It’s hard to believe that summer is really winding down. One of the best things about summer dining is pairing a seasonal beer with seafood or barbecue. With fall and Oktoberfest just around the corner, take a look at these breweries and gastropubs in northern Virginia. Interested in making our own homebrew? You’ll find everything you need and more.
Beach Brewing Company, Virginia Beach
This microbrewery and tap room is open six days a week for hopheads to taste and shop their selection. The husband-and-wife team of Justin and Kristin McDonald have operated the brewery and tasting room. The Hammerhead IPA and Hoptopus Double IPA should provide the hoppy flavor enthusiasts vie for. The SeaDevil Stout is a darker beer to enjoy moving into the fall. Summer is coming to a close, but there are plenty of reasons to get back to Virginia Beach. Beach Brewing Company is located at 2585 Horse Pasture Rd. #204, Virginia Beach, Va. 23453. For more information, call 757-563-BEER or go to www.beachbrewingcompany.com
Blue Lab Brewing Company, Lexington
Blue Lab Brewing Company is a brewery and tasting room that has the ultimate small town feel. The brewery periodically hosts live musicians and is deeply rooted in its community. Both founders are affiliated with Washington and Lee University. Tom Lovell is the assistant director of alumni affairs and Bill Hamilton is an associate professor of biology. The two are quick to discourage anyone under 21 years old from even thinking of drinking their beer, as they mention on their website. Blue Lab’s chocolate coffee stout uses local coffee beans, chocolate and hops to create a delicious dark beer. Blue Lab Brewing Company is located at 123 South Randolph St., Lexington Va. 24450. For more information, call 540-548-0146 or visit www.bluelabbrewing.com
Holy Brew Brewing Company, Leesburg
Holy Brewing Company is a rock-and-roll branded brewing company located in Leesburg. Its Honey Blonde Ale, Brown Ale and “Liquid Confession” are distributed around Virginia. Check them out at www.holybrew.com
Beer Run, Charlottesville
This gastrobpub in Charlottesville is about as full-service as you can get. Serving lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and a gourmet brunch on Sunday, the restaurant carries hundreds of beers from around the world. The gastropub even sells kegs. Weekly events include Pint Night on Tuesdays, free beer tastings on Wednesdays, free wine tastings on Fridays, and Belgian beer night every Sunday. Beer Run is located at 156 Carlton Rd. Suite 203, Charlottesville, Va. 22902. You can reach the pub at 434-984-BEER or at www.beerun.com
Horse & Hound Gastropub, Charlottesville
Horse & Hound Gastropub features a gourmet dinner and brunch menu that pairs craft beers with fine dining. The pub offers customers the option of ordering beers in six-ounce glasses to maximize the number of tastings during their meal. Chefs Luther and Brooke Fedora are the founders of the Horse and Hound. Both chefs trained at the Culinary Institute of America. Executive chef Luther Fedora worked for several years in London as a chef, and has served as a sommelier at classic London spots such as the Savoy and Drones. Brooke worked as a pastry chef in Manhattan before the couple moved to Charlottesville in 2003.
Fermentation Trap, Barboursville
Many of the brewers here began their businesses when curiosity pushed them to brew their own beer at home. With some basic equipment and knowhow, you too can begin crafting your own signature beer. The Fermentation Trap sells starter kits, ingredients and more advanced equipment for making beer and wine. Everything in the store is also available online for those interested in browsing their selection. The website also hosts the GHRUB club—Grapes and Hops Unedited Banter. The club’s website hosts forums, newsletters and podcasts all devoted to the making of beer and wine at home. The Fermentation Trap is located at 6420 Seminole Trail #12, Seminole Place Plaza, Barboursville, Va. 22923. For more information, call 434-985-2192 or visit www.fermentationtrap.com