Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cured Bacon Festival Charlottesville

     This past Saturday was the Cured Bacon Festival in Charlottesville under the Pavillion downtown. The event was a group of regional locally owned restaurants, mainly from Charlottesville doing their favorite bacon dishes. There were about thirteen restaurants in attendance. You received several tasting tickets and one voting ballot for your favorite restaurant. The beverages of choice for the festival were Star Hill Brewery and Bold Rock Hard Cider. At each restaurant table there was a suggestion for pairing of which Star Hill beer to drink with the food. I thought that was a pretty interesting idea. I attended the event with help from my food assistant, my 11 year old son. He helped me choose which restaurants we would try. The first place we choose was Maya. We tried the Open Faced Sandwhich with jalapeno cheddar corn bread, fresh buttermilk cheese, bacon, and pickled green tomato relish. We ate that quickly. The bacon was perfect, the relish was wonderfully sweet, everything was great together.

     Next we headed over to BBQ Exchange out of Gordonsville. They had three options to choose from. We went with the one that was two for one ticket. Which was a Smoked Bacon served on a bacon-cheddar biscuit (shaped like a pig) with baconaise. It was like a bacon explosion in your mouth. The second offering was a Caramel Bacon Candy Brownie. Needless to say, I didn't get much of that one.

    We walked around a little bit to look and see what else everyone was offering before making our(my) next choice, which was Timberwood Grill. There I had an open face bruschetta BLT with a basil aioli. I did not share this one. It was just perfect. I probably could have used the rest of my tickets here.

     After that we went over to Tin Whistle Irish Pub. We tried their Crispy smashed potatoes topped with bacon, beer braised cabbage, Irish cheddar and green onion. We had to go find a nice shady spot to sit and eat this one. There was a lot of food in this tasting. We were starting to get full. After we recovered, we headed over to Citizen Burger Bar. There we had the Chicken-Fried Steak Slider. This was served with a bacon gravy that you just wanted to drink straight from the container.

   We still were not finished. Next we grabbed some Apple and Maple Bacon Mac-n-Cheese from The Nook.  We both polished this dish off quickly. I thought my son and I had finally hit our breaking point until we made our final stop at Brookville Restaurant. We ended with a Rock Barn Bacon Ice Cream Sundae. They were making ice cream right there on site. The sundae was made up of Bacon Ice Cream, Bacon Fat Waffle Cone, Bacon Peanut Brittle and Bacon Fat Caramel. This was the perfect way to end the very filling and hot day.

     Overall this was a great festival. I wish my stomach would have been big enough to try some of the other dishes. There was a lot of other great bacon creations that I wanted to try. We surely left with our bellies full. I am hoping they will have this festival for years to come. I will definitely be there and I suggest you should be too.

Drink up and Eat Well!

Monday, May 18, 2015


My Saturday was not done when I left the Lake Anna Brewfest. I had to head back to Culpeper, for the soft opening of Far Gohn, the newest addition to Virginia Craft Brew Scene. I went to the brewery with a pretty large group of friends. I had met the owner Steve on a prior occasion, he is super friendly and humble and when we arrived he was busy behind the bar filling up flights and pints and explaining his beers to the very nice crowd that was already there. Of course I would have a flight of all of his beers for myself. On there was a nice lemony Kolsch named Aesel, a nice strong Hefe named Ferhoodle, next was the pale ale Yager Mountain. Rounding out the flight were two strong flavored brews, Sleeping Elefant a nice in your face IPA and Dunkel Dimmel a wonderfully robust porter. All the beers were right on time. I cannot wait for the true grand opening of this fine german tavern style brewery.  I have a feeling this place is going to be one of my favorite places to hang out with friends. I look forward to the many nights of drinking good beers. Please give them a follow on Facebook and on Twitter. Please also check them out when they are permanently open.


This Saturday I ventured to Mineral, Va for the 2nd annual Lake Anna Brewfest. This event was held at the Cutalong, which I believe is a proposed new neighborhood. There were over 30 breweries from around Virginia and some from out of the state as far away as San Diego. These were most of the breweries in attendance:

The event was held on the perfect day, not a cloud in the sky. It was a little warm but there was plenty of nice cold beer that kept me going. I walked around the festival for a little while, trying beers from old friends like Hardywood, O'Connor Brewing, Old Bust Head and from some breweries that I haven't tried like Sunken City, Fair winds Brewing and Parkway Brewing. When I got tired of the sun I headed over to the VIP tent where South St. and Blue Mountain Brewery had special dark beers for me waiting. South St. had Anastasia's Chocolate Fantasy which rates at 10.5% ABV and 40 IBU's which has a wonderful flavor and taste. Blue Mountain had their Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Dark Hollow, this is one of my all time favorites and it is 10% ABV! Very glad to see it a festival.  So I cooled off and wondered around a bit more and met up with Virginia Brew Pass. This is a great little setup if you really love going to breweries and drinking beer. Definitely give their site a view. I continued onward where I met up with Brian from Heritage Brewing  and Mike from O'connor Brewing.

Brian got me a nice glass of their American Expedition Honey Ginger Wheat Ale. It was very clean and refreshing. I ended my adventure by visiting 3 Stars Brewing, which I have never had, I tried some of their Ghost White IPA. It was very tasty. Then moved to Brother's Craft Brewing for some Slide their delightful Scotch Ale, and finally Three Notch'd Brewing for their nice and fruity 40 Mile IPA. This was a great day. Met some really nice people and drank some really great beer. I look forward going to this event again and again. Hopefully you will think about it also.

Maybe I will see you there. Until then, Drink Up and Eat Well!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Spencer Devon Brewing

As I continued my American Craft Beer Week I ventured to Spencer Devon Brewing in historic downtown Fredericksburg, Va. When you walk into this facility, you do not get this brewery industrial feel. This space is beautiful, from the shiny steel behind the glass, to the very modern relaxing feel. I arrived at lunch time and there was already a decent crowd there. I took a seat close to the bar. The wait staff were extremely helpful and polite. The thing about Spencer Devon is that is not just a brewery, it is a restaurant. I don't mean a chicken fingers and fries(not that there is anything wrong with that), it's a real gastro pub. Their wonderful head chef Justin Cunningham has created a great menu.

I started my beer adventure with a flight of four of their brews:

Sunken Road Belgian Ale 5.5% ABV, 23 IBU-pear and banana

Very crisp- great on summer day

Rapahannock River Water Brown Ale ABV 4% 26 IBU nuts, toffee, earthy hops

Fall Line APA ABV 5% 36 IBU citrus, pine, tropical fruit

Straight up hops, then just disappears, makes you want to keep drinking it to get that feel again

Rocko's Milk Stout 4.5% ABV IBU 26 creamy chocolaty hints of coffee.

I enjoyed all of the beers tremendously and I give kudos to their head brewer John Ritenour and assistant brewer Mariah Gavin. While I was trying their tasty beers, I decided to try some food. I ordered a BSLT which is a sausage stuffed pork belly served on an onion ciabatta bun with romaine lettuce, an apple cider aioli and topped with a fried green tomato. This sandwich was beyond delicious.

I had the opportunity to talk to owner Shawn Phillips, between him checking on everyone at each table to make sure everything was going alright. He stopped more than once to tell me about the brewery. Personally I love when owners care enough about their product that they talk to everyone and make sure they are enjoying their experience. I completely enjoyed this experience and will be coming back with friends I'm sure multiple times. Be sure to visit their website follow them on Facebook and Twitter @sdbrewing. This is definitely the place to Drink Up and Eat Well!!!!



This week has been American Craft Beer Week. A celebration of craft beers throughout the United States. There have been many events put on by local breweries from music to new special brews. I celebrated in the only way I knew how. I decided to drink beers from Virginia and a couple other out state breweries Monday through Thursday. I then visited the brand new Spencer Devon Brewing Company in downtown Fredericksburg on Friday.Next I traveled to Mineral, VA on Saturday for the Lake Anna Brewfest. I ended my celebration Saturday evening by attending the soft opening for Far Gohn Brewing in Culpeper, VA.

 I started the week off on Monday by drinking a different craft beer everyday. I started with Mother Tupper's Back of the Cupboard Imperial Rye Ale. This was a collaboration between Lost Rhino Brewing out of Ashburn Va and Tupper's Beer out of Maryland. This brew rates at 9.5% ABV and 94 IBUs. Normally this exceeds my hoppy tolerance but this beer was wonderfully smooth. It had a great full sweet flavor and I would recommend this beer to anyone.

Tuesday was the day for a Chai Spiced Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing out of San Diego, California. When I took a drink of this wonderfully dark beer the spices hit your tongue like there is no tomorrow and at 10.5% ABV I suggest sharing it with someone.

Wednesday brought about another collaboration between breweries. This one was Schwarzbier Lager called Midnight Mischief. This was brewed by Epic Brewing out of Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with our own Devils Backbone for the 2015 Collaboration Brewfest in Denver. Beer comes in at 5.5% ABV and has a good strong hop flavor. If you are into that then this beer is for you.

Thursday was the end of my individual bottle adventure. I ended it with a good strong 9.3% ABV smooth 39 IBU Three Chopt Tripel Ale by Licking Hole Creek out of Goochland, Va. I poured this into a nice frosted pint glass and sat and shared it with some good friends. It was the perfect beer for sitting on the back deck on warm spring night.

I personally suggest finding a place that carries these kind of brews and trying them if you have the opportunity.

Drink Up and Eat Well!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Tin Cannon Brewing Company

  I started off this weekend at what I consider my home away from home. Tin Cannon Brewing Company in Gainesville. I have been to Tin Cannon multiple times and I believe I've tried every beer that they have made from their English Brown Ale  to their Peanut Butter Porter. This weekend I began with one of their most recent beers, Honey Were on A Date which is a delicious Belgian wit infused with clover honey and dates. At 5.8% ABV this is one of my new favorite beers. I next moved to Vaughn's Peanut Butter Porter with get this...a scoop of vanilla ice cream! The flavor of the chocolate malt and peanut butter with the ice cream compliment each other perfectly and at 7% ABV this is the perfect treat. I finished my evening with a smooth Black IPA call Busted Pipe. Another 7% ABV was a great way to finish off the evening. I want to give a big thank you to John, Aaron, Jose, Sabrina, John, Sarah and and the rest of the great staff there. Their knowledge of all the beer and their out going friendliness makes it a place worth visiting time and time again. Be sure to visit them at, follow them on twitter @tincannonbrewco and on facebook here.

I was supposed to do multiple events this weekend, but due to schedule conflicts and some cancellations I was not able to. I will be heading to Lake Anna Brewfest next weekend though. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Drink up and eat well!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

    I visited Old Bust Head Brewery today in Fauquier County. I stopped by to try their new Cafe Vanilla Porter. All I can say is delicious! It has a great coffee taste with wonderful vanilla undertones. This porter is perfect for the person who doesn't like the taste of beer but loves the taste of coffee. At 5.1% ABV its not the strongest beer, but you could definitely get in trouble. I'm sure I'll be returning to enjoy more of this Porter before it is gone.

    I had originally stopped to just taste the beer, but on my way out I met one of the owner's Julie Broaddus. She is one of the nicest people you will meet. I told her how much I enjoyed their new beer. We had a great conversation about the brewery as she took me for a tour of the facility. I learned a lot about the sustainability of the brewery which she is very proud of. Old Bust Head has done a great job with the look and feel of their brewery and the great taste of their beer. I strongly
encourage you to make a trip out to their location if you have not had the chance. You can check out their website at follow them on twitter @oldbusthead or on facebook at
 Old Bust Head.

I will be visiting this brewery again and again for a very long time.

Drink up and eat well!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May 3, 2015

I wanted to follow up today with a quick review of Uncle Elders BBQ here in Culpeper. Uncle Elder's is relatively new to Culpeper and is your typical BBQ restaurant. They serve the typical ribs, brisket, smoked sausage, pulled pork and other various food items. Today I started with the BBQ brisket and chili nacho's.

These probably are some of the best nacho's I have had in a very long time. Homemade chips with lettuce, cheese, brisket, tomato, BBQ sauce, and chili, who does that? They do! They have just enough heat to keep it interesting.

I then followed it up with the rib and pulled pork platter with fried sweet corn.
The ribs were on the brink of perfection, they fell right off the bone and were not extremely smoky, they were just right. the pulled pork was tender and delicious.  The sweet corn was the perfect addition. If you ever get to Culpeper please try this little place. Check their site for their menu at

Drink up and eat well!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 2, 2015

I went to the Derby-Q today which was an inaugural event put on by the City of Fairfax for people to enjoy beer, food, music and the Kentucky Derby. There were several Northern Virginia breweries and some not so Northern Virginia. Representing NOVA was Tin Cannon Brewing Company from Gainesville, Old Bust Head Brewing Company out of Fauquier County, Lost Rhino Brewing Company from Ashburn, Adroit Theory Brewing from Purcellville, Port City Brewing Company from Alexandria and Forge Brew Works out of Lorton. The out of towners were Brothers Craft Brewing(formerly 3 Brothers) out of Harrisonburg, Devil's Backbone from Rockbridge County, and Bold Rock Hard Cider from Nellysford. Now I have had several of the beers from most of the breweries from either visiting their brewery or from past beer events. Everyone there was extremely friendly and willing to talk about their beer. The stand out beers for me were Tin Cannon's Busted Pipe Black IPA and Old Bust Head's Vixen Irish Red. The food for this event on the other hand I felt could have been better. There were several BBQ places and they had run out of ribs before 5 o'clock for an event that lasted until 7. The one stand out of everything that I ate was the Bison hot dog from The Meat House which is a butcher shop in Fairfax. For an inaugural event that was put on by the City of Fairfax I would say it was a great success. If anything I would definitely go back for the breweries. I am looking forward to future events and brewery trips and checking out new restaurants in the Northern and Central Virginia areas, until then drink up and eat well!!
Newer Posts Home