The Secret Garden: Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery in Richmond, Virginia

Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery - Mike

Michael Brandt, co-owner, brewer, and winemaker at Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery in Richmond.

I spend a lot of time visiting breweries. A lot. It may have something to do with the fact that I’m a beer writer, but in all honesty, I’d probably be doing it anyway.

Every time I walk into a place where beer is born, I walk in with fresh eyes, and I’m pretty much just as excited every time. But certainly, there are standouts, and every now and then, a place will strike me as special. Special not necessarily because of its success or its status, but because of a feeling I get when I spend time there. In Richmond, that brewery for me was Garden Grove Brewery and Urban Winery. Continue reading


Richmond Recap: Tasting and Touring with Tom Sullivan, Co-founder of Ardent Craft Ales

Tom Sullivan Ardent Craft Ales

Tom Sullivan, co-founder of Ardent Craft Ales

Beercations are a great way to explore a new city, see what other brewers are up to around the country, and in our case last weekend, avoid New Years Eve in New York City.

We set out on a southbound journey to Richmond, where a growing beer scene (32 breweries in the greater Richmond area, and about 20 in the city itself) has warranted it a worthy destination for beer travelers. Bonus: their tourism board has been boasting the Richmond Beer Trail (#RVABeerTrail), and who doesn’t love organized beer touring fun?  Continue reading

2017 Best Nine Instagram Photos

Beer Affair - 2017 Best Nine

The photos you liked the most on Instagram @BeerAffair in 2017.

Beer Affair 2017 Most Liked Photos on Instagram

The “2017 Best Nine.” I thought it was a silly trend at first, but eventually came around to see the value in what viewers liked the most on the @BeerAffair Instagram account over the course of 2017. Of course, every moment of my love affair with beer is special to me, and some of these moments are meaningful, but what I found really interesting is how many of them are, well, sorta not. Continue reading

#WomanCrushWednesday: Anne Becerra


#WomanCrushWednesday: Anne Becerra

Beer Cred:

Anne Becerra has been actively involved in the beer industry since she “hustled her way into a job” at the Ginger Man, one of New York’s premier beer bars, after returning from an RV trip that would change her life. A former marketing/advertising employee, she realized after quitting her job and traveling across the country and back that she wouldn’t be returning to a desk job.

Today, Anne heads up the beverage program at Treadwell Park, a beer hall and restaurant with locations in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Financial District, where she makes sure to spotlight international classics as well as newer, trendier brews.

“New breweries are fun and exciting, and certainly we want to support them, but we also want to make sure it’s not just chasing trends,” she said. “[That’s] not sustainable for anybody, for breweries, for towns, or for bars. You really have to give credit where credit’s due.”

Well Said:

“A nod to English beer or German beer is not boring. It’s consistent. It’s historical. It is life for so many people. I want to try to really allow people to see how good [the classics] can be and how fun [they] can be, even though they’ve been around for hundreds of years. Appreciate what you’ve got, why it’s special…it’s lasted this long for a reason.”

Find Anne at Treadwell Park or follow her adventures online at @annelikesbeer and @beerincontext. Read about Anne’s latest project, the Cellar at Treadwell Park, here.

Beer Affair

Blue Point and Popular Mechanics Launch Limited Edition Lager

Blue Point Brewing is on one lately. This month, they announced distribution of their first ‘Hazy Bastard’ IPA in 16 oz cans; they’re canning other beers with wacky ingredients like seaweed and beach plum; they hosted an experiential marketing gig, bringing Blue Point beer and beach vibes to the Lower East Side (complete with boardwalk, relaxation pod and “underwater” bar—see photos here); and they’ll soon be opening a new production facility and brewpub in their hometown of Patchogue, Long Island.

Perhaps the most impressive of their latest endeavors, though, at least to the small group of beer nerds who got to taste it, is 1902, a “pre-prohibition lager” brewed in collaboration with Popular Mechanics magazine.

1902 Lager (Beer Fridge)

Not bad for an office beer fridge.

Continue reading

Hardship and Homebrew: ‘Beerland’ Season Two Tackles Race, Disability, and Other Challenging Themes (With Beer)

Meg Gill Beerland Season 2

Meg Gill critiques a brew in Beerland Season 2. / Photo credit: Viceland

I recently had the chance to, once again, interview Meg Gill, co-founder and president of Golden Road Brewing and star of Beerland, a television show on Viceland that follows Gill’s travels across the country as she meets some of the nation’s most interesting, unusual and fervid homebrewers.

After a successful debut last spring, Beerland has been renewed for a second season, and its five episodes tackle a  cornucopia of themes just in time for fun family discussions during the holidays: among them, race, immigration, poverty, disability, illness, and the call to utilize one’s talents and capabilities to better the larger community. Continue reading