First-Time Visitor to Virginia Beech / Norfolk

Discussion in 'South-Atlantic' started by madmanjf, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Trader

    Just an fyi - if you do hit up Benchtop (it's great) there is also an excellent independent bottle shop Bottlebox and a Total Wine less than 2 miles away.
     
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  2. oldn00b

    oldn00b Champion (855) Feb 23, 2015 Virginia
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    I second this - benchtop typically has some cans around and the bottlebox folks are pretty great.

    I would pass on the visit to O'Connor mentioned on the last page especially if you're short on time.
     
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  3. magilldm

    magilldm Initiate (51) May 2, 2015 Virginia

    Just a heads up for anyone who might care - stopped into the Norfolk TW after work and spotted some BCBS & variants behind the counter. Here are the details I was told:

    Regular BCBS - $12.99/ea, 1pp/day (had maybe 2-3 cases)
    Choose only 1pp of the following:
    Northwoods - $30, 1 case
    Regal Rye - $50!! 1 Case
    2014 BCBS Barleywine - $20, 1 case

    Bit of a rip off, but the 10% discount can be applied
     
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  4. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Trader

    Thanks for this, I need to find a way to get over there today & get a northwoods.
     
  5. guinness77

    guinness77 Champion (858) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    Hey guys, we’re heading down for our annual Sandbridge trip in less than a month (I won’t bump that thread) and I noticed that Commonwealth is right off the bridge. I always make a stop at Grape & Gourmet (will do again, they’re good people there) and last year I picked up Wapatoolie and Big Papi cans there and thought they were pretty legit. I’ve noticed on IG they’ve been releasing cans on the regular lately. How have their newer IPAs/DIPAs been tasting lately and how have Reaver Beach’s IPAs been lately?

    It’s funny, when we first started taking this trip 5 years ago, I used to like buying beer because of the distro I can’t get in NY but now I like buying the local VA shit because it’s good. I do always look for a fresh Fresh Squeezed 6 though because we don’t get Deschutes. I got an Ocelot crowler at Bottle Craft last year too which I drank while we made our usual boil, that was pretty delicious.

    And...if there’s anything new in the past year in and around the Sandbridge area, anything-wise not just beer, I’d appreciate that too. Thanks in advance.
     
    #85 guinness77, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  6. magilldm

    magilldm Initiate (51) May 2, 2015 Virginia

    I would for sure stop at Commonwealth. I have bashed them before but I think their recent IPA releases have been great. I wasn’t a fan of any of their goses I tried, but really enjoyed Nekta and Bizango, along with the staple Big Papi. The Reaver IPA’s I’ve had haven’t been as good but worth picking up a single if you see them, never been to the taproom personally. I would visit Esoteric if you have the chance, they almost always have some Veil stuff, and also Benchtop which have been doing some nice things
     
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  7. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Trader

    Commonwealth has stepped up their IPA game recently, Aurora and Iconoclast were both quite good imo. I really enjoyed the last gose also. Benchtop may even have better hoppy beers than CW, and had two highly rated IPA's on a recent paste article (if that matters to anyone ) but they are not in VB.
    Reaver is still the place to stop for wilds/sours, but the IPA's they choose to regularly can are just ok. Someone else may have an idea of what's specifically around Sandbridge, as it's sort of out there on it's own, and I haven't been down there in years.
     
    #87 montman, Jul 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  8. mikehayz

    mikehayz Initiate (56) Aug 11, 2012 Virginia

    Hit up Blue Pete’s for lunch or dinner (not beer related) for some great food.
     
  9. pointbreak

    pointbreak Initiate (32) Dec 16, 2017 Massachusetts

    Hello everyone, I will be coming to Norfolk this Thursday for the weekend. Can anyone tell me if Benchtop will have any to go options like cans or growlers or how they generally run things? Any other releases this week/weekend or can’t miss places I should be paying attention to in the area besides what’s already been mentioned? Thanks!!
     
  10. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Trader

    Benchtop's last can release was over 2 weeks ago so chances are they won't have much, if anything left. I believe they will crowler most things they have on tap though. Stop by the Birch bar also, you can walk there from Benchtop.

    Commonwealth and Reaver are in VB and are covered pretty well in the above comments, both will have multiple take away options.
     
  11. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (424) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia

    Benchtop does a pretty good job updating their taplist / to-go availability on Untappd. Only cans showing as of their last update on Sat. (28th) was Proven Theory but all beers on tap available in 32oz (Crowlers?) to go. If you have enough time to hang out Sat. then consider their Dazed and Consumed Fest going on. A lot of great guest breweries will be pouring. The Answer, Aslin, Basic City, Final Gravity, New Realm, Precarious Beer Project, Alewerks just to name a few. $35 for unlimited pours from all guest breweries is a nice deal so long as they are all bringing enough to last most of the 1pm - 6pm time.

    Other than that, Big Ugly is not too far away and I think they are having the Grand Opening of their new location on Sat. Also keep an eye on Commonwealth to see if they are releasing anything new this week or what cans they may have. Both or only 20 mins from Norfolk (in opposite directions from one another).
     
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  12. guinness77

    guinness77 Champion (858) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    Funny that Benchtop has been brought up, I was just wondering how long a trip from Sandbridge to Benchtop would take? We’re coming down on Saturday for a week and was thinking of taking a ride there if there’s a day with shitty weather. They’re good about updating their IG page and cans would be a plus but I’d go even if all I can get is crowlers. Doing Commonwealth and Grape & Gourmet while I’m down there too.
     
  13. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Trader

    If you can get to Commonwealth from Benchtop in 20 mins I will buy you your first round. :wink: Big Ugly is having their re-opening this Saturday but for someone visiting from out of town, I would suggest Commonwealth as big ugly is not near anything else fun/good, and CW will have multiple to-go can options.
    Probably like 45-50 mins during non rush hour.
     
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  14. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (424) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia

    Ha! Since I'm not down that way often I was just using what GoogleMaps told me. I thought it was saying about 22mins when I looked it up and I find it pretty reliable with arrival/drive times when I'm actually driving through areas. As of this post it's stating 14.3 miles in 25 minutes door-to-door.
    [​IMG]


    Spot on with Sandbridge to CW.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. guinness77

    guinness77 Champion (858) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    Thanks guys much appreciated. I’m looking to stop at Commonwealth off the bridge on our way down. We’re leaving NY in the 4-5am range so I’m hoping to hit VA Beach right around noon which is when they open.
     
  16. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Trader

    Well I live here and do drive around both these places pretty regularly and the 25 mins it shows is optimistic but do-able given the right conditions/times, this drive really isn't too traffic-y.
    We love discussing traffic with all our fun tunnels and bridges here in the 757, I could post about it all day. haha.
     
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  17. pointbreak

    pointbreak Initiate (32) Dec 16, 2017 Massachusetts

    Thanks for the info! Out of their on tap offerings which would you say is their best right now?

    I would love to check out Commonwealth, I have been seeing their cans up here recently (Massachusetts). I’ll be in town through Monday so hope to have time.

    We are flying into Richmond and I really wanted to stop at The Veil but they don’t seem to open until 4PM. Does anywhere around Norfolk have them on tap?
     
  18. guinness77

    guinness77 Champion (858) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    Just looked at Benchtop’s hours. Jeez, they kinda blow, I don’t think I’ll be able to go there now anyway. Maybe I’ll check out Bottle Craft in VAB and see if I can get some BT there.
     
  19. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (424) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia

    @montman will probably have better intel but the only place I know of that may have some of their beers on tap with regularity is Esoteric in Va Beach.

    If you are flying into Richmond and would make the 20 or so minute drive to The Veil if they were open then I would definitely suggest The Answer. Only about a mile up the road from Veil. The do Crowlers of all of their house beers and Thursday's is one of they days they Crowler their Joose beers. You might even get lucky and they do a glass release that day. They open at Noon and serve food if you need a lunch fix. Mekong (located in the same building) opens at 11am and would be a great option as well. Between them both you have about 100 different taps. Mekong's taplist is not online but The Answer's can be found on Untappd. They typically update it around Noon or so each day.
     
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  20. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Trader

    Nope, you got it, Eso is the only place that consistently has Veil there, I went a little over a week ago and they had 3 things on draft. Occasionally Birch, HK, or someone will have something on, but you can't count on it. Food is also great at Eso if you make it to the oceanfront.
     
    #100 montman, Jul 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
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  21. mikehayz

    mikehayz Initiate (56) Aug 11, 2012 Virginia

    Your best bet to score Veil beers in Norfolk is probably at Codex https://www.codexva.com/. I've never been, but they regularly post on Insta about Veil kegs and cans available (sold individually for on-site consumption only I assume).

    The owner/chef worked at two other quality spots (Shiptown and Esoteric) so I'm sure the food is great too.
     
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  22. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
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    Good call, I forgot about codex. They seem to be a little more sporadic/random than Eso, but it's worth the stop. Food is good also.
     
  23. guinness77

    guinness77 Champion (858) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    I got a friend going to Benchtop for me tomorrow who’s gonna to bring it to Sandbridge for me when him and his family come to chill with us...is there any specific BT beers he should be looking out for for me that any of you seasoned pros can recommend? I’ve been stalking their IG page but that doesn’t always have their taplist available and I’m pretty sure they do crowlers of anything. Thanks in advance.
     
  24. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (424) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia

    You can find their taplist on Untappd. From their most recent post of a 5 can release next Sat., (11th) don't expect any new cans this week but everything does appear available for Crowlers.

    We just started getting distro of Benchtop recently where I am so I'm not a seasoned pro for what they do but everything Ive had so far (Hazing Face, Proven Theory and Gong Water) has been really good.
     
    #104 TomCat11, Aug 2, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  25. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (424) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia

    @guinness77 Bottle Craft posted earlier this morning they have Zombie Tastee and Numb tapping today for in house consumption only. Highly recommend if you are somewhat nearby. It's not often kegs make it outside the brewery but seems with them producing so much lately and having cans carry over so long they are starting to pop up in places that don't normally get it.
     
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  26. guinness77

    guinness77 Champion (858) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    My buddy’s wife picked me up 2 4-packs of Proven Theory and a crowler each of Walter’s Brunch and Facetime and they’re coming on Monday...let’s goooooo
     
  27. guinness77

    guinness77 Champion (858) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    Proven Theory is awesome. They’re not ultra fresh, July 10(?) off the top of my head but what a well rounded ipa. I ended up getting crowlers of Walter’s Brunch and Soft Crash so I’ll report back on those. Super excited to try that porter.

    The Commonwealth stuff is awesome. Walked out with 4-packs of 2 DIPAs and 2 IPAs. Honestly, Papi is my favorite so far. I get a tiny, little hint of butter from the 2 newer ones to be honest. It’s not enough to make it unpleasant, I did drink the Whakatu kinda drunk and stuffed so I’d like to revisit that one. Still, they’re above average IPAs. I left a can of Even Mo Mofo from Sand City to the bartender who took care of me, I hope they enjoyed it.
     
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  28. pointbreak

    pointbreak Initiate (32) Dec 16, 2017 Massachusetts

    Just got home from my trip, I ended up sticking to the Norfolk area mostly. Benchtop was the winner for me. Got some cans of Proven Theory and have to agree it was really good. Also got a crowler of Hazing Face and had some other pours which were all great. The icing on the cake was the pour from the Veil at The Birch I lucked into.
     
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  29. BoardwalkBock

    BoardwalkBock Devotee (455) Aug 18, 2012 New York

    I’m in VB for the next few days. With a bunch of people who dont want to drive/uber very far. I stopped at Commonwealth yesterday as soon as I got over the bridge. Great placr and beers were super solid. Grabbed a 4 pack of each single hop.

    I plan on hitting Esoteric tonight.

    Any other suggestions within 10-15 mins of 29th st? I’m willing to go further solo tomorrow but would love to hear if there is anything worthwhile.
     
  30. RC51Mike

    RC51Mike Initiate (139) Dec 17, 2004 Maryland

    Doesn’t seem to get much talk but we like Wasserhound, about three miles away. I think their beers are pretty good and like the food. Lot of regulars, friendly folks.
     
  31. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Trader

    Smartmouth pilot house is a few streets away & although not necessarily my favorite local brewery, I’ve heard the spot is nice & they will definitely have a few solid options.
    Bottlecraft is ~10 mins away and although it’s primarily a bottleshop they have a few tables & usually have some good drafts. If you do venture further Reaver is only 20ish mins from the oceanfront & will not disappoint.

    Edit - and yea personally I like wasserhunds pizza more than the beers, but it’s a cool place & the people are nice.
     
    #111 montman, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  32. guinness77

    guinness77 Champion (858) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    [​IMG]
    Walter’s Brunch is amazing. Seriously, this is a class porter. Nice hit of the chocolate up front and then just the perfect amount of syrup on the finish. Benchtop is a gem. Commonwealth is great too.
     
  33. BoardwalkBock

    BoardwalkBock Devotee (455) Aug 18, 2012 New York

    Went to Smartmouth today. While none of the beers were “outstanding”, the 4 I tried weren’t too shabby. Considering I’m 4 mins via feet from there, I had to try it out.

    I wish there were more bars in the immediate area with good beer. I get that it’s a tourist area but I live on a barrier island that is highly reliant on tourism and we have multiple beer bars within a 2 mile stretch. Even the non-beer bars you can find good beer.
     
  34. mikehayz

    mikehayz Initiate (56) Aug 11, 2012 Virginia

    I'll run down what I can think of off the top of my head, I used to live down there:

    Lager Heads is close, it's a "craft beer bar" in the touristy fashion, you might find some decent local options but most of it is core brands and not limited releases.

    Ynot Pizza is on 33rd. I've never been to that location but it is a local chain and they usually have a pretty good tap list.

    Taste is a lunch/deli and while they don't have the largest selection it's usually good core, local brands.

    Home Republic is a brewpub, I've never been impressed with their in-house brewed beer but if there's nowhere else to go you can give it a shot. They used to have guest drafts as well, but I'm not positive they still do.

    Pacifica is on 39th and was one place carrying good beer before craft blew up in VB. Not sure what their list is like these days though.

    Esoteric consistently carries one of the best tap lists in the city/area. Also down that way is Hearth and Craft Burger Bar; I haven't been to either but have heard good things.

    Unrelated to beer: Three Ships coffee is a great local roaster if you're into coffee. Pelon's fish tacos are worth a stop for lunch and isn't far from where you are staying (36th street).

    You are right though, the Oceanfront in VB really does lack a quality stretch of beer and cocktail bars, there are a few peppered in but the vast majority of bars are places to drink macro beer and orange crushes.
     
    #114 mikehayz, Aug 11, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  35. BoardwalkBock

    BoardwalkBock Devotee (455) Aug 18, 2012 New York

    Thanks man. Big help! I’ll check a few of these today. Cheers.
     
  36. magilldm

    magilldm Initiate (51) May 2, 2015 Virginia

    Aloha Snacks is around the corner and has a few draft options that always seem to be great, as well as good can selection. Their food is also great with a low key vibe
     
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  37. Tim725

    Tim725 Disciple (325) Mar 8, 2014 New Jersey

    Do Benchtop cans usually hang around for a bit? I can see that out of their 5 can release, 4 made it through the weekend. Do I have any chance of still picking some up this coming Saturday when I will get a chance to go through?
     
  38. montman

    montman Disciple (353) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Trader

    There isn't a ton of history with Benchtop canning to say with any certainty, but given what they posted yesterday, I'd be surprised if it was all gone by this Saturday. The last few releases some of the cans held over at least week or so.
     
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  39. Tim725

    Tim725 Disciple (325) Mar 8, 2014 New Jersey

    Fair enough, appreciate the response!