Archive for May, 2016


I’ll drink to that

Posted on May 08 2016 | By

Craft beer soars to national prominence

In 1979, there were just a handful of craft breweries in the United States. It was also the year President Jimmy Carter signed legislation allowing homebrewing. As the hobby gained traction it became apparent to many newly minted brewers their products might have commercial appeal.

IMG_6523So what started out as a flurry of home suds-makers turned into an avalanche of one million hobby brewers. That cohort in turn led to a proliferation of professional artisan brewmasters.

But an avalanche? Indeed. From a scattering of craft breweries in the early 1980s, the industry has burgeoned to over 4,200 today. It’s a classic example of free enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit being unleashed by market opportunity.

Moreover, it catapulted the U.S. into the world’s leading craft beer producer. Today, some of the finest beer in the world is being produced in America.

Craft beer has joined forces with artisanal wine and distilled spirits as a growth industry. Across the spectrum of “social lubricants” quality is trumping quantity.

The phenomenon is evident in communities across the country and Prince William County is no exception. Currently there are five county establishments serving fresh brewed beer daily.

So grab your growler or mug and head out to taste the county’s malted barley products.

And as you drain the last drop of your favorite brew, keep in mind Ben Franklin’s in-tavern observation, “Beer is proof that God loves us.”

BadWolf Brewing Company
9776 Center St, Manassas, VA 20110
Creating a line of craft beers that appeal to the
local palate using whole ingredients, never artificial flavors or extracts.
(571) 208-1064

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
Fully stocked handcrafted and award winning beers produced
by talented and passionate brewers.
13930 Promenade Commons St.
Gainesville, VA 20155
571- 222-6950

Heritage Brewing Co
A veteran owned and operated microbrewery
whose goal is to only produce the finest beer made
with the best Ingredients.
9436 Center Point Lane
Manassas, VA 20110

Ornery Beer Company Public House
The county’s first brewpub serving meticulously crafted house ales
and lagers paired with a creative menu.
14389 Potomac Mills Rd
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Tin Cannon Brewing Company
A nano brewery creating craft brews on premise
for sale in their own taproom.
7679 Limestone Dr #130
Gainesville, VA 20155

Hop to it

Most beer drinkers fall into one of two camps: Those who like a strong hop impact in their beer and those who prefer a more modest touch. The former folks are typically called “hop heads” and wear the moniker with pride. The rest of the beer world often wonders, “How can you drink that stuff?”

But beer without some hop impact would be tantamount to drinking Kool-Aid. Hops are a critical component of any beer. They contain an essential oil with a very bitter flavor. The bitterness counters the sweetness from the malt and creates a balanced libation. It also acts to preserve the brew.

One of the strongest of hoppy beers is called an India Pale Ale. It can contain 60, 70 or even 100 IBUs, or International Bittering Units; an industry measure of hop strength.

Conversely, a pilsner or stout beer will contain 20 to 30 IBUs.

Currently, much of the domestic hop cultivation occurs in Washington State but there is an emerging Virginia hop industry that will be producing some distinctive brews in the years ahead.

Doug Fabbioli, award winning vintner and owner of Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg, is a nascent hop grower. “It’s a burgeoning industry in Virginia that dovetails well with our labor, agriculture and management practices in the vineyard.

“If we can contribute flavors that make Virginia beer unique, we are very happy to be part of the hop growing industry.”

Fabbioli estimates there are well over a dozen hop growers in Northern Virginia alone.


Published in the Spring/Summer 2016 edition of inPrinceWilliam magazine.

Categories : HAGARTY TALES