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1 street • 8 homes • hoPe For A CUre Massey Street of Hope features eight designer furnished dream homes in Hallsley, Richmond’s award-winning community. Each showcases the latest in interior decorating ideas, trends, and innovations in luxury homes with an emphasis on “What Women Want.”

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ennifer Fox has been practicing law in the Richmond Metropolitan area since 1996, with an emphasis on family law for the past 11 of those years. She handles family law and divorce cases of all levels of complexity including custody, visitation and support. Her courtroom experience also includes over 9 years of handling criminal law matters often associated with family law issues, protective orders, DUI cases, assault and battery, and juvenile delinquency issues such as under-age drinking and possession of drugs. Jennifer graduated from James Madison University in 1991 and received her J.D. from the District of Columbia School of law in 1995, where she graduated with honors. She is the current President of the Richmond Metropolitan Family Law Bar Association, a member of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar, Henrico Bar, and Hanover Bar Associations. She is a frequent speaker on family law topics including protective orders, spousal support and trial advocacy. Jennifer is a long time resident of Hanover County and has been very active in supporting her community. While serving as Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, she led the committee to extend its services to Hanover County. She was a frequent participant in the Friends of Hanover Gala, and she is a presenter of the “So you are 18” legal rights and responsibility program at Lee-Davis and Patrick Henry High schools. She currently enjoys supporting her children’s activities at Atlee High School and is a member of St. Michael’s Church in Glen Allen. Jennifer is an avid scuba diver and loves to spend time at the beach with her family.

* A Tradition of Experience and Devotion to Family Law *as listed in US News-Best Lawyers: Top Tier Richmond Family Law

CHESTERFIELD OFFICE Centre Court – Suite A 9401 Courthouse Road Chesterfield, VA 23832 Ph: 804.796.1000 Fax: 3804.796.1730 Chesterfield Living


Three Paragon 6806 Paragon Place, Suite 110 Richmond, VA 23230 Ph: 804.762.9500 Fax: 804.762.9654


Lockwood Office Building 9097 Atlee Station Road, Suite 319 Mechanicsville, VA 23116 Ph: 804.796.1000 Fax: 804.569.5501

THE TOWERS RETIREMENT COMMUNITY THE TOWERS is a retirement community located in Richmond, just south

of the James River and minutes from Bon Air, Westover Hills and Stony Point Fashion Park. Our campus sits amidst a beautiful landscape of sheltering pines and fragrant magnolias that provide a secluded and relaxing feel; yet our campus is easily accessible, close to many conveniences and adjacent to Chippenham Hospital. We offer independent, assisted living and memory impaired options and have studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom apartments that include a private bath and full kitchen. We also offer delicious meals in our full service dining room plus a wide variety of wonderful activities and events. The Towers is also well known for our state-of-the-art memory community called The Grove. The Grove offers a clinical program for dementia management that utilizes the Allen Cognitive Battery, a proven framework for identifying the dementia resident’s highest


804.320.1412 RUI.NET/THE-TOWERS

level of function in all activities. The Grove team works in partnership with our in-house rehab team and a local neuro-psychiatrist to identify the type of dementia and then uses that information to develop an Individual Care Plan that encompasses everything from recreational, social and functional activities to Speech, Physical and Occupational Therapy. At The Grove we are committed to ensuring that each resident has access to services aimed at maintaining his/her highest level of function and independence. Additionally, The Grove offers a brand new, secure environment that has been specifically designed for residents with dementia. For more information call Lauren Friedman at 804-320-1412.





First of All

News from Around Town 15


Home of Hope



Focus on Enjoying Life The Towers



Extend Independence by Aging in Place 21

An Evening with Ken Burns Collegiate School


Dental Health

Chemotherapy and Dental Care 25


It’s All Tuna

Flavor 39

In Search of


Regional American 42

Brew at Bellgrade The New Brew





Dining & Drink News 47




Local Happenings

Home 50

Tips That Pay Off in the Winter 53




Endless brewery adventures throughout the area



Changes in businesses and beer-loving trends since our 2014 beer & wine issue



Restaurants with a variety of craft beers and hard-to-find special releases

Fall Home Improvements Custom Windows

Elite Window Solutions 54

Fall Landscaping

Prepare Your Yard for Spring



Virginia’s luscious grapes and dedicated winemakers



Americool 57

Cover Your Home with Quality Virginia Exterior Products


Richmond’s top corks for a wonderful wine selection and a diversity of excellent food

Better Heating & Cooling

Travel 58

Fall Mountain Travel Staunton


History, Renewal & Charm Southbridge, MA


Beach & Town Treasures Wilmington, NC 8

9 Chesterfield Living


From the Editor


William J. Davis, Jr.

The Spirits of Virginia Crystal glass from, wine from Prince Michel and beer by Center of the Universe Brewing








Tara Bouldin-Evans, Taylor Esteves-Pearce ADVERTISING CONSULTANT


Beverly Montsinger, Jenny Price DISTRIBUTION MANAGER




or a Central Virginia resident ready to learn more about your region, we designed this issue for you. Curious about the area’s craft beer scene? Our brewery-hopping guide helps you find the right brewery, cidery or meadery and the best tap selections while “What’s New” directs you towards trends that you won’t want to miss. Ever considered which grapes grow best in Virginia and make spectacular Virginia wines – or how the vintners figured out just which grapes those were? We answer those questions and help you find some of the best wine and food pairings in the area. Looking to explore regional American cuisines? You can travel the nation without even leaving Virginia in our coverage of traditional American dishes. This issue’s “In Search Of ” regional American even tells the tale behind the dish: macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, southern American – many in the magazine and even more online. Talk about multisensory learning! Delish! If you’re looking beyond the Richmond area, we’ve got some fun fall travel suggestions: Staunton in the Virginia mountains; Wilmington, North Carolina; or Southbridge, Massachusetts. Closer to home, we’ve brought you insights on top fall home improvements, on fall planting and yard care, and on keeping your home livable as you age. The picture on this page is worth more than merely the thousands of words in our magazines – it reflects life’s little pleasures. My life’s little pleasures. For me, the Virginia spirits scene provides community as well as relaxation and hedonistic pleasures. But see the crystal glasses? While they make a nice presentation for the kriek, they also represent friendship and technology – the glasses came from a high school friend with whom I reconnected through Facebook! She’s recently opened a new online store with wine goods and other drinkware, including this hand-painted Romanian crystal. I’ve discovered we have even more in common than we did back in the day. Ah, the spirits of friendship! HETHER YOU’RE A RICHMOND VISITOR

Rick Bancroft, Peter Doran, Temple Hill, Chris Johnson, Rachel Marsh, Jessee Peters, Sera Petras, Woods Pierce, Liz Reese, Jason Savage, Chris Stark, Robert Thomas, Daniel J. White CONTRIBUTORS

Rachel Marsh, Erin Pittman, Jack Trammell, Angela Weight, Constance Whitney ADVERTISING

Chesterfield Living magazine is published bimonthly by Advertising Concepts, Inc., 6301 Harbourside Drive, Suite 100 Midlothian, VA 23112 P: 804-639-9994 E: ONLINE / SOCIAL All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. A PUBLICATION OF


ABOUT OUR COVER Our annual celebration of local craft beer & wine

Annie Tobey 10

First of All



NEW AMENITIES AT MIRACLE LEAGUE FACILITIES IN CHESTERFIELD was established to provide opportunities for children with disabilities to play baseball, through the creation of teams and of safe recreational facilities. The Miracle League baseball field at the L.C. Bird sports complex in Chesterfield County took 597 days to complete, opening to 24 young baseball players and their volunteer helpers on Sept. 15, 2007. Since then, the league has provided safe play opportunities for more than 500 players and volunteers. In addition to a custom-designed field with a cushioned rubberized surface, the field offers wheelchair-accessible dugouts and a completely flat surface, thus eliminating barriers for wheelchair-bound and visually impaired players. In April 2010, the league added the Boundless Playground, a barrier-free area where children, with and without disabilities, can play safely together. Most recently, Miracle League added fully accessible restroom facilities, using approximately $147,000 raised by league volunteers. “This truly completes our field,” said Karen Pusey, president of the local Miracle League chapter, in a press release. “These facilities are a needed addition to this unique play space,” said Michael Golden, director of Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation. “We appreciate the work the Miracle League has done to provide inclusive recreational opportunities for all children.” “Parks and Rec has been phenomenal,” Pusey said. “They truly believe in the Miracle League.” Several local companies donated their time and ser vices to the project, including the Timmons Group, MPS Contractor Inc., Colber t Plumbing Inc., Ace Electric, VAMAC Inc. and Ready Mix Concrete.


Falling Creek Ironworks Event Celebrates Improvements TO THE UNTRAINED EYE , crumbling ruins contain a certain poetic romance, paying homage to the people who came before, to their lives and work. To archeologists and historians, those remnants tell a more detailed story – a nonfiction manuscript rather than a poem. In Chesterfield County, Falling Creek Ironworks Park tells the story of the area’s rich historic and industrial heritage. The tale begins with the 1619-1622 Virginia Company ironworks – the first iron furnace established in the English New World. It continues with Cary’s Chesterfield Forge and segues from there to the last operations in the 20th century of William Byrd’s 17th century gristmill. On Oct. 10, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Falling Creek Ironworks Park hosts an event to educate and entertain the public and to highlight work recently completed at the park. The event includes a variety of activities, including a dedication ceremony to unveil park improvements as well as improvements along historic Route 1. Changes at the park include new walking trails that take visitors along Falling Creek, overlooks, and new interpretive signs, focusing on the cultural and natural history of Falling Creek. Both admission and parking are free for the event, which will host period crafters and demonstrations, costumed interpretation, exhibits, period music, Native American song and dance, period children’s games and activities, and walking archaeological tours of the site. Food vendors will also be available. The Falling Creek Ironworks annual event is typically held in March but was postponed due to scheduled improvements. In 2016, the event will once again be held in March. The mission of Falling Creek Ironworks is to conserve and explore these archaeological sites and materials and to promote the spread of archaeological knowledge related to Falling Creek.




13 Chesterfield Living


First of All



RICHMOND MUSEUMS CELEBRATE BICYCLING UCI Road World Cycling Championships in midSeptember, Richmond museums are presenting bicycle-focused exhibits. “Bikes: Science on Two Wheels” runs at the Science Museum of Virginia through September 27. The exhibit examines the evolution of the bicycle, from 19th century ancestors like the boneshaker and penny-farthing, through the introduction of pedals, up to innovations that led to greater efficiency. Hands-on exhibits explore energy, force and motion, aerodynamics and engineering. Visitors can view classic, collapsible, recumbent, tandem and modern-day sporting bikes. “In Gear: Richmond Cycles” runs at the Valentine Museum through January 3, 2016. The local historical museum draws from their rich collection of period photographs, advertising art and historical objects, supplemented by special loan pieces, to showcase the history of local cycling from the 19th century to today. Viewers can peruse historical objects representing bicycling and cyclists. “The Richmond community has been cycling in the streets, the parks and along the sidewalks in front of their homes since the 1800s,” said Valentine curator David Voelkel. Marking women’s movement towards freedom during the 1890s, the exhibit includes a woman’s cycling outfit – together, bikes and suitable clothing gave Richmond women increased personal mobility. The exhibit also features cycling stories from contemporary Richmonders, showcased in a media wall projection created by award-winning multi-media artist Dana Ollstead. “The fact that Richmond was chosen to be the host city for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships this September is a great honor as well as the perfect opportunity for the Valentine to actively collect and to work with local collectors and cycling enthusiasts to present a selected history of cycling to our guests and ourselves,” said Voelkel. Other bike-centric exhibits include “Balance in Motion: The Evolution of Cycling in America” at Branch Museum of Architecture and Design; “From Bicycle Club to Botanical Garden” at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden; “ARTcycle” at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA); functional and artistic bike racks around town; and decorated, floral-sporting bikes in Ashland. LIKE APPETIZERS TO THE MUCH-ANTICIPATED



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WITH INSPIRATION SPARKED by both beauty and wanderlust, the paintings of Robert Finale capture enchanting cityscapes from the United States and abroad, embracing the romance with the artist’s optimism. Finale’s “Cities of the World” paintings will be on display at Bella Arte Gallery in Midlothian from Sept. 18 to Oct. 17. Finale will be available at the exhibit opening on Sept. 18, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., to meet collectors and fans. He will also create original sketches and dedications for collectors. “He paints the mystique and charm of cities from around the world,” said Rena Klump, co-owner of Bella Ar te Galler y. “One feels as if they are walking right along the street Rober t has painted. [The paintings] have the allure to draw one to them, and you recall beautiful memories or want to create new ones upon viewing his paintings.” “Art is like a window to a past, present or future memory that can be healing at times,” Robert Finale says of his work. Klump has carried Finale’s art at the gallery since it opened and is bringing the artist to Midlothian at clients’ requests. “Robert fled Cuba with his family when he was very young and is ever grateful for the opportunity he has been given in America,” Klump explained. “He came from very humble beginnings. His father told him he had to learn a trade to be able to support a family someday, so he chose to be an electrician but he always painted. He is self-taught from the age of 5 and paints many American monuments in and around D.C. plus European cities with historical architecture.” The show opening will highlight the newest Finale originals, including work that has not yet been released. “Robert is a national artist in over 30 galleries across the U.S., so this is a real opportunity for art lovers to meet an artist of his stature and talk to him one on one,” Klump said. “We’re hoping he has time to explore a little of Richmond and see if he finds just that right scene to paint here.”

BELLA ARTE GALLERY 3734 Winterfield Rd., Midlothian 14

Hello,World Inspiring excellence in learning and life.

“Singing songs with Mr. Turner was fun. We did math and I had my own reading club. We wrote about the books we were reading at home.” Mary Ellen 1st Grader

Come FoR A touR tHIS FALL! We’d love to introduce you to Collegiate. Co-Ed | JK–12th Grade | | 804.740.7077 Collegiate School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.

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acac Fitness & Wellness will help you start or return to exercise with confidence

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15 Chesterfield Living


11621 Robious Road Midlothian, VA 23113 804.378.1600

I Live your best.







of Hope, this statement rings true, filled with rich layers of meaning. Soon, one family will be able to claim the beautiful Maine cottage-style residence as their heartfelt home. And leading up to move-in day, several vendors have donated time and money to create the house, all to benefit VCU Massey Cancer Center (MCC). The Home of Hope was built by Perkinson Homes, with significant contributions from Ferguson and East West Communities – these three businesses’ donations will amount to approximately $200,000 – with contributions from other vendors as well. The final product, a 2,846-square-foot home, boasts two master suites – a total of four bedrooms – a private back terrace, three-and-a-half baths, a finished third-floor media room and a two-car garage. “We’ve taken a plan that is based out of the northeast,” said Brian Perkinson, president of Perkinson Homes. “It’s a Maine cottage house, unique in design and not seen in this area much.” Perkinson worked with a Maine architect to create a true-to-style design. “We’ve also right-sized the home to fit current market trends for a diverse buyer,” he added. “It’s a very cozy house.” Proceeds from the sale of the Home of Hope will go to VCU Massey Cancer Center.

“We’ve chosen Massey Cancer Center as our charitable partner for all of our philanthropic efforts that we’re doing in the Richmond area. Everybody has been touched by cancer in one way or another – whether themselves or a loved one, a friend or coworker,” Perkinson explained of this choice, “and Massey is one of the top research centers in America, here in our own backyard, founded by a family with roots in Richmond.” The Home of Hope is part of a larger event, the 2015 Massey Street of Hope in Hallsley. From Sept. 12-27, eight designer-furnished luxury homes will be showcased on a $10 ticketed tour. The goal is to raise $1 million through sponsorships, the Home of Hope, a preview gala and live auction, ticket sales and other special events. The luxury models will feature the latest in interior decorating ideas, trends and innovations in new homes with an emphasis on “What Women Want.” Creative touches include unique room themes capturing the lifestyle needs of today’s homeowners: pet spaces and shower, reclaimed wood accents, a spa bath, outdoor living rooms, a Nana window and wall, a water wall, child’s fantasy room, a secret door and much more. The event will be open from Sept. 12 through 27, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m. for Concerts for Hope. In addition to home tours, there will be live music, a shopping experience by Gather, dining

by Café Caturra, Wells Fargo stagecoach rides, and beer, wine, and gourmet food truck delights. Tickets for the show are $10 each, with children 12 and under free. Visit for details and to purchase tickets. Make your way to the Massey Street of Hope Luxury Home Show and the Home of Hope. Perhaps it will even become the home where your heart is. 16



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17 Chesterfield Living



PROUD TO CALL THE TOWERS HOME The Towers Retirement Community



Tammie Wersinger

HEN MARIE’S HUSBAND, Bill, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2002, she knew her days of living in her family home were numbered. It was clear that the Boston, Massachusetts, couple had reached “a fork in our road of life” and needed to be near their daughter Nancy in Richmond.

Marie was a bit apprehensive as Nancy slowly steered her car into the driveway of The Towers, but her uneasiness was short lived. “The apartment surprised us. It was bright, spotless, roomy with large windows overlooking the front of the building,” she remembers. “We moved in.” Since that day more than 12 years ago, Marie’s admiration has grown for the staff as she’s seen firsthand their efforts to keep The Towers a place she’s proud to call home. “I have never regretted my decision,” she says. “It is not just my home away from home, it’s my home sweet home.” The Towers offers independent living, assisted living and memory care programs on its beautifully landscaped campus adjacent to Chippenham Hospital just south of the James River and minutes from “LIFE AT THE TOWERS Bon Air, Westover CENTERS AROUND Hills and Stony PRESERVING THE Point Fashion Park. “Life at The INDEPENDENCE OF EACH Tower s center s RESIDENT TO THE GREATEST around preserving EXTENT POSSIBLE.” the independence of each resident to the greatest extent possible,” says Tara Davis-Ragland, executive director. “Our continuous success for over three decades rests in our ability and willingness to listen to the feelings and suggestions of our residents and their families.” Residents can choose to live independently or with assistance in

studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments with fully equipped electric kitchens. Those in assisted living receive help from the nursing staff with tasks like bathing, dressing, walking or taking medications. For residents with impaired memory, there’s a separate section called the Grove. Besides all the benefits of assisted living, this area has additional staff supervision and safety precautions, as well as its own nurse station, activity room and common living area. Apartments within the area are modified for the safety of seniors who are no longer able to live by themselves. “Our residents with memory impairment will benefit from the extra supervision and the interaction with our caring staff,” says Elizabeth Perdue, program director. “We also emphasize individualized social, recreational and educational programs designed for each of our memoryimpaired residents.” Some of the conveniences offered to all residents of The Towers include 24-hour staffing, scheduled van transportation, a robust recreational calendar of events, trips and activities, nutritious meals in the dining room, housekeeping and laundry services, a library, a warmly decorated community room and an on-site beauty and barber shop. Outside on the secluded six acres, there are paved walking trails, individual gardening areas, beautiful landscaped grounds, a gazebo and a breezeway with benches. “At the Towers, we try to offer our residents all of the amenities and conveniences they want and need with none of the work or stress,” says Tara Davis-Ragland. “We take care of everything so they can focus on enjoying life.” For more information, an activity calendar and this month’s menu, call The Towers at 804-320-1412 or go to 18

MacBook Pro


M a g a z i n e A r c h i v e s f r o m 2 0 1 2 t o To d a y

19 Chesterfield Living





Constance Whitney



ence is a constant and lifelong quest for almost every individual. We humans seem to have an ingrained instinct to be in charge of our own path, to be the master of our own destiny. That nearly universal quest for self-determination seems to intensify as we enter our retirement years. In a recent poll published by the National Institutes of Health, nearly 90 percent of seniors say they want to stay in their home as they age and that doing so will ensure their continued independence. The Center for Disease Control defines this trend as aging in place: “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” In other words, independence! Today, seniors are healthier, more active and better off financially than any generation in history. And, as the current trend towards aging in place shows, they will maintain that status for as long as they possibly can. There is no doubt that the rising seniors are going to change the way society looks at the aged! Jumping on the Bandwagon In recognition of the growing aging-in-place trend, companies, organizations and entrepreneurs have developed resources to support seniors. From home delivery of gourmet, chef-prepared meals to an army of companions to go shopping with you, drive you to the doctor or just relax with you on the back porch, sipping mint juleps and playing Scrabble, the list of resources available, especially here in Central Virginia, is endless! I have spent quite a bit of time researching and ferreting out various outlets for this article and, as hard as I try, I have been unsuccessful at finding anything that could not be delivered, serviced or made to order at my home. Limited only by financial considerations and a reliable Internet connection, the sky is the limit. Some of my favorite resources are the wonderful people, locally and nationally, who will make and deliver to my home amazing meals that rival those I can get in the fanciest of restaurants. As a kid, I used to envy Samantha Stevens and her ability to twitch her nose and make a dinner appear fully cooked. Now, as a grown up, I can do the same

thing with an iPhone and a VISA card! While getting a perfectly seared filet with steamed broccoli and a wonderful Merlot delivered upon request is awesome at any age, I think that the most helpful resources are the companion services. These are excellent options for less-mobile seniors who need a little help getting to the store, the doctor or the movies. Senior helpers, both paid and volunteer, are available to provide a bevy of services from light housework and yard work to simply spending time with the senior for a visit and a cup of tea. Some companion services even provide personal care and nursing assistance. Technology has also advanced to assist seniors. Everything from strobe lights on the smoke detectors to help the hard-of-hearing to lifeline devices that will summon help at the push of a button, the gadgetry is truly impressive. In a 2014 report in Independent Living, technological advances in robotics were investigated as they related to helping seniors. From robotic vacuums to keep the carpets clean to various monitoring tasks (Mom, did you take your meds today?) to much more sophisticated robots being used to help those with advanced cognitive issues or physical limitations, technology advancements focused on seniors are definitely on the rise.

What’s right for me? With so many options available, it’s hard to admit we’ve aged and need help, and even harder to determine what we need to support our lifestyle. Be honest and ask yourself: Do you lack the energy or have physical problems that make going to the grocery store just a bit too much? No problem, get all your groceries – fresh, frozen, perishable, staples – delivered to your door. Do you have difficulty keeping up with the daily chores around your home? Housecleaning? Cooking? Changing linens? The solution – at home caregivers will come on a schedule that you set, help with what you need and, surprisingly, don’t cost a fortune. Could you use assistance getting to the doctor? Or to the store? That’s easy – both volunteer and for-profit organizations are available to provide transportation and can also handle disabled or lessmobile passengers in modified vehicles. Would you welcome help with care of the outside of your home such as gardening, shoveling, maintenance? Professional services are available on a one-time basis or a steady schedule. What About Mom? As the adult daughter of a very independent, very intelligent and very determined mother, 20


the concept of aging in place has been the topic of discussion for years. Okay, to be honest, it has been much more of my mother saying “I will do as I please” than me attempting to start the conversation with “Mom, let’s talk” – Mom has been a lifelong trendsetter! The decision for Mom to remain independent and in her own home was a natural choice and, luckily, she’s healthy and lives in an area where resources to assist are plentiful. For her to age in place was an easy decision. Let’s face it, though, having Mom or Dad live alone can be a source of worry for us children. The “what if?” scenarios can often overwhelm the mind. “What if she falls down?” “What if she forgets something on the stove?” (Not actually an issue for me – Mom doesn’t cook!) “What if she doesn’t tell me it’s getting harder for her to get around?” Obviously there are situations where aging in place is just not an option. And for those times, thankfully, there are amazing retirement communities, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing homes that are equipped to provide whatever advanced level of care may be necessary. Between the technological advances available in today’s world, the businesses and organizations who are ready to help in any way possible and the delivery of coconut-crusted shrimp and perfectly grilled asparagus – the world is looking pretty darn wonderful for us seniors! CL Today, there are an abundance of resources available to support your decisions: whether you opt to remain in your own home, transition to a senior community or move to a more supportive residence, the choice is yours! Resources here in Central Virginia include: MEALS AND GROCERIES

• Personal Chef to Go delivers gourmet meal packages to meet any tastes or dietary restrictions: • Dine-In Tonight hand-delivers hot, fresh meals to your home or office up to five nights per week, for individuals or families: • The Good Eats Company chef sends a personal chef to your home, preparing your meals for daily use or special occasions. A Richmondbased business: • Magic Kitchen offers a large variety of nutritious frozen meals shipped to your home: • Relay Foods specializes in fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and packaged items delivered to your home or available for pickup at designated times and locations: • Farm Table provides 48-hour, farm-to-table delivery of fresh produce to its members in the Richmond area every Thursday: • Amazon is more than just books! Their grocery section includes options for one-time buying or a subscription option that automatically sends your groceries on a set schedule (great option for paper goods, household cleaners, cat litter): in the Grocery department PERSONAL ASSISTANCE – AT HOME CARE

Each of these organizations provides a full list of services on their website. Always check references! • Visiting Angels: • Comfort Keepers: • Senior Helpers: GENERAL RESOURCES

• Senior Care of Chesterfield – A clearinghouse of services available for seniors, everything from caregivers and companions to rides to the doctors and trips to the mall: • Seniors Helping Seniors – a great resource whether you are looking for assistance or you want to volunteer to be an assistant: • Home Instead – premier aging-in-place website with great advice on how to create the right environment to age in place, from age-proofing your home to adaptive technology:

21 Chesterfield Living





a yearlong celebration of its 100th anniversary by inviting area residents to an evening talk featuring historian and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. Burns will appear on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, and tickets can be purchased by visiting He will discuss pivotal moments in American history in a talk titled “Sharing the American Experience,” followed by a Q&A session moderated by Edward L. Ayers, renowned historian, president emeritus and Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond. “Collegiate’s Centennial offers the extraordinary opportunity to honor our school’s rich history and celebrate the broader community we serve,” said Collegiate Head of School Steve Hickman. “We invite our Richmond friends and neighbors to join us for what is sure to be a memoOLLEGIATE SCHOOL WILL END



rable evening with Mr. Burns. His life’s work is quintessential American, connecting us to our country’s past and documenting America’s unique place in history.” Indeed, Burns is widely regarded as one of the world’s most influential documentary filmmakers, producing projects such as “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” “Baseball: The Tenth Inning,” “The National Parks,” and “Mark Twain.” He has received scores of accolades, including 10 Emmy Awards, two Oscar nominations and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Collegiate is delighted to host Burns in downtown Richmond, where the school was founded. It opened in 1915 under the leadership of Richmond resident Helen Baker as The Collegiate School for Girls. Baker forged new ground by being one of the first women in the region to graduate from college and made it her mission to help other women embrace and pursue formal education. Her progressive focus on excellence in aca-

demics, character, citizenship and caring for others remains the bedrock of the modern-day Collegiate, which today serves girls and boys, JK through 12th grades. Now based in western Henrico County, the school is home to students and families from throughout metro Richmond. Many are looking forward to gathering at the Greater Richmond Convention Center with other area residents on Nov. 5 to hear Burns share his take on American history and on what fuels his work. General admission tickets are available for $50 per person. Student tickets are available for $25 per person, and student I.D.’s will be required at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit 22

23 Chesterfield Living





NFORTUNATELY, APPROXIMATELY FOUR OUT OF 10 PEOPLE will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, there are some things you should know about how cancer treatment can affect dental health and certain types of dental treatment. Chemotherapy drugs are one of the most common treatments for many different types of cancer. And while those drugs kill cancer cells, they also can harm normal cells. Mouth tissue is especially susceptible, and many cancer patients develop problems with their teeth, gums and the salivary glands. Everyone is different, and there are many different chemotherapy drugs, so not everyone will have the same side effects. One of the most common changes resulting from chemotherapy is a decrease in the amount of saliva produced, leading to dry mouth (this is also known as xerostomia). Dry mouth can be very uncomfortable and in very severe cases can contribute to mouth sores and very rapidly progressing tooth decay. Other possible side effects include pain in the mouth and gums, burning or swelling of the tongue, infections, prolonged bleeding and a loss of or a change in taste. It is very important to tell your dentist if you have ever received any sort of chemotherapy, as it can affect how well you heal or can contribute to excessive bleeding following dental surgeries like extractions or implants. It might also be necessary to put off some of these types of procedures to decrease your chance of having complications. Before a person can start chemotherapy, their doctor will usually require

that they visit their dentist. This can help prevent serious problems later in treatment, as preexisting dental problems are usually to blame. Not all side effects can be avoided, but starting treatment with a healthy mouth will help keep the treatment schedule on track. After treatment starts, it’s important to carefully monitor your mouth for sores and come in for regular cleanings so that your dentist can continue to monitor your teeth and gums. To keep your mouth moist (the most common problem), be sure to stay well hydrated. Sucking on ice chips, chewing gum or using a prescription saliva substitute may be helpful.

Founded in 1974 as Dr. Baxter Perkinson & Associates, Virginia Family Dentistry is a multispecialty dental group practice providing comprehensive care for patients of all ages throughout their 11 offices in Central Virginia. A team approach to the diagnosis and treatment of dental issues provides patients with access to experienced professionals dedicated to high-quality and cost-efficient care.

Expert Pediatric Heart Care — In Your Own Backyard At UVA Pediatric Cardiology Richmond, we offer the most advanced diagnostic and surgical techniques available to treat infants, children and adolescents with heart disease. Rest easy knowing you’re receiving the expertise you expect from UVA, without traveling far from home. To make an appointment, please call 434.202.4999. Learn more at 24

25 Chesterfield Living




G. Carl Mahler, Jr, CFP ®


ROM TIME TO TIME I have the opportunity to do some public speaking.

It has been some time ago, but I had one presentation entitled, “It’s All Tuna.” I would actually hand out cans of StarKist Tuna to everyone in the audience. I used it as an analogy to the stock market and how differently investors approach the markets than virtually all other areas of their lives. My analogy involved shoppers going to the grocery store and, upon entering, seeing a sign proclaiming that tuna is on sale for 50 percent off. Now, if you happen to be a fan of omega-3 fatty acids, you push your cart to the tuna shelf and load it up. If, however, you entered the store with a sign saying tuna is selling at 10 percent higher than normal price, you’d likely search for an alternative meat for dinner. The point being – everyone loves a sale. No matter what or where, we love a sale and will load up at every opportunity. That is, unless it’s the stock market that’s “on sale.” Investors run for the hills at the first sign of declining prices, even when declining price doesn’t necessarily mean permanent declining value. Many external things affect the markets and in the short term may paint a helter-skelter picture. However, if you step back and look at longer periods, not only does it even out, historically it advances. How is it that almost all investors lose money when, at the end of World War II, the Dow Jones was at 40 and is now near 18,000? They do. For some reason, when markets go up, more and more investors are attracted. In fact, the greatest numbers of investors pile in the higher it goes. On the other hand, when markets fall, investors panic and start pulling out. Investors

seem to think in linear terms. If it’s going up it’s not going to stop, and when it’s going down it’s going to zero. Neither has ever been the case since data recording on the markets began in the mid-1800s. It is this non-correlated fear of markets that I believe dooms virtually all investors from being successful. It is this same phenomenon that the professional investor brings to his clients. He reviews the historic performance of the markets and demonstrates ways to become a successful investor who might actually have a reasonable chance for a dignified retirement. One must learn to build a portfolio based on your end goal, timeline and risk tolerance. Then periodically rebalance by taking profits from recent winners and adding to recent losers. Yes, that may mean taking away from the one that made 10 percent last year to add to the one that lost 10 percent last year. Just the opposite of where your emotions take you. You have to buy when it’s “on sale.” Yes, it’s all tuna! It’s an acquired taste. Either get it yourself or get a professional taster!

The Pinnacle Group An Independent Wealth Management Firm Your Wealth. Your Life. Our Focus. 3748 Winterfield Road Midlothian, VA 23113 804-378-1624 Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of G. Carl Mahler, Jr. and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. Individuals cannot invest directly in any index.

L i k e u s on Facebook to receive daily f inanc ial infor mat ion on your newsfee d. Search: “ T he P innacle Group, An Independent Wealth Management F ir m, RJ F S” 26


Sunflower fields at Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery in Goochland Photo by Chris Johnson 27 Chesterfield Living

s ta ff r o t a av ig ond N m h c i R d by mpil e


but how about peanut butter porter beer? As the craft beer industry continues to blossom, mirroring pre-Prohibition trends in terms of numbers, Richmonders are able to taste unique beers that are often only available locally, and sometimes only on site at the brewery. From “beeristoric” tours to discovering unique flavors, to techniques like hop bursting or native yeast harvesting, there has never been a better time to become a connoisseur of Richmond craft beers and engage in a bit of brewery hopping. Each Richmond brewery has its own niche, with more breweries in the works – including Stone Brewing’s East Coast headquarters. You can enjoy tastings, full-pours and growler fills from constantly rotating taps as well as entertainment and food vendors. The area’s restaurants pour local brews, plus hundreds of beers from the U.S. and abroad, while retailers provide packaged beers and even growler fills. Endless beer adventures await you in Richmond. Whether you seek drinkability, freshness, an abundance of flavor or locally grown ingredients used in the brewing, you can find something to enjoy. Cheers!



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Richmond’s newest brewpub focuses on drinkable beers in the 4.5 to 6 ABV (alcohol by volume) range, with f lagships Belle Isle Blonde Ale and Pipeline Pale Ale. The open dining area fronts Richmond’s canal walk, for a pairing of history with your beer and cuisine. (Check online for opening date.) 115 S. 15th St., Shockoe Bottom @7HILLSRVA



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Richmond’s only meadery creates the fermented honey beverage as well as meads infused with herbs, fruits and other natural Virginia ingredients. 1313 Altamont Ave., Scott’s Addition @BLACKHEATHMEAD

BLUE BEE CIDER Blue Bee is Virginia’s only urban cidery. Think you don’t like cider? Try Blue Bee and think again! 212 W. Sixth St., Manchester, @BLUEBEECIDER

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The Answer serves casual Vietnameseinspired foods plus hop-focused house brews and an extensive selection of other craft and import beers, all directed by Chief Beer Officer An Bui. Step around the building to Mekong, Bui’s original Vietnamese restaurant, with another great selection of beer, including Belgians and sours. 6008 W. Broad St. @THEANSWERBREW



ARDENT CRAFT ALES Ardent, which began as a co-op in a Church Hill garage, emphasizes traditional brewing and ingredients – often with creative twists. Try the f lagship Virginia Common, an easy-drinking ale-lager hybrid, or the spicy-smooth Honey Ginger ale. Ardent’s patio is a relaxing, classic, open-air gathering space. 3200 W. Leigh St. Scott’s Addition @ARDENTCRAFTALES

CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE These beers often reflect COTU’s community spirit as well as co-owner Chris Ray’s Major League Baseball experience, like Richmond Flying Squirrels ballpark Chin Music amber lager and Wort Share beer, a collaboration with local home brewers. Just off I-95 near Ashland, COTU’s charitable mindset makes you feel like you’re giving back with every sip. 11293 Air Park Rd., Ashland @COTUBREW

EXTRA BILLY’S SMOKEHOUSE & BREWERY Known first for barbecue, Extra Billy’s pairs house-smoked meat with nogimmicks, award-winning brews made on site. The laidback restaurant sets the stage for kicking back with a beer and a baby-back. Look for the hockey-themed beer names and $2 beers on Tuesday. 1110 Alverser Dr., Midlothian


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Finally! Final Gravity is here, a hangout for Richmond’s homebrew community, yet welcoming anyone who appreciates well-crafted beer. Inside Northside’s Original Gravity brewing and winemaking supply store, the new nanobrewery may just inspire you to drink the KoolAid, as you down diverse styles of quality beers surrounded by malts, hops, yeast, equipment and enthusiastic home brewers. 6118 Lakeside Ave.


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Try these creative, unique beers with complex flavor profiles, like the surprising, wine-like Sparkler and its flavored one-offs, including Cherry Sparkler with New York cherry juice, fermented in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. Nestled in Carytown, the tasting room provides a fulcrum for pre- or post-beer strolls in the small-town-feel shopping district. 3445 W. Cary St., Carytown @GARDENGROVEBREW

* new since our last beer & wine issue

29 Chesterfield Living



Aerial view of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

HARDYWOOD PARK CRAFT BREWERY The veteran of Richmond’s newest waves of independent breweries, Hardywood offers easy-drinking flagships like Singel and Pils as well as popular bigger beers, including Gingerbread Stout and Trickery. Pair your beers with the variety of entertainment options at the brewery. See for yourself why the brewery continues to grow! 2408-2410 Ownby Ln., @HARDYWOOD

ISLEY BREWING Enjoy tried-and-true styles as well as unusual combinations of flavors. The popular Choosy Mother Peanut Butter Porter has won the loyalty of many, including people who hadn’t previously realized they like beer! Relax on the back patio and see which Isley beer will become your favorite. 1715 Summit Ave., Scott’s Addition, @ISLEYBREWING

The patio at Legend Brewing

LICKINGHOLE CREEK CRAFT BREWERY Lickinghole doesn’t just brew beer – as a farm brewery, they grow hops, barley, herbs, pumpkins and other plants that find their way into the beer. The sky seems to arch overhead in this peaceful sprawling spot, on a hilltop surrounded by fields and forests – beer in hand, you feel like you’re on top of the world. The Lickinghole lineup includes popular low-ABV beers plus plenty of high-ABV and barrel-aged brews, full of flavor and potency. 4100 Knolls Point Dr., Goochland @LCCB_ FARMBREWS

The brewpub serves beers that appeal to a variety of diners and that pair with their fresh-made food. Though the business has corporate roots elsewhere, the beers are brewed on-site in their eight-barrel system, many from unique recipes crafted by head brewer Becky Hammond. At Short Pump Town Center, guests can wander the mall before and after a tasty dinner and a beer. 11800 W. Broad St. Short Pump Town Center @ROCKBOTTOM

STRANGEWAYS BREWING “Exquisitely peculiar” beers draw from a global beer tradition, including sours, while bucking style constraints. Not only do their concoctions stretch the boundaries of imagination, so do their merchandising, branding and events – Brews & Burlesque, Cards Against Humanity Sin Night, and more. When you go, don’t miss the backroom taproom, featuring distinctive infusions of on-tap beers. 2277A Dabney Rd. @STRANGEWAYSRVA

MIDNIGHT BREWERY Midnight focuses on approachable beers, with a variety of styles from light ales to stouts, including award-winning beers like Not My Job Southern English brown ale and the flagship Rockville Red, an Irish red ale. Look for grist bills of rye and wheat in addition to pale and specialty malts. Despite the Goochland address, the brewery is conveniently located just west of Short Pump off I-64. 2410 Granite Ridge Rd., Rockville @MIDNIGHTBREWERY

LEGEND BREWING Many locals came to craft beer with the popular Legend Brown. The 21-year-old brewpub serves other flagships, too, like the pale ale and lager, plus seasonals and special brews, along with pub food prepared on site. Many people consider the Legend patio to be the best view in town, overlooking the James River with the Richmond skyline in the distance. 321 W. 7th St., Manchester, @LEGENDBREWINGCO

TRIPLE CROSSING BREWING This brewery sure knows how to make hops shine, but the rotating lineup includes others for the non-hophead, too, including a gluten-reduced summer golden ale that retains full malty, fruity flavors and a rich, full-bodied stout. 113 S. Foushee St. @TRIPLECROSSING Read writer and home brewer Jack Trammell’s take on Richmond breweries at Jack Trammell is a home brewer in the process of starting his own microbrewery in Mineral, Virginia – Yanceyville Brewery, which will brew Itinerant Preacher Ale (IPA) and others – and can be reached between sips at

THE DIAMOND \\ 10.2.15 \\ 4:30 PM

LIVE MUSIC CRAFT BEER LOCAL CUISINE Join us for a night at the Diamond to benefit Richmond’s inner-city youth baseball and further STEM learning opportunities in the community! Discount tickets are on sale now! This event is brought to you by:



WHAT’S NEW IN RICHMOND BREWS SINCE 2014 Trends & Businesses Riding the Craft Beer Coattails

Sure, the number of breweries has expanded since our last annual beer issue, but that’s not all! Businesses and beer-loving trends make exploring the world of beer even more enjoyable.

COMMUNITY BEERS Local breweries don’t just sell us delicious beer, they also make a huge contribution to the community – more than just jobs, taxes and entertainment. For example, • Hardywood provides hops rhizomes to interested individuals, who take the harvested hops to Hardywood for its RVA IPA. • Center of the Universe prepared a mash (a boiled mix of grains and water that starts the brewing process), which it shared with home brewers,

who then created their own brews. The winner’s recipe became COTU’s Wort Share beer. • The winner of Triple Crossing’s home brew contest, Steve Beasley, assisted brewer Jeremy Wirtes in crafting his recipe on the brewery’s system.



Looking for more information on local breweries and beers? You’ll find answers online:

Plenty of desirable beers are available on tap only, but thanks to growlers, you can still take draft beer home or share with friends. Though these containers for take-out draft beer have been around for awhile, you can now get yours filled at more taps: at breweries and restaurants; at growler-focused bottle shops; and now, even at grocery stores and other retailers.

SESSION BEERS Sure, some beers keep getting bigger, upwards of 10% ABV. But beer aficionados also appreciate the growing number of sessionable beers, generally under 5% but still flavorable.

GLUTEN-REDUCED BEERS In response to consumer demand, craft breweries – including Richmond’s Triple Crossing and Ardent Craft Ale and Stone Brewing – are experimenting with gluten-reduced beers.



• Richmond Breweries United provides local brewery web links and a tour map: • Local Beer Review, Richmond, lists breweries, beers and events: • Virginia Beer Trail presents a comprehensive list of Virginia breweries, events, tourism trails, articles and more: • Trinkin helps you locate what beers are currently available at local breweries and restaurants: • Discounts through Virginia Brew Pass, which promotes its membership cards for deals at breweries, bars and restaurants, retailers and other Virginia businesses that service Virginia beer lovers. • New brewery tours with Groovin’ Gears, bringing four-wheel, 10-leg pedal power to your brewery tour:

CROWLERS Your take-out beer lasts longer in these large, fill-on-demand growler-inspired cans, useful also for picnics and pools. Richmond locations offering crowler fills include Strangeways (where the containers are dubbed “can-ables”) and The Answer Brewpub.

HOME BREWING • Artisans Wine & Homebrew has opened in Midlothian, for hobbyists making wine, beer and other craft beverages: • End of an era: The WeekEnd Brewer in Chester closed after 27 years of inspiring and supplying local brewers.

ON THE WAY • • • • • • • •

The Veil Brewing, 1301 Roseneath Rd., Scott’s Addition, Castleburg Brewery, 1626 Ownby Ln., Steam Bell Beer Works, 1717 Oak Lake Blvd., Midlothian, Kindred Spirits Brewing, Chesterfield, Buskey’s Cider, Scott’s Addition, Trapezium Brewing brewpub, 420 3rd St., Petersburg The Mill at Fine Creek, 2434 Robert E. Lee Rd., Powhatan, AMMO Brewing, 235 N. Market St., Petersburg,



13831 Village Place Dr., Midlothian • A diverse menu from starters and salads to burgers, sandwiches and entrées, including beer-focused foods like Bavarian pretzel, mussels and wings • 77 taps • Abita Two Boots saison

It takes more than just lots of taps to get on our top taps list. It takes a well-curated list that offers a variety of craft beers, including hard-to-find special releases. Looking for something amazing? Check out these hot spots for the best draft selections!

= Examples of recently featured tap(s), unlikely to be still available



• State-of-the-art taps system includes real-time online review of current draft status. On the Boulevard, off-premise drafts and bottle sales only. In Glen Allen, a light-bite dining area serves on-premise, too. • 56 taps on the Boulevard & 70 in Glen Allen, including cider and kombucha and pleasing a variety of palates • England’s Wild Beer Company’s Cool As a Cucumber, a farmhouse ale with mint and cucumber, with Isley’s Choosy Mother always on tap

• Wagyu beef burgers, yep, and more burgers, plain or with wild and creative toppings, accompanied by fries, sweet potato fries or fried Oreos • 8 ever-rotating drafts with frequent tap takeovers and limited-release beers • Stone Farking Wheaton wOOtStout, a whopping 13% ABV barrel-aged imperial stout



1017 N. Boulevard & 11341 W. Broad St., Glen Allen

6008 W. Broad St., • Vietnamese-American fusion food, including Bahn Mi and Wake ‘n’ Bake, bacon-fried rice with eggs and pork belly that almost makes you forget the great beer selection • 56 taps, including several house brews • Evil Twin Even More Jesus heavenly imperial stout

5810 Grove Ave., Richmond

6525 Centralia Rd., Chesterfield, • The scratch kitchen crafts certified Angus beef burgers, hand-cut fries, scratch sauces and handmade desserts, using local products such as Belmont Butchery sausage, Flour Garden Bakery buns and bread, and Gelati Celesti ice cream. • 30 taps • On the Wings of Armageddon imperial IPA from DC Brau


4824 Market Square Ln., Midlothian • A full menu of hearty Italian cuisine using Old World recipes and the finest ingredients • 24 taps • Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break, an 11.5% imperial stout


13131 River’s Bend Blvd. • Sandwiches and cheese and meat plates featuring no-filler Boar’s Head products • 16 taps • Southern Tier Crème Brûlée


3012 W. Cary St., Carytown, • Hand-tossed, stone-baked pizza made from fresh ingredients with toppings classic or creative – plus calzones, hoagies, salads and more. Includes vegetarian and gluten-free options • 40 taps, including plenty of gateway craft beers • Stochasticity Project HiFi + LoFi Mixtape from Stone, combining new beer with aged “stock ales”


111 Virginia St., Shockoe Slip • American menu ranging from salads, burgers and sandwiches to pasta and soak-up-the-beer entrées • 40 taps • Points Unknown, a double IPA blended with a barrel-aged Belgianstyle tripel, a collaboration from Ecliptic, Wicked Weed and Stone


206 S. Robinson St., • Specializing in cheese and Sausage Craft meats for pairing, served as plates or in sandwiches • 16 taps • Belgium’s Brouwerij Het Anker Gouden Carolous Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw Belgian strong dark ale Phuong Bui at Mekong Restaurant

821 CAFÉ

825 W. Cary St.,


6004 W. Broad St.,


111 N. Robinson St., • Asian fusion, a Vietnamese-American mash-up of appetizers and hearty specials • 20 taps • Founders Breakfast Stout, a coffee, chocolate and oatmeal imperial stout


• Vietnamese cuisine paired with a wide selection of beers, including plenty of Belgian beers • 52 taps, including a regular rotating selection of Andalls, beers infused with creative ingredients chosen by beer guru An Bui • Four meads created in collaboration with Blackheath Meadery: Good Morning Meadkong, Maui Meadkong, Mexican Meadkong and Morning Wood Meadkong

• Meals priced to please the local college crowd with choices to satisfy the carnivore and vegetarian alike • 17 taps • The Bruery Cuivre, a 16.2% old ale brewed in the solera method to celebrate the brewery’s 7th anniversary


15732 WC Main St., Westchester Commons, Midlothian,


• Focusing on quality foods to pair with the beers, Sedona uses certified Angus steaks, fresh seafood, and local and organic ingredients. • 50 taps • Rodenbach Grand Cru, a classic Belgian sour ale


11400 W. Huguenot Rd., Midlothian, • Sandwiches, entrées and Angus beef burgers, using local products such as Belmont Butchery sausage, Flour Garden Bakery buns and bread, and Gelati Celesti ice cream • 70 taps, with more on the way • Orange Is the New Stout, collaboration between Virginia’s Center of the Universe and O’Connor Brewing

Chesterfield Living




once saw a bumper sticker proclaiming, “NAPA makes auto parts, Virginia makes wine.” While I admit the name “Napa” conjures visions of both well-made auto parts and high-quality wine, it does seem that Virginia continues to fight to get out of the shadows of its West Coast wine-producing counterpart. Years ago, the world of vineyards was a meager one in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Home to only 31 wineries, local consumers often got their wine fix from bottles produced in outside states or countries. But in 1985, Dr. Bruce Zoecklein, enology professor emeritus and former head of the Enology-Grape Chemistry Group of the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech, migrated from California to Virginia to bring his knowledge of grapes to the East Coast. “The wine industry was indeed very embryonic in 1985,” Zoecklein recalled. “One of our goals was to provide some uniqueness for Virginia.” Zoecklein and his colleagues at Virginia Tech helped to begin a development program that assisted winemakers in learning about grape horticulture. They tested various ways of growing grapes to see which types flourished in Virginia’s soil, which types were too difficult to sustain and what kinds of wine could be made. From there, they set up regular roundtables for Virginia winemakers, presenting opportunities to sample and evaluate varieties of wine. Winemakers were able to sniff, swish, taste, spit and do that swirly thing with their wine glasses to determine which grape varietals best meshed

with their palates and therefore which they wished to adopt in their own wineries. Today, the Virginia wine industry has exploded, and our state currently boasts more than 250 wineries (which sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday). The variety of Virginia grapes has also boomed in the last 30 years. “We’re in the age and era where people are interested in something different, some new variety,” Zoecklein added. “Years ago, new varieties were scary because winemakers didn’t know how to make them … I don’t think anyone could imagine that the industry would flourish as well as it has.” Many people were skeptical of Virginia’s ability to sustain successful vineyards because of its distinctive environment. But climate and topography, along with sandy earth, make Virginia a unique yet lush place for wineries. Ingleside Vineyards, for example, sits in an area located right between the Potomac River and the Rappahannock River. This specific territory creates an especially fertile soil for its vines, allowing a wide variety of grapes to flourish. And because of Virginia’s terroir, winemakers have paralleled our state with that of the French Bordeaux region. “It seems that the grapes common to Bordeaux in France generally grow very well here in Virginia,” stated Ben Bangley, general manager at Philip Carter Winery. “We actually have a very close match of soil quality, climate and geography to the Bordeaux region, meaning that many of the grapes that do well there feel right at home here … Our Corotoman is a Bordeaux-inspired or ‘Meritage’ blend

Tarara Winery Vines Courtesy of

Chesterfield Living


rd s

CHR IS STA RK / © 200


The underrated Norton grape, developed in the 1800s by Dr. Daniel Norton, an experimenter and cross-breeder of grapes living in the revered city of Richmond, Virginia, also has the wine community buzzing. Norton discovered how well these grapes thrived in the Richmond soil and made the grape commercially available in 1830. Missouri, the then-equivalent of the Napa Valley, snatched it up and deemed Norton the state’s signature grape. Prohibition threw a wrench into the Norton grape’s plan to overtake the world’s vineyards, as many vines were replaced with Concord grapes in the dry ’20s. Once America’s darkest decade was over and wine could be drunk and produced freely, the Norton grape had been all but forgotten. Until one man (cue the movie trailer music) came along: Dennis Horton of Horton Vineyards purchased a small plot of land in 1989 and was determined to reinstate the once-popular Norton grape. He did just that, as would any man who loves a good challenge, a good wine and a grape that rhymes with his last name. The Norton grape has slowly been re-cultivated in its original home of Virginia and in Missouri, tantalizing its drinkers with its deep grapey zest. Although Napa may be home to some of America’s finest wines and most reliable auto parts, no one can rival Virginia’s luscious grapes, historic properties, dedicated winemakers and proximity to your own front door. CL





Vineyard Mosaic



that would fit right in with its cousins from France.” Among the most successfully grown red grapes in Virginia are Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Chambourcin. White grapes include Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc. Others common to the state include Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. “As a grape grower, these are the best grapes to plant. They have consistent quality [regardless of] the weather conditions,” said Stephen Barnard, vineyard manager and winemaker for Keswick Vineyards. Another popular varietal is the Viognier; while more favorable among consumers, this is a much more fickle grape. “[Keswick Vineyard] has the largest single planting of Viognier, but it’s been a challenge to get the production levels up … It’s very susceptible to winter damage and springtime frost,” Barnard added. Regardless of its unpredictability, Viognier was nominated by the Virginia Wine Board as the official state grape in 2011. However, there are other local grapes that are beginning to turn heads in the world of wine. Petit Manseng, for example, is argued to have more potential as the state grape due to its quality, consistency and lower production cost. A handful of local winemakers have done a lot to increase growth of Petit Manseng in the region, touting its effortless ability to thrive in Virginia’s climate.

Bluemont Vineya



2013 Steep Face Chambourcin


op Corks in Richmond

The prix fixe menus at Amour change monthly to highlight different French regions, pairing the French wines with foods made using local, seasonal ingredients. The changing menus provide the perfect excuse to return. 3129 W. Cary St.,

BISTRO BOBETTE This French-focused bistro pairs locally sourced, seasonal foods and French wines. Bistro Bobette imports wines that are terroir driven, created by independent growers, each one representative of its appellation. 1209 E. Cary St.,


Recognized with Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence, Buckhead’s offers over 700 wines to complement the Braveheart Beef and fresh seafood. 8510 Patterson Ave.,

CAN CAN BRASSIERE Dance your way through the upscale French menu at Can Can Brassiere. Not sure which wine to pair with your meal? Ask the house sommelier for recommendations. 3120 W. Cary St.,

BOOKBINDER’S SEAFOOD & STEAKHOUSE Set in a refurbished tobacco warehouse in historic Tobacco Row, The Old Original Bookbinder’s serves steak and seafood to accompany their selection of wines. Bookbinder’s offers wines from across the globe, including several from Virginia. 2306 E. Cary St.,


HONDOS PREMIER CHOPHOUSE Focusing on prime steak, Hondos offers seafood, too. Wines come from across the globe, including a couple from Virginia. 4120 B Cox Rd., Glen Allen,

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAKHOUSE Pair USDA Prime steaks with wines from an award-winning list, including several Virginia wines, at historic Bellgrade Plantation in Chesterfield County. 11500 W. Huguenot Rd.

THE VINO MARKET Sandwiches, charcuterie plates, beer, wine and more are served for lunch at The Vino Market, with meats, seafood, cheeses, wines and other products available to go at the market. The wine selection includes small, family-run producers. 3730 Winterfield Rd.,




Fine wine and memorable food in a setting that complements them both – one of life’s pleasures. While a fine glass of wine stands on its own, the right food pairing brings out the best in the cuisine and the grapes. These restaurants represent Chesterfield Living’s favorite restaurants presenting a wonderful wine selection and a diversity of fabulous foods in settings that are elegant and relaxed.


39 Chesterfield Living




In Search of Regional American



Virginia’s very own Thomas Jefferson has been credited with introducing macaroni and cheese to America? According to the Smithsonian magazine, Jefferson became enamored of pasta dishes while visiting France and brought back recipes and a pasta machine upon his return to the colonies. When he became president, he served mac ‘n’ cheese at a state dinner in 1802. Richmond’s Capital Ale House honors Virginia history in serving Capital Mac-n-Cheese, mixing al dente Cavatappi pasta in a creamy sauce of cheddar, Gruyere and Gouda cheeses. Stick a feather in your hat and call it “macaroni.” Capital Ale House 13831 Village Place Dr. DID YOU KNOW THAT

Capital Ale House


COUNTRY-FRIED STEAK AH, THE HEARTY DISHES that immigrants have imported to the

Brick House Diner

U.S. of A.! Country-fried steak, aka chicken-fried steak, is a tenderized cube steak coated with seasoned flour and pan fried. Envision German wiener schnitzel, and recall the German and Austrian immigrants who came to Texas in the 1800s. Lamesa, Texas, in fact, hosts the annual Chicken-Fried Steak Festival. Closer to home, an 1838 book, Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife, has a recipe for veal cutlets that resembles chickenfried steak. With Greek roots, Brick House Diner includes good ol’ country foods on their menu as well as Mediterranean tastes. The country-fried steak, made with 12 ounces of fresh ground beef and topped with house-made brown gravy, is served here with classic mashed potatoes and corn and lima succotash. 13520 Midlothian Tpk., Midlothian 40

In Search of Regional American



OPINIONS VARY ON HOW shrimp and grits became

so popular, but the dish’s origin is rarely in dispute: it hails from the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, combining the Southern tradition of grits – those rough-ground corn grains, simmered to make a soft, porridge-like dish – with shrimp. Gullah slaves would catch shrimp in the Lowcountry marshes, adding them to their grits. Charlestonians often ate it for breakfast during shrimp season, sometimes using the small, immature creek shrimp for their sweeter flavors. The Grill at Waterford makes their shrimp and grits with sautéed tiger shrimp seasoned and served over house-made, stone-ground cheese grits, topped with caramelized onions and bacon bits. You’ll see why the restaurant calls itself “American fare with a Southern, homemade attitude”: made from scratch and customized to please. 13548 Waterford Pl., Midlothian,

The Grill at Waterford



Julep’s New Southern Cuisine

look no further than Julep’s New Southern Cuisine. By “new Southern,” Julep’s means the finest in cuisine as developed in some of the South’s top cities, including Atlanta, Charleston, New Orleans and Savannah – influenced by fresh regional ingredients like basil, tomatoes, oysters and country ham, to prepare creations including shrimp and grits, braised rabbit and dumplings, and Viognier-braised pork with okra and tomatoes. For Chesterfield Living, Julep’s presented their charred smoking scallops on top of a corn and basil grit cake, finished with a house-made infused arugula oil. Prepared by Executive Chef Matthew Tlusty, the dish prompted one Julep’s guest to call it “the best scallop I think I have ever had in my life!” 420 E. Grace St., 42





photos by

Brew Gastropub owner, Karen Verdisco

Rachel Marsh

nationally renowned restaurants, Chesterfield County often gets short shrift, with fewer top-notch options. Karen Verdisco’s restaurants have been an exception, pairing creative menus with carefully curated craft beer lists, first in Chester and now in the Shoppes at Bellgrade on Huguenot Road.


The first noteworthy feature of Brew Gastropub, an extensive draft list, introduced many locals to the wide, wide world of craft beer. Lagers and brown ales, pale ales and IPAs, porters and imperial stouts, sours and wild ales – these and many other styles pour from Brew taps. Rather than creating standard pub fare, the kitchen presents dishes made with fresh ingredients from local vendors. The menu includes healthy salads, charcuterie and cheese plates and wraps as well as hearty fare with creative twists such as burgers, sandwiches and Belmont Butchery sausages. Verdisco opened Brew Gastropub near Chesterfield Courthouse in 2013 with 30 beer taps. The restaurant’s popularity and success inspired her to take the concept to another part of the county, opening their second location at Bellgrade December 2014, this time with 70 taps. Opening any new restaurant presents a challenge. Verdisco recognizes the bumps in the first months of the Bellgrade Brew and feels confident that they’ve risen beyond them, making improvements to create the neighborhood gastropub she envisions. “Our customers have been very supportive, making suggestions to me directly when they saw needs,” Verdisco says, “and we’ve listened to all of it.” Take the front door, for example: a sliding glass door worked well for the grocery store that was there before, but for the restaurant, it let in an unwanted guest – frigid winter air! A glass-enclosed foyer is in the works. The restaurant also changed chef and management as well as menu. “We had started out with a different menu from the Chester location,” 43 Chesterfield Living

Verdisco explains, “but then we switched to the same menu. We realized that we should stick with what was working.” To ensure that bar staff and servers are knowledgeable, all must become Cicerone Program Certified Beer Servers – level one of the Sommelier-like beer certification. “We want to make sure the staff is up to speed on the beer and the menu knowledge,” Verdisco says, “and to have the right people to lead the charge over here.” One essential element continues at both locations: a top-notch, everrotating beer list. According to beer buyer Joey Johnson, recent gems include Foothills Bourbon Barrel Sexual Chocolate, Three Notch’d Bourbon Barrel Biggie S’mores, Allagash James Bean, DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon and Perennial Abraxas. Both restaurants also continue the free beer school at 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoons – free beer samples and knowledge – as well as monthly events, happy hour, growler deals, kick the keg and other specials. But one element will get even better: the Bellgrade Brew is installing a second bar with 20 additional taps, pouring Virginia beers, wines, meads and ciders, adding bar seating and local tastes. Exciting beers, fresh fare and worthy customer service – all contribute to the final goal. “We want to draw people in and offer them a sense of community,” says Verdisco, “by giving them a great experience.” Chester: 6525 Centralia Rd. / Midlothian: 11400 W. Huguenot Rd. 804-454-0605 /

Taste Brew's Menu

THE LAGER BURGER BURSTING WITH JUICY, meaty flavors, this certified Angus beef burger is topped with a mĂŠlange of rich flavors from smoked pork belly, beer cheese, arugula, garlic aioli and sweet red onion jam. The hand-cut fries and all Brew sauces are made from scratch. Instead of the beef burger, you may substitute their house-made black bean burger.

ROASTED BEET SALAD FRESH LOCAL BEETS rest atop a medley of mixed greens, paired perfectly with tastes that contrast and complement. The earthy chopped beets contrast with lightly tart, crunchy green apples and a shallot vinaigrette dressing while pulling out the rich flavors of goat cheese.

COCONUT SHRIMP creative small-plate specials, these coconut shrimp meld the crispiness of the coating with the succulence of the shrimp and sweetness of the house-made sauce. The fruits of the sea are served on a bed of red chili rice with mango chutney and juicy lime slices, aside seasoned fresh zucchini.




TasteBudz with


Steve Cook

Revisiting an old favorite, spotlighting a new bar and sampling a new menu – all that plus a great stay-at-home dining service in this issue of TasteBudz.

Extra Billy’s brewer Dylan Brooks at the 2015 Virginia Craft Brewers Fest ANNIE TOBEY



with a great craft beer than a fantastic craft barbecue? I don’t think so. Jason Harr, co-owner of Extra Billy’s and son of founders Robert and Judy Harr, agrees. I tend to overlook the fantastic pairing of the two items offered daily at Extra Billy’s, 1110 Alverser Dr. in Midlothian. That’s where their brewery is located. However, due to ABC regulations, the Harrs are not permitted to sell their own beer in their own West End store. I visited with Jason in his Midlothian location a few days ago and asked him to make some pairing suggestions. My first “course” was the “burnt ends” brisket. After smoking the meat for about 14 hours, they return some of the brisket to the smoker for up to eight more hours. Those burnt ends are served at Extra Billy’s each day till it runs out. “This goes really well with our Sin Bin,” Jason said. That’s their Russian imperial stout. The stout’s sweet maltiness, offering a hint of coffee and chocolate, pairs perfectly with the meat. After that came the baby back ribs. “They’re super lean,” Jason explained. “Fat tends to disguise the hickory-smoked flavor.” He recommended the medium-bodied, clean and crisp ForeCzech pilsner. Finally, I sampled the pulled pork. Jason recommended the awardwinning Citra A** Down IPA as a complement. The beer has a citrusy taste, offering hints of grapefruit. Extra Billy’s brewery won three medals this year in the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest for the ForeCzech, Citra A** Down and Sin Bin. The Midlothian location offers five permanent taps featuring their own beers, plus seven guest taps, offering all a chance to enjoy favorite styles of brew.



45 Chesterfield Living

while you bowl is right up your alley, then get your mind out of the gutter and head over to the Red Embers Grill and Bar at Uptown Alley, 6101 Brad McNeer Pkwy. in Midlothian. Chef Jeremy Burns is truly serving up something rather fantastic. Even though summer is just about done for the year, there’s still time to enjoy Jeremy’s summer menu, which I had a chance to sample during a recent visit. Two of my absolute favorites were his avocado rolls, prepared with avocado, sun-dried tomatoes and cilantro, with a sweet (and mildly hot) chili sauce for dipping, as well as his street corn, which incorporates fire-grilled corn smothered in sriracha aioli and cotija cheese. Make sure you have plent y of napk ins, especially if you’re bowl ing a f ter dining, or that could be one slippery ball. We sampled several other new items on the menu. One piece of advice: save room for one (or more) of the mini desserts.


The kids are back in school and life just got more hectic. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a delicious, chef-prepared meal waiting on the table when you get home? Believe it or not, there is a viable and very affordable solution: Dine In 2Night, which is operated by Laura Wooten, owner of the Richmond-area franchise. Here’s the concept. You get a freshly cooked meal delivered right to your door, home or office. “Our core business,” Laura said, “is a monthly service where customers choose between two and five nights per week of deliveries for just $10 (plus tax) per meal.” And she’s not talking TV dinners. Just imagine orange chipotle pork chops one night and chicken cordon bleu the next. Their online menu is a mouth-watering read. Laura is, perhaps, her own best customer. “Our family eats the meals every night and we think it’s great,” she told me. “Our chef, David Magner, has a lot of experience in different food operations and he is always looking for ways to improve the menu.” Not only is the price extremely reasonable, but when you consider that there’s no delivery charge and no tipping, this is a no-brainer. “The service makes a great gift idea,” Laura suggested, “for the holidays, new homeowners, a new baby, someone recovering from surgery. It has also been a life changer for many seniors we work with. I had one customer tell me that this service was the one thing that was keeping her dad out of an assisted living facility. That makes us feel really good!”

WINE AND DINE I RECENTLY SPOKE WITH Hunter Boxley, owner of Vino Market, located at 3730 Winterfield Rd. at the intersection with Robious Road. It’s quite the spot for those who appreciate fine food, wine and craft beers. While the market has been around for about six years, Hunter has recently opened a café featuring paninis and fresh salads. Everything is homemade, including the tuna salad. The fresh yellow fin tuna has never seen the inside of a can, Hunter told me. Now he’s added a beer and wine bar, which is somewhat unique for this area. I’m anxious to sample one of their charcuterie plates, all of which sound as if they’d be perfect for pairing with a tasty wine. I’m leaning towards the international plate, with Genoa salami, Jamon serrano, Gruyere, Bleu D’Auvergne, fig jam, Kalamata olives and crostini. There’s also a daily happy hour (Tuesday through Saturday from 4 until 6 p.m.). Check out the menu online.

Remember, if you have any food, beverage or restaurant news, share it with us at 46

47 Chesterfield Living




To-Do List


Pocahontas Premieres: Richmond Symphony Pocahontas State Park Bring a blanket, share a picnic dinner and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Richmond Symphony, conducted by Steven Smith, alongside family and friends! Refreshments and light snacks will be available for purchase.


Peter and the Starcatcher Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre


UCI Road World Championships Various locations The Road World Championships (Worlds) is cycling’s pinnacle event, held annually in an international city as chosen by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) through a competitive bidding process similar to the Olympic Games. Worlds is a nine-day event, featuring 12 championship races for Elite Men and Women, Under 23 Men and Junior Men and Women. Athletes compete in three different disciplines, including the traditional Road Race, the Individual Time Trial and the recently introduced Team Time Trial. World champions are crowned in each discipline.


Powhatan Festival of the Grape Powhatan Courthouse Square Virginia wines, food, live entertainment and a selection of regional foods – this 13-year-old event will feature wine tastings, wine by the glass, bottle purchases and art and craft vendors. Craft beer will also be available for purchase.


South African Food & Wine Festival Grayhaven Winery Join Grayhaven Winery and friends for a celebration of the wine, food, music and culture of South Africa. This unique festival also provides the rare opportunity to taste traditional South African dishes such as boerewors and biltong as well as South African-themed desserts like mango-periperi and amarula gelatos.

This Broadway hit tells the clever story of the Neverland that you never knew. Discover how Peter became the boy who wouldn’t grow up in this inventive tale of romance and adventure. The regional premiere of Peter and the Starcatcher creates an energetic evening of fun for all ages.


Central Virginia Kidney Walk Innsbrook Kidney Walk is the nation’s largest walk to fight kidney disease. Held in nearly 100 communities, the event raises awareness and funds lifesaving programs that educate and support patients, their families and those at risk. On Nov. 7, walkers will gather for the annual Central Virginia Kidney Walk, a non-competitive 5k stroll through Innsbrook in Glen Allen, to raise awareness and money for the cause.

OCTOBER 18, 2015 – JANUARY 10, 2016

Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times Virginia Historical Society Dressing Downton highlights fashion from one of the most widely watched television dramas in the world, Downton Abbey. Follow your favorite characters, both upstairs and down; walk through a costume chronicle of the period in this traveling exhibition that showcases nearly 40 period costumes and jewelry from the hit series. 48



Richmond Folk Festival 2nd to 7th streets & Byrd Street to the river


More than 200,000 people will visit downtown Richmond’s riverfront to celebrate the roots, richness and variety of folk culture through music, dance, traditional crafts, storytelling and food. The Richmond Folk Festival has become one of Virginia’s largest and most-loved events of the year, voted the best musical festival in Richmond for several years running. The 2015 festival will bring a new and similarly amazing list of performers, artists and exhibitors.



Chesterfield will welcome back about 150 vendors with the usual flare along with a few new additions. The same goes for entertainment. Over the years, ChesterFest has introduced Chester to some diverse regional talent as well as some of Chester’s hometown favorites. This is a family event, so bring the kids!

Take the family out to the Berkeley Plantation to explore the colorful autumn gardens, river shore and exhibits. Pick a pumpkin and find your way through the corn maze, all while learning Berkeley’s amazing history.

ChesterFest Chester Village Green


State Fair of Virginia The Meadow Event Park


The State Fair of Virginia is a multiday event at the beautiful rural setting of The Meadow Event Park. You can enjoy rides, pet animals, see amazing shows, play games, see a concert and enjoy delicious food. With different events happening every day, no two visits are ever the same.

RVA MakerFest returns to the Science Museum of Virginia for a hands-on celebration of the region’s wildest and most creative innovators. From robotics and drones to blacksmiths and glassblowers, RVA MakerFest is inspiring and fun for the whole family.

49 Chesterfield Living

RVA MakerFest Science Museum of Virginia

Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch Berkeley Plantation


A Second Helping, The Church Basement Ladies Sequel Swift Creek Mill Theatre As part of the production company’s 50th anniversary season, the ladies of the church basement return with an all-new version of their escapades, loaded with heartwarming humor and hilarious antics. Join Mrs. Snustad and the other ladies as they cook up a storm.

Admission is FREE! PRESENTS

Wristbands for the

Kid Zone are $5 each and donations are always welcome.

September 27th, 1-5pm at Westchester Commons Rt. 288 and Midlothian Turnpike


The Diggity Dudes (in their “Final Farewell Performance”) Silly Bus Susan Greenbaum Band

All proceeds benefit Connor’s Heroes: Conquering Childhood Cancer

Now Accepting Applications for Corporate Sponsorships & Vendor Space, contact or (804) 897-1272. 50




Angela Weight


HERE’S SOMETHING SLIGHTLY MAGICAL about this time of year. As we start to see signs of summer’s farewell, the first morning chills of autumn invigorate our souls. It’s hard to imagine that freezing temperatures are right around the corner. But they are indeed, which leads to an important question: Is your home prepared to stand up to Old Man Winter’s bone-chilling conditions? If you’re like me, there’s always a lengthy laundry list of home improvement needs, but five must-do items should be at the top of your list this fall. These five projects can protect your home this winter, keeping it warm, safe and energy efficient. Taking care of these jobs now will pay big dividends in comfort and peace of mind and potentially lower utility bills during the frigid months ahead.



We don’t see too many programs on HGTV about remodeling your gutters, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. In fact, a properly functioning gutter and downspout system is vital to your home’s overall well-being. Major headaches like foundation damage, mold, roof rot, basement leaks and landscape erosion can all be caused by gutters that aren’t doing their job. If you’ve noticed telltale signs like cracks, sags, water damage and mildew around your foundation, then it’s probably time to replace your gutter system. Choosing gutters, guards and downspouts can be an overwhelming prospect because of all there is to consider – from roof types to gutter styles, materials, colors and costs. Even some of the most hardcore do-it-yourselfers find it best to hire a professional to help make the right selections and install the system correctly. Gutter professionals usually charge by the foot. But 51 Chesterfield Living

this cost can vary dramatically based on which material you choose and the level of installation difficulty. For example, vinyl gutters, starting at around $3 a foot (with installation), are relatively simple to put on. But they most likely won’t stand the test of time like ones made from copper, which can cost up to $25 a foot installed. And then you’ll need to consider the myriad of downspout and gutter guard styles and specifications. As I said earlier, it’s always helpful to consult a local professional.



If you’ve noticed an uninvited breeze seeping in through your closed windows or a perma-fog hovering like a ghost between the double-glass panes, then it might be time to look into new windows, literally. If your home is structurally sound and in otherwise good condition, most moisture and draft problems can be solved by replacing your sashes. (In window speak, sashes are the panes of glass that fit into the frames, which fit into the window casings.) If you’ve got major air seepage and notice signs of water damage around your window sills, you may need to replace your sashes and frames. If they don’t open and close anymore, which can be a safety hazard, or if your frames and sills are rotting, the entire window unit probably needs replacing. As with gutters, an expert can steer you in the right direction. He or she can help determine the right types of sashes and framing to complement


your exterior and meet your specific needs. If you’re not sure where your drafts come from but suspect that your windows may be the culprit, then take the time to conduct a home energy audit. An air-quality inspector can not only help pinpoint your home’s weak areas, but will recommend solutions based on your budget. Dominion Power ( offers a home-energy checkup program using local contractors that even includes f inancial incentives.

your home’s ductwork is located. Anyone who’s ever had a pipe burst during a winter storm will attest to the importance of taking time to reinforce these spaces with extra sealing and insulation. The threat of a burst pipe isn’t the only fear. Ductwork that isn’t sealed properly can leak out as much as 45 percent of the warm air circulating inside your home. That warm air that’s leaking out is replaced by cold air that’s creeping in. The air-quality experts mentioned above can also inspect your attic and crawl space. They’ll make sure that your insulation is in good shape and your ductwork is clean, which will enable your HVAC systems to work more efficiently. This proactive step won’t just ensure that you’re staying warmer in the winter – it can also help lower your utility bills. 4



You probably don’t spend much time thinking about the areas of your home that rarely (if ever) see the light of day, but they’re more important than most of us realize. The attic and crawlspace are where most of


These pleasant fall days, when we don’t need to turn on the heat or air conditioning, are the perfect time to have an HVAC professional come out to make sure your unit is in good working condition. Do this now and you’ll be thanking yourself when the wind is howling and the snow is falling, but you’re warm and toasty inside. A twice-yearly checkup for your home’s HVAC system is a relatively inexpensive way

to ensure that your unit is able to perform at peak level during the times you need it most. This routine maintenance can also help you save money, improve air quality and extend the life of your heating system.



While passersby might have no idea whether or not your crawl space is properly insulated, the need for new siding can be quite obvious. Replacing cracked, faded, rotting or warped exterior sections can drastically improve your home’s curb appeal and value. According to many estimates, replacement siding offers among the highest returns-on-investment of any home improvement.


At around $5 per square foot installed, it’s a favorite, coast-to-coast: inexpensive, fairly durable, low maintenance and available in a variety of colors and styles. If you don’t have the time or money for routine pressure washing, painting and sometimes even pest control, vinyl is the way to go. FIBER CEMENT SIDING, A.K.A. MASONRY

Running around $10 per square foot, fiber cement is rugged, durable, weather resistant, long lasting and relatively termite proof. Aesthetically, it looks more like wood than vinyl and can easily be repainted to suit your color preferences. However, it can be susceptible to mold and mildew.

YOUR FALL HVAC CHECK-UP SHOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: A test of thermostat settings and controls to ensure that your system starts, operates and shuts off correctly.

A system cleaning to reduce the amount of dust circulating through your ducts.

Inspection and adjustment of any gas, electric or oil connections to your furnace. This is imperative for energy efficiency, safety and peace of mind.

Lubrication of all moving parts. This simple step cuts down on friction, which reduces the amount of electricity your system uses.

Since cold air easily penetrates compromised siding, replacing worn-out sections can help keep your home warm this winter. A local contractor specializing in home exteriors can quickly and easily remove and replace old siding. With these five essential home improvements taken care of, you can enjoy frolicking in these glorious fall days with a little more peace of mind. CL 52

53 Chesterfield Living





OO MANY SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS don’t realize what brings true joy,”

says Andrew Stockton, owner of Elite Window Solutions. “For us, when we see our product in somebody’s home, we get satisfaction in saying, ‘We made that.’” Andrew and his wife Shayla are a remarkable young couple who bring a lot of passion to their local replacement window and siding business. As the son of a custom homebuilder, Andrew has long been familiar with the industry. His expertise is nothing short of amazing. After spending several hours talking windows with the two, I came away most impressed with their passion. As the owners of Elite Window Solutions, satisfying the customer is of the utmost importance. When asked what she most wanted people to know about their business, Shayla replies, “That we make a great product and that we stand behind it with a one-of-a-kind warranty and remarkable customer service.” Andrew says, “In this business, you’re only as good as your manufacturer. When I couldn’t get my supplier, the largest window manufacturer in the United States, to stand behind their product, how could I care for my customer?” To solve that problem, the Stocktons did something that no other replacement window company in Virginia has done. After extensive study and research, they started manufacturing their own vinyl windows. As custom manufacturers of replacement windows, they offer numerous benefits: THE SELECTION Elite Window Solutions manufactures windows in a variety of colors, and can produce customized shapes for special needs. But selection goes beyond that. “We are always looking forward,” Shayla says. “We are constantly searching for improvements to our products. We want nothing but the best for each customer.” Andrew cites an example: “Have you ever noticed the way a woman raises a window? She doesn’t use her fingernails. She uses the sides of her fingers. We created a window that is designed to be opened that way. We take the time to listen to our customers and provide them with the added details that other manufacturers and installers often overlook.”

THE VALUE While their pricing is competitive, more important is the value. “We want someone to buy a good product that will be in their home forever,” Andrew says. “We build not for today, not just for tomorrow, but for many years to come.” Using his expertise in the industry, Andrew is uniquely qualified to offer recommendations that make for a wiser investment for the customer. Whatever recommendations he may make, “The customer needs to get their money’s worth,” he says. “It’s important,” Shayla adds, “that they realize they’re paying for the quality of the product, not just for a name. We have a hands-on approach and make sure that each and every customer receives the best product at a very competitive price.” THE WARRANTY “Because we have the best product, we can also offer the best warranty,” Andrew says. “Other companies’ warranties extend just to the customer. However, when someone sells their home, they don’t take the windows with them. Our warranty extends to the house. We offer an unconditional lifetime warranty on parts and labor.” ADDITIONAL BENEFITS Of course, there’s so much more to Elite Window Solutions. There’s the peace of mind in knowing that you’re dealing with a company committed to exceptional customer service. “Ours is the most trusted window and siding company in Richmond,” Andrew says. Additionally, there’s the full range of products and services offered, including insulated Hardie Plank siding, entry doors and gutters. Although the company’s annual sales have gone from $150,000 the first year to more than $3 million annually, today, Andrew says, “For me, it’s not about the money. I’m passionate about offering a product that’s better than everybody else’s and about making each customer happy.” For more details on the full range of products and services, visit online at or call 804-794-7488. 54




Annie Tobey


ONSIDER AESOP’S FABLE of the grasshopper

and the ant, the one fiddling away the time while the other works industriously. This lesson carries over to your yard, where the attention you give it this fall will pay off in sprightly green dividends when spring arrives.

Your Lawn “September is a really good time to do things like aeration, overseeding of bald spots (for cool season grasses) and weed management,” said Dr. Christopher Catanzaro, interim chair and associate professor of the Virginia State University Department of Agriculture. “Your lawn needs irrigation all season – about an inch per week is ideal.” Catanzaro strongly recommends regular raking once leaves start to fall. Don’t wait till the trees are bare. “Grass needs light every day,” he explained, and wet, matted leaves promote lawn diseases. Some lawn maintenance needs vary dependent upon the grass. Central Virginia lies in a transition zone, explained Catanzaro, favoring neither cold season nor warm season grasses. Cold season grasses, which stay greener during the winter, require attention in the fall. “If you have both, depending on how you treat the lawn you can favor one or the other,” he said. Determine what kind of grass you have, Catanzaro recommends, and do a soil test through your county extension agent. “You don’t want to be putting many nutrients down if you don’t need them, so you’ll want to know what your lawn needs instead of just guessing.”

Your Personalized Yard Assessment The Henrico County extension office provides a variety of helpful services in addition to soil tests. The SMART Lawns program guides homeowners in creating and maintaining lawns that are both healthy and environmentally responsible, protecting local waterways and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. For a joining fee of $20, SMART Lawns 55 Chesterfield Living

members receive a visit from a Master Gardener volunteer, who collects a lawn soil sample and measures total lawn area. Using the soil analysis, the office formulates a personalized lawn-care plan to recommend the appropriate fertilizer, the best application rate and the best time to apply. Although enrollment for the current program to receive written recommendations for fall yard care closed August 15, the office is accepting enrollment for 2016. In addition, extension agent Karen Carter told me, “The soil test can be done at any time, and we can provide verbal interpretation of the results … and determine which fertilizer would be best.” You can find your local Henrico extension service at (click on the Local Offices link at the top of the page).

Weed Prevention Though most of us may not consider weeds as a cold weather problem, Catanzaro points out that winterannual weeds such as chickweed germinate in the fall, when soil temperatures fall to 60 degrees. These weeds grow actively in the spring, having been growing slowly but surely throughout the winter. Using pre-emergent herbicides, applied before the weeds have emerged, can be more effective than trying to combat the problem afterwards, as well as safer to use. In flowerbeds, says Catanzaro, fall mulching can also help prevent the growth of weeds.

Planting Bulbs – my favorites, those easy little nuggets of potential – should be planted as soon as the ground cools, when evening temperatures average between 40 to 50 degrees.

“Fall is a great time to plant trees,” Joel Koci, Virginia Cooperative Extension associate and certified arborist, told me, “as it gives the newly transplanted tree time to reestablish its root system over the winter … Choose the right plant for the site so the plant will thrive … You reduce the maintenance, and the tree becomes a source of aesthetic and ecological services.”

Tree Care Before the leaves begin to change colors and fall to the ground, examine your trees for deadwood. External deadwood (on the outside of the branches) indicates a problem with the root system, Koci explained, whereas internal deadwood may be normal. With ice and snow looming in the next few months, search your trees for overextended limbs, growing out of bounds of the rest of the tree. “These are more likely to break from wind or ice or snow load,” said Koci. Trees tell you a lot about their health during autumn. Early leaf loss relative to other trees of the same species indicates poor health, while hanging on to leaves indicates good health. “If part of [a tree] goes into coloration before the rest of it, there’s something the matter with that area.” As you go about your fall yard chores, avoid over-mulching around tree trunks – too much can suffocate roots, harbor diseases and cause other serious problems that eventually kill the tree. Finally, Koci said, “A qualified, certified arborist [can] give you a summation of your trees, a relatively good prognosis of safety and general health of your plants.” Be Aesop’s ant this autumn, fiddle all winter long, and eagerly anticipate a healthy yard this spring. CL 56



MacBook Pro


I keep a sweater nearby because the temperature at my house fluctuates. Oh, the air conditioning works well – so well that whenever it kicks on, I pull out the sweater. When I talked with Chip Wells of Americool of Virginia, I learned that now there’s a better way to stay comfortable. “The analogy I like to use so consumers understand this better,” Wells told me, “is with a car. Until January 2014, heating and cooling systems were like a single- or two-speed car.” A single-speed car would be either off or on, he explained. When it’s on, it accelerates to 100% speed, where it stays until you reach your destination. Similarly, a single-speed heating and cooling system is either on or off. A two-speed car would operate at 100% speed and at 70% speed. A two-speed air system offers those same options – better at managing comfort than a single-speed system, but still imperfect. “There’s now a much better way to maintain temperature efficiently, and that’s TruComfort™ systems, which give you more precise temperature control by running at the exact speed necessary,” Wells said. “This allows the compressor and the outdoor and indoor fans to vary operating speed very, very gradually, maintaining comfort within one-half degree of the thermostat setting. This keeps your home from having those uncomfortable, drastic temperature swings.” Wells explained that homeowners can couple a TruComfort™ system with an air cleaner, giving them the cleanest and healthiest air in the neighborhood as well as the most comfortable. “Another great benefit of the TruComfort™ system is less wear and tear on the equipment from starting and stopping,” he added. If my car only had one or two speeds, I’d be neither satisfied nor safe. Now that I know I have a better option for my heating and cooling system, I’m going to go at top speed to call Americool, and be more comfortable all year round!

Richmond Daily High and Low Temperatures


Magazine Archives Find old issues from 2012 to today

Calendar of Events Full listing

of what’s on in the greater Richmond area

Air Conditioning Contractors of America suggests that heating and cooling contractors size equipment for the extreme temperatures in an area to achieve the desired results even on extreme days. We only spend about 25 days at these extreme ends of the spectrum. Chip Wells Americool Heating & Cooling Inc. 2015 / 804-900-3320 57 Chesterfield Living

Business Directory Restaurant, shopping & entertainment locations





We’ve Got Your Home Covered by

Erin Pittman


HEN TAKING ON a new home-improve-

ment project, most homeowners have one goal in mind – finding a trustworthy contractor who will deliver quality and affordable products when they were promised. “Virginia Exterior Products did everything right on schedule and told us upfront what our siding and windows would cost. It wasn’t a penny more,” says customer Grey Seymour of Midlothian. Isn’t this what every homeowner hopes for when working with a contractor? Virginia Exterior Products Corporation customers receive this and much more. Their superior service, quality products and attention to detail set them apart from the rest. Founded in 1962 by George Yesbeck Sr., the company has been a dependable leader in the siding and window industry in the Richmond area for more than 53 years. In 1998, his sons, George Jr. and Michael, purchased the business and became president and vice president. Though their location and product lines have changed over the years, their commitment to service and dedication to their customers have only grown stronger. They offer top-quality exterior products for

homeowners. High-end siding and replacement windows and doors are their specialties, but their work encompasses most any exterior project, including porch rails and enclosures; gutters; and column and shutter replacement. James Hardie Fiber Cement and insulated vinyl siding are two popular options Virginia Exterior Products installs. The fiber cement product is popular in the Richmond area because it doesn’t rot like Masonite siding. They install the Color Plus option, which is factory painted with a 15-year finish. This option will not rot, but may eventually require painting. Insulated vinyl siding is a high quality product and never needs painting. Typically, high-end siding and window products are not installed in new construction. Virginia Exterior Products does not work on new construction, and instead focuses on residential

customers who are seeking an upgrade. While the maintenance-free aspect is of high importance, more and more consumers want to be sure they maintain the same architectural detail they have on their homes. That’s what Virginia Exterior Products specializes in. The products they install


meet all of these needs. Each crew is professionally trained and supervised, and one of the Yesbecks is on each job site daily to ensure customer satisfaction. They maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and won the 2014 Super Service Award through Angie’s List. “Our customers are nice people in nice homes who entrust us with their largest possession. We work hard to exceed their expectations,” explains George Yesbeck Jr. Most of their products come with lifetime warranties, and Virginia Exterior Products encourages their customers to call them directly with concerns that arise, even many years down the road. Their promise is superior service, and they live up to that promise. “I could not recommend a better company to work on your home. They did what they said they would do,” Seymour adds. “I recommended them to a friend, who was equally pleased with their work, and I will recommend them again.” To start your home improvement project, visit or call 804-399-8060. 58


fall in the mountains





COULDN’T DECIDE WHETHER to look up or scan the sights at eye level. I didn’t want to miss the colorful shops and restaurants along this historic main street – a chocolatier, antiques, books and music, boutiques, restaurants and cafés. But when I looked up, I saw architectural gems from many decades and styles: Victorian; Renaissance, Colonial, and Romanesque Revival; Beaux-Arts; Italianate; and more. The stylish diversity hints at the culture that infuses the town. Beverley Street in downtown Staunton, Virginia, possesses this mix of creative businesses and architectural styling. Other parts of the city are equally remarkable, most notably the historic neighborhoods of Stuart Addition, Newtown and Gospel Hill. You too can look up to the Staunton architecture in one of the free weekly Saturday walking tours, May through October, sponsored by the Historic Staunton Foundation. Stroll through four of the town’s six historic districts, learning about its history, from frontier set-

59 Chesterfield Living

tlement to booming 19th century commercial center, and the resulting architecture. The foundation and visitors’ center also provide self-guided tour brochures. As if inspired by the architecture – methinks Staunton residents look up when they walk, too – the town has become a mini-mecca of arts and culture: a Shakespearean venue; nine downtown fine arts galleries; CenterStage! concert series of international performing artists; Heifetz International Music Institute for advanced students of violin, viola and cello, presenting summertime concerts; the annual Staunton Music Festival; and more. From deep roots in England through the founding of the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express in 1988 to today – the American Shakespeare Center offers performances that would make Elizabethan audiences green with envy. The stage and seating re-create Shakespeare’s

original Blackfriars Theatre, but with central air and heat as well as a superb professional acting company. I chose to catch A Midsummer Night’s Dream on my visit, preferring comedies over tragedies. The performance was so engaging, I forgot that the language is anything but contemporary – perhaps the mix of traditional and modern costume helped achieve the effect, though the actors’ articulation and deeply expressive movement and dialogue are more likely the cause. Even the intermission provided entertainment par excellence. My creative fix came from Sunspots Studios down by “the wharf ” (i.e., the train depots – don’t go looking for any boats). Studio artists demonstrate glassblowing daily, helping customers blow their own ornaments on Saturdays (my purple treasure is hanging proudly in my home!). The gallery and gift shop displays breathtaking

Staunton's Beverley Street Photo: Woods Pierce

Farm-to-table dining at Zynodoa Photo: Sera Petras

American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse Photo: Staunton CVB

Tried & Recommended: Food, Drink & Links works of art, amazing tributes to what inspired, skilled and talented artists can do with a little glass and a lot of heat. To complete my cultural immersion, I stayed at the grand Stonewall Jackson Hotel. Designed in the Colonial Revivalist style by renowned American architect H.L. Stevens, the hotel has been improved and expanded, as well as restored to its original beauty, including marble floors and dormered entryways, with original chandeliers and wall sconces and the original 1924 Wurlitzer organ. Improvements include conference facilities, fitness center, indoor pool and other 21st century “necessities.” Other worthwhile sights include the Frontier Culture Museum, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, and outdoor activities. This rich destination lies a mere 90 miles outside of Richmond and just a few miles from both Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway – an easy weekend trip to the mountains. CL Staunton Music Festival Photo: Staunton CVB

Don’t-Miss Dinner: Even Staunton’s dining scene reflects culture and quality. Dinner at Zynodoa reflects Southern roots, in the cuisine as well as the generous use of locally sourced produce and livestock and Chesapeake Bay seafood. The meal melds the elegant experience of attentive service with fresh, creative dishes, craft beer and fine wine, and historic ambiance. Save room for dessert! Sweet Fix: The small, unassuming Cocoa Mill Chocolatier creates rich, delicious chocolates, voted best by a Wall Street Journal nationwide taste test.

Staunton Visitor Center:

Craft Beer: Shenandoah Valley Brewery knows brewing ins and outs, and it shows in a diversity of clean, true-to-style beers, such as a German alt bier and Kölsch.

Stonewall Jackson Hotel:

Breakfast or Lunch: Primarily a lunch spot, The Pampered Palate Café serves nearly enough choices for a different meal daily – and all worthwhile!

Historic Staunton Foundation:

American Shakespeare Center: Frontier Culture Museum: Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum:

Other Nearby Breweries & Wineries Barren Ridge Vineyards, Fishersville. Housed in a historic apple barn, Barren Ridge features handcrafted wines. Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room, downtown Staunton. The farm winery that has been growing grapes for other wineries is now making its own, with a tasting room in Staunton. 44 Middlebrook Ave. Queen City Brewing, Staunton. Not just a brewery and taproom, Queen City also offers be-thebrewer, sweet fruit wines and homemade sodas. 834 Springhill Rd. Redbeard Brewing, downtown Staunton. A diversity of small-batch beers. Rockbridge Vineyard, Raphine. The 21 wines at Rockbridge include the V d’Or dessert wine, the first Virginia sweet wine made using cryoconcentration. 60


massachusetts OSV.ORG





I took in the views – similar to my Virginia home, but different enough to excite my travel adrenaline. It wasn’t my first trip to Massachusetts, but the first time west of Boston, in the countryside of this first colony. The air was cooler, given the 500-mile-north distance from home, invigoratingly welcome. My destination was just north of the Connecticut line, the small town of Southbridge, an area of history and renewal. Once home to the world’s largest optical company, American Optical (AO), Southbridge deflated when foreign competition resulted in shutdown of the Massachusetts facilities. The seeds of American Optical were planted in 1826 when young William Beecher came to Southbridge; germinated in 1833 when Beecher determined to improve the crude contemporary spectacles; sprouted officially in 1869; and eventually grew to employ thousands in Southbridge alone. AO can claim bragging rights for a multitude of important optical inventions and standards. Yet Southbridge does not emanate an aura of demise. The town and surrounding region are charming, offering beauty, conveniences and enjoyable activities to residents and visitors alike. Optical Heritage Museum. What really lies behind the optical inventions that contribute to our safety, success and seeing life’s beauty? Find out from rooms of scientific displays and fascinating artifacts. 61 Chesterfield Living

Old Sturbridge Village. Wander through the nation’s third largest living history museum, recreating 1830s New England life. Tour 40 original buildings – including homes, meetinghouses, school, stores, bank, farm and trade shops – and watch skilled demonstrations. Visit with heritage farm animals and costumed staff. Learn what life was like. The Last Green Valley. The National Heritage Corridor combines 35 towns, rural countryside of forests and farmland, the Quinebaug and Shetucket rivers systems and rugged hills – 1,100 square miles in eastern Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts. Besides exploring the picturesque small towns, you can soak in the natural beauty as you hike, bike, paddle peaceful ponds or exciting whitewater, or take a scenic drive. SOUTHBRIDGE HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER


The Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center. The grand, sprawling redbrick buildings that once housed American Optical have been restored and remodeled to provide 203 guest rooms with all the

expected conveniences, 24,000 square feet of meeting space, indoor pool, fitness room, dining, billiards, darts and even racquetball and basketball courts. The Duck. Fine farm-to-table dining in a relaxed setting. Menu options are classic while reflecting modern sensibilities – like seafood pie, asparagus ravioli, chicken pot pie and orange cognac glazed salmon. Items range from locally sourced, grass-fed beef to vegetarian options. Salem Cross Inn. This lovingly restored 18th century farmhouse presents the finest of fare, using heirloom vegetables and herbs grown on the property. Time your visit for one of their special events, like the Drover’s Roast Colonial American Feast, Farmers’ Dinner or Fireplace Feast. B.T.’s Smokehouse. Yessir, Southern-style meats, slow cooked with apple and hickory woods for up to 26 hours. So good it was featured in The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America. See if you agree. Rapscallion Barrel & Tap Room. Blends with its rural location by old apple orchards, with a local and eco-conscious focus, presenting seasonal brews. Look for the flagship Rapscallion Honey, a sessionable extra pale ale. CL



Offered for $685,000


Offered for $849,000


Offered for $1,245,000

Offered for $1,395,000

Offered for $525,000

The beautiful, diverse Loudoun County countryside in Northern Virginia has birthed a creative, diverse and fast-growing beer scene. In urban settings and pastoral, rolling countryside you’ll find 14 breweries (at current count), including • Adroit Theory, “esoteric and barrel-aged” beers with many unexpected ingredients, like a Bloody Mary-inspired brew • Lost Rhino, combining a global perspective and locally harvested ingredients – including fossil yeast • Crooked Run, a farmhouse nanobrewery in Leesburg’s Market Station



R E A L E S T A T E Travis Powell, Associate Broker 804.512.2086

Two breweries are side-by-side with other spirits, too: • Quattro Goomba’s Brewery and Quattro Goomba’s Winery • Corcoran Brewing and Corcoran Vineyards & Cider For contact info and links to all Loudoun breweries, visit






Annie Tobey


IKE THE TIDES RECEDING from the shoreline,

cooling seasonal temperatures slowly empty out beach resorts. Yet these summertime hot spots have a beauty that never disappears, in aesthetics or activities. In Wilmington, North Carolina, the river town and its nearby beaches beckon throughout the year. Wilmington’s historic district reflects its heritage of early explorers and maritime roots. The National Register Historic District takes up 230 blocks, easy to explore on foot or on a horse-drawn carriage tour. You can also take in the river town from the water: on a riverboat, sailboat or catamaran cruise. Stroll along nearly two miles of wooden riverwalk, stopping at shops and cafés along the way. My low-country dinner at Pilot House (the sweet-potato-encrusted grouper was a high-country blend of succulent and crispy) was paired with soft breezes from Cape Fear River. Time, like the water, keeps flowing, and this area, now home to a half-dozen breweries, keeps up with America’s craft beer boom. To get an insider’s peek at the beer scene and to enjoy the brews without concern of driving, I boarded the Port City Brew Bus for an entertaining tour of three breweries, all memorable: Flytrap, Wilmington and Broomtail. The tour conveniently leaves from Bombers Beverage Co., a retail bottle shop and casual bar, right next to my accommodations at the new Marriott in the downtown historic district. Another beer stop worth visiting, 20-year-old

63 Chesterfield Living

Front Street Brewery and restaurant, serves 10 house beers as well as an extensive selection of bourbon and whiskey. Three island beaches, merely a half-hour drive away, welcome visitors and locals, each with its own flavor: Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. I explored Carolina and Kure, discovering creature comforts sans overwhelming crowds, plus parks, estuarine reserves and other natural areas.

Kure Beach The southernmost of the beaches, Kure (rhymes with “surrey”) is home to the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast, built in 1923 and still owned by the original family. You can wander out onto the 711-foot wooden fishing pier, catching a few fish tales from those with poles set along the way, toss goodies to the friendly pelican, or cast your own line. Also at Kure Beach are Fort Fisher State Historic Site, a Confederate fort built to protect Wilmington from Union forces, and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, where visitors can explore the habitats of coastal waters – waterfalls, bays, salt marshes and tidal pools – as well as a two-story ocean exhibit with sharks, rays and eels and an outdoor lorikeet bird exhibit (open through September). In Kure Beach, we enjoyed a Caribbean-inspired seafood lunch at Jack Mackerel’s, paired with a local craft beer.

Carolina Beach The boardwalk amusement park and tiny maze of shops, restaurants and entertainment at Carolina Beach hearken back to earlier days of coastal Americana. Stop by the iconic Britt’s Donuts, a family-owned local favorite, serving classic glazed donuts for over 75 years. Take a gander at the insectivorous plants growing along Flytrap Trail at Carolina Beach State Park. This distinctive microenvironment makes the park one of the few places in the world where the Venus flytrap can be seen growing naturally. Along the trail, closely examine the pocosin areas – those with moist, boggy soils and low-growing, dense vegetation. Here, the small, mouth-like traps huddle close to the ground, with a single stalk rising from the center. Tiny carnivorous red sundews, pitcher plants, butterworts and bladderworts also dine here, surrounded by a wondrous diversity of plant and animal life: egrets, yellow-billed cuckoo, screech owls, great horned owls and coyotes. We took up temporary Carolina Beach residence at Beacon House Inn, a friendly B&B serving freshly prepared artisan breakfasts and gourmet coffee. This oceanside ’50s boarding house lies between the Carolina Beach boardwalk, a 10-15 minute walk to the south, and Freeman Park to the north. The house is adult-only, though a cottage

Photo: Wilmington CVB

at the back welcomes kids and pets. From the inn, I took a refreshing morning run along the beach on perfectly packed sand – not too hard, not too squishy – to the peaceful shores of the park, followed by the hosts’ homemade, refreshing repast: savory egg and sausage tart, home fries, banana bread, and Greek yogurt with fresh berries and granola. Dinner at Deck House was memorable for the food, but especially for the service. When I complimented the manager on the waitstaff, his hiring and retention philosophy explained the friendly and upbeat attitude. The not-to-be-missed restaurant in Carolina Beach, Surf House, combines coastal cuisine with the virtue of sustainability and the pleasures of fresh local ingredients. For worthwhile dives (no, not an oxymoron!), check out Shuckin’ Shack for seafood and Fat Pelican for craft beer. Fat Pelican’s décor brings to mind bachelor-pad elegance, but the pick-out-your-own-

Britt's Donuts Photo: Wilmington CVB

Fort Fisher State Historic Site Photo: Peter Doran

At Kure Beach are Fort Fisher State Historic Site, a Confederate fort built to protect Wilmington from Union forces, and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Front Street Brewery Photo: Annie Tobey

Venus flytraps Photo: Peter Doran

bottle walk-in cooler is well stocked with craft beer. Of course, you find beaches and water recreation all along the coast. I took a SUP lesson with the Tony Silvagni Surf School (operated by the accomplished surfing competitor), steering my stand-up paddleboard through the inland waterways. The school also offers surf lessons (obviously) and rentals. The business stocks wet suits, so you can SUP, kayak or surf year round. Dining, museums, shopping, outdoor recreation and the simple pleasure of doing nothing – these and more are yours at Wilmington, North Carolina, and its beaches, any time of year. CL

LINKS Wilmington Visitor Information Beer Tours Fort Fisher State Historic Site North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher Beacon House Inn Deck House Surf House Restaurant Tony Silvagni Surf School Photo: Wilmington CVB 64

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