Mike Holtzclaw, Matthew Korfhage, Victoria Bourne and Robyn Sidersky contributed to this report.
Virginia beers on the march
Nearly a year after opening its doors in Virginia Beach, New Realm Brewing Company is expanding its distribution beyond Hampton Roads.
New Realm recently signed with Virginia Eagle Distributing Company, which has warehouses in Charlottesville, Pulaski, Winchester, Fredericksburg, Springfield, Lynchburg and Verona.
Distribution to northern and western Virginia markets has already begun. New Realm’s Hazy Like a Fox IPA sold out in six hours at select retailers where it was available for pre-sale, according to a brewery spokeswoman last month. The initial lunch period includes targeted roll outs of other core brands such as Hoptropolis IPA, United Craft Lager, Hoplandia IPA and Virginia Craft Beer Cup winner Euphonia Pilsner, along with a rotating sour series, limited releases and barrel-aged beers.
“Being a local brewery is not just about where you brew, but more about your dedication to the community that supports your brand,” said Bob Powers, New Realm’s CCO and co-founder in a statement. “We will be mindful of maintaining our Virginia Beach presence, while we look to showcase our brand in the western part of the state.”
New Realm is distributed by Hoffman Beverage and M. Price Distributing Co. in the Hampton Roads area. The brewery was founded in Atlanta in 2016 and opened its second location off General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach in 2018, which features a 50-barrel brewhouse, taproom, beer garden and a restaurant that debuted in April.
In other distribution news:
Norfolk’s Elation Brewing announced recently on Facebook that its beer will be making its way around town thanks to a new partnership with Chesapeake-based Pretty Ugly Distribution.
And Charlottesville-based Champion Brewing Company says its Shower Beer, Missile IPA, True Love Mexican Lager, Wheeze the Juice and other brews are heading to Florida through a new deal with Progressive Distribution. It’s the 10th state in which Champion beers will be available to consumers, according to a recent Brewer Magazine notice online. The brewery also plans to close its Richmond taproom after a nearly three-year run, Richmond BizSense reported last month.
One small step for Tradition
Tradition Brewing Company in Newport News honored the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission in July by creating One Giant Leap, a black IPA made with Apollo hops (natch).
“I feel like this beer has a unique style,” says brewer Brian Martin. “You don’t see a lot of black IPAs. When you think of darker beers, people typically have Guinness in mind, and they think of (India pale ales), they have a nice, light, golden yellow beer in mind.
To get that IPA flavor and the hop aroma melding with a darker roastiness and sweetness, that’s not something a lot of people are brewing these days.”
Chesapeake gets a second brewery
The Garage Brewery, in Greenbrier, opened in July with nine beers on tap. The construction-themed brewery — with an actual garage door — boasts a large tasting room with dozens of tables, a wraparound bar, a small mezzanine and a patio.
Owners Roy and Ulyana Gomez both have backgrounds in construction, hence the theme. The brewery is in the former Tricare Prime Clinic at 1011 Eden Way N., near Greenbrier Mall.
The brewery doesn’t serve food but will have food trucks on hand.
Commonwealth’s LoveStrong IPA benefits victims, families of shooting
Commonwealth Brewing Company released a new beer in July meant to honor the victims and families of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach.
Twelve people were killed and four wounded in the May 31 shooting at the Municipal Center. The gunman also died. The Beach-based brewery says it will donate 100 percent of proceeds from all sales of its LoveStrong IPA to the United Way Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund.
“Creating LoveStrong is our brewery family’s way of supporting the families of the victims and helping cultivate love and healing in our community,” said Jeramy Biggie, owner and head brewer, in a statement. “The name is a true reflection of the people of Virginia Beach and the outpouring of love and support provided for those impacted by this tragedy.”
Production manager Emanuel Gonzalez says the new brew has strong notes of grapefruit, peach and passion fruit from Citra hops, which are commingled with white wine notes from Hallertau Blanc hops to create a soft, fruit-forward, bright and refreshing IPA.
Texas-inspired BBQ spot to open at Bold Mariner
When Norfolk’s Bold Mariner Brewing Company opens its new location at 1901 Ocean View Ave., it’ll have a little something extra out in the parking lot each weekend: A decommissioned propane tank that’s been turned into a smoker, the same style used at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas.
That smoker will belong to Bar-Q pitmaster Jayme Campbell.
For a year and a half, Bar-Q has been serving Central-Texas-style brisket, pork spareribs, pulled pork and innovative sausage creations at breweries in Virginia, from Benchtop in Norfolk to The Veil in Richmond.
But now, Campbell said, he’ll take up his first permanent residency at Bold Mariner — Fridays and Saturdays at first. The plan, he said, is to start once the brewery is up and running. The brewery was supposed to open in its new location by early August, but as of press time it’s still a work in progress.
Campbell is the former barbecue competition partner of Chris Fultz, founder of award-winning ZZQ barbecue out of Richmond. But his barbecue roots go back to his childhood in Gainesville, Florida, when his family would all cook barbecue at his grandmother’s house.
But though he grew up with pork and chicken, when he discovered Texas brisket it was love at first bite, he said. From there, he adopted a modern and experimental approach to barbecue, cooking styles from all over the country alongside his own personal concoctions: barbecued steak, Chinese bao-bun BBQ, barbecue rice bowls with mix-and-match sides, and “Texas tacos” made from white bread wrapped around brisket and pickled onions.
“I want to push the limits of what people think of as barbecue,” Campbell said. “I have days where I want to make people think outside the box.”
Virginia is for (booze) lovers
Last month, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority announced another record-breaking year, bringing in more than $1 billion in 2019.
Which spirit moved most? Despite our best efforts, it was not Four Roses or Bulleit. It wasn’t even bourbon or rye. The top-selling liquor in Virginia was Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Rounding out the top five: Hennessy V.S Cognac, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Black, Jim Beam straight bourbon and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky.