This was my first time attending the VA Craft Brewers Festival in Charlottesville, VA. It was a great event and I’ll definitely attend next year. I’ll talk about my favorite beer shortly but first I want to talk about the things I loved and did not love about it.
Me and two other friends arrived right at 1pm since we bought VIP tickets (regular admission wasn’t supposed to start until 2pm). They probably should have two VIP lines in the future to speed things up. Once we got our VIP bag which had our beer glass and a few other items it was around 1:30 pm. We still plenty of time to drink but 25-30 minutes is a long time to be waiting in lines.
We started out in section A and worked our way slowly around. All of the brewers were great to talk to and it was easy to get a beer wherever you went. Many of the brewers had water to rinse out your glass which was a good thing, especially when going from a dark to light or light to dark beer.
Everyone we spoke to in the crowd was friendly. I didn’t see anyone having issues the entire time there.
The weather was perfect for a beer festival. It was cloudy and it did rain briefly but nothing too bad. There were shade tents at multiple locations. The VIP tent had music and seating which was definitely needed. The most talked about part of the VIP section was the air-conditioned restrooms. They were pretty impressive and much better than porta potties. Ok enough with the rambling.
There were many beers I didn’t get to taste but from the ones I did below were my favorites.
Zoeie Black Lager
Beer Hound Brewery in Culpeper, VA did a great job with this roasted flavored beer. This is an award-winning beer and was the best lager I tasted all day. I liked that it wasn’t bitter at all. It also had a nice mouthfeel.
BLVCK Celebration by Adroit Theory
Full disclosure Adroit Theory is one of my favorite breweries. The BLVCK Celebration is a beer I’ve had a few times and it’s just good. I love the smooth rum taste. It also has a nice mouthfeel. AThe 9.99% ABV will sneak up on you if you have a few of these.
Black Knight IPA
The guys at Castleburg Brewery make this great dark IPA. I’m not much on IPAs but this one has a nice balance. It’s not too bitter or too sweet. I think this is a beer just about anyone would like.
The guys at Stable Craft Brewery let me know they grow their own hops for their beers which is pretty cool. This brown ale kind of surprised with its smooth taste. I really liked the toffee and caramel flavor.
Raspberry Wild Ale
Seven Arrows Brewing in Waynesboro, VA makes this beer. I believe this was the only lambic beer I drank at the festival. It is aged in wine barrels for 12 months and then is fermented a second time with raspberries. I really liked the complex flavor of this beer. I also think wine lovers would love this beer.
This is a very good American Brown Ale from the folks a Rocket Frog Brewing Company. I really liked the caramel and chocolate taste of this ale. It had a creamy mouthfeel and was just rich tasting overall.
Resolute Imperial Stout
I liked talking to the folks at Brothers Craft Brewing and they created a great beer. It is an award-winning beer and I can see why. This was one of the only beers I tasted multiple times during the festival. The chocolate, vanilla, oak, espresso flavors work well together. It was a little sweet but tasted great. At 13.5% ABV this beer packs a punch.
Oh Mama! Milk Stout
That Damn Mary Company makes this milk stout. At 8.2% ABV this is one of the strongest milk stouts i’ve tried. This was a sweet tasting beer. I liked the malty, chocolate flavor. It also had a rum/whiskey flavor.