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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > Brewing Events & Local Gatherings > South East USA > Virginia HomeBrew Forum > Dulles area craft beer bars? Also, Blacksburg!




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Old 02-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #1
weirdboy
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Default Dulles area craft beer bars? Also, Blacksburg!

I am going to Blacksburg for business travel next week. I'm flying to/from Dulles and driving a couple of hours each way, rather than my usual flying in and out of Roanoke, where I typically end up spending the same or more time waiting for flights in the airport and paying twice as much or more for the ticket. And still needing to rent a car for the same amount of time because Roanoke isn't exactly taxi distance.

On the way TO Blacksburg, I likely won't have much time to stop and smell the roses due to the time difference. However on the way back, I ought to have some free time in the afternoon/evening of the 14th (yeah, my SWMBO is thrilled about me missing Valentine's Day) before I fly out the next morning.

I have been doing my internet best to find interesting places to go in the area right around Dulles, as I am either going to have to pay for a taxi or really watch what I drink, and I'd prefer to do the former if it means I get to sample some local gems I otherwise wouldn't be able to. So far I have come up with the Dogfish Head tap room right near Dulles, which I am sorta "meh" about, and heading over to the Fair Lakes Whole Foods which has extremely high ratings on BeerAdvocate and Beermapping.com, and also because I am picturing something like the Santa Rosa, CA Whole Foods which has a fantastic beer bar.


I'd love to hear other suggestions from DC locals.



And, since I'm posting here soliciting suggestions anyway, I'd like to get some suggestions for Blacksburg...with the caveat that I'm a bit more familiar with that area (lived there ~10 years ago and visit once or twice a year) and I've probably visited the more common suggestions. e.g. I usually make a trip or two to the Cellar with coworkers for some beers, and I've tried a couple other places in the area that sell local craft beers. I have also been a patron of the Vintage Cellar since it was located in the other strip mall next to Our Daily Bread--which has also relocated since the first time I went there.

If you happen to be in the Vintage Cellar early next week and see someone buying a couple cases worth of miscellaneous regional beers with the intent of shipping it to themselves across the country, be sure to say "hi"!



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Old 02-11-2013, 02:54 AM   #2
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If you're looking at heading to Fair Lakes, I'd head to the Total Wine & More in Chantilly. It's a little closer and has a huge selection of great craft beers. There's also a brewery in Ashburn (not far from Dulles) called Lost Rhino, founded by people that left Old Dominion when it was purchased by Budweiser. I haven't been there myself, but I've heard great things about it.



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Old 02-12-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
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In terms of distance from Dulless, your best bet is to hit up Lost Rhino. They have a very small but respectable kitchen going, all their beers on tap and maybe if you hit up Favio at @lostbrewer on twitter, you could get a quick tour.

Tours are usually saturday only, so I wouldn't count on it, but it wouldn't hurt to ask. They have a pink Pomegranate saison right now that's really delicious. I've only had nibblings of their food, but it's generally highly rated for what it is.

DFH is great if you're not familiar with Dogfish beers, but that's the only thing they serve so if you're looking for variety it isn't your spot. I'm at the DFH way too much, and I think of it more as a local bar then a "destination" beer spot.

The whole foods in Fair Lakes is great...and the two beer dudes from there have a podcast called "Intalksication" at www.bigoanddukes.com or under "Big O and Dukes" on itunes.

The beer selection is usually very good, usually very rare, but is also very ethereal as stuff is tapped out pretty quickly on some days. Also, depending on how much in "the evening" you're getting there, seating can be very spotty. It's a grocery store with something like 5 bars inside, so you've got to wander around to try everything they have on tap and the locals tend to clump up right about 5PM. Also, no tips are allowed and the food is dirt cheap.

They keep the beer list somewhat regularly updated on facebook. If you search "Whole Foods Beer Market" you should be able to find their facebook page.

I'll see if I can think of anything else.

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Old 02-12-2013, 04:52 PM   #4
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Who knew? I work across the street from the Whole Foods and have gone there a couple of times for lunch, but I never knew about their beer selection.

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoch52 View Post
Who knew? I work across the street from the Whole Foods and have gone there a couple of times for lunch, but I never knew about their beer selection.
Sometimes the best things are right under our noses! If I remember correctly, ALL beers are $4, no tipping allowed. You either get a 16oz pour for a standard beer and a 12oz for a high gravity/rare beer. They also do growler fills on everything, and they sell growlers in case you don't have one/forgot yours.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:36 PM   #6
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OK so the whole foods was a mixed bag. On the plus side, I got very cheap beer and food, and it was tasty. On the minus side, apparently the "sports bar" area with more taps and whatnot is only open in the evenings on Thursday-Sunday or something like that, and on Wednesday I was relegated to wandering around to the other 3 bar-like areas around the store which each had 2-3 taps.

The other issue that I ran into, which I wasn't expecting, was that almost all of the beers they had on tap when I visited were west coast (primarily CA) beers which i drink all the time because I friggin' live there. So, not much opportunity for me to sample local beers. I suppose, though, if you lived in VA that would be a good place to go drinking to try beers you probably wouldn't be able to find very easily.

I did find one local beer, which was a blonde with hibiscus and chamomile (I think). I took a snapshot of the tap handle so I could remember, but when I checked my photos later I found that picture was really blurry, so I have no idea what the name of the beer is or who makes it.


So, I finished my food & beer there, then I went over to Dogfish Head and had some of their "special" beers which I haven't seen around here. I finally got a chance to try that gluten-free beer they make. It was...interesting. It tasted quite nutty to me; like drinking a glass of almonds.



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