PLEASURE HOUSE BREWING

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

One block from Chesapeake Bay in a well-maintained aquamarine-roofed mini mall, PLEASURE HOUSE BREWING began operations in 2014. Prolific homebrewer, Drew Stephenson, crafts rangy fare running the gamut from simple blonde ale to wattelseed-laden stout.

My wife and I grab seats at the bar where a pastoral earth-toned brick wall features twelve tap handles. Wall-hung surfboards and mounted fish decorate the place and show off Pleasure House’s amiable beach spirit.

The cement -floored space offers one community table and eight dining tables while several brewtanks hide behind the bar. Crowlers and cans are available for takeout.

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Musky wet graining soaked spritzy lemon limed souring for light-bodied G’Suffa Helles Lager, leaving minor herbal spiced restraint upon the crisp finish.

Tingly Belgian-styled lightweight, Shuckers Single Blonde Ale, plied orange-peeled lemon meringue piquancy to honey-spiced pilsner malts and salty herbal notions.

Salted yellow grapefruit piquancy led the way for Glo Belgian Blonde Ale, picking up mild lemon, orange, banana and mango tropicalia.

Blackcurrant tartness boosted hybridized German wheat beer, Melo Currants Hefeweizen, shoving stylistic banana-clove sweetness to the side for currant-bound honey mead wining.

Easygoing NoMoHazeBros Brut IPA (with Simcoe-Amarillo hops) let sparkling Brut champagne effervescence pick up light wood tones to envelop lemony orange-tangerine-grapefruit tanginess.

Duck sauce-like Duckin Saison boasted apricot and ginger adjuncts that serenaded black-peppered green grape wining and mild dry leathering.

Approachably smooth Chardonnay-barreled Light Tower Wine Aged Saison brought light white wine tannins to sour lemon rot and dry barnyard acridity.

Hop-forward Red Mill Seven Red Ale let sharp red-orange fruiting gain caramel-spiced grain toasting. 

Lemony orange, grapefruit, peach, pineapple and tangerine tanginess brightened Rudee Inlet Imperial IPA, a lightly creamed medium body with delicate pale malt sugaring.

Roasted wattle seed boosted OB’s Wattleseed Stout – Nitro, scurrying thru bittersweet cocoa-dried black chocolate malting, peanut-oiled walnut musk and mild hop-charred bittering.

WASSERHUND BREWING COMPANY

 

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

Two entrepreneurial Virginia Tech grads, Aaron and Christine Holley, decided to showcase “German Style Brewing with a Beach Kick” and in 2015 started a water dog-named brewery for all the local denizens. On the outskirts of Virginia Beach, WASSERHUND BREWING COMPANY crafts some outstanding homemade Bavarian draught fare to go alongside damn fine artisan pizza and German meats.

A central bar services several wood-metal tables and four outdoor patios beneath an aluminum overhang. Surfboards decorate the ceiling alongside Edison lights while a huge blackboard displays tapped beer list.

My wife and I shared Puggle Pizza (white-sauced feta cheese with bacon, onions and mushrooms) while hanging out, ironically, with our puggle, Roscoe, mid-July 2018.

Mild PureBred Pilsner, a German-styled light body, coalesced grassy-hopped pilsner malting with corn-sugared sweetness and tingly spicing.

A Helles lager with Czech pilsner tendencies, Schutzhund Lager retained dry-hopped herbal pungency, wet-grained dankness and lemon-soured spritz.

Kettle-soured Salty Dog Gose let ground coriander serenade raw-honeyed lager yeast, whereas sharply tart pink-hued Raspberry Salty Dog Gose brought lemony raspberry souring to salt-licked coriander spicing.

Black tea-like Belgian blonde hybrid, German TEArrier, gained dried plum tones and delicate hop spicing.

Soft-toned German Shepheweizen retained lightly creamed vanilla sweetness and distant banana-bubblegum sugaring, leaving wispy herbal nuances in its wake.

Orange blossom-honeyed Summer Fetch Citrus Honey Wheat picked up herbal lemongrass reminders for lemonade-sugared pale wheat malts.

Nifty hop-forward Doggy Paddled IPA, a medium-bodied West Coast version, allowed mild grapefruit and navel orange tang to pick up light lemon souring for contrast against sweet honeyed pale malts.

Breakfast-styled Haywire Husky Coffee Pale Lager offered milk-creamed coffee pleasantries to pale malt dryness in an understated manner.

Casual nightcap, Bitchin’ Bacon Stout, draped mild bacon-smoked fattiness upon chocolate-milked cocoa fudging and peanut-charred whims.

DEADLINE BREWING PROJECT


VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

In a humble mid-space at the Seashore Shops in Virginia Beach, DEADLINE BREWING PROJECT began slinging suds September 2017. Diligent head brewer, Darrell Cuenca, crafts rangy small-batch elixirs that tickle his fancy. Currently utilizing plastic fermentation tanks as of my first visit, July ’18, Cuenca’s crisply clean fare matches the pristine surroundings of its nuevo modern Industrial white-leathered chairs and inviting living room comfort.

Deadline’s L-shaped 15-seat bar includes six taps and a refrigeration unit. A right side community table fills up with noon time patrons. Exquisite quotes from scribes Hunter S. Thompson and Thomas Wolf are painted on the left wall alongside quips from respected newsmen Edward R. Morrow, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings.

Stylishly robust Pacer Blonde Ale placed desiccated orange spicing and mellow passionfruit tartness across hard wood tones, finishing light with dry pilsner-malted spelt and oats graining.

Dryly coniferous medium-bodied IPA allowed crystalline-watered crisping to truly capture the tangy pineapple-mango-tangerine subtleties and hard-candied lemondrop sugaring overriding the sweet pale malt setting.

A unique hybridized collaboration with local brewers’ Wasserhund, Back Bay, Home Republic and Gordon Biersch, Erd Beer IPA brought yogurt-soured lactose and tart strawberry to the fore as lemon-limed bittering gained influence alongside Hallertau Blanc-hopped green grape esters.

Zesty Calamondin lime brightened Amelita Calamansi Shandy, and orange-pineapple-candied soda alternative bettering most of its gimmicky summertime competition.

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LOST COLONY BREWERY

MANTEO, NORTH CAROLINA

Formerly Full Moon Cafe, protruding red brick complex, LOST COLONY BREWERY, began brewing operations during 2011. One of the premier restaurants on sportsman’s haven, Roanoke Island, in the bay town of Manteo, its three separate entities come together as one full-fledged cafe, restaurant and beer haven.

First, there’s the shaded wraparound patios surrounding the front entrance and side street. Next, a casual left side Pub with eight-seat bronze-topped serving station, five laminated wood tables, colorful homebrew logo t-shirts, three TV’s and nautical paraphernalia appeals to seasoned brewhounds.

A cafe-styled family dining area with six-seat mahogany bar, six small tables and beautiful sea blue ceiling (with choice pub fare emanating from the back kitchen) marks the cozy interior.

Since Lost Colony’s former brew room (inside the Pub) became too crowded, a few years back operations moved offsite to southwest fishing village, Stumpy Point. Newcomers should check out Lost Colony’s funny Youtube commercials.

On my initial July ’18 dinnertime journey, my wife enjoyed hummus and steak quesadillas while I chowed down seared tuna. Staying close to standard stylistic recipes, each of the eight calculated brews available matched or exceeded expectations.

Briskly carbolic Lost Colony Kitty Hawk Blonde’s yellow fruit spicing picked up musky herbal hop astringency to contrast its crisp barley roast and caramel-toasted sourdough base.

Simple dry moderation, Stumpy Point Pale Ale, slung tangy yellow grapefruit zest at peppery herbs.

Sweet tea-like Irish red ale, Hatteras Red, retained caramel-malted barley sweetness and crisp tobacco roast. Similarly, tea-sugared Kill Devil Hills Scotch Ale tossed toffee-like caramel malts at distant honeyed fruiting.

Despite its muskier earthen hop bittering and biscuity pale malt base, Brit-styled Nags Head IPA seemed suspiciously Americanized as floral orange-peeled grapefruit tropicalia and whispering pine tones came forward.

Musty earthen nuttiness rallied Raleigh Buxton Brown Ale, a dry English-styled moderation with spicy pale-chocolate malting.

Irish-styled dry body, Charon Stout, tossed molasses-spiced brown chocolate and dark cocoa at latent fig-date illusions.

Soft-toned carafa-chocolate malting marked Holy Hand Grenade Of Antioch Imperial Stout, scattering recessive hazelnut-sugared dried fruiting on the light mocha finish.

 

 

 

GROWLERS TO GO

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DUCK, NORTH CAROLINA

On the northernmost end of Dare County and practically next door to similarly beer-centric coffeehouse Sweet T’s, GROWLERS TO GO opened Memorial Day 2017. Placed in the middle of a small downtown mall at Duck Road, this combination beer-wine store and localized draught beer joint promotes Carolina’s finest microbrews as well as some splendid national brands.

A yellow-wooded serving station at the back serves 48 tapped selections. One front table with four chairs offers relaxation for customers and the side walls hold bottled-canned offerings. Selling keggers to local denizens aids outside consumption.

On my mid-July ’18 perusal, I found five previously untried brews on tap and bought a six-pack of newbies to go. Got to quaff 4-ounce samplers of Ballast Point Peach Kolsch, Gizmo Fake News New England IPA, Railhouse Ka-bar Brown Ale, Trinity Chilly Water Porter and Coelacanth Kopimanis Milk Stout (all reviewed in Beer Index).

A definite beer destination for connoisseurs and dabblers alike, Growlers To Go’s a fine vacation stop.

BUFFALO CITY JUG SHOP – KILL DEVIL HILLS

KILL DEVIL HILLS, NORTH CAROLINA

Inside a small Croatan Highway mini-mall at Kill Devil Hills, BUFFALO CITY JUG SHOP had the most interesting beer selection on the Outer Banks. Since 2017, this clean one-room open space features a six-seat laminated wood bar (with inlet beer coasters) serving fabulous flagships, seasonals, one-offs and specials from its 20-plus tap handles.

Along the right side, there’s a refrigerated section of bottles-cans across warm shelved brews (with many sours amongst the fine local lot).

During my one-hour stay, I quaffed six North Carolina brews: Smithfield’s Double Barley Sparkky’s Milk Stout and Asheville’s Wicked Weed Lieutenant Dank IPA plus four from Charlotte’s Wooden Robot – flagship Overachiever Pale Ale, What I’m Having Session IPA, Robotico Lager and Get Rich Or Chai Trying Milk Stout (reviewed in Beer Index).

WOODEN ROBOT WHAT I’M HAVING SESSION IPA

On tap at Buffalo City Jug Shop, sessionable Citra-hopped tropical juiciness lies above dry pale malting, sedate resinous pining and mild herbal whim. Floral-spiced citrus spritz retains navel orange, mandarin orange, tangerine and marmalade seduction to contrast equally mild lemony yellow grapefruit bittering. Wispily salted astringency lingers lightly at tingly citric-spiced finish.