Cheers to Williamsburg’s breweries

Locals know one of the great things about life in Williamsburg is the booming craft brewery scene, especially now that operations have been able to loosen up a bit in Virginia’s recovery. 

Collectively, they offer fun beer gardens, taprooms, awesome street-food, full-menu dining rooms, wines and craft cocktails, guest beers, music, trivia and, of course, dozens of their own year-round and seasonal creations sure to delight sippers to aficionados.

Here’s a brief rundown on our brewery biz. All have hung in during these tough times. Why not stop by one on this Williamsburg Wednesday, or any day at all, and sample from among the huge varities of beer – curbside pickup or on-site – that they are proud to provide to our community.

Please check the breweries’ respective websites (linked below) for operating hours and other pertinent information. 

Cheers!

Virginia Beer Company

401 Second St. 757-378-2903

Virginiabeerco.com     

 

Opened in 2014, Virginia Beer was co-founded by College of William & Mary buddies who brought in an award-winning brewmaster from Atlanta. The brewery boasts two production systems and a 2,000 square-foot taproom in a former auto shop. 

Amber Ox Public House

525 Prince George St. Ste. 102  757-790-2299

Theamberox.com

In addition to its brewery, Amber Ox offers a full locally sourced food, wine and cocktail menu at its 6,000-square foot digs, just a short stroll away from Merchants Square.

 Precarious Beer Project

110 S. Henry St. 757-808-5104

Precariousbeer.com

Precarious Beer Project is the sister brewery to the nearby Amber Ox, where Precarious operates its interesting and inventive beer  lab. The beer hall on Henry St. features old- school arcade games, a live music stage and a great taco and street-corn stand. 

Brass Cannon

5476 Mooretown Rd. 757-645-0001

Brasscannonbrewing.com

Brass Cannon bills itself as a veteran-owned brewery and tap room focused on producing classic beers and rotating small-batch options. It doesn’t distribute its beer, so the brewery is the only place to sample Brass Cannon’s offerings.

Alewerks Brewing Company

189 Ewell Rd. 757-220-3670

Alewerks.com

Founded in 2006, Alewerks is a craft-brewing pioneer that is still going strong. Alewerks also operates an off-site tasting room – what it calls its L.A.B. (Little Auxiliary Brewery) – at the Williamsburg Prime Outlets on Richmond Rd. 

Billsburg Brewery

2054 Jamestown Rd. 757-916-0981

Billsburg.com

 

Located at a marina near the Colonial  Parkway and the Jamestown Settlement, site of America’s first beer, Billsburg says it meticulously creates ales, lagers and pilsners that celebrate our country’s rich brewing history. 

Murdoch’s patio reopens

Murdoch’s bistro at Ford’s Colony Country Club will re-open its outside dining patio Friday, May 15, with a few expected conditions.

Capacity will initially be limited to 50 percent of normal occupancy, and tables — limited to no more than four patrons — will be situated six feet apart. Also, reservations will be required for service.

Lunch and dinner menus will be available. Additionally, Murdoch’s popular curbside pick-up remains available from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Based on current social distancing requirements, this video about Murdoch’s is, amazingly, a little dated. But still, it’s good and fun to have a chance to finally get out and enjoy some spring weather on Murdoch’s patio.

It’s easy to drop a line in FC

A walk around Ford’s Colony most days tells you dropping a line into one of the 13 ponds stocked and maintained by the Homeowners’ Association has become even more popular during these stay-at-home times.

But remember, there are rules — the HOA’s, as well as those of the Va. Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries — that need to be followed for the benefit of the community. Among them: 

  1. Everyone over 16 must have a fishing license that can be purchased at sporting goods stores or online.
  2. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
  3. Only Virginia residents may get a license, except for active military stationed in Virginia and students boarding here.
  4. The HOA limits fishing to catch and release at all ponds. 
  5. Barbless hooks must be used, and only residents – or guests accompanied by a resident – may fish in a pond.
  6. Vehicles must be parked in the nearest cul-de-sac or side road, not on common grass area or leisure trails.
  7. Interior golf-course ponds are off-limits. FC Country Club courses are private property.
  8. And the HOA asks that you be a good neighbor by not fishing from a resident’s yard, unless invited, cleaning up around you and being kind to nearby wildlife. 

#FordsColony #WilliamsburgVA #FunToFish

Restaurant updates — who’s open?


I noticed Aroma’s coffee house open today on Prince George St. and was compelled to duck in for quick to-go cup. (They had a table selling coffee and snacks outside as well for customers who didn’t want to walk inside.) While taking all suggested health precautions, supporting struggling local businesses that have been suddenly racked by the virus shutdown feels like the right thing to do.

The Williamsburg Area Restaurant Association is pitching in by updating the status of dozens of local restaurants multiple times a day. Some have closed for now, some are offering delivery and curb-side pickup only, and others have kept their dining rooms open, but with limited seating. 

The urge to help is strong, and the situation is so fluid that the timely updates are appreciated. 

Williamsburg’s restaurant scene is so vibrant and getting even better. It’s a big part of what makes living here so enjoyable. The sincere hope is that all will come back strong when a sense of normalcy finally breaks through this terribly uncertain time. 

Why not check out the WARA list and think about placing an order to feed your family and support your hard-working restaurant neighbors? It will be so appreciated. 

Additionally, WARA is encouraging customers to buy gift cards from a member restaurant. Those who purchase a card worth at least $25 (and send in proof of purchase to Debi Schaefer at director@WaraRest.com) will be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate. 

FC Dance Band honors Count Basie

The popular Ford’s Colony Dance Band will perform on the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre Stage on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Dewey Decibel Concert Series.

The band will salute big-band royalty with its “Tribute to Count Basie,” a 90-minute set featuring favorites like “April in Paris,” “Shiny Stockings,” “Cute,” “Hay Burner” and “Jive at Five.” Admission is free, but a free-will donation will be taken to benefit the band. You can follow the band via its Facebook page.

The Dewey Decibel Concert Series is in its 20th anniversary season. It offers an eclectic mix of popular jazz, bluegrass, folk, Americana and classical music acts. All shows are at the Williamsburg Regional Library.

Future 2019 shows are Peninsula Concert Band, Holiday Concert Dec. 3; the Jae Sinnett Zero to 60 Quartet Christmas Special, Dec. 13; and the LCV Project, An Acoustic Christmas Dec. 19

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Vote Williamsburg for Best Small Town in the South

Williamsburg has been recognized yet again as a great place to live and to visit. 

As part of its search for the “Best of the South 2020,” Southern Living magazine has nominated Williamsburg for the title of “Best Small Town.”

There are 32 other towns on the list, located throughout the south and as far west as Oklahoma. Besides Williamsburg, however, only Fredericksburg was nominated from Virginia. 

The magazine is polling readers for their favorites among such diverse and fun things as bars, restaurants, new and historic hotels, barbecue joints, resorts and chefs. 

Jill Pongonis, media relations manager for the Williamsburg Tourism Council, told the WY Daily the nomination alone significantly raises the city’s profile. 

“They survey about 65,000 readers so the impact of the voters is definitely awareness and reaching a target market that is interested in this destination,” she said. “We do try to get our public relations team out there to . . . work with travel writers to expose them to the wonderful experiences they have here. It’s not by chance, it’s a collaborative effort.”

You can take the magazine’s online survey as often as you wish. Voters are eligible to win a grand prize of $2,500 for doing so. Voting is open until Sept. 16.

Vote for Cafe Provencal as USA’s best winery restaurant

Here in Williamsburg, we live near one of the finest winery restaurants in the United States. Is it THE best? We’ll soon find out!

Café Provençal at Williamsburg Winery is among 20 similar venues nominated by USA Today as the nation’s best winery restaurant.

Readers, patrons and especially food and wine lovers may vote once a day for Cafe Provencal as their favorite over the next couple weeks.Voting in the contest — officially USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award — ends Monday, Aug. 12. The winners will be announced Friday, Aug. 23 — and then later on USA Today. The place to vote is here.

USA Today’s nomination reads: “Chef David McClure takes the helm at Café Provençal at Williamsburg Winery with a menu highlighting local farmers, watermen and “agri-artisans.” This farm-to-farm menu includes dishes like ham and pea soup made with Edwards Country Ham, butter-poached lobster tail salad, seared diver scallops with local purple rice and grilled swordfish with lemon basil polenta and a mustard cream sauce.”

Yum, to all of that!

Fun on the Williamsburg 4th!

Fireworks soaring above the Governor’s Palace

It’s true. July 4th fireworks just look and feel brighter and better in Williamsburg!

The annual chills-inducing Independence Day highlight is Colonial Williamsburg’s evening celebration launched from behind the Governor’s Palace. 

The fun begins at 7 p.m. with a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, a performance by the CW Fifes and Drums, patriotic sing-a-longs and of course the awesome, bursting fireworks above the Palace Green.

That performance caps a full day that starts with the Fifes and Drums and young Thomas Jefferson reading the Declaration off the Capitol West Balcony at 9:30 a.m. That’s followed by a salute to the original 13 states with a display of each state’s flag amid cannon and musket fire.

At 1:30 p.m. visitors and history buffs can meet and talk with one of our many “Nation Builders” enactors at the Charlton Stage.

Following that at 3:30 p.m. will be a performance of “Created Equal,” an exploration of African American perspectives on the Declaration, the revolutions it inspired and the ongoing struggle for equality and freedom in America.

Check all these details and more 4th of July goings-on at visitwilliamsburg.com.

Yorktown also features a full day of events beginning at 8 a.m. with an 8K run and a 5K walk before by a parade along Main and Water Streets.

Enjoy music, the beach, the American Revolution museum and shopping, then close the evening with a patriotic concert, bell ringing and brilliant fireworks over the York River.

Visityorktown.org has all the information about a fun day on the 4thin Yorktown.

Casa Pearl and Precarious Beer are fun, delicious additions to the Williamsburg food and beverage scene.

Williamsburg’s expanding profile as a foodie haven has grown even more with the addition of two exciting additions – the delectable dining gem Casa Pearl, and the newly opened Precarious Beer Project beer hall.

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Casa Pearl Oysters and Tacos opened six months ago in a renovated Texaco station on Merrimack Trail, near the Virginia Beer Company and such local favorites as Cochon on 2ndand Second Street American Bistro.

Husband-and-wife team Mikey and Chelsea Maksimowicz are formally trained chefs who became steeped in oysters while working in Charleston, S.C. They created their unique oysters and taco concept to offer a fun, relaxed experience to patrons of all ages, one that marries the fruits of the Chesapeake Bay with inspired taco creations.

Naturally, the delicious fried oyster taco is a signature dish at Casa Pearl. But do yourself a favor and also try the baked Chincoteague clams, among the many tempting options on the menu. Good luck stopping at just one order of either item, though!

It’s a great place to eat that’s always packed, so plan your visit. You can read all about the menu and the creations of this inspired restaurant/ bar at Casa Pearl Oysters and Tacos.

Precarious

Precarious Beer Project is the next ambitious offering from the crew – Andrew Voss and Chris Cook — who brought the wildly popular Amber Ox Public House to Prince George St.

A few blocks over, on the bustling corner of Francis and S. Henry St. at Merchants Square, now comes Precarious Beer. The latter was space that used to be part of Amber Ox that the ownership team aims to turn into a thriving presence of its own.

The inviting, 9,700-square foot space is filled with communal tables, a long bar with a huge variety of brews and arcade games, including vintage pinball machines, and of course the 10-barrel brewing equipment.

Live music is also on tap at Precarious, as well as Electric Circus, the hall’s indoor “taco truck.” Outdoors is a 1,100 square-foot patio with a gas fireplace and room for 50 customers. Precarious opened this past weekend, the 8th of June, so stop by soon and check out the cool vibe you feel immediately upon walking through the doors.

Complete information about Precarious Beer Project can be found at its website here.