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DIY "Of Ale and History" Beer Festival!

Belle Grove would have celebrated its 25th Anniversary of the “Of Ale and History” Beer Fest Saturday, May 9 but the COVID-19 health crisis caused us to cancel it.

In the spirit of the eight tastings of a Beer Fest tasting ticket (or wristband), here are eight beers to learn about with information on how to get them right now.

These businesses have be great supporters of Belle Grove over the years and this is one small way for us to return the favor. There are many, many more too, so enjoy these recommendations and drinking local wherever you may be. While you are sipping, try an online puzzle!



1. Woodstock Brewhouse—open Monday-Thursday 4-8, Sunday 11:30-8 for carry out food and their fabulous craft beer in 32 oz cans and growlers. Their Casey Jones Vanilla Porter is a smooth Porter infused with Madagascar vanilla beans that has hints of rum, molasses, and coffee. Yum!


2. Alesatian Brewing Company is delivering in Winchester. Get a crowler or growler of their awesome beers plus a wood fired pizza from Roma. As one day blurs into another try their “Hazy Mindset” New England style IPA they describe as a “cloud-bomb is bursting with citrus and tropical flavors. A healthy dosing of oats and wheat complimented by a smooth dry finish makes this IPA approachable.”


3. Thanks to Virginia Eagle Distributing for their longtime involvement in the “Of Ale and History” Beer Fest. In the huge array of beers and beverages they supply are some terrific craft options. One example is New Realm Brewery which started in Atlanta and is now also in Virginia Beach. Try their Hoptropolis IPA described as “drenched in tropical flavors of peach, pear, and pineapple.” You can bring home this taste of the beach by picking up a six pack at many retail locations in our area including at Shaffer’s BBQ and Market in Middletown and Shawnee Springs Market in Cross Junction.


4. Box Office Brewery in Strasburg has an amazing, limited release Kill Devil Hill Coconut Rum Porter. They took their Coconut Porter and aged it for 35 days in Outer Banks Distilling Company rum barrels and the result is a smooth porter with tones of coffee, chocolate, and toasted coconut. Bring OBX to your back patio and support a terrific local business—now that’s Total Positivity! Box Office is taking online orders for food and beer (in 4-pack or single cans) for pick up 4-8 daily from their back parking lot off East Washington Street. We CAN get through this together!


5. Star Hill Brewery has been another “Of Ale and History” Beer Fest favorite. On a sunny spring day, what about enjoying their Roxanne Raspberry American Sour? They say it pairs well with grilled salmon, a cheese platter, or lemon bars. You can find it locally at two farm markets, Woodbine Farm Market and West Oaks Farm Market, which have been so great in supplying our community lately.


6. Enjoy the health benefits of fresh ginger root in Winchester Ciderworks Va-Ginga cider described as “a twist on their Malice cider, with a pleasantly zesty finish.” Look for their product at area grocery store or try their a new online system for placing and paying for orders to get cider to go!



7. Join us in raising a pint glass to Winchester Brewworks on their 4th Anniversary this week! They just released a refreshing Tropical Shandy and are doing some great take-out meal deals with local businesses. At there is easy online ordering beer to-go.


8. Your virtual 8-tasting ticket for the “Of Ale and History” Beer Fest! finishes off with Parkway Brewing who hasn’t been to our festival but is warmly invited to join us next year. Their Get Bent Mountain IPA is a West Coast style IPA with flavors of citrus and pine balanced with bready malts. When the world reopens take a trip to Salem to see them or look for them at a tap near you.