Where to Find the Best Craft Beer in Virginia Beach
There has never been a better time to be a beer lover in Virginia. Craft beer in Virginia has exploded in recent years, growing from a handful of breweries to over 100 and counting. I’m lucky that there is an ever-expanding roster of local Virginia Beach breweries that are putting out some really great beer. With that in mind I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite local breweries in the Virginia Beach area.
The packs of beach cruisers parked out front signal that you’ve found the right place. The compact tasting room, equal parts active brewery and beach shack, is filled with surf-loving locals and in-the-know tourists. The False Cape Ale is a quintessential amber ale with a smooth finish and slightly bitter caramel notes while the Steel Pier Bohemian Lager is perfect after a day at the beach.
Back Bay Brewing Company is located at 614 Norfolk Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
A few blocks from the bay, a smartly renovated fire station is home to Commonwealth Brewing in the Chesapeake Beach area. A 28-tap tasting room pours Commonwealth’s extensive list of Belgian inspired brews along with IPAs, stouts and a ever-changing list of seasonal beers. An outdoor beer garden with games and a rotating roster of local food trucks makes Commonwealth a neighborhood favorite.
Formerly Beach Brewing Company, Reaver Brewing Company has steadily gained a loyal following since opening their doors in 2010. Their flagship beer is their Hoptopus I.P.A.; hoppy, citrusy and totally addictive. In addition owners Justin and Kristin MacDonald get creative with their seasonal offerings. Case in point- the Ruse de Gurre, a violet-hued spontaneously fermented wild ale aged in oak barrels with black currants.
Reaver Beach Brewing is located at 1505 Taylor Farm Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23453
Virginia Beach is a military town that appreciates a good beer so the success of Young Veteran’s Brewing Company is no surprise. The compact tasting room features a bar, a few tables and a leather couch for chillin’ with military and beer memorabilia hanging on the walls. The owners, Thomas Wilder and Neil McCannon, are both Iraq War vets and die-hard beer lovers.Military themed offerings include their Semper FI.P.A., with citrus overnotes and just the right amount of bitter hoppiness, changed my mind about IPAs. The Night Vision Stout is another standout, with smooth notes of dark chocolate and espresso. The Pineapple Grenade, a fruity hefeweisen, is refreshing and has become my go-to beer for summer. Bonus points to YVBC for offering a discount to veterans and active duty military.
Young Veteran’s Brewing Company is located at 2505 Horse Pasture Road #104 Virginia Beach, VA 23453
Good things are in store at this small brewery in the Hilltop area of Virginia Beach. Featuring German-style beer ( thumbs up for their Citrus Wheat and Dunkel) as well house-made artisan pizza and beer sausages, Wasserhund offers a taste of Duetschland with a beachy twist.
Wasserhund Brewing Company is located at 1805 Laskin Road Suite 102 Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Pleasure House Brewing is like having a friend that invites you to come chill at their place, except this particular friend makes really good beer. Go for the Glo Belgian Blond or the Rudee Inlet DIPA, stay for the foosball and good times.
Pleasure House Brewing is located at 3025 Shore Drive Virginia Beach, Virginia 23455
The first east coast outpost of one of San Diego’s favorite breweries, Green Flash is a great addition to the Virginia Beach craft beer scene. With over 25 beers on tap (the Passionfruit Kicker, an easy drinking fruity wheat ale is my go to) and an expansive outdoor beer garden Green Flash has made itself right at home. Bonus points for providing a shuttle from the resort area.
Green Flash Brewing Company is located at 1209 Craft Lane Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Virginia Beach isn’t the only city in Coastal Virginia with with good craft beer. The nearby cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake have some great breweries worth the drive from the beach. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites and listed a few I haven’t had the chance to make it to yet.
Located in the Chelsea section of Norfolk, Smartmouth Brewing Company is a local favorite. Their Alter Ego Saison is one of my favorite all-around beers, this dry and slighty fruity Belgian Saison pairs well with everything from seafood to pizza. Be sure to take one of their brewery tours for a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process and check out their calendar for a line-up of fun events;the monthly Peace and Pints yoga allows you to get your zen on before enjoying a brew or two afterwards.
Smartmouth Brewery is located at 1309 Raleigh Ave #300 Norfolk, VA 23507
O’Connor Brewing Company was one of the first craft breweries in the area and is quickly becoming a local institution. OBC offers 6 flagship beers (The El Guapo I.P.A and O’Connor’s Dry Irish Stout are personal favorites) and a host of seasonal brews. The large tasting room, convenient to the Ghent area of Norfolk and Old Dominion University, offers brewery tours as well as a rotating line-up of food trucks and local music.
O’Connor Brewing Company is located at 211 W. 24th St. Norfolk, VA 23517
Other Coastal Virginia Breweries to check out
Big Ugly Brewing– 1296 Battle field Blvd South Suite 104 Chesapeake, VA 23322
Coelacanth Brewing– 760 W. 22 Street Norfolk, VA 23517
Bold Mariner Brewing Company– 2409 Bowdens Ferry Road Norfolk, VA 23508
Rip Rap Brewing Co. –115 E. 25th Street Norfolk, VA 23517
Bench Top Brewing– 1129 Boissevain Ave Norfolk, Va 23507
Read about more Virginia beer trails here.
What is your favorite craft beer? Please let me know in the comments!