rewarded by Alewerks Brewing Company welcoming a collaborative craft beer community.”

This new craft beer will debut at the upcoming Whistle Belly festival, then premiere on National IPA Day in the Alewerks Brewing Company taproom on August 6. Tickets for Whistle Belly are available online at and information on the National IPA Day release is available at and Whistle Belly is presented by the Junior Woman's Club of Williamsburg who will use all proceeds as grants and scholarships for local charities and students.

Pictured (from left to right): Geoff Logan, Brewmaster, Alewerks Brewing Company; Robby Willey, Co-Founder, The Virginia Beer Company; Jonathan Newman, Brewmaster, The Virginia Beer Company; and Chris Smith, Co-Founder, The Virginia Beer Company.