Beer has long been a staple beverage in Virginia. In the 18th century, revolutionary patriots planned their independence from England most likely over a pint of ale at the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg. In the modern era, local craft beers have been virtually non-existent at the beach, but the industry is currently surging ahead. In less than five years, we’ve witnessed a renaissance – an escalation of thriving craft breweries.
Back Bay Brewing Co.
614 Norfolk Ave. • backbaybrewingco.com
Starting in 2010, Virginia Beach has gained seven new breweries. With varying styles and flavors, there is something for everyone! Back Bay Brewing Co., founded in 2011, 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. A seasonal ale, the Queen Anne’s Revenge is as black as the beard on the legendary pirate who sailed its namesake ship on the local seas. Its thick espresso and chocolate flavors pack quite a punch!
2444 Pleasure House Rd. • commonwealthbrewingcompany.com
Offering hoppy hybrids, Belgian-inspired selections, and barrel-aged sour beers, Commonwealth Brewing Company is a newcomer to the market. They have Belgian-style brews on tap including the Deliquesce (a tafelbier), the Aereole (a lager), and the Wealth (a blond saison). However, love is also given to America’s West Coast hops in the different styles of IPAs that are available including the Hoi Poloi and the Supernaculum.
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. On one visit, try their PHB Gose or Billy’s Best Bitter. On another, maybe a blackberry wheat ale or the “Worthy Sir,” a West Coast IPA that will tempt your taste buds. 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. Recently, they have expanded their offerings to also include quite a selection of sours, farmhouse-style wild beers and some barrel-aged ales.
328 Laskin Rd. • homerepublicvabeach.com
Not only does Home Republic 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. Their scratch kitchen will satiate your hunger with their delicious burgers and bacon jam.
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 kolsches, dunkel lagers and even a bacon stout to the region. A lager bratwurst, slice of pizza or an authentic pretzel with homemade mustard will certainly complement your beer of choice.
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 Hefeweisen, 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.
1902 General Booth Blvd. • greenflashbrew.com
Green Flash, a popular San Diego-based brewery, will be opening an East Coast brewery in Virginia Beach in 2016 featuring a 100,000-barrel brewing facility, a large tasting room and beer garden, an extensive brewery tour, retail store and on-site private event spaces.
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!