Beer here!!! May 15

It’s American Craft Beer Week!!! Isn’t every week???

For all my beer buddies out there, a few thoughts about personal choices among beers to quaff during this celebratory window of opportunity:

New Belgium: With all the marketing attention that’s being paid to Fat Tire, I steer folks instead to Ranger IPA. Excellent balance, very fruity and plenty of hops zing to satisfy.

Dogfish Head My Antonia Imperial Pilsner: I had a glass of this at Mekong Restaurant Saturday with a wonderful trout dish (forgive my lack of Vietnamese). It’s billed as a continuously hopped “lager for ale lovers … citrusy, sweet and refined.” By continuously hopped, that indicates hops are added in small batches at regular intervals throughout the boil (oh, the things they do with hops these days, to my delight). Anyway, this is not your usual Czech style pilsner–a bigger presence without being overpowering.

Devils Backbone Eight Point IPA: I’d had this at the Nelson County brewpub, but it’s the bottled version that has me going back for seconds. At 60 IBUs, it’s a moderately hopped in the spectrum of India Pale Ales (compared with the 90 International Bittering Units of the Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA, an imperial style). What draws me to the Eight Point is subtle complexity of this beer–a wonderful mouthfeel from the tip of the tongue to the back of the throat. Very drinkable, very satisfying.

In the Richmond scene–you can never go wrong with Legend, particularly the stalwart Legend Brown. Let’s toast their success this week, as well as the debut of Hardywood Park (the Singel caught my attention during an evening at Penny Lane with my longtime Beer Buddy, Les Strachan, and his wife, Nancy).

In all,  it’s inspiring to contemplate the evolution of the American craft beer scene since the mid-1990s, when I began writing the weekly column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The creativity, consistency and commercial success of breweries like Legend, Starr Hill, Bell’s (mmmm, Two-Hearted), Stone (mmmmmm, Arrogant Bastard), New Belgium and many others says a lot about the spirit of American brewers, the growing sophistication of beer drinkers and the wondrous thing that beer is. Here’s to you!



About admin

I am a writer. And a musician/songwriter. And a husband/father. I love good beer, the outdoors, the embrace of family, the company of true friends, the telling of a good story and the inner peace derived from quiet reflection in solitude. Recently I have specialized in beer writing. My most recent adventure is "Virginia Beer: A Guide from Colonial Days to Craft's Golden Age" published fall 2018 by University of Virginia Press. In October 2014, "Richmond Beer: A History of Brewing in the River City" was published by History Press. "Charlottesville Beer: Brewing in Jefferson's Shadow," followed in January 2017. Send me an email at As you can see from this site, however, my interests are broader than beer. Spend time, leave a comment or just enjoy. Lee
This entry was posted in Beer adventures and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *