O’Connor Brewing Company, Norfolk, VA

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I stopped in at O’Connor Brewing Company in Norfolk, Virginia with my family on the way home from vacation in Virginia Beach.  We enjoyed dinner at the food truck – great mac and cheese sandwiches, meatloaf sandwich, crab tacos, beer pretzel, I digress.  The two flights at O’Connor set us up well to select beers to accompany dinner.  I especially enjoyed the El Guapo Agve IPA, Kilauea Mango Saison, and Tart Tropic Ale.

Smartmouth Brewing Company, Virginia Beach, VA

I stopped in at Smartmouth Brewing Company Pilot House in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  I had some family members with me and we enjoyed sharing a couple of flights.  Grandson also enjoyed giant Jenga with my son.  We liked all of the beers.  Of note:

Tinamatua – ale with a coconut cream pie flavor – not too much but enough – -delicious

Wicked Awesome – coffee brown ale – yes – delivers totally as advertised

PILF – IPA – hints of lemon – we like citrus – this was perfect

Hope my travels bring me to stop in again.

Wasserhund Brewing Company, Virginia Beach, VA

 

I stopped in at Wasserhund Brewing Company in Virginia Beach, Virginia with my family for dinner and a beer.  We enjoyed their Jumbo Beer Pretzel and Beer Cheese in addition to the Italian Greyhound and Rottweiler pizzas.  All were delicious.  One family member suggested bathing in the beer cheese.  We’ll just leave it at that.  I started with the Salty Dog Gose with Raspberry and ended with the Haywire Husky coffee pilsner.  Both solid beers and delicious with the meal.  Great place to stop – very family friendly – and dog friendly.

Parkway Brewing Company, Salem, VA

I stopped in at Parkway Brewing Company in Salem, Virginia for a beer.  I wound up trying a flight.  The brewery has a great feel.  It includes a wide open space with various seating options.  Also when I was there a food truck and live music were featured.  In terms of beer I really enjoyed the Majestic Mullet Krispy Kolsch.  This is a fresh, drinkable beer.  Delightful.  I also enjoyed three IPA’s – Get Bent, Factory Girl and Grapefruit.  I enjoyed the hoppiness of these.  Good flavors.  Slightly resiny for my taste.  The Seeing Colors Spiced Ale is a delicious fall seasonal.  I really loved the spices.  Baltic Porter is also a very tasty, darker beer.  I tried a quick sample of the Gose on tap which was sour, salty and refreshing.  I recommend stopping in and trying these beers!

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, VA

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Alex of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Virginia, I stopped in for a tour and tasting outside of normal business hours.  Shout out to Alex!  Thank You!

Alex took me around the entire brewery, told me the whole history and described their current plans. Wow!  He did all that just for me.  We spend well over an hour together.

From humble beginnings, Hardywood has great plans.  I hope to stay in touch and visit again in the future to take part in their success.

In terms of tasting, Alex started me with the Singel which is a delicious Belgian Blonde Ale.  It’s an on-ramp for regular beer drinkers to get them into craft beer.  Well done!  It’s delicious.  From there we went to Pils which is a wonderful German style Pilsner.  Very drinkable and easy to enjoy.  Next I tried the Peach Tripel which I enjoyed so much that I bought a bottle and enjoyed it at home with the family.  Finally, I enjoyed the Bourbon Cru which also rose to he status of bringing a bottle home, but I’m going to age that.  Although I didn’t try it at the brewery, I brought two bottles of Poplar IPA home.  I enjoyed one with the family and it is awesome.  And I shared a bottle with a good friend.

Alex told me about other styles and I could share them with you but I’ll wait until a return  trip and the opportunity to taste them firsthand.

Hardywood is a great place with great people.  Do yourself a favor and stop by!

Final Gravity Brewing Company, Richmond, VA

I stopped in at Final Gravity Brewing Company (conveniently co-located with Original Gravity Homebrew Supply) in Richmond, Virginia.  For a nano brewery they certainly had a number of beers to try.  I first enjoyed the Red Rooster Red Rye IPA, then the Irish Goodbye Stout.  Both were very good.  Their Venus IPA was delicious and their Grapefruit IPA (Venus IPA through Randall with grapefruit) was so good – even had bits of pulp in it – yum!

Ardent Craft Ales, Richmond, VA

I stopped in at Ardent Craft Ales in Richmond, Virginia with a colleague to try their beer.  We both enjoyed their VA Common which is much like the better known California Common (aka Anchor Steam Beer).  The beer is delicious.  Very drinkable with a malty finish.  Just a touch of hoppiness to keep it from being too sweet.  I also sampled the Stone Arrogant Bastard which was brewed at Ardent Craft Ales – one of my favorites – and it was tasty as always.