ITALY!

VBC and...Wine?

VBC and...Wine?

If you gave Team VBC a choice of one beverage to bring to a desert island it would absolutely be beer. However, from time to time we like to spread our wings and venture out into the wider world of alcoholic beverages. We do this because many of those beverages are extremely tasty, and also because they broaden our palates and give us ideas for future brewing experiments. We try to go local and/or small when choosing wine or liquor. In terms of wine, we often sample products from The Williamsburg Winery here in Williamsburg, Veritas Vineyard & Winery in Afton, VA, and Barboursville Vineyards outside of Charlottesville. When we pour a liquor it's generally a whiskey (either in a Manhattan or straight with rocks on the side) from great small distilleries like Copper Fox in Sperryville (and soon in Williamsburg!) or Corsair in Nashville, Tennessee (try the Triple Smoke if you ever see it on a menu or a store shelf).

As most beer craft beer aficionados are aware, partnerships between breweries and wineries/distilleries have produced wonderful products. Aging beer in used barrels opens up a plethora of new flavors and is something that we plan to explore once The Virginia Beer Company is up and running...

Better Know A Beer City, Part 4 - Roma, Italy!

Better Know A Beer City, Part 4 - Roma, Italy!

In mid-October my wife and I joined her family for an eight-day jaunt through a land of great pasta, pizza, wine, and...BEER! Before this trip I had last visited Italy in 2007. While I had certainly begun my craft beer journey by that time, I wasn't quite as obsessed with seeking out great beer while on vacation. We spent time in Milan that summer and had our fair share of Peroni and Moretti (both widely available here in the United States). As I learned during this most recent visit, that was a huge mistake. Italian beer is so, so much more than those two export brands - in fact, much like the United States, Italy has seen an explosion in craft beer production since the early 2000s. This BKABC will be split into two parts covering both Tuscany (Florence & Siena) and Rome. Now for the finale: Better Know A Beer City, Part 4 - Roma, Italy!

We departed Siena early on a Thursday morning and arrived in Rome around lunchtime...

Better Know A Beer City(s), Part 3 - Florence & Siena, Italy!

Better Know A Beer City(s), Part 3 - Florence & Siena, Italy!

In mid-October my wife and I joined her family for an eight-day jaunt through a land of great pasta, pizza, wine, and...BEER! Before this trip I had last visited Italy in 2007. While I had certainly begun my craft beer journey by that time, I wasn't quite as obsessed with seeking out great beer while on vacation. We spent time in Milan that summer and had our fair share of Peroni and Moretti (both widely available here in the United States). As I learned during this most recent visit, that was a huge mistake. Italian beer is so, so much more than those two export brands - in fact, much like the United States, Italy has seen an explosion in craft beer production since the early 2000s. This BKABC will be split into two parts covering both Tuscany (Florence & Siena) and Rome. Without further ado, here is Better Know A Beer City, Part 3 - Florence & Siena, Italy!

We arrived in Rome on a Saturday morning and jumped on a bus that took us directly to Florence. Our first meal in Italy was at Obika, a mozzarella bar that serves great pizza and has a small but impressive selection of craft beer...