F IR S T
A N N UA
Virginia Craft Brews
“A community supported publication for a cause”
Virginia Craft Brews is a hard copy and digital magazine publication dedicated to telling the unique stories of the people involved with craft beer in Virginia while supporting a worthwhile cause!
How it Works:
Step 1: The Cause
Each edition, we will pick a specific charity or cause to raise money for. The Fall 2013 Cause is:
Step 2: The Content
Those involved (including us!) with craft beer, homebrewing, local hops, Virginia breweries, local music, and the business of craft beer will seek out interesting stories throughout “The Old Dominion”. You will send in your best write-ups and photos to the Virginia Craft Brews staff. We will pick favorite stories and our creative team will design an original publication. It will then be formed into a digital flip through publication hosted at www.virginiacraftbrews.com.
Step 3: The Print for a Cause
Local breweries, homebrew shops, craft beer stores, restaurants, businesses and individuals will buy inexpensive ad space in the publication which are added to the online digital version as they come in. You could buy an ad space to use however you like! Tell your friends you love them in an ad! The ad dollars are used to print as many complete hard copies as possible for a separate release in each season in the year. Virginia Craft Brews will attend various festivals where craft beer lovers are sure to be and a suggested donation for the publication is requested. The funds raised will go directly to the chosen cause! Remember—each project’s success is dependent on community support! So get involved today! Our Team Matt Goodwyn Tarun Sinha Blair Larcen Christie Jett Sam Jett Jeff O’donnell Peachu Mahant
Hometown Pride with Blair Larcen of Lost Rhino Brewery
Letter from the Editor BEST FALL APPETIZER
Umesh wants you to drink good beer.
Joey Ciucci , Elephant Hop Farm Powhatan, VA.
Evolution of a Home Brewer
Memorable Grand Opening for LickingHOLE
Beer Business is Brewing in the Roanoke Region
Hometown Pride with Blair Larcen of
Lost Rhino Brewery What was the hottest thing in our beautiful state of Virginia this summer? No folks, not the weather. Why craft beer of course! There were many exceptional beers popping up all over the country and many are coming from our own backyard! My name is Blair Larcen and I work for Lost Rhino Brewery, located in Ashburn Virginia. I live in Richmond, my native homeland, and the passion and dedication to VA beer that I have witnessed in RVA has truly touched me. Lost Rhino has just brewed our first All Virginia Beer. Favio Garcia, our head brewer and part owner, has created a beer in which 100% of the ingredients were produced in the state of Virginia. This is the first in our Genius Loci series, which is a series of beers that feature at least one Virginia grown ingredient. This is what I call Hometown Pride and locally sourced! Speaking of hometown pride, Andrew LaBonte from Local Suds has partnered with James Crenshaw of Experience RVA to continue providing you with brewery tours and special events all surrounding our local beer industry. Their mission is to promote the mantra of “Locally produced, Locally enjoyed.” They look to enhance the relationship between the local community and the Commonwealth’s award-winning, burgeoning libations industry. They are leveraging their existing partnerships with Virginia’s craft beer industry, non-profits and community leaders. Two cool events they conjured up for 2013 are Tubes and Taps and The Pumpkin Festival. Tubes and Taps was a fun float down the James River which was followed by a swimsuit party at Legend Brewery! Lost Rhino beers were on tap alongside of Legends. There were brewery tours, grill out style grub, live music and most importantly the community gathering together for a common cause. The cause for this event was Friends of the James River, and all proceeds went to their non-profit organization. Riverside Outfitters was in on it too, as they provided folks with a safety lesson, tubes and transportation. It doesn’t get much better than that for an August 31st Labor Day event! We can’t wait to do it again next year, so mark your calendars! Have you ever thought about closing down the Boulevard and having a festival? It’s called the Pumpkin Festival! The Pumpkin Festival is sure to be one you will not forget. Live music, craft beer, kid zone, pumpkin treats from your favorite local restaurants on the Boulevard and in Scott’s Addition. This festival is a fundraiser for Scott’s Addition Business Association. James and Andrew are planning events to promote the community connection that craft beer can offer. Also, cheers to Favio for brewing his first batch of a series of beers sourced with local ingredients. Virginia is for lovers of Virginia. If you are out and about in Virginia, whether it be in Northern VA, Southwest VA or RVA try a Lost Rhino brew! So head up to our tasting room in Ashburn as we are approaching the release of Pretty in Pink on October 2nd. This Pomegranate Saison is our Breast Cancer Awareness beer, where proceeds go to local cancer centers. Drink VA- Cheers! Follow Blair @RVARhino Photo: Blair Larcen from Lost Rhino
Letter from the Editor
The adjective “niche” simply means, “Having specific appeal”, and all beer has some specific appeal to a lot of people.
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When people decide they want a cold one they do it in a variety of ways. Some grab the first thing they see, some look around for a while, some buy basically the same thing most every time, and some know exactly what they want because of research or past experience. There are many reasons people buy what they buy and many motivating factors behind each purchase, some even on a subconscious level. With this in mind, what made craft beer begin to explode again in 2011, roughly up 13% despite a decline in the overall beer market by almost 2%? It really is quite a phenomenon if you really sit and think about it. This was a serious recession we just went through, not to mention breweries can be taxed much more than other industries. A 13% increase means real jobs, small business jobs that people can get really passionate about. These jobs lead to new opportunities elsewhere, such as this publication, charity work, and things like Growler Stations (more on that in the next edition). So what made this niche work and expand? And what, exactly is this niche? Yes the beer is much better tasting, but small business people know that another factor was the true major stimulus. It is the timeless and very recognizable small business mantra that many other industries and larger businesses should begin to take serious notes on. Because it seriously works if it’s consistent. It is none other than, service, service, service. I am not talking about “have a nice day, thanks for coming” service. I am talking – “you are really going to remember coming here” service. Part of great customer service is having a quality product you can count on. Well, most small breweries have that part down and are always inventing new concoctions. But another, maybe sometimes ignored niche part is the overall experience you get when you buy a product from someone that really, really cares about what they do and you as a customer. This is what made the craft beer niche really work and expand. The niche is partially having great beer, but it is also about providing a memorable experience for the customer. The craft beer revolution proves on many levels how small business success works. A good brewery can help revitalize an entire economy as it branches out from the communities that are really feeling a soul beat from the local brewer. Small businesses that continue to carve their niche and follow through with exceptional service will always be a contender. And I will seriously drink to that. Sure, there are many people and businesses out there who undervalue this information. They just want, or want to provide, a decent product at a low price. Every time I think of this and the success of Virginia beer, I remember a recent daydream. I imagined a giant field of your average beer in red solo cups that all look the same, they look exhausted because they have been sitting there for months not moving too much. They all look the same, are numbered one to about one billion with their number plastered on the front of the cup. Number 3655 looks at number 3666 and says, “You know, we are just a number to them.” Then, out of nowhere, “The Admiral” pops in (yes the IPA beer from 3 Brothers Brewing) –Although, It’s kind of morphed into the real Admiral, basketball player David Robinson, for effect. He, on the other hand, is really looking fresh because he was just created last week. It is apparent that he serious flavor, a much lower number, and a cool name and creative design on the front. He laughs, looks confidently at the all the solo cups and says, “You know, your days in this store are numbered.” It was clear the craft beer had been cared for and was created by people that cared. After having this daydream, I had a much clearer picture of how small breweries had laid the groundwork for a service revolution. To me, this daydream relates an ongoing story that most small businesses have to battle— Memorable Service vs. Low Price/Mass Quantity. The craft beer niche is mainly about memorable service combined with a quality, locally made product. As we continue to recover from the recession, these attributes will become more and more significant to grassroots economic recovery and niche business success. Every local Virginia brewery I have been to in the past few years has really gone out of their way to make sure not only that I was enjoying the beer, but that I was enjoying myself. There will always be the obstacles of low price bandits and cheap, numbered, watered down beer. But the fact will remain that people care about how they are treated as customers and sometimes, if you carve the niche just right, you just may end up with a stunning success. At Virginia Craft Brews, we applaud the job local breweries have done in our wonderful state of Virginia. Truly proving - service still matters.
Virginia Craft Brews BEST FALL APPETIZER Virginia veggie Buffalo Dip Recipe Best paired with Blue Mountain Brewery’s Full Nelson ! 2 bags—Quorn brand fake chicken 2– 8oz Philly Cream Cheese 1– large Ranch Light 1– Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce 1– Regular Cholula Hot Sauce 1– big bag Monterey Pepper Jack Shredded Cheese 1– big head celery
Pre-Heat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté all fake chicken mixed with entire bottle Chipotle sauce over medium heat until soft. Break apart large pieces. Set aside. In second pan, melt cream cheese in lightly oiled pan then add entire bottle of ranch. Mix to melted semi– thick consistency. Remove from heat. Lightly oil bottom of medium oven safe pan and add hot fake chicken and spread evenly along bottom of pan. Layer ranch and cream cheese mix on top and shake about half the bottle of regular hot sauce on top. Chop celery into very small pieces. Add cheese to top and then celery, then cheese, then celery until its is gone. Bake covered for 15 min and uncovered for 15–20 until fake chicken sauce bubbles up. Let cool 5 min and serve with Scoops!
Umesh wants you to drink good beer. Umesh told me his wife was prettier than him and refused to get in the picture -so you will have to go see him for yourself! Located about ¼ miles from the Chippenham Parkway in Richmond, VA next to Sneeds Nursery behind Bon Air Shell Gas Station. Fastop 8764 W Huguenot Rd Richmond, VA 23235 (804) 272-7862 Monday—Friday 7am – 10 pm Saturday 8am – 10pm Sunday 9am – 9pm For many of you reading this, you will not be surprised when I mention the friendly service or the outstanding beer selection at the Bon Air Fastop. It may be a revelation, however to find out that Umesh has only been in the convenience industry since 2007 and had never run a small business prior to that. He has worked hard to understand and execute the concepts of customer service, local feel, and of course craft beer.
1) Tell me about how you got started in the convenience store business in Richmond. How have you seen it change the most? Is this your first location? This is the first time I have ever done this sort of thing. I came here from India in 1990 and we moved from South Carolina to Richmond in 2006 to be closer to my wife’s family. I had worked at American Standard which is very different than this so trust me it was “one big training”, you know, learning how to run a small business. We took a chance and bought this business and the rest is history. We are really enjoying it and the people in Bon Air are awesome. My 17 years in a technical background helped me get organized, but I could see that connecting with people was going to be important. 2) You have one of the best selections of local beer around, when did you really start noticing your customers wanted craft beer and local beer and what made you invest in stocking more and more craft beer? I began asking customers if they were interested in specialty beer and many said yes and thought it could be a good idea. Back then, it was all about the Belgium
Ales and the seasonal brews. I listened to people, cared about what they were interested in and tried to develop a system that resulted in happy return customers. You have to connect with your customers to find out what they want. So I asked them what they wanted and I kept it in stock. I also began selling special order kegs of all sizes. It was convenient for customers and they could count on me to get them what they wanted at a fair price. 3) You seem to really understand the importance of creating customer relationships and creating a “local” feel to your store. What % of your craft beer customer base is repeat customers? I would honestly say about 90% right now. People just seem to talk to each other in the craft beer world and word has spread quickly. Local beers have been really busy as of late, it is Legends, Hardywood, Center of the Universe and Lickinghole that people are asking for. People know they can count on their favorites being in stock here, so they keep coming back. The local distribution system is working well and I always get the popular seasonals quick. I didn’t really drink beer before starting this business,
but now I know Richmond can make some good brews. So cheers! And, don’t forget, I may be the only place around you can get authentic Indian Cookies and of course spicy peanuts with your beer. I have noticed this is a bit of a family business. Can you explain the advantages and challenges of how working with family truly makes this a local, family small business? My wife helps me out a lot and as you can see we have long hours we stay open. As you know, small business is a full time job but it is very rewarding to know you are connecting with a community, and Bon Air is a great place. This is when a regular customer stops in and asks for a mega millions ticket– Umesh, always joking and enjoying his job, simply tells her “Sold Out”, but we have power ball. She laughs buys her mega millions tickets and tells him she will see him tomorrow. Fastop has all your craft beer needs. They have over 250 beers, great prices on kegs and good selection of local beer and wine. Be vocal, buy local!
The Olive Oil TaprOOm Taste and pair extra virgin olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars
In Short Pump at Ste. 607 200 Towne Center W. Blvd. (behind Ethan Allen near Rt.288)
50+ Flavors! Tuscan, Fig, Peach …Endless
At the Shoppes at Bellgrade 11400 West Huguenot Rd. Ste. 116 Midlothian, VA 23113
804-897-6464 Buy any of our dark size bottles
(200 ml, 375ml or 750ml) and receive one 60ml sampler bottle of your choice Limited 1 coupon per customer. Cannot be combined with any other offers.
The Olive Oil Taproom-My first sublime experience tasting olive oil and balsamic vinegar was at the veritable Filling Station at Chelsea Market in New York. A more local experience can be had at their sister store at The Olive Oil Taproom at The Shoppes at Bellgrade in Midlothian. Proprietor, Shauna Wells is a passionate advocate of not only the taste and culinary aspects of Extra Virgin olive oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegars, but the health properties each provide. “We have fifty flavors of EVOO and balsamic vinegars for our customers to sample,” says Wells. “And we’re well versed in the health aspects of what we sell. EVOOs contain polyphenols, a natural antioxidant, and oleocanthol, which can help with symptoms of Alzheimer’s.”
The Olive Oil Taproom is a great place to take a group for a unique tasting experience and is a great place to shop for the season. “We have customized gift packages for all budgets. Our 60 ml and 200 ml bottles of Extra Virgin olive oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegars are the perfect gift. Wine is just too yesterday!” says Wells. Check out The Olive Oil Taproom on Facebook and at www.theoliveoiltaproom.com. Facebook: Tammy Brackett is a professional freelance writer specializing in blogs, articles and web content. Check out my profile here https://tammybrackettwrites.elance.com
What We Do Old Dominion Mobile Canning provides an on-demand, hassle-free canning solution for Virginia and North Carolina Craft Brewers. Cans are the Craft Beer Drinkers Choice Aluminum Cans are better for the environment than glass bottles. Cans cool down faster than any other beverage container resulting in fresher, better tasting beer. Cans are extremely portable and perfect for outdoor activities; especially where glass bottles are not allowed. Cans are impenetrable to light and oxygen thus preserving the high quality of craft beer. No metallic contamination or flavor. A water-based polymer seals the can ensuring no contact between the beer and the aluminum. Think of a can as a mini-keg for your craft beer.
Ask for your next Virginia Craft Beer in a Can www.olddominonmobilecanning.com
THE GREEN BOYS: Oh Delia
When The Green Boys sing “Well I’m going from this city/Out to the country” it’s less of a directional statement than an invitation to join them. The opening line from “St. Mary’s Wilderness,” a slow, languid ode to one of the most beautiful areas (and premier hikes) in the George Washington National Forest, is from their album “Oh Delia.” The first full length offering from these Richmond musicians, “Oh Delia” is a moonlit excursion to a clapboard shack with sawdust on the floor, hidden among tall pines Strumpet is an indie rock 4-piece that's understated. The ambitious undertaking and honeysuckle scent, where Sean and really coming into its own in 2013. With requires self-control, ease and comfort Ryan Green, Mike Emmons and Zack Millthe release of its new album, Magnolia, the with the material, and a certain something er are playing in the corner.
http://cdbaby.com/cd/thegreenboys Jeff O, Music Critic—Virginia Craft Brews Follow him @GDSpace
band is gaining comfort in its signature sound. Piano-driven (Will Wickham) orchestral rock gives way to catchy dance pieces. Polyrhythmic percussion originates in the "Intro (Flies)" track – reflecting almost an early hip-hop swagger. Several of the songs that appear on the album had been previously released, but this time the tracks are mixed (engineering by Zavi Harman at Moydberry Studios) with a powerful presence. The band has an affinity for strings, maturing the arrangements with grandiose proportions. For instance, the title track opens with a soft and slow smattering of violins (Seamus Guy) and cello (Alexander Colb) elongating the phrases and melody. It's not long before the track goes into double time as percussion gets lifted and cymbals start shattering. With the additional vocals of Lucy Dacus, the aforementioned Mr. Guy, and Ben "The Shaman" Copolillo, "Magnolia" is a miniature overture to the rest of the record. Lengthy, fully-developed and well-arranged instrumentation is a trait throughout the rest of the songs. The extra voices appear on a few other tracks and increase the "collective" feeling without overwhelming in a chorus.
Lead vocalist/bassist Woody Rogers recalls Deer Tick's youthful and even tones, and even occasionally crackles during a syllable. He kills it vocally with his mastery of shifting dynamics, as in "The Kids Said Dance." As simple as it seems, a mere song-long crescendo done well cannot be
extra. When you learn to play tennis for the first time, you use half of the court and hit the ball a lot lighter than you would a full stroke. Once you get comfortable with "mini tennis," you can move on to the baseline. These guys mastered the art of the gentle touch. It's not just as simple as being quiet; you have to have the same enunciation, intensity and finesse as the larger sounds.
The sound of the banjo, mandolin, guitar, and upright bass is as warm and intimate as a southern summer night, while the vocals are a blend of Ryan Adams, Peter Garrett and Hank Williams all in one. The aim of The Green Boys seems to be less about expert soloing as it is about a melding and interweaving of their instruments into a single, well-hewn sound. That goal is accomplished on standout tracks like “Summer Dueling guitars start off "The Arm Song" Song,” “The Morning,” and the lovely inand sound like twinkling ostinatos. With strumental “Black Mountain Promenade.”
sampled spoken words layered overtop, the song is a mixture of organic piano, drums, and cymbals pitted against the shoegaze aspects of electronic guitars and samples. Overall, this album covers a lot of ground, and it is a superb "first" full effort.
The majority of the songs are laid back, mid-tempo ramblings with themes of lost love, moving on, and heartache that are as smooth as your third shot of bourbon at the end of a late night bar.
Recommended if you like (RIYL): Ben The few up-tempo tunes such as “Hard Folds Five, Andrew Bird, Wolf//Goat, Luck Blues” and “Leaving on a Whim” are Heavy Midgets head-bobbing, foot-tapping rides with a real Check out Strumpet at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Strumpet.band Order/preview the album here: http://strumpetmusic.bandcamp.com/ Check out Sounds of RVA: http://soundsofrva.org Sarah Moore, Owner email@example.com
kick. It’s clear that The Green Boys aren’t interested in being pigeonholed into any specific genre: folk, bluegrass, country, and old-time are all here in equal measure; just listen to the excellent moaned-out-blues love complaint in “Fine By Me” and you’ll understand. In the end, “Oh Delia” is a satisfying trip to where the rolling countryside meets the forlorn lover on the side of the road. It’s an invitation worth accepting.
Independent Music Radio www.wnrn.org
Appalachian Ales By Griffin Johnson The Appalachian Trail is a National Scenic Trail that begins on Springer Mountain, Georgia and ends on Mt. Katahdin in Maine. It currently is calculated at 2,185.9 miles, traverses 14 states and follows the oldest mountain range in the world across almost the entire length of the East Coast. It has been described as the longest continuously marked footpath in the world. Benton McCaye envisioned the trail as a “super trail”, a hiking trail that supports and is supported by the local communities.
A quick list of the respective breweries can be seen below.
Georgia – Sweetwater Brewery North Carolina – Highlands Brewery Tennessee – Smoky Mountain Brewery Virginia – Devil’s Backbone Brewery West Virginia – Bridge Brew Works Maryland – Heavy Seas Brewery Pennsylvania – Appalachian Brewing Company New Jersey – High Point Brewing Company I recently completed the length of the trail New York – Dundee Brewing Company in one continuous season, affectionately Connecticut – Old Burnside Brewing Company known as a thru-hike. My experience was Massachusetts – Big Elm Brewery a 6 and half month journey through the Vermont- Long Trail wilderness. Across beautiful mountain New Hampshire – Tuckerman Brewing Company tops, over streams, rivers and gorges, emerg- Maine – Sea Dog Brewing Company
ing from the woods like a mountain man in the supporting communities along the trail. I saw the sun rise and set on hundreds of mountains, experienced the outdoors in spring, summer, fall and winter. Most importantly, I met countless people from all walks of life. Throughout the entire hike, I thought of beer.
Each beer and company had many redeeming qualities. I could write an entire article about each one. However, Devil’s Backbone Brewery was the most involved with the trail, the closest to the trail and had the strongest presence among the trail community.
A small percentage of my time was spent in little towns, small cities, and mountain communities in each and every state. One of my goals along the trail was to try a craft beer from each state I walked through.
Devil’s Backbone was a sponsor at the famous “Trail Days” held each year in Damascus, VA. They also co-hosted an event this year with Nelson County on June 1, 2013 called “Trail Daze”. This was an
event to promote healthier lifestyles, with local vendors, supported guided local hikes on the Appalachian Trail, provided live music and allowed hikers to camp on their property for the event. Furthermore, all season, Devil’s offered to pick up any hikers from the trailhead at Rockfish Gap, a ten minute ride over the mountain past Wintergreen Ski Resort. They would bring hikers to the brewery, allow free tenting and take them back to the trailhead the following morning. A large majority of my fellow hikers jumped at the opportunity to visit a local brewery. Many of them had stickers, buttons and other swag that they carried proudly on the outside of their packs and other related gear like hiking poles. I would be on top of a mountain hundreds of miles away and see the familiar Devil’s Backbone sticker or button, and imagine the beer and all its glory. Devil’s Backbone was not only my favorite trail-
side brewery, but folks would discuss the 8 point IPA and Vienna Lager for the length of the trail far more than any other brewery. One could make a strong argument that Devil’s Backbone is the best brewery on the trail! Just this week Devil’s Backbone won the Best Small Brewery in America at the Great American Beer Festival, that’s two years in a row! With their presence on the trail, continued involvement in the local community, constant growth and smart marketing they are establishing themselves as a strong representative in Virginia. I was proud of the beautiful state and mountains, I was proud to be part of the craft beer industry and I am proud to have Devil’s Backbone in my backyard. Happy Trails Devil’s Backbone, or perhaps I should say Happy Ales!.
“Orion, gracious for family, pauses his epic quest for fine Virginia Brews”
Orion’s 2013 Appalachian Trail Journal Tuesday, June 18, 2013 Destination: Luray, Va
Starting Location: Pearisburg, Va Trip Miles: 937.20
Virginia! What a wonderful last couple of weeks. Since my last entry I have made it to Waynesboro, Va and pushed beyond. After stopping at my sister’s house for a week, figuring out some financing and some much needed R&R, Aquaman and I pushed north. While in relaxation I spent a week with my sister, a God send of a sibling, my niece and nephew, my parents, and my dog Bear! I was able to be there for both my sister and fathers birthdays. The week started off with my dad bringing beer and pizza to the Tye River just before the climb up Three Ridges, a monster of 4 miles of nearly a gain in 3,000 feet in elevation. Then throughout the rainy week, K2, Davy Crockett, Aquaman and I lounged in luxury thanks to the generosity of my sister in opening her house to our stinky hiker souls. Was able to hike 10 miles or so with Tom Holiday, Bob Wulin and Laura Bohner, Bear joined us for the day. Afterwards Bob, Laura and I grabbed some cold ones at Wild Wolf Brewery and talked skiing, great to see old friends. I am originally from Nelson County and it is truly amazing to see what this brewery has been able to do in this area! I feel like the beer just keeps getting better and better and the service is always high quality. A few days later, after dropping Davy and K2 back on the trail, Aquaman and I went to Pollak Vineyard with two of my good friends from Harrisonburg, Jaime and Whitney. We lounged by the pond, a magnificent backdrop of mountains and split a bottle of Cabernet Franc. We ventured down to Blue Mountain Brewery in the bucolic Nelson County to join my sister for her birthday. It was a fantastic day and I look forward to the future time spent with my friends back home when I walk through Maine back to Virginia. The Full Nelson beer tastes better than ever and as I sit in this beautiful place, I feel proud to call Nelson my home. You have some opportunity to drink beer on the trail, but this fine VA Brew takes the cake, I will remember this moment for the rest of the journey. I started visualizing Maine the other day as I approach the half-way point, previously it has been so far off the thought of summiting Katahdin was simply a dream. However, I see Maine now as only a beginning not an end, as a point I will walk through to come back to my life and loved ones in Virginia and begin the next phase in my life. Two days back on the trail my buddy Tyler Ayres met Aquaman and I at the route 33 crossing with beer, pizza, snickers and cigarettes, I haven’t seen Tyler in nearly two years and it was great to catch up and how amazing the support and generosity he showed to meet me on the trail. He hiked a mile up Baldface mountain with us and we parted ways as the journey continues north. The Shenandoah National Park has been spectacular. Though it is not very challenging terrain, there are enough mountains to keep you honest and the multitude of wildlife is astonishing. I’ve seen countless deer, new borns, bucks with felt covered antlers, mothers and their twins, and two black bears. One bear stood and looked at us, stomped his feet to tell us to move on and then stood up on his hind legs and scratched his back against a tree. The views have been stellar and the skyline drive though tedious to cross nearly thirty times provides an excellent access road for the common man to enjoy this beautiful place. The other day, we sat on a cliff, drinking beer we purchased at a park “wayside” and hiked up the mountain. A storm brewed in the Shenandoah Valley just north of Harrisonburg, its clouds black and grey spewed rain on the valley and the width of the storm stretched nearly halfway across the horizon. Yet south of the storm, the sun peaked out in delightful rays, and I envisioned the people in the valley drying out from the storm as I watched the sun bake the puddles and the recent rain evaporate back into the clouds. I’m nearly 80 miles from leaving Virginia, hiking into Harpers Ferry, over 900 miles behind me and I can’t thank everyone enough, even in the slightest capacity for helping me to walk and experience this wonderful journey. Without you, I would never have made it this far!
Elephant Hop Farm Powhatan, Virginia
Virginia Craft Brews stops though Powhatan and sits down to interview Joey Ciucci and check out his expanding local Hop Farm. How many seasons have you been growing hops? This is our 3rd year. In the first year we had 10 plants which actually did fine. Then we added 70 plants last year and I am very excited with how good they look. It is year round work, but mid-April through August is the most labor, with harvest in July and August. The winter dormant time is spent with compost and organization. You certainly get out what you put in.
during the growing season with organic micronutrient fertilizer. This has worked well for me, but I don’t have much to compare it to and it can be challenging, on this scale, to find good information about how much to use. There is plenty of scholarly type literature, but is usually lbs. of fertilizer per acre so it can be hard to convert down, it can be guess work. I have made sure that I never over fertilizer, I learned that my first year.
Which hop varieties do well in Virginia? Well, Nuggets, magnums , canucks , cascades are the most popular in Virginia and I have all of these this year and they are all doing great. Sterling is the only one that did not do well…they didn’t die, but were very puny.
What other uses of hops are there besides beer? Actually, I met a distiller in New York at a friend’s wedding and he talked about creating a hop infused liquor. I am planning on sending him a good batch this year to give it a shot. Crazy idea but beer lovers might enjoy….the more I think about it, it may be really good!
Apparently the hop industry used to be big on the East Coast, but a particular fungus wiped out a lot of the hop farms. Are today’s hops still susceptible to that fungus, or is that urban legend? I think the large scale hop farms in Virginia had trouble with that fungus due to humidity. On a smaller scale like mine, I can help avoid this in hot VA summers by spacing the plants further apart. Also, while pruning I make sure to get the bottom foot or so of each plant basically bare. This promotes air flow big time and has really helped the hops look good this year. Hops tend to be pretty water and fertilizer intensive. How do you keep them watered and fed? What are some challenges? I have a soaker hose set up, but this summer it has rained so much I have only turned that hose on about a half dozen times! Keeping them fed is partially built up over the winter. I do a lot of leaf and grass compost. I usually fertilize 2-3 times
What best advice you have received or the best resources for people interested in growing their own hops? I highly recommend Home Grown Hops by David Beach, although it may be a bit hard to find. If you search online be sure to include the .edu with “hop cultivation” or other search terms to get peer reviewed scholarly information which is very helpful. Attempting hop cultivation has become a bit trendy, so there is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there. I have read hops may be the least efficient agricultural product on earth —would you agree? Ha! Wow! I have never heard that before, but it can be very challenging. You a ton a vegetative growth if you don’t pay attention. Right now I’m having a problem with the weight of my vines, they are pulling the trellis down too far. We are
having a major work day tomorrow to remedy this. A vine may weigh 25lbs but I’ll only get about 3 lbs. of hops off it. Any indicators of seasonal pests...I have heard roses can be a good early indicator. I’ve never heard of roses as an indicator, I will look into that. Wilts and lacy spider webs are the best. Truthfully the best indicator is your eyes! I look at every plant just about every day. Keeping the operation small is the best way to ensure attention to detail. I have been militantly pruning this year which is very helpful but very time consuming. With rising energy costs, what are your major expenses? Building the trellis was my biggest expense and I am still recovering from that from last year. My biggest expense this year was twine. It is not easily found for a reasonable price around here. Working with Mother Nature can be very good for people. Amen, all gardening can be therapeutic. My wife and family spend time out here together and it is great to see all the hard work pay off with good hops. I’ll never make my money back right away including all the hours I have put in. I do it because I love it and I love beer. We just love being outside and working with our hands accomplishing something together. What do you plan on doing with your harvest this year? I am interested in networking with local home brewers to sell them quality hops so they can make great beer! Virginia is for Beer lovers!
Evolution of a Homebrewer Being a homebrewer also brings new meaning to the phrase â€œBuy Fresh, Buy Localâ€?.
My relationship with homebrewing started out terribly. Sam brewed his first batch of beer in a friend’s kitchen sink on a whim; we had no idea what we were doing. We awkwardly fumbled our way through a 1-gallon Mr. Beer kit, and four weeks later we had little more than bubbly water with an anemic yellow tinge to reward our patience and effort. I took one sip of the bizarrely tasteless liquid and concluded that homebrewing was too hard and that only the truly dedicated could succeed. Sam, on the other hand, had seen the glimmer of something good and welcomed the challenge. In a joking nod to what I felt was misplaced optimism, I gave Sam a copy of Charlie Papazian’s “Complete Joy of Homebrewing” for Christmas. Little did I know what a life changing gift that would be! Sam read it cover to cover, over and over, and was determined to do it right the next time. Sam’s level of enthusiasm was infectious, and next thing I knew I was driving Sam and his friends around Charlottesville collecting the necessary kettles, tubing, and bottles. With Sam’s dog-eared “Complete Joy of Homebrewing” spread out on the counter, Sam and his homebrewing partner-in-crime, Chris, labored their way through their first batch of extract brewing. They maneuvered the carboy into the small space next to the water heater, shut the door, and crossed their fingers. That first extract batch was a pale ale affectionately dubbed “Red Headed Stranger”, and it was shockingly delicious! I couldn’t believe it - we were real homebrewers! Sam and Chris relished in a wave of homebrewing fame as our friends and family devoured the beer. It was gone all too quickly; however, that didn’t matter. Sam now knew that he could make delicious beer at home for a fraction of the price of store bought microbrews. Being poor medical students, Sam and Chris were hooked. Sam and Chris immediately brewed the next batch, a loosely interpreted hefeweizen, and again, success! What had started out as a casual fling now took a serious turn. The homebrewing duo started homebrewing in earnest. Most Saturdays you could find Sam and Chris cooking up the next batch while bottling the current one, and their beer was disappearing as fast as they could make it. I still was not overly
involved in the brewing process, preferring to whip up dinner while Sam and Chris brewed although I was more than willing to enjoy the final product! Our forays into homebrewing had also opened our eyes to the world of craft beer. Prior to homebrewing my experience with craft beers hadn’t really gone much beyond Yuengling or the occasional Sam Adams, and I viewed myself as a light beer drinker. In between batches of homebrew we made weekly trips to local craft beer stores in search of bigger, hoppier, and darker beers - new heights of taste and complexity that Sam could aspire to. The world of craft beers had opened up before him, and Sam was taking it all in as quickly as he could. My taste in beer trailed behind, preferring the milder macro brews to Sam’s exotic microbrews. Those heady days couldn’t last forever, though. Too soon Sam graduated from medical school, and our homebrewing group was scattered across the United States. Luckily Sam met Andrew, another homebrewing anesthesia resident at UVA, and the homebrewing operation was up and running again. Sam’s homebrewing career was salvaged, but the honeymoon period was over. As an intern, Sam barely had enough time to sleep, let alone brew every other weekend. Out of necessity Sam’s focus shifted from the quantity of his beers to the quality of his beers. It wasn’t unusual for a month or two to pass between brew days, so he needed to make each and every brewing opportunity count. Ironically the same time crunch that forced us to cut back on our brewing volume also provided the motivation for the switch over to all-grain brewing. If Sam could only brew once a month, he was going to brew the best beer that he possibly could. Sam had been wanting to make the switch for some time but hadn’t had the motivation or spare income to make the leap. This was also the time that Sam got really serious about his brews, carefully researching, troubleshooting, and perfecting each recipe. Sadly, Andrew finished his residency soon after and moved across the country for a fellowship. Before he left, however, Sam had the incredible honor of collaborating with
Andrew on two 10-gallon batches of beer for Andrew’s wedding – an amber ale and an IPA. The homebrews were a hit, and all four kegs were kicked early in the night. This was the first time that Sam’s homebrews had been up for public consumption, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Sam was a little embarrassed but thrilled to be repeatedly stopped and congratulated during the reception on his homebrewing. In retrospect this was a major turning point in our homebrewing career. Like many homebrewers the possibility of opening a brewery in the future had bounced around in the back of Sam’s mind. It even burst forth occasionally in conversation but was always followed by a knowing laugh or eye roll. The idea of brewing beers on a real brewery setup for public consumption seemed an insurmountable distance from brewing on our garage setup for family and friends. Sharing your beers can feel like sharing a part of yourself. Each beer is like a hoppy malt baby that you tenderly cherish and nurture to maturity, and after dropping it off for the night at a friend’s house you spend the entire drive home wondering what they thought. Andrew’s wedding changed that. For the first time we were receiving compliments from strangers, and we knew that we could make tasty beer that other people could enjoy. Fast forward to now. Sam and I have been homebrewing for almost four years. What started out as a kitchen sink science experiment has evolved into an integral part of our identity. Over time homebrewing has become a sort of credo for us - a way to display the motivations that drive us in a pint glass. Upgrading to an all-grain system introduced us to the hands-on, DIY-side of homebrewing. As two young professionals just getting started, cost was a major consideration, and we embraced the build-your-own spirit of homebrewing. We built a mashtun out of a Kenmore cooler and a wort chiller out of copper tubing. We made our brew table out of the wood from an old bed frame and converted a chest freezer into a kegerator. We have also explored how to homebrew in an environmentally friendly way. There are
the simple fixes, like recycling the waste water from wort chilling to wash cars and water plants or switching from Clorox to StarSan. We have also used our spent grains in everything from homemade bread and pancakes to dog biscuits and feed for chickens and goats. Homebrewing allows us to promote sustainable practices, from selecting sustainably grown and harvested ingredients to waste minimization and recycling. Being homebrewers also brings new meaning to the phrase “Buy Fresh, Buy Local”. Aside from brewing our beers at home (it doesn’t get much fresher than that!) we have also experimented with using local ingredients, like utilizing pie pumpkins from local growers in our fall pumpkin porter. Beyond our home we have enjoyed exploring the growing craft beer scene in Central Virginia and are lucky to know many talented (and generous) homebrewers as well. In the end, though, homebrewing is more than just a way to show off our DIY/local/sustainable/tree-hugging credentials. Most importantly homebrewing is our way of giving back. We pour a great deal of ourselves into each batch of homebrew, and homebrewing allows us to bottle up some of that time and energy to gift back to all of the friends and family that have supported us along the way. In the end that is our biggest motivation and the best thing about homebrewing. To all of our friends and family, salud and cheers. This one’s for you!
Christie and Sam Jett Follow their blog at www.brewyourownium.com
APOCALYPSE ALE WORK S
1257 BRUNBRIDGE ROAD FOREST, VA 24551
434.258.8761 VISIT US ON
We named our brewery Apocalypse because it means the end for a new beginning. My husband, Doug John, and I were living in our â€œApocalyptic hell.â€? We desperately needed to start a new beginning. Our logo is a visual description of our life. The flames at the base of the logo represent the hell that we were in prior to starting the brewery. The 3 dots at the base of the pyramid represent those in our lives that have pushed us to make a better life for ourselves. The Roman numerals represent all of our birthdays. There are 3 Omega symbols in the logo which stand for the end of a bad job, the end of a bad boss, and the end of a way of life as we knew to reach our Alpha. The capital A stands for Alpha, not for apocalypse. This is why apocalypse is lower case in the logo. There are 72 Barley Corns on either side of the logo. 72, in masonic history stands for purity. It is our commitment to our family, friends, and everyone who drinks our beer that we will always use the best ingredients available. We will always use traditional malts, hops, and yeast for each specific style. It is and will always be our goal to provide everyone with the best beer possible.
Memorable Grand Opening for LickingHOLE Escape to the sunlit back roads of rural Virginia to a quiet brewery tucked away on a generous estate. It is hard to imagine that the destination of Lickinghole Creek Brewery is only a short and scenic 40 minute drive from the urban sprawl of Richmond and the West End. Unlike its city counterparts, Hardywood and Legends, Lickinghole Creek resembles a secluded beautiful winery, consisting of open fields, picnic tables and silence. Despite the energy created by the exciting Saturday opening, Lickinghole Creek Brewery is a place of solitude, brought to life by the abundance of wildlife, open skies and the dream of its brewers. Upon arrival to the estate, we were welcomed with the thrill of a winding dirt road, rolling over hills to the picturesque white building in the distance. The turnout at this event was surprisingly large, which only built up out anticipation; large crowds drove had made the drive to this remote location to enjoy the beers, food, and venue. The biggest fear going in was a memory of the Hardywood Brewery event on July 4th, 2011, a brewery at overcapacity with tiresome lines to get a fresh beer. Although there was a crowd at the Lickinghole Creek Estate, no more than a couple minutes were spent standing in queue. Four beers were available that day, four beers that I had never seen before and was eager to try. With the Fall weather setting in, the slight chill in the air, and grey skies covering the estate like a blanket, the beer selection was perfect. Slightly hoppy brews that delivered warmth were being freshly poured from the taps. All had a slight bitterness to them, the Magic Beaver Belgian Ale and Short Pump Saison leading the rest in terms of hoppy aroma and flavor. Both selections had robust flavor, great for the colder weather to come, but the beer that took me by surprise was the Gentleman Farmer. The Gentleman Farmer is unique in that all its hops are grown on the estate. Although dark in color, this beer had an extremely refreshing crispness to it, especially following the Magic Beaver and Short Pump Saison. Not an anticipated flavor profile for an autumn beer, the Gentleman Farmer felt like a hard cider, with the flavor of a Pale Ale and a certain refreshing chill and proved to be the most memorable of the day. Unfortunately this beer is has not hit the RVA market yet, but when it does, I can only assume it will rise in popularity. The upside of this is that Lickinghole Creek Brewery is the only place to try it; so with the Autumn air settling in, this is the perfect time to make that day trip or romantic getaway to the country and sample this ale. Live music, cornhole, food carts and family; the brewery opening offered more than the beer and that made it worth the miniature road trip. The country ambiance felt as though we were all in a music video by The Lumineers (Hey Ho, to be exact). The comforts of home were also present. The always popular Creperie, conveniently located in the middle of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Chupacabra did their usual business of providing succulent dishes to harmonize with the drink profiles. From my past education on brew tours, it was wise to pair any spice heavy dish with a hoppier beer (preferably the Short Pump Saison) to prevent me from sweating bullets. As the sun set beyond the trees and hills, the party did not fade. The darkness of the clouds began to envelope the tree line as the lights of the brewery flared, shining down on the bands and crowds of people sitting on blankets with kids and pets. A bench near the building allowed me to sit and observe the acres of property. There were couples, large families, college students, groups of friends, grandparents and young parents from different parts of the state, but one thing we all had in common was that we were enjoying the fresh brews of Lickinghole Creek Brewery.
Despite the energy created by the exciting Saturday opening, Lickinghole Creek Brewery is a place of solitude, brought to life by the abundance of wildlife, open skies and the dream of its brewers.
It was the place to visit with friends or a loved one to enjoy a day outdoors, away from cell phone coverage. The family fun grand opening was much more than I had anticipated. The pictures I had seen online prior to the event did not do the venue justice; it is a place one has to visit to understand its beauty. The location is just important as the brewery itself, providing the comfortable backdrop to a perfect sunlit afternoon at Lickinghole Creek Brewery. Tarun Sinha, Festival Writer â€”Virginia Craft Brews
Beer Business is Brewing Water, Water Everywhere The beer industry is a natural fit for the Roanoke Region. It starts with a plentiful supply of high-quality water. Current water demand in the Roanoke Region is only 43 percent of available capacity. Follow that with available treatment capacity without surcharges and costs well below the Virginia average.
Virginia laws are supportive of the craft brew industry. In Virginia, tasting rooms are allowed without restaurants and there are no limits on alcohol by volume in beer. The excise tax has been unchanged since 1977 and there are no state restrictions on the sale of beer on Sunday.
And the Roanoke Region’s central mid-Atlantic location makes distribution easy, with two-thirds of the U.S. population within a day’s drive.
Craft beer, with its strong association with the outdoors, is part of the culture here in Roanoke. The region is situated in
the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is home to an active population of hikers, cyclists, boaters, and outdoor enthusiasts. Our beer festivals host breweries from all over the country and attract thousands. Virginia is quickly becoming known as a craft beer hub with more than 60 breweries across the state. The Travel Channel named Virginia a “Top 7 Beer Destination” in 2012, helping spur the state to declare August “Virginia Craft Brew Month.”
Carrie Cousins Marketing Manager Roanoke Regional Partnership 111 Franklin Road, Suite 333 Roanoke, VA 24011
in the Roanoke Region What’s brewing in the Roanoke Region? Craft beer of course. With three new breweries and an old standby expanding, tasting rooms are hopping and local ales are on tap all over the place. Here’s a look at some of the beers brewed around here: Sunken City Brewing Although its signature brew, Dam Lager, has been available for several years, Sunken City opened a production facility and taphouse this spring at Smith Mountain Lake—Virginia’s largest lake. Three beers are being distributed locally in kegs and cans and others varieties are available during tasting room hours. Best known: Dam Lager, Red Clay IPA
Parkway Brewing Located in Salem, Parkway Brewing is bringing in customers by the carload. The brewery is bottling both an IPA and blonde ale with other brews on tap that have drawn crowds to a tasting room that also features live music and food trucks. Best known: Get Bent Mountain IPA, Bridge Builder Blonde Roanoke Railhouse The brewery, which opened in 2009, recently increased production and is distributing all over Virginia and much of North Carolina. The brewery’s signature beer, Track 1, is available in four-packs of cans and bottles. Best known: Track 1, Railhouse IPA
Flying Mouse Brewery The Botetourt County brewery opened in September. Each of the brewery’s beers are named using s a number system, with numbers relating to color – light to dark. The brewery is easily accessible from the Appalachian Trail and TransAmerica 76 Bicycle Route, and you can enjoy a cold one in the tasting room or get a bullet growler or packable beer pouch to go. Best known: No. 2, No. 5
There are 10 more breweries within an hour’s drive of Roanoke, including the award-winning Devils Backbone.
We all travel the milky way together, trees and men; b me until this storm-day, while swinging in the wind, t in the ordinary sense. They make many journeys, not but our own little journeys, away and back again, are tree-wavingsâ€”many of them not so much. | â€”John Muir, naturalist, explorer & writer (1838-1914
but it never occurred to that trees are travelers t extensive ones, it is true; only little more than
Lickinghole Creek Farm & Craft Brew Fest SATURDAY NOVEMBER 16TH 11AM-8PM
Real farmer’s market
releasing our newest
estate series beer, pumpkin ain’t easy
Featuri n g f resh meats
belgian style ale, 8%
Fruits & vegetables
fresh baked goods
ChiknEGG Productions LLC
Children’s activities: Petting zoo, pony rides & bounce houses
by local Craftsmen: Blacksmiths, gunsmiths & sheep herders
$20 advance purchase only
Knolls Point Drive is a private shared gravel road. When visiting the brewery, please drive slowly and responsibly in respect to our neighbors and rural area. Please drink responsibly. Live music provided by Farm Credit