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Virginia Beach Area Features

Crafting Beach Beverages

  By: Jacquelyn Eurice

Nationwide, businesses that specialize in handcrafted alcoholic beverages have been popping up with gusto to the acclaim of thirsty adults everywhere. In Virginia Beach, the number of breweries and distilleries is astounding—especially considering there weren’t any in the area 10 years ago. Many of these businesses offer games and entertainment, and some have full-service restaurants on-site while others host food trucks to appease the munchies. Some have opened tasting rooms at alternate locations or offer convenient extra services for their patrons. Wasserhund Brewing even delivers their exceptional beer and pizza. Here’s a look at today’s adult beverage scene in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach Craft Breweries Map

Wasserhund Brewing

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 Purebred Pilsner, Atta Boy Altbier and German Shepheweizen to the area. Some of their beers abide by the strict Bavarian beer purity law, Reinheitsgebot, meaning that they are brewed only from the traditional four ingredients. They also have other styles of beer including the Doggy Paddle IPA and the Haagan Dog Ice Cream Stout to complete their lineup. A beer bratwurst, slice of artisan pizza or an authentic pretzel with homemade mustard will certainly complement your beer of choice. Dine in the brewery and restaurant or have everything delivered and enjoy your complete meal in the comfort of your home.

Wasserhund Brewing Company is located near Hilltop at 1805 Laskin Rd.

Tarnished Truth Distilling Co.

The historic Cavalier hotel is now open for business after massive renovations. One of the most awaited new additions to the hotel is the Tarnished Truth Distilling Company. Crafting in small batches, this local distiller creates liquors including its Old Cavalier 9 Years Aged Single Barrel Reserve Straight Bourbon, 3 Years Aged High Rye, and AVA vodka in hotel’s iconic Hunt Room. Here, you can sample some of the spirits or have them mixed into modern twists on drinks that were popular during the Roaring ‘20s. These liquors have been long awaited and the bottles of Old Cavalier sold out on the first day of business. Fortunately, there is always more on the way!

Tarnished Truth Distilling Company is located at the Cavalier Hotel at 4200 Atlantic Ave.

Smartmouth Pilot-House

In the fall of 2017, Norfolk’s Smartmouth Brewing Company expanded with a second location at the oceanfront. The name “Pilot-House” is associated with both the bridge of a ship where commands are given and as an homage to the area’s history with Naval aviation. In addition to its popular “core” beers such as Murphy’s Law Amber and the Safety Dance Pilsner, the facility produces experimental and unique beers as “pilot” batches. As Smartmouth creatively concocts new brews, the company will remain vigilant to its well-known standard of quality.

Smartmouth Pilot-House is located at 313 32nd St.

Back Bay Brewing Co.

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 False Cape Red Ale or Atlantic Avenue IPA. Opening soon and affiliated with Back Bay Brewing Co. is the Farmhouse, featuring a brewery geared towards sours and the area’s first cidery. The company plans on growing many of its own ingredients on its sprawling 8.5 acres near Kempsville Road.

Back Bay Brewing Co. is located at 614 Norfolk Ave.

Home Republic

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 IPA and the Lambic Sangria. There’s a drink for every palate, from dry and crisp to light and refreshing. The Salted Caramel Ale is even sweet and salty! This lineup of flavors is what the owner (and former Marine) envisioned when he opened Home Republic.

Home Republic Brewpub is located at 328 Laskin Rd.

Reaver Beach Brewing Co.

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 their wild and sour beers using local microflora. Though the sours may not be for everyone, they are appreciated by many and are definitely worth a try.

Reaver Beach Brewing Co. is located at 1505 Taylor Farm Rd., #104

Young Veterans Brewing Co.

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.

Young Veterans Brewing Company is located at 2505 Horse Pasture Rd.

Commonwealth Brewing

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.) 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.

Commonwealth Brewing Company is located in Chic's Beach at 2444 Pleasure House Rd.

Deadline Brewing Project

One of the newest breweries in Virginia Beach is crafting beers made by veteran area journalists turned brewery owners’ and brewer. The company’s name, Deadline Brewing Project, pays homage to their media background and the importance deadlines have always had in their lives. Their first few beers included a coffee blonde, chocolate porter and pale ales. New flavors such as the Airline Cookie Amber are always being released so you’re sure to find one that matches your tastes.

Deadline Brewing Project is located at 2272 W. Great Neck Rd.

Pleasure House Brewing

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 visit the brewery—such as the Rudee Inlet DIPA and the Liquid Communication Belgian Tripel—can usually be found on their beer list. But their beer menu is constantly changing with new offerings so your palate will never be bored.

Pleasure House Brewing is located at 3025 Shore Dr.

Chesapeake Bay Distillery

Visit the Chesapeake Bay Distillery in the ViBe district to try their signature Blue Ridge vodka; a delectable, yet spicy Ghost Pepper flavored vodka; a summery and light lemon liquor; and Chick’s Beach Rum or delicious cocktail combinations. Try a flight of samplers where you can taste the liquors separately, or take the plunge and order a cocktail of your choosing. Plus, bottles can be purchased to take home as a flavorful reminder of your Virginia Beach vacation.

Chesapeake Bay Distillery in the ViBe district at 437 Virginia Beach Blvd.

Vibrant Shore Brewing Co. 

Set to open in the summer of 2018 is the ViBe District’s first microbrewery. Their lineup of beers had not been announced at the time of publication, but they have released details pertaining to the brewery itself. Not only will there be a tasting room, seating room, and manufacturing area, but there will also be an outdoor rooftop terrace featuring entertaining games and activities. We look forward to learning more about this newest addition to Virginia Beach’s breweries—stay tuned!

Vibrant Shore Brewing Co. will be located in the ViBe district at 505 18th St.

Alternative Venues

There are also several places where locally crafted beverages can be tasted. Big Ugly Brewing Co. from nearby Chesapeake has partnered with the Eagles’ Nest—a “Rockin Country Bar”—to bring their beers to Virginia Beach. On Shore Drive, Mermaid Winery also recently opened for tastings. This urban winery doesn’t produce their own grapes, but they do craft exquisite wines from the grapes they import from Virginia and California growers. Meanwhile, at Peabody’s Nightclub, Young Veterans is opening The Bunker—a restaurant that will serve their beer as well as liquor and spirits.

As more places open for business and the variety of handcrafted beverages offered in Virginia Beach continues to grow, turn to Sunny Day Guide for information on the best places to quench your thirst.

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