Crafted Stories

To Beer or Not to Beer?

In the New Year: To Beer or Not to Beer?

The 2014 holiday season is now just a memory, and all we have to remind us of it are the inbound credit card statements and the extra pounds packed on during the festivities.

As we work to pay off the bills, we dedicate our Januaries year after year to losing those unwanted pounds through every diet scheme and exercise regimen imaginable.

In the face of this dreaded ritual, the craft beer enthusiast is haunted with a particular dilemma: Does an admirer of the brewing arts have to give up beer in order to lose weight?

At Work With Brian Wenger

At work with Brian Wenger

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about those guys driving the beer trucks, meet Brian Wenger, salesman for Virginia Beach-based Hoffman Beverage Company.

Always smiling and eager to answer a question, Wenger employs as much muscle as he does magnetism. He’s hauled his share of kegs up stairwells at places like Belmont House of Smoke during his eight-plus year career.

“You’ve just got to get it done,” he said.

Getting it done is part of it. Enjoying what you do is much more significant, according to Wenger.

Hearty Beer Chili

Hearty Beer Chili 

Makes 10 servings

Answers from the Expert

Tim O’Brien co-owner of Pleasure House Brewing in Virginia Beach answers “What’s good?”

It’s one of the trickiest questions in the beer world, yet we’ve all posed it to a bartender or server at least once. You know how it goes: You want something new, something local or maybe you just want to be poured something beautiful. Next thing you know, you’re throwing caution to the wind, leaving your destiny in the hands of someone else.

Where Beer Meets Technology

Where Beer Meets Technology HR Growler

If you’re looking some place to get the scoop on your favorite craft beer and you own a smartphone, the next five words probably won’t surprise you: There’s an app for that.

Virginia brewery taps 300-year-old beer recipe

CORRECTION: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly referred to the prominent Virginia family by the name Reynolds. The correct name is Randolph. The story also incorrectly said William and Mary was the nation's oldest college. It is the second oldest.


What do you get when you combine water, American persimmons and hops and ferment it with yeast? A beer based on a 300-year-old recipe scribbled in a cookbook kept by Virginia's prominent Randolph family.

Human ancestors developed taste for alcohol 10 million years ago

Happy hour started way earlier than we thought.

Roughly 10 million years ago — long before humans began to store food harvested by agriculture, and long, long before they intentionally fermented food and made a delightfully relaxing ritual of consuming the result — a new study finds that the guts of our primate ancestors evolved the ability to metabolize alcohol.

Black Friday shoppers come for beer

Some people wait for hours in the cold to buy cheap televisions or video games. People in Wisconsin do it for beer.

About 800 people were in line by 8 a.m. Friday — waiting in 15-degree, snowy weather — outside of Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee to buy a limited edition Black Friday brew. In less than four hours, the brewery was sold out of its 5,000 22-ounce bottles, each of which sold for $15.

Brewery may set up shop in Chic's Beach


From West Coast hoppy ales to traditional English styles, Commonwealth Brewing Co. wants to serve them up in Chic’s Beach.

The Planning Commission has unanimously approved a conditional use permit for owner Jeramy Biggie to operate his craft brewery from the vacant Chesapeake Beach Volunteer Fire and Rescue center at 2444 Pleasure House Road.

Biggie plans to renovate the structure and create a brewing and production space with an adjoining tasting room.

Home brewers find kindred spirits at HomeBrewUSA


Butch Brenton loves beer. He loves drinking it. He loves talking about it. And he loves making it. So what was the best way for the 46-year-old mechanical engineer to up his beer-making game? Take a second job at a Norfolk home brew store. "What better way to learn?" the Virginia Beach resident said with a laugh. Brenton is one of about 10 employees at HomeBrewUSA, a cornerstone in the Hampton Roads beer-making community for the past 14 years. The founders of several local breweries got started buying supplies from the store.