Friday, September 30, 2011

Forget the Glass Night

Wednesday is the Steal the Glass night at Park Lane Pub. This week we stopped in for dinner with family and a friend. I was pretty excited when I saw the picture of a nice looking nonic pint the restaurant had posted to their Facebook page to promote the featured brewery, Brooklyn Brewery. Alas, upon our arrival I found out that the glass was actually a standard shaker pint.  Oh well, we were there for the food and beer anyway. (Park Lane later removed the post and replaced it with a photo of the actual glass they were using.)

Three Brooklyn beers were offered; Local 1, Lager, and East India Pale Ale. Our server informed us that the Local 1 came with two glasses, "like sharing a bottle of wine" he said. While I do enjoy Local 1, our plans called for attending a lecture after dinner, so I opted for a "smaller" beer, the East India Pale Ale.

The server brought my drink, I realized I had made an assumption I should not have. She had in her hands my Brooklyn glass, and a bottle of the beer. When describing the beers offered, the server had mentioned the large bottles of Local 1, but didn't mention the other beers were in bottles. Being in a pub, it didn't even cross my mind. "Oh, it's in a bottle." I remarked. "Of course, that's how we can offer so many," was the reply. Okay, whatever, it's a good beer. I poured my beer, which didn't fill the glass, of course.

Brooklyn East India Pale Ale pours a clear amber color with a thin head. There's not much of an aroma, mostly some mild earthy and fruit notes. The flavor was much stronger than indicated by the smell. The beer has a nice caramel sweetness, followed by a fairly intense citrus rind bitterness. That bitter hop flavor lingers for a long time.

Despite a couple of initial disappointments, I enjoyed my dinner. The beer was good, the Pub Club sandwich satisfying, and of course the enjoyable company. We had a great time talking and laughing, including some joking about the glass mixup and the bottled beer surprise. Afterwards we enjoyed the lecture, followed by a stop for ice cream at Carl's. On the way home, it hit me. "Where's my glass?" Sitting on the table back at the restaurant, that's where. Oh well. At least it wasn't the nonic pint glass!

Flintstones Ad - Friday Funny

The Flintstones TV show had its debut on this day in 1960. The cartoon series ran on ABC for six years. This ad apparently never made it to the airwaves.

"Yabba dabba doo!"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's Good To Be An Infidel

Ten years ago a group of cowards attacked the United States in a barbaric exhibition of their "beliefs." Sadly, to this day we still are under threat of attacks motivated by the same ideology. Inspired by the folks at Bacon and Boomsticks, we decided that September 11 would be a great day to celebrate the many things that make us "kafirs" in the eyes of these evil-doers, all in good politically incorrect fun of course. In doing so, we also thumbed our noses at some in the U.S. who also appear to hate freedom and the Constitution.

We started our infidel day as we start every Sunday, at our church. This day celebrating a Mass for the innocent lives slaughtered on September 11, 2001. Next we headed off to the range to enjoy a couple of hours of shooting sports. One of the basic American freedoms, enumerated in our Constitution, is the right to bear arms. Those who would seek to control our lives and limit our freedoms, naturally are put off by our God-given right to self-defense. Tyrants fear an armed people most of all. We must also be conscience of the fact that there are many right here in America actively striving take away our gun rights, leaving us defenseless, who at the same time express their support for the "rights" of those who seek to destroy us.

That done, next up in our celebration was the consumption of some alcoholic beverages, in the form of some good craft beer. The selections I brought home for the day had apropos names;  HopDevil Ale from the Victory Brewing Company, and also Crispen Cider, The Saint, an apple cider brewed with Belgian beer yeast.

As we often do, we ended our day enjoying a great meal, this time featuring the meat of Sus domesticus. A slow-cooked pork roast served as the main course of the feast. For side dishes we also enjoyed a potato and bacon casserole, along with a wonderful pull-apart bacon bread.

The enemies of freedom, both domestic and abroad, thrive on fear. Any time we limit the enjoyment of our freedoms, they taste victory. We all changed on that fateful day ten years ago, when America looked evil right in the eyes. But we didn't surrender. Despite the levity of our "celebration," it's important to remember and always be thankful that we are still free to worship, play, eat and drink as we please.

“Lan astaslem.”
I will not submit. I will not surrender.

St. Michael the Archangel

September 29 is the Feast of the Archangels — St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and St. Michael. In these troubling times, we implore especially the protection of St. Michael.

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Remembering Mom

Jacqueline Turley
March 11, 1937 - September 28, 2010
It was one year ago today that my mother passed away. It's really hard to believe that a whole year has passed. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and shed a tear. Some days quite a few tears are shed. Some days the pain is greater, almost too much to bear. Does one ever get over such a loss? I hope not.

I do find comfort in my faith that mom will find peace with God. She suffered a lot over the years, but always kept her smile. Her life revolved around her love for her family and friends. In talking with her friends over the past year, they always relate how much she did for the people around her. She really cared about other people and didn't hesitate to show it. Sure, mom kept Hallmark in business because she never missed a chance to send a card, usually several cards, for any and all occasions. But she also expressed herself in her own more personal ways, never letting her stroke and resulting speech issues stop her. I still remember those long, long, bear hugs she gave when greeting or saying good-bye.

I'm finding out now that mom saved everything. Everything. I have been treated to so many memories while going through the papers and photos she put away. Even the $2.37 IOU she apparently wrote to me when I was a child. I don't recall it, but, mom, that "debt" has been repaid manyfold.

Mom, I love you and pray that someday I'll feel your hugs once again.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Working Toward Less Secret Happy Hours

The Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABC) is reviewing the current restrictions against the advertising of specials and happy hours by Virginia pubs and restaurants. Unlike their counterparts in Maryland and D.C., Virginia establishments can advertise special events only INSIDE the restaurant, limiting the exposure to potential customers. The Washington Examiner reports that the VABC is reviewing all of its rules and regulations, for the first time in 20 years. Among those antiquated regulations is "an absolute ban on happy hour advertisements anywhere" according to Curtis Coleburn of the ABC Board.

Fixing these rules would put Virginia restaurants on equal footing with their neighbors across the river. It would also allow them to make use of email, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Virginia ABC is accepting input from merchants until October 17.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: "Virginia weighs changes in alcohol ad laws".

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Flying Dog Secret Stash

Arriving home after a long day at work and finding a package from Flying Dog waiting for me is always a day brightener. Earlier this week a bottle of Flying Dog Secret Stash Harvest Ale arrived. The enclosed description was very intriguing and I didn't wait long to try it out. The brewery incorporates locally grown ingredients when creating Secret Stash — Cascade and Chinook hops, red wheat, sweet corn, potatoes and honey. Spices and a Saison yeast strain round out the recipe

Flying Dog Secret Stash pours a golden amber color with a thick, fluffy head. The aroma is earthy with an interesting funkiness. The first sip hits with a sharp tang that was a bit of a surprise. Immediately the complex flavors start emerging. Grassy hops, Saison funk, bitter hops, it's all there. The beer has a moderately high carbonation level. The finish is dry with a lingering bitterness.

Secret Stash is an annual project from Flying Dog Brewery. The recipe changes every year "due to harvest availability and the whims and interest of the fine brewers at Flying Dog Brewery." I've not had previous years' batches, but I certainly enjoyed this one. Unfortunately by the time I started figuring out all the nuances in the flavor, my glass was empty. And that happened all too quickly. The beer is rumored to be showing up at stores and pubs in Virginia, Maryland and DC. I do think I need to find a few more bottles of Secret Stash to further interpret its secrets.

FTC Notice: I drank and reviewed this beer of my own free will. No compensation was received for the review.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Belgium Considers East Coast Site

By now everyone is aware that we can get (some) New Belgium Brewing beers in Virginia and other Eastern Coast states. Now comes the news that the Colorado brewery is looking at expanding their brewing operations to the east as well. The Asheville, NC Mountain Express is reporting:
Asheville has seen rumors swirl for weeks that New Belgium is considering the city for a new brewery and looking for economic development incentives. Today, Sept. 22, Council member Jan Davis publicly confirmed the rumors at a Council of Independent Business Owners forum. He tells Xpress that while he welcomes the company, he's skeptical about the need for incentives.

In response to a question on how to improve the business environment at the CIBO forum for Asheville City Council candidates, Davis revealed that the city is communicating with New Belgium over a possible move, and that economic incentives for the company are a possibility.

"We have an opportunity with the New Belgium brewery," Davis said. "We're going to have to make a decision on that, whether to help the brewery with incentives or encourage them to be here because of the quality of life."
An East Coast brewery location would undoubtedly increase the availability of New Belgium beers in the surrounding states. It's been previously reported here that Sierra Nevada Brewing is also considering an East Coast expansion. A site in Virginia is on the list of places being considered by the California brewery. Is this a trend? It's just been a few years since Denver-based Flying Dog Brewery relocated to Maryland.

Exciting times indeed!

See: It's official: New Belgium looking at Asheville expansion

Big Families - Friday Funny

For my friends who come from large families...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

East Coast Hop Farming

A well-done and interesting video report on hop growing in upstate New York.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fredericksburg Area Oktoberfest This Weekend

If you missed the Capital Alehouse Oktoberfest this past weekend you can still get your Prosit! on this coming weekend. The 9th Annual Fredericksburg Area Oktoberfest kicks off Friday at the Blue & Gray Brewery, and continues through Saturday. There will be two three tents full of family fun — sing alongs, stein holding contest, Oompah music, ginger bread walk, authentic, delicious German foods and pastries, and free fall crafts table for the kids.

If you can't wait until Friday, Lee's Retreat has prepared a special Oktoberfest menu for this week. Blue & Gray's popular Oktoberfest Bier is also on tap at the brewpub. And just a word of warning, this beer sells out quickly every year so get your growler filled before it's gone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Corcoran Brewing to Expand

Just a few weeks ago we reported on Corcoran Brewing's grand opening. And now, they are already planning to expand. From the Loudon Times:
The grand opening of Corcoran Brewing Company on July 30 drew more than 900 Northern Virginians from as far as Arlington and many home brewers. They were sold out the first day. The next weekend the brewery opened up for tastings and the six label varieties, sold by the growler, were tapped out within 1.5 hours.

“After three weeks of being opened, we decided to expand,” Corcoran says. “We were overwhelmed by the response from the community and the response to the quality of the beer.”
I've been following the progress of Corcoran Brewing on their Facebook page and they are developing quite a following. I hope to post some personal reports about their beers very soon.

Read the entire Loudon Times article here.

Before Toys Were Virtual

I came across this old toy ad recently, from the days before toys were virtual. It gave me a chuckle, and a bit of nostalgic yearning.

When boys were allowed to be boys. Before political correctness weakened our society. Compare this to today where the hoplohobes in Buffalo, NY are holding "buy back" programs for nerf guns. Apparently they find that easier than actually teaching their children responsibility and respect for human life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Different Smoke at The Pub

Unlike in years past, we frequently enjoy a smoke-free evening at The Pub. My son and I had a recent "guy's dinner out" and I found another kind of smoke at The Pub. And this was of the sort that I very much enjoyed. Four house beers from Battlefield Brewing were available during this visit. One of the listings was Khe Sanh Märzen, described as brewed with "6 different malts including one that is dried over an open flame." Tempting enough to try for sure!

Khe Sanh Märzen pours a dark reddish-brown color with a very thin beige head. The aroma is faint with hints of caramel. I did not detect any smoke aroma initially, but as the beer warmed the smoky notes became more prevalent in the aroma. The immediate flavor hit made me think of a hoppy brown ale, though that is very quickly augmented with a pleasing smoke flavor. I found the smokey aspect to be moderate and not overpowering or distracting. The finish leaves behind a long-lingering bitterness backed by the smoked malt flavor.

I paired my beer with one of The Pub's burgers (what else?) and some hot wings. The smoky Märzen had an interesting cooling effect on the spiciness of the wings.

The thing about "smoked beers" is that you either love them or hate them. Just as I was telling my son that some smoke-flavored beers are almost overpowering in their bacon-ness, but this one was nicely balanced, our waitress come by and asked how I liked my "bacon beer." She told me the flavor was too much for her — she loved bacon, but not in her beer. After I gave her my impression, she told she had taken a growler of the Märzen home and slowed cooked some ribs in it, and they were excellent. I bet they were!

On another note, I recently remarked how much of the beer-drinking populace is enamored of weak, "factory beers." I was reminded of that again at The Pub. While I was enjoying my meal at this local brewpub, with fresh beer brewed onsite, I overheard the order from a nearby table, "Bud Lite please." To each his own I suppose.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Constitution Day

Today marks one of the most important days in the history of these United States. Unfortunately it will pass unnoticed to many Americans. On September 17, 1787 the Constitution of the United States was signed in Philadelphia, establishing the government we live by, and enjoy today. The Constitution, and subsequent amendments, define limits on government, as well as the freedoms we enjoy as citizens, and the responsibilities that go along with those freedoms.

Unfortunately there are those who wish to weaken, or ignore completely, this document. Attacks come from both sides of the political spectrum. The most egregious attacks come from those people who swore oaths to uphold the Constitution.

Don't let this anniversary pass unnoticed. Take a moment to truly think about what it would mean to lose ANY of the rights enumerated in this document.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blue Mountain Opens Expanded Brewpub

Here's a video tour of the expanded Blue Mountain Brewery in Nelson County. The new brewpub and beer garden opened to the public on September 14. And it looks great.

My only thought after watching that is ROAD TRIP!

Hat tip to The Hook.

It's a Dog Thing - Friday Funny

Dog owners will understand...

Thanks to Rhymes With Orange.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Tale of Two Richmond Breweries

Work It, Richmond has an interesting article contrasting two Richmond craft breweries:
Unlike many industries wracked by recession, the craft beer industry is growing, and fast.

Richmond’s two commercial brewers represent opposite ends of the spectrum. One, Legend Brewing Co., is almost 18 years old and recently completed a major expansion that included the purchase of a bottling machine, something that only makes economic sense when a brewery is stable and producing a sizeable amount of beer. The other, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, put its first full batch of beer into tanks last week and will start selling to the public early next month.
I'm sure that Musings readers are quite familiar with, and enjoy, the beers from Legend Brewing. Hardywood Park is a newcomer that we mentioned previously. I'm looking forward to trying their brews soon.

See "Richmond brewers say slow and steady approach is key to growth" for the complete article.

That's Right, 27 Years!

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wife of 27 years!

Today Colleen and I celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. I won't say it seems like "just yesterday," because that would cheapen the significance of all those years. It's been a wonderful 27 years and I've treasured every moment of it.

Colleen, thank you for being a wonderful wife, a loving mother to our son, and a blessing to everyone whose life you touch.

♥ ♥ ♥ I love you! ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beer Can Wireless Signal Booster

From the interesting but useless information department...

At about the same time I was struggling with wireless connectivity at home, this story started popping up in various blogs and forums. (Sorry, I don't recall where I saw it first to give a hat tip.)

The idea is that you can use a beer can to boost your wireless signal.  There's no shortage of good beers available in cans. So I thought maybe this would be fun to try and then write a post for the Musings. Then it hit me, my wireless router has no external antenna. In fact, a search on a big box electronics store website for the best selling wireless routers reveals that very few wireless routers actually have external antennas these days.


Follow the link to read more:
How to boost your WiFi signal with a beer can

Sunday, September 11, 2011



"So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah's Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until the war lays down its burden. Thus [you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out Jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam (i.e. are saved from the punishment in the Hell-fire) or at least come under your protection], but if it had been Allah's Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost," --Surah 47, 4*

Begets this:

Today we pause to remember the innocent victims slaughtered that day 10 years ago. May God grant them eternal peace in His presence.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Flying Dog Single Hop Centennial IPA

Flying Dog Single Hop Imperial IPA (Centennial) is another beer in the Maryland brewery's Single Hop Series. The Simcoe version was reviewed here previously.

The beer pours a cloudy marmalade color with a thick off-white head. The head drops to leave a thin layer, and lots of lacing behind. I picked up the floral and honey aromas right away as I poured. The flavor is citrus fruit — I'm thinking grapefruit and orange. The citrus flavors have some sweetness, much like the "meat" of the fruit, rather than bitter rind. This Double IPA comes with a 10% ABV that doesn't hide. Centennial IPA is a somewhat boozy beer, but it does still go down quite smoothly. The mouthfeel is syrupy and leaves a sticky finish behind.

I enjoyed this version of Flying Dog's Single Hop IPA while relaxing after a long work week. It was just the sort of beer for slowly sipping, at home, with no place to go.

I received this bottle of beer in an unsolicited package from Flying Dog Brewery. Flying Dog is very active in reaching out to the community and frequently sends samples out to bloggers. And while I don't write about every beer they send, I do appreciate their generosity. (Other breweries take note.)

FTC Notice: I drank and reviewed this beer of my own free will. No compensation was received for the review.

God vs The Liberal - Friday Funny

It's an oldie but goodie...

A liberal college professor stood on his chair and said, "God, if you exist then knock me off this chair." Nothing happened. To the quiet class he said, "See! Now I'll give it a couple more minutes." A Marine Vet stood up; punched him in the face knocking him off the chair; and sat back down. As the Professor came to, he looked at his student and asked, "Why did you do that?" "God was busy protecting my buddies still fighting for your right to say and do stupid stuff like this, so He sent me!"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Virginia Does Whiskey Too

Readers of these Musings already know about the many great beers being produced in Virginia. Recently we learned that the wine industry in the Commonwealth is experiencing fantastic growth as well. Now comes the news that a Virginia distillery is making its mark as well.
Less than two years after Becky and Scott Harris produced their first spirits in a modest space in a Purcellville industrial park, interest in their liquors has become such that this year they will double their 2010 production to 20,000 bottles. Even better, they expect to turn a profit for the first time, despite having absorbed heavy capital costs, such as the purchase of a $200,000 German-made still.
Catoctin Creek is the first distillery to operate in Virginia since Prohibition. They produce organic rye whisky and gin, brandy from Virginia wines, and seasonal specialty liqueurs, which are distributed in Virginia and six other states.

See "Loudoun distiller plans to double its production" for more information on Catoctin Creek's success and expansion plans.

Monday, September 5, 2011

USPSA Area 8 Championship

The USPSA Area 8 Championship was held September 1- 4 in Fredericksburg. 310 shooters converged to compete on ten challenging and fun courses of fire. I shot the match over two days - completing 5 stages Saturday morning and 5 on Sunday morning. While I did not shoot as well as I had hoped, I had a great time. How many other sports allow the amateur enthusiast to play on the same field, at the same time, as those who are at the top of the sport? The match was extremely well-organized and ran quite smoothly, as least from the competitor's point of view. The Match Director, RO's, volunteers, and everyone involved are to be congratulated for putting on a successful match. Area 8 has a well-deserved reputation for putting on an excellent match, and they sure didn't disappoint this year.

The weather Saturday morning was very pleasant with slightly overcast skies and comfortable temperatures. Our squad began the day on Stage 8, a classic 30 round field course. This was a great warmup to get the day started. Stage 9 provided a couple a couple of swingers activated by hitting steel poppers on opposite sides of the stage. This required the shooter to run back and forth to activate then engage the targets. Stage 10 was where I returned my best performance of the weekend. Four shooting positions, and three reloads, made for a quick run. I happened to be able to watch Grand Master Travis Thomasie shoot this particular stage on Friday - maybe that gave me some inspiration!

The most challenging stage for me was Stage 1, which contained two Texas Stars. I think I've now doubled the number of times I've shot these rotating target arrays. The final course of fire on Saturday, Stage 2, was unique, and certainly nothing I've ever done before. The shooter was strapped into a seat with wheels that rode on rails, and pulled himself forward while shooting at targets on either side. It's stages like this that make regional matches so interesting and so much fun.

For the second day of shooting, on Sunday morning, the weather was a warmer and more humid. Stages 3 and 4 required a bit of memory work to make sure all targets were engaged. Nothing extremely complicated, but I've struggled in the past with keeping my plan straight (once that buzzer goes off!) and I was pleased to work on that a little more. Stage 5, the "shaky bridge" stage gave us another out-of-the-ordinary challenge. The shooter was forced to engage some targets while standing on a suspended platform. I was pretty pleased with how I did on that one, although I did mange to put one shot through the edge of a wall, costing me a miss and a penalty. Looking at that wall, I wasn't the only shooter to have done so! Stage 6 required strong hand only and weak hand only shooting. These are skills that I try to practice frequently - and need to do so even more. The final stage of the match was another classic "shoot 'em as you see 'em" course with both steel and paper targets.

Just two weeks ago I was doubting that I'd even be able shoot this match due to a knee injury so I was very happy that I did get to participate. These regional matches are challenging but a lot of fun at the same time. My overall finish was low in the rankings, but when I compare my hit factors and point percentages I'm pretty much inline with my current classification. There was also marked improvement from my finish in last year's Area 8 match. I was pleased with how I did in some areas, and learned some things I need to work on too. But most importantly, it was a lot of fun to shoot a challenging match with a great bunch of shooters. And that's the whole reason for going anyway.

Labor Day Earthworks

Labor Day in the U.S. is the traditional last day of Summer, even though there is still plenty of time left for summer activities. Many folks have the day off and celebrate by doing no labor. This is also the season the moles seem to be active. Unfortunately the canine member of our household has been busy at work. He seems to be quite adept at sniffing them out, digging, and yes, catching them.

As annoying as they are, the moles are fascinating creatures. I watched one quickly tunnel back into the ground after we called off the dog. It was amazing how quickly it could burrow through the hard compacted ground. Looking at the bright side, that part of the yard needs work anyway, and the dog has certainly loosened up the earth.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bullets, Belgians, and Burgers

This is perhaps my favorite time of the year. Even though the days are slowly getting shorter, it's still light long enough into the evenings that we can get in some play time after work, yet the temperatures are cooler than they were just a few weeks ago. Recently we took advantage of these seasonal factors after work and loaded up the car to head to the range for a couple of hours of shooting. After a cortisone shot earlier this week, I was even able to move around and do some shooting on the move.

Returning home and stowing the gear, we decide to relax with a beer before firing up the grill. I opened up a bottle of Heavy Seas Letter of Marque that we recently brought back from North Carolina. I've been looking forward to this! The 2011 version of this beer is a Belgian style Dubbel. The beer pours a lovely dark caramel color, with a moderately thick beige head. As I brought the glasses over to the counter to where we were sitting, I could smell the delightful aroma of sweet caramel and dark fruit. The flavor follows the aroma quite nicely with subtle plum sweetness and bready yeast. The finish is clean and the 8% ABV is well-masked. I enjoyed this one very much and would certainly pick up a few more bottles if I came across them.

We all enjoyed that Belgian so much our appetites were wetted for another. A trip to the beer fridge revealed a bottle of New Belgium Trippel that I had picked up just this week. (New Belgian beers are now available in Virginia, and my local chain grocery store had a nice display.) If this had been a planned tasting session, I would have served the Trippel before the Dubel, but this was a serendipitous evening.

The New Belgian version of the Belgian Tripel poured a bright golden color with a thin head. The aroma was sweet with some mild alcohol detected. The flavor was mildly sweet with banana and yeast notes. Some spices was detected but they were not prominent. The alcohol is more noticeable than experienced with the first beer of the evening.

By now the burgers were done and we finished off our glasses and the impromptu Belgian beer evening. Though unplanned, it was quite enjoyable. If I had been scripting the meal, I probably would have served the Dubbel with the burgers, and then possibly enjoyed the Tripel with the lemon pound cake Colleen had baked for dessert. But then again, no one had any complaints about the dinner as it unfolded!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Virginia Wine Sales At All Time High

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that sales of Virginia wine reached an all-time high of 462,112 cases sold in fiscal year 2011. The numbers show an increase from 414,785 cases in FY 2010. That's great news for the Virginia wine industry. The Governor's announcement goes on to state:
Promotion of the Virginia wine industry both domestically and internationally is one of Governor McDonnell's many economic development and jobs creation initiatives. During the last two sessions, the McDonnell administration has worked with the General Assembly to establish a reimbursable tax credit program for the establishment or expansion of vineyards and wineries and to more than the double amount of funds from the wine liter tax placed in the Virginia Wine Promotion Fund for research, education, and marketing programs. Governor McDonnell also has promoted the sale of Virginia wines during trade and marketing missions to the United Kingdom, Japan, China and South Korea. In addition, First Lady Maureen McDonnell has made the promotion of Virginia wines and winery tourism a key component of her First Lady's Initiative Team Effort (FLITE). She too has promoted the sale of Virginia wines abroad and has visited wineries across the state with restaurant owners, sommeliers, chefs, grocers, retail shop owners, and others since FLITE was launched.
Imagine a world where comparable efforts are used to promote the Virginia craft beer industry. Now THAT would be news! Of course, given the Governor's stated preference for Miller Lite, that day is probably a long way off.

Maybe Governor McDonnell should have a discussion with Colorado's Governor John Hickenlooper, who knows a thing or two about craft beers.