Last year, Team Virginia Beer Co. was invited to visit NYC for a Visit Williamsburg event. One Williamsburg visiting another...very existential! During this visit we had the pleasure of meeting Karen Schaler, host of Travel Therapy. As they say, all good things come to those who wait - last month, Karen made the trip to our own Williamsburg in Virginia. She visited a number of spectacular locations in the area including The Williamsburg Winery, Alewerks Brewing Company, and Silver Hand Meadery. We had just started brewing a couple weeks prior, and we were fortunate enough to also host Karen during her tour! Check out the video below and make plans to visit all of these great Williamsburg area destinations this spring!
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 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.
Virginia Beer Co. is one of many breweries opening in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The growth of the craft beer scene in Virginia - to over 100 breweries, more than doubling since 2012 - is due in large part to the passage of SB604. The bill, which allows for breweries to serve beer on premises without hosting a full service restaurant on the same premises, revolutionized Virginia's beer industry. But how is the Virginia scene a few years later compared to where it could be? Ben Swenson put together an overview of the current atmosphere around the HRVA areas for Hampton Roads Growler, including updates on the adventures of The Virginia Beer Co. and a number of our local brewing brethren as we all work to bring even more quality beer to our state's liquid landscape! It's an exciting time, not without its challenges, but in the end there's more growth and excitement to come! Check out the full article below or in the latest hard copy edition of HR Growler:
Williamsburg, VA recently hosted its largest craft festival to date, Whistle Belly. The festival was met with a great reception! Large crowds, many breweries, spirits & wine, tasty food, good fun and the debut of The Virginia Beer Co.'s second collaboration, and first in the Virginia market, alongside Alewerks Brewing Co. This was the third iteration of the festival, coordinated in large part by DoG Street Pub, and if things continue moving in this direction it's safe to say we can look forward to more (and bigger) craft festivals in the future! Check out these articles from The Virginia Gazette & Daily Press:
With two existing breweries, Alewerks Brewing Company and Brass Cannon Brewing Co. (and one in planning, of course!); a winery, The Williamsburg Winery; two distilleries, Copper Fox Distillery and The Williamsburg Distillery; and a new meadery, Silver Hand Meadery, Williamsburg will soon have liquid craft for all to enjoy!
This calls for a celebration. Come out to Alewerks on Thursday, 8/6 starting at 5 pm to celebrate Williamsburg's craft scene and National IPA Day with a pint of our Williamsburg collaboration Red Rye IPA!
In the Spring 2015 issue of Virginia Craft Brews magazine, there's an interesting article entitled Virginia Brewers Supporting Small Scale Growers (page 21). With the Virginia craft beer landscape growing at a rapid pace it only makes sense that the VA industries supporting local craft beer would be growing too. And just like fans of craft enjoy drinking local, it's important that craft itself supports local. VBC and other Virginia craft breweries agree:
“Jonathan Newman, brewmaster at The Virginia Beer Co.[,] sees various challenges facing new breweries. While sourcing local ingredients...and yeast from RVA Yeast labs, Newman understands that the availability of local ingredients from growers and producers is...finite and knows that ‘once they’re out, they’re out.’ Newman believes in the added level of ‘story for a beer.’ When produced with local ingredients, it is something that customers gravitate to.”
— Jonathan Scott, The Virginia Hop Initiative
Cheers to Virginia beer...and all the Virginia ingredients that go into making it great!
In the recent WY Daily article, JCC Planners OK Small-Scale Alcohol Production in Commercial Areas, The Virginia Beer Company received a shout out as an example of one member of the burgeoning craft industry in Virginia's Historic Triangle.
“Craft alcohol production is a burgeoning part of the Historic Triangle’s economy, with several new businesses either in the planning stages or in the process of opening for business.
The Silver Hand Meadery is seeking permission from the City of Williamsburg to open for business at the Monticello Shopping Center, while Copper Fox Distillery has acquired the former Lord Paget Motel and is working to open there.
In York County...AleWerks has been operating since 2006 and The Virginia Beer Company is expected to open in the county...on Second Street. York County altered its zoning ordinance in December to open more areas of the county to alcohol production. ”
— Gregory Connolly, WY Daily Reporter
We're happy to be a part of it and hope to make some history of our own!
We had the pleasure of attending a Visit Williamsburg (VA) event in New York City earlier this week. It was a wonderful occasion to discuss the many awesome things happening in Williamsburg, from the history to the amusement parks to the food and drink. It was a well-timed event, because soon after Yahoo! Travel dropped the gauntlet for the Williamsburg smackdown: Willilamsburg, VA vs. Williamsburg, NY. We may be partial...
"As with its Brooklyn counterpart, it’s all about hops here, too. AleWerks hosts brewery tours and features beer from a 17th-century recipe you can sip at reopened Chowning’s Tavern in the Colonial part of the town.
And while Virginia is becoming well-known in the region for its plentiful wineries, including the picnic-ready Williamsburg Winery, breweries are making their stamp, too. Both the [The] Virginia Beer Company and the Williamsburg Distillery are set to open later this year."
So much going on in Williamsburg, VA! While we clearly have our loyalties, any time we're mentioned in the same breath as AleWerks Brewing and the The Brooklyn Brewery, we're more than happy to continue researching the match-up. And hey, if the end result is a bearded Thomas Jefferson wearing a flannel tricorne hat, we'll drink to that!
The spirits industry in Williamsburg is growing right before our very eyes! First our friends over at Copper Fox Distillery announced their plans to open a second facility right down the road from 401, and now Silver Hand Meadery is bringing its award-winning meads to the Burg. If we hadn't already decided to open a brewery here we're pretty sure that all this news would encourage us to find an excuse to come to Williamsburg.
WYDaily.com: New Business Hopes to Make a Buzz with Craft Mead
Cheers to much success, Glenn!
Update: On May 25th, a follow up article was published confirming that Silver Hand can officially move forward with their project!
The Virginia Beer Co. has been lucky enough to find itself in mentioned (loosely, at times) in some interesting publications over the past year. This time we find ourselves named as a beverage of choice for a big meal!
What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?
"A burger from Father’s Office, a pear tart from Sweet Lady Jane (L.A. bakery) and an IPA from Virginia Beer Company. And if my girlfriend wasn’t around for my last meal ever, along with zero members of my family, then perhaps Tom Hanks or Christopher Hitchens."
- Ian Harding, The New Potato
We appreciate the honor and hope we can all enjoy our IPA (and other Burg Beers) at many a meal along the way!