Thanks

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.

Happy Independence Day!

This has been a very patriotic week. Our good neighbors to the north celebrated Canada Day on July 1st. The US played in one heck of an elimination game in the World Cup. And today is July 4th, Independence Day. I love the 4th of July. It’s a time to reflect on the United States, its history and its freedoms. It’s a time to think of those who have served the country, as well as those who simply are and have been good, honest Americans. It’s a summer tradition that brings with it a well-deserved day off, a celebratory atmosphere, fireworks, cookouts, and of course, copious amounts of good beer. 

There are so many great ways to celebrate this holiday. And it's a perfect time to look at the craft beer industry as an analogy for the many freedoms we in the US have been granted since the Declaration of Independence was issued in 1776. The current booming state of craft beer is not what it has always been. As noted by the Brewers Association, there are close to 3,000 operating breweries in the US, the highest number since the late 1800’s. We’re talking about almost 150 years between those peaks! The craft beer industry is seeing a resurgence that means more choices for all of us. If you want a cold lager for your July 4th bbq, you can find one and it doesn’t have to be from one of the big boys. Maybe you want a session IPA, something hoppy but not overpowering? I’ve seen a few of those around. Perhaps a glass of something smooth as on nitro? Those options are starting to pop up all over. There are so many options that there is most certainly a style for everyone. People often ask us what kind of beer Virginia Beer Co. will specialize in. Our most frequent answer is that we are going to specialize in variety. I don’t want to make too much of that vague response, but I believe it’s the most patriotic answer we can give! We have the freedom to brew anything and everything, and we plan to. 

Mind you we have our year-round offerings well thought out, but with the taproom we are designing and the brewing systems we've purchased, we're going to have a lot of tap space for a lot of varieties. That brings up another great point about the current state of the brewing industry. Slowly but surely, legislation is moving in favor of small and craft brewers all over the country. Freedom, baby! Homebrewing is finally being formally legalized in pretty much every state. State laws are changing to allow more flexibility for breweries to get their product to the consumer. A great example is SB 604, which (to put it in beer drinkers’ terms) allows for production breweries in Virginia, like we will be, to serve draft beer on premise directly to the consumer, which we plan to. Historically with non-craft lobbying and pushback to the growing craft beer segment, getting this type of legislation passed was not always a sure thing. But across the country and throughout the States, the winds have shifted and we are realizing the positive impact that new businesses like ours can have on the surrounding areas. New jobs, new revenue streams, new sustainability options, and new craft products for all. Maybe it’s a stretch but these are the types of freedoms our forefathers would have loved. Clearly I’m the resident expert on these things, I live in Williamsburg (ie, Virginia’s colonial capital!). 

Freedom is what the 4th of July is all about. And right now we are seeing more and more freedom in the craft beer industry. Whether it’s more options for the homebrewer; more flexibility for craft brewers to operate in a manner that’s good for the business and good for the consumer (eg, fresh beer!); or having the ability to offer beers of all shapes and sizes, it’s a great time to be in beer. And more importantly, it’s a great time to enjoy one! So whatever you do this Independence Day, be safe, be happy, and by all means be proud to be part of today’s celebration! God bless America and cheers to craft beer! 

A Salute

A time for taking a moment to salute those who have served is upon us. Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of Summer. Pools open, grills light up, and vacations begin in earnest. Most importantly the holiday is in place for us to remember the men and women who died during service in the U.S. Armed Forces, a tradition that began after the U.S. Civil War. Veterans Day marks the foray into fall and ushers in the beginning of the holiday rush. And more importantly, it's a day to salute those who've served their country. So I salute those who've served, and those who've given it all. These days that combine both honoring our armed services and opening the gates of America's two favorite seasons - summertime and the holidays - come with their fair share of beer. And I know I can't think of one of these occasions that didn't also involve a link to beer in some form. 

In my family's past few generations, we didn't have anyone fall in service to the nation, but we do have a number of servicemen in the family tree. My father's uncle, Gene Robinson, was a pilot from Southern Illinois and served in World War II as a radio operator and gunner on the Western Front. His B-17 plane was shot down in 1944 and at 21 he served a year in a German prison camp. He was liberated by one of General Patton's divisions and returned to the States. I can remember many a summer weekend spent visiting with Uncle Gene when he would come to DC to visit the local VFW and visit the city's war memorials. He would solemnly discuss his compatriots in the Army who didn't make it back, with beer in hand and pride in his eyes. How does this relate to my own path to opening a brewery? Well my dad fondly tells the story of going fishing with Uncle Gene back in Illinois along with some of Gene's brethren from the VFW. The troop found themselves at the middle of the lake and my dad noted how thirsty he was. Gene and his veteran buddies smiled wryly and Gene commented, "We didn't bring any pop so if you don't want to drink lake water, you'll have to have one of these." He then tossed an Old Stag to my dad. It was my dad's first beer and I'm pretty sure if not for that fateful fishing trip I would not have become the beer enthusiast I am today (heck, I might be opening a soda factory if they'd brought pop!). 

One of my mother's brothers, Roger Johnson, served in the Navy during the early 1960's and was active duty on one of the ships involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis blockade. My mom used to joke that the tense times during the standoff must have skyrocketed beer sales around the country! My mom also noted that she learned how to drink beer from my uncle after he retired from the Navy. Despite my dad's protestations to the contrary, I'm pretty certain my mom taught me how to drink beer, so again I owe some of my roots in beer-dom to extended family who served their country. 

Finally, my own father, Robert Willey, Jr., was drafted and was in the Army from 1970 (the year my parents' were married!) until 1972, stationed primarily at Fort Dix in New Jersey. The newlyweds adopted a kitten soon after my father was drafted, trying to add a semblance of normalcy to an otherwise disruptive first year of marriage. My dad was discharged before his unit was sent overseas and soon after he and my mom rented a house in Alexandria, VA. My Uncle Roger and his wife were also living in Alexandria at that time. Soon after reconnecting in VA, they were all out for dinner and drinks one evening and took the celebration back to my parents' new abode. My mom introduced their new cat to my Aunt & Uncle, and explained that they had initially struggled to come up with a suitable name for the new addition to the family. Someone had finally suggested just saying the first thing that came to mind and settling on that as the name; my dad immediately blurted out "Budweiser" because that's what he recalled wanting most at the time. This was still a fitting name years later as the four of them at that moment were all holding cans of Bud, with which they promptly toasted and finished! So the name stuck and low and behold, I was born into a family with a cat named after a beer (and the fact that my mom was ok with this was a good sign the family would approve of my future business decisions). 

I'm grateful to have family members who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces, and while none of them lost their lives during their tenure, my great uncle and uncle (who was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery) are no longer with us; our family has a rich tradition of taking time on holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day to reflect on the experiences those family members had, recalling the names and tales of their friends and fellow servicemen who served and remembering those who did not make it back. For me, I'll forever toast my great uncle, uncle, father, and their peers for their service and also for weaving a web of beer tales that helped push me down the path that I now find myself on. 

As you salute and celebrate in your own ways, next time you open a beer, craft or otherwise, make sure you give your own toast to the men and women of our military, past and present. You never know who around you may have their own tales of family or friends who served and how those men and women impacted their lives. And if you come from my family, there's no higher toast than that done with a delicious beer in hand. So cheers to those who have served, past, present, and future; and never forgot those who gave their lives in service. We salute you all.

Saluting all those who've given their service and those who've given their lives. #NeverForget #ThankYou

Saluting all those who've given their service and those who've given their lives. #NeverForget #ThankYou