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Virginia Beach Area Features

Craft Brew at the Beach

  By: Jacquelyn Eurice

Beer is one of the world’s oldest beverages, dating back to some of mankind’s first civilizations in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Humans’ taste for beer has transcended the ages, and though the quaff has changed in flavor throughout the years, the basic recipe is still the same: water, yeast, malted grains such as barley and wheat, and in recent times, hops. Until recently, Virginia Beach residents and tourists have been denied the flavorful appeal of local beers. But over the last decade, the region has witnessed an explosion of new and thriving local breweries.

Some of these breweries offer food, while others host food trucks or allow you to bring snacks. Visit each brewery’s website or Facebook page to see what beers are on tap and what food options are available. Many also host special events, so be sure to check out their upcoming calendars so you’ll know before you go. Cheers!

Virginia Beach Craft Breweries Map

Green Flash

1209 Craft Lane • greenflashbrew.com
The newest addition to the beer scene in Virginia Beach is the Green Flash Brewing Company. In 2016, this West Coast brewery opened up its first East Coast operation here with the capacity to brew 100,000 barrels of delicious beer. Though Green Flash is known for their “hoppy” beers such as pale ales and IPAs, they have a wide variety of other styles including porters, sours, and barrel-aged brews. Up to 30 of their beers are regularly on tap including seasonal and uniquely flavored brews. Good luck finding your favorite—it may take a few visits to try all of their current offerings.

Wasserhund Brewing

1805 Laskin Rd. • wasserhundbrewing.com
The “German style with a beach kick” brewery, Wasserhund Brewing Company combines the owners’ love for all things German with their American roots. Named for their water-loving German shepherd, Wasserhund brings beers such as their King Neptune’s Kolsch, Purebred Pilsner and German Shepheweizen to the area. All of their beers abide by the strict Bavarian beer purity law, Reinheitsgebot, meaning that they are brewed only from the traditional four ingredients. A lager bratwurst, slice of artisan pizza or an authentic pretzel with homemade mustard will certainly complement your beer of choice.

Back Bay Brewing Co.

614 Norfolk Ave. • backbaybrewingco.com
Founded in 2011, Back Bay Brewing Co. is one of the “oldest” craft brewers in the area. Located just a few blocks from the oceanfront, it’s an easy bike ride to try their Beach Cruiser Pale Ale. Their Queen Anne’s Revenge is as black as the beard on the legendary pirate who sailed its namesake ship on local seas. The ale’s thick espresso and chocolate flavors age in a rum barrel for a year resulting in a complex and distinct flavor. It packs quite a punch! And at 73 IBUs, the Atlantic Avenue IPA will satisfy the taste buds of those who prefer to seek out hops.

Home Republic

328 Laskin Rd. • homerepublicvabeach.com
Not only does Home Republic Brewpub have a line of beers that run the spectrum from their light King Kolsch to their Dark Side Imperial Stout, but they have an array of beertails and winetails like the Bloody Mary IPA and the Lambic Sangria. There’s a drink for every palate, which is what the owner (and former Marine) envisioned when he opened Home Republic. Even some of their beers have cool flavor profiles like the Smoked Maple Porter and the Salted Caramel Ale.

Young Veterans Brewing Co.

2505 Horse Pasture Rd. • yvbc.com
Young Veterans Brewing Company’s name and beer list shows homage to our men and women in uniform. Army veterans started this brewery in 2012 and offer “flagship” brews such as the Pineapple Grenade Hefeweizen, the Semper FI.P.A. and the G.I. Pilsner. You’ll love Jet Noise—not only the sounds of freedom from Young Veterans’ neighbor, Naval Air Station Oceana, but also their double IPA. Seasonal selections and special releases can also be sampled at the brewery. Examples of special releases include Commander in Peach—a fruit flavored IPA and the Bravo Foxtrot—a dark Belgian Strong Ale.

Commonwealth Brewing

2444 Pleasure House Rd. • commonwealthbrewingcompany.com
Opened in September 2015, Commonwealth Brewing Company offers a wide variety of styles including hop-forward, Belgian-inspired selections, unique lagers, and barrel aged sour beers. Their beers are not only creative in flavor but the names are just as interesting… For instance, after a flight of beer samples, try ordering a pint of Wapatoolie (tropical IPA) or a Sophrosyne sour saison made with a wild strain of airborne yeast found in the brewery. Its name stems from a Greek deity that gave origin to the concept of achieving personal balance and excellence. With an average of 12-15 styles always on tap at the brewery, the problem is not finding a beer
you like, but finding just one.

Pleasure House Brewing

3025 Shore Dr. • pleasurehousebrewing.com
Pleasure House Brewing prefers to make small batches of beer so there is always something different in their lineup. A few staples that have become prized by the people who drink them—such as the Glo Belgian Blond Ale or the Rudee Inlet DIPA—remain on their beer list. Another popular draft offering is their award-winning OB's Wattleseed Export Stout. This beer is unique for a variety of reasons. The wattleseed itself is a lesser-known spice from select acacia trees in Austrailia. Its flavor can have chocolate and toffee tones, which Pleasure House brews into their Stout. The beer is then aged in barrels from Ironclad Distiller, a Newport News bourbon producer, for a one-of-a-kind flavor. This is just one of their few mainstay brews, but their beer menu is constantly changing so your palate will never be bored.

Reaver Beach Brewing Co.

1505 Taylor Farm Rd., #104 • reaverbeach.com
One look at their logo and you’ll know that Reaver Beach Brewing Co. is a hop-head’s dream. Featuring Hammerhead IPA, the legendary Hoptopus Double IPA and The Kraken Triple IPA, bitter beer is king at this brewery. However, the brewers here are quite adept at other beers such as the Riptide Altbier and the Sea Devil Imperial Stout. Want something that is really distinctive to Virginia Beach? Reaver Beach has expanded their traditional lineup by creating wild and sour beers using local microflora. Sours are certainly distinctive since the brewers use surrounding natural elements to ferment these brews. Though they’re not for everyone, they are definitely appreciated by many!

Smartmouth Pilot-House

313 32nd Street • smartmouthbrewing.com
Breweries are still popping up in Virginia Beach. In the fall of 2017, Norfolk’s Smartmouth Brewing Company is expanding with a second location at the oceanfront. The name “Pilot-House” is associated with both the bridge of the ship where commands are given and as an homage to the area’s history with Naval aviation. Plus, the facility aims to produce experimental and unique beers as “pilot” batches. While Smartmouth creatively concocts new brews, they will remain vigilant to their standard of quality. Smartmouth Pilot-House is a welcome addition to the many excellent breweries that reside in Virginia Beach.

Chesapeake Bay Distillery

437 Virginia Beach Blvd. • chesapeakebaydistillery.com
Adults will enjoy sampling some interesting and delicious cocktail combinations made with locally produced liquors. Visit the Chesapeake Bay Distillery in the ViBe district to try their signature Blue Ridge vodka; a delectable, yet spicy Ghost Pepper flavored vodka (it’s perfect in one of their homemade Bloody Mary mixes!); a summery and light lemon liquor; and Chick’s Beach Rum. Try a flight of samplers where you can taste the liquor either straight up or combined with any of their unique mixers.  Possible concoctions include cream-sickle, dirty martinis, angry mango (mango mix with ghost pepper flavored vodka), and more. Plus, bottles can be purchased to take home as a flavorful reminder of your Virginia Beach vacation!

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