Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tickets on Sale WBF - Richmond

I received the following press release from All About Magazine today:
Tickets on Sale Today for the World Beer Festival
Presented by local charity, FETCH a Cure, the World Beer Festival is one of the premier beer events in the country

March 30, 2010 (Richmond, Va.) – Tickets go on sale today, March 30, for the World Beer Festival, premiering in Richmond on Saturday, June 12, 2010. Produced by All About Beer Magazine, the World Beer Festival is one of the top beer events in the country. The event celebrates the world beer culture, offering attendees a sampling of hundreds of beers from more than 200 domestic and international breweries. Festival goers can also enjoy educational sessions by industry experts, food from a variety of local restaurants, plus live entertainment by local musicians. The festival is presented by local Richmond charity FETCH a Cure, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping pet owners make better, fully informed decisions about caring for their aging pets.

“Tickets for the festival in both Durham and Raleigh sell out fast,” said Ola Nilbrink, events and operations manager for the World Beer Festival. “Although this is our first festival in Richmond, we are noticing a lot of excitement building in the community. Ticket sales during our pre-sale period out-paced advance sales for our first year festival in Columbia, SC, a sure sign of interest here in Richmond. As awareness grows, we expect tickets to continue selling, and sell quickly.”

The festival offers two four-hour sessions, from noon to 4 p.m., and from 6 to 10 p.m. General admission to a single session is $40 in advance, $50 day of the event, which includes beer samples, music by local bands, educational sessions by industry experts, and a festival tasting glass. VIP tickets are also available for an additional $35. Added VIP benefits include admission to the VIP lounge, which offers samples of special limited-availability beers available, music and free catered food, as well as a commemorative festival glass. VIP tickets are only sold online.

“We are pleased to bring our World Beer Festival to Richmond, and join its burgeoning beer culture,” said Daniel Bradford, publisher of All About Beer Magazine. “We hope that the World Beer Festival-Richmond becomes a gathering place for all interested in the exciting world of beer—consumers, retailers, wholesalers and suppliers.”

Tickets and information about the World Beer Festival–Richmond are available at

The World Beer Fest Richmond will be held on Browns Island. It should be a great time!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

There Was Pouring at the Blue & Gray Festival

Pouring of beer that is. There was indeed some rain as well on Saturday, but the intermittent and sometimes heavy rain didn't dampen enthusiasm at the Blue & Gray Brewing St. Patrick Day parade and festival. By the time I arrived for a late lunch, the parade was over but the event was still packed with folks enjoying themselves. I ended up parking quite a ways away and walking through the industrial park to the brewery.

One of the notable aspects of this annual Blue & Gray event is the family-friendly atmosphere. The annual parade is much anticipated and folks always stay afterwards to enjoy the festivities; inclement weather notwithstanding.

The entertainment was under a large tent which was filled to standing room only. I ate my meal of bangers and mash standing inside the future home of "Lee's Retreat", the brewpub under construction at the brewery. My meal was followed by a welcome pint of Blue & Gray Stonewall Stout as a foil against the cool damp air. Stonewall Stout has a nice balance of roasted malts and mild sweetness. The finish is slightly bitter. It has a creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall it's a well-done stout that is sure to satisfy and is my favorite among Blue & Gray's year-round beers.

I've posted a few pictures from the event here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Virginia Beer Wednesdays at CAH

The email from Capital Ale House let me know that Blue Mountain Brewery's MacHayden's Wee Heavy was a "featured beer" in Fredericksburg this week. That's a Virginia beer that I've not yet tried. Since every Wednesday is "Virginia Beer Day" at all Capital Ale House locations, when drafts of Virginia beers are discounted, I decided to stop by for a pint after work yesterday. Many Virginia breweries are represented in the CAH lineup, including Blue Mountain, Starr Hill, St. George, Blue & Gray, and Olde Richmond.

Blue Mountain MacHayden's Wee Heavy pours cola-brown with a beige head. (Cell phone photo at right.) There's not a strong aroma, but I detected light smoke and caramel notes. The taste is very pleasing with bready, dark malts. There's a bit of bitter hops to go along. I found it to be a well-balanced and enjoyable drink.

I could have easily enjoyed a second MacHayden's, but I decided to order another Virginia beer that I've missed trying out, Olde Richmond Batch No. 11 India Pale Ale. I admit I don't know much about this Hampton Roads brewery. Batch No. 11 IPA pours a golden yellow with a very thin head. The aroma is light citrus. The flavor was bitter citrus rind with a sweet malt in the background. It was an enjoyable, though not extraordinary IPA.

I enjoyed my brief visit to "Virginia Beer Day" and I got to try out two, new-to-me beers. Since this is a weekly event, I look forward to returning again to support our local breweries.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Northern Virginia BrewFests: Save the Dates

If your schedule is anything like mine, your calendar fills fast. This seems especially true during the summer. So it's not too early to start making plans for the two annual Northern Virginia BrewFests.

3rd Annual Northern Virginia Summer BrewFest
Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday, June 27, 2010 - 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Morven Park, Leesburg, Virginia
Advance tickets are now on sale here.
See for more information.

You can see my report from last year's NoVA Summer BrewFest here.

4th Annual Northern Virginia BrewFest
Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 11:00 AM - 7:00PM
Special Events Center, Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, Virginia

Tickets go on sale online August 15, 2010
See for more information.

Read my report from last year's NoVA Brewfest here.

Both of these are not-be-missed events for craft beer fans in Virginia and surrounding areas. Mark your calendar today!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Comes to Blue Mountain Brewery

Our friends over at Nelson County Life bring us this story as a hint of the upcoming Spring. The folks at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton were planting hops on Monday.
Temps made it to the middle 60’s Monday afternoon in the Rockfish Valley of Nelson County, and people that have been waiting on the warmer weather made use of it! Our Paul Purpura caught up with Stan Driver, owner of Riverside Horticulture & Nursery in Nellysford, getting the ground ready and putting in hops at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton.

The hops will be used in the beers produced at Blue Mountain. For more on the hop farm at Blue Mountain see the brewery's web site.

More photos at Nelson County Life.
Photo By Paul Purpura : ©2010

Blue & Gray St. Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration This Weekend

The 8th annual St. Patrick's day parade at the Blue & Gray Brewery will be held on Saturday, March 13. There is a full day of events planned. The parade starts at noon on Saturday, March 13, through the Bowman Center. Irish entertainment will take place at the brewery from 11:00AM - 3:00PM.  The Rappahannock Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society will be giving rides on historic rail cars on nearby tracks starting at 11:00.

Beer by the glass and food will be available for purchase. Homemade soda and hot dogs for kids too!

Like all Blue & Gray events, the St. Patrick's Day celebration is family-friendly. This is a always a fun day and I look forward to seeing you there and enjoying some fresh, local beer.

Pictures from previous years are here and here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

NoVA Magazine Sponsoring Snowmageddon Sorrows Contest

I received this in an email today from the folks a Northern Virginia Magazine. It's probably most suited for our Northern Virginia friends, but I thought I'd pass it along. The magazine is holding a content to help folks get over any blues brought on by the recent Snowmageddon.
We are currently holding a contest for March where we’ll be giving away 10 $100 gift certificates to different bars across the NoVA area and thought your readers might be interested. We’ve focused on March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day, and have 5 sports bars and 5 Irish pubs who have donated the certificates. The contest is a drawing of sorts, and we thought your readers might like to take advantage of the offer and maybe win some free beer money!

Just fill out the survey at to be entered to win. But, you better hurry, the deadline is noon on March 10.