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Long Weekend Ahoy! Food Trucks. Live Music. New Beers. Bonus Hours.

BeerAdvocate’s Class of 2016: 34 of the Best New Breweries in the US

Williamsburg Brewery Recognized Nationally by BeerAdvocate Magazine ahead of 1-Year Anniversary

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia – On the cusp of its first anniversary, The Virginia Beer Company was recently recognized as one of the top new breweries in the country by BeerAdvocate magazine. As part of BeerAdvocate’s annual “Class Of” honors, 34 breweries out of the 861 new breweries that opened across the country in 2016 were selected as the best in their class. Virginia Beer Co. was one of two Virginia breweries selected for last year’s honors.

“The past year has been an overwhelming experience,” noted Co-Founder Robby Willey. “But overwhelming in all of the best ways possible. We came back to Williamsburg because of our connections to William & Mary and have worked hard to build a business that could contribute to the entire Williamsburg community. To be recognized nationally for our business and our beers in our first year of operation is, well…overwhelming!”

The Virginia Beer Company – located at 401 Second Street in Williamsburg, VA – began brewing in late January 2016 and opened its doors to the public two months later in March. The brewery features four flagship brands, which have recently entered the market packaged in 12 oz. cans, along with a growing rotation of small batch recipes. In total, eight beers and a weekly cask offering are regularly available to enjoy in the brewery’s 2000 sq. ft. taproom and 2000 sq. ft. outdoor beer garden.

“We brewed one hundred batches in 333 days – not too shabby for our first calendar year!” exclaimed Co-Founder Chris Smith. “All told, we brewed 57 unique beers in 2016. Five of those beers are still biding their time in various barrels, waiting for a 2017 release. That is a new beer for the taproom about every seven days or so following the opening day lineup we had available on March 26, 2016!”

Brewmaster Jonathan Newman, formerly of SweetWater Brewing Company in Atlanta, continues to focus on experimentation. “Beer is a work in progress,” he says. “It’s an expression of ideas that are coming to fruition.” Such experimentation will feature prominently in Virginia Beer Co.’s 2017 plans.

On the heels of its first specialty can release (Fresh Powder, a Double India Pale Ale brewed with experimental Lupulin Powder), which sold out in less than 24 hours, The Virginia Beer Company team is now preparing for its one-year anniversary celebration, which is planned for March 24-26, 2017. Scheduled beer releases for the event include a Porter infused with coffee from Aroma’s Specialty Coffees in Williamsburg and the brewery’s first-ever large format bottle releases, which will feature two variants of a Russian Imperial Stout, half aged in Bourbon barrels and half aged in Scotch casks.

Events for the anniversary weekend include food trucks all three days, dual bottle releases and live music from Good Shot Judy on 3/24, an all-day music festival on 3/25, and a jazz brunch on 3/26. More information and tickets for the music festival on 3/25 can be found by visiting the brewery’s website at

BeerAdvocate’s Class of 2016: 34 of the Best New Breweries in the US: