Friday, August 31, 2012

Carlton Draught - Beer Chase

Well done.

Five O'clock Friday

It's a holiday weekend. Stay hydrated.

Crayon Ammo Belt

Now, here's something that is sure to send the hoplophobes into a full-fledged case of the vapors, the Crayon Ammo Belt.


From the seller's description:
In addition to making you look awesome, these bandoliers are perfect for: organizing and protecting your crayons, drawing in the car, taking sweet first-day-of-school pictures, and giving an incredibly original kids' gift.

When I saw this, I was reminded of the deaf three year old boy who was told that the position of his fingers when he signed his name resembled a gun, which was a violation of the school's weapon policy.

I can only imagine what the Grand Island, Nebraska school board would think of the crayon bandolier.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Most Rewarding Beer

Granted, a good beer is always a welcome treat. But every now and then a beer is exceptionally enjoyable and refreshing. Such was the case this past Sunday evening. We had finally finished our two day training class. After cleaning up we went out for a relaxing dinner, and then even treated ourselves to milkshakes at Moo Thru.

But I was in the mood to relax with a good beer. So on the way back to the hotel we stopped at a grocery store to pick up some late night refreshment. The selection in the store, as expected, was unexceptional, but I did pick up a six pack of Sierra Nevada Torpedo.

Arriving back at the hotel, I realized that the room did not have any glassware, just some flimsy plastic cups. Not even a tiny glass. No matter, even the hotel cup is better than drinking from the bottle and missing half the flavor.

I poured myself a "glass" and settled into the big chair and propped up my feet. My travel companions had already called it a night. I surveyed my gear and dirty clothes lying about the room, and reflected on the events of the weekend. However, it didn't take long before I found myself nodding off.

Despite the less than glamorous setting, and the short time before sleep took over, that was one seriously satisfying cup of beer. As the wording on the cup reminded me, this was a fitting reward after a weekend of hard work.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Business I'll Support

I stopped by the local car wash on my way home from work to deal with the dirt from the range that was covering the car, inside and out, after this weekend's training class. As I pulled in to the lot I noticed a new stand alone sign at the entrance: "CLOSED ON SUNDAY FOR CHURCH." Well, that's interesting. Not only do they announce they are closed, they have no problem stating why.

After I go through the wash, as I'm vacuuming out the car, I see a pickup truck in the staff parking area. On the back bumper there was a "Guns Save Lives" sticker. I think it might have been this one from Gun Owners of America. The truck's owner came over to hand dry off my vehicle while I cleaned the inside and I told him I liked his bumper sticker. I wonder what he thought of the IDPA and USPSA stickers, as well as this one, that my car was sporting.

Granted I typically don't bother with washing the car unless it's really dirty. But I might just be driving around with a cleaner vehicle, if for no other reason than to support this business.

August Giveaway Reminder

Don't forget, you have just a few days to get your entry in for the "Guns Welcome" sign giveaway. If you haven't done so, why not get your entry in now? All you have to do is post a comment to this blog before 10:00PM EDT, August 31, 2012. See all the details on the original contest post.


I'll bet that would look really good in your home or business

Contest details here.


Note: Sponsors for future giveaways are welcome. Click the email icon in the right column to contact me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Advanced Concealed Carry Tactics Course

A few years ago we took the Conceal Carry for Self Defense class presented by John Murphy of FPF Training. That two day class focused on basic pistol handling skills and the self defense mindset. This past weekend we attended the follow up to the CCSD class, Advanced Concealed Carry Tactics. This two day course is designed to reinforce the defensive mindset and to develop more advanced pistol handling skills.

Our class consisted of eight students, six men and two ladies. One of John's assistants, Ryan, was also there so we were always assured of individual attention. The course is conducted on a "hot range." That means guns are always loaded and safety awareness is paramount. Participants are expected to be ready to "fight" at any time. Coming to the line with an empty weapon or not ready to perform the drills on demand is met with proper "correction." Weapon malfunctions, reloads, or other issues are to be dealt with as needed to get back in the game and "solve your problem." In real life there are no timeouts to fix a gun. Participants are continually reminded of the swift nature of violent attacks and the need for explosive speed in the response. There are many scenario drills — conducted as a class, in smaller groups, and individually. John also reminds us that not all encounters will end in violence, and indeed sometimes the scenario ends in just walking away.

The weekend started off with a some review of basic pistol handling skills. We all faced the timer on the range to see where we were in regard to getting fast hits on target from concealment. This is a concealed carry class, so most exercises start with a draw from concealment. Movement is also a requirement on most drills. After all, in the real world, the targets don't stand still, and they often shoot back. We were also tested on our precision shooting capabilities. We worked on both strong hand and weak hand only skills. This training included dealing with various malfunctions and reloading, all done using just one hand.

After the first day of class we had a quick dinner at a local restaurant and then spent the evening cleaning guns in the hotel room. It's just as important that your weapon be in shape as it is you. Any issues with the gun will be brought out quickly during the stress of the class.

Day 2 was focused on more advanced skills and many more scenario based drills. All new skills are explained and then demonstrated by the instructor. For the more complicated activities we "air gunned" before executing with live fire. We dealt with multiple targets, shooting from kneeling and prone positions, shooting under (simulated) cars and around barricades. There were also moving targets to engage. We spent a lot of time developing the explosive and unexpected reaction called for when confronted by an assailant. John requires students to use vocalization, both before, during and after an event. Even though the individual drills last only a few seconds, the stress of performing in front of the class, combined with the pressure created by the instructor voicing the part of an assailant, often in a very "colorful" manner, creates a situation that will quickly bring out your weaknesses, as well as the satisfaction of getting it done right. We were constantly reminded to visualize not being on a range, but in a parking lot, a store, and with loved ones or other people around us.

Several times throughout the weekend we did slow fire drills from the 25 yard line. Switching between "fast and furious" and "slow and precise" shooting kept us focused on the moment. While it will be very rare, if ever, that shooting in self defense is justified from that distance, this exercise reinforces the sights and trigger discipline needed for accurate shot placement at any distance. I did better at these drills as the weekend progressed. Walking up to the target afterwards and seeing holes in that 8" circle was a good feeling. And, in the name of transparency, I must say that Colleen frequently beat me at this exercise, and she brought home one of her targets as a new piece of refrigerator art.

Each day included a fun elimination competition among students and instructors when we shot steel targets from increasing distances. Hitting at least two of the three shots was required to move on to the next round. Starting at 10 yards, then 15, 25, 40. I dropped out at 25 the first day, and 40 yards the second. Finally we moved back beyond the 50 yard line and everyone got to shoot again, including those who had been eliminated. At that distance I hit 2 for 3 the first day, and 1 for 3 the second. This was by far the furthest pistol shot I have ever attempted, so hearing the steel ring, if only a few times, was a thrill.

There was so much going on in the class that I can't begin to list it all here. Nor would I, in all fairness. There is much to be learned from the unexpected, so I'll leave the details for you to discover if you are able to take a class from FPF Training.

I must admit to having had some trepidation going into the weekend. I recall the stressful moments in the first course. John is very adept at inducing mental tension in the student. But the entire point is to teach you how to react in stressful, dynamic situations. Remember, we're talking life-saving skills here. Perform well and earn (brief) praise. Perform subpar and expect to get some "love" from John. (I experienced a bit of both over the course of the weekend.) His teaching is designed to push you out of your comfort zone. It was a long and tiring weekend. We spent 8 hours on the range each day. I left with some valuable skills to practice, and more than a few aching muscles and bruises. And I will most definitely do it again in the future.

A common theme on gun blogs and forums is whether competition shooting helps or hinders self defense skills. I realized some points this weekend that would fall on both sides of the argument. The real secret is keeping your head in the right place. I'll write a post in the future specifically about my experience in the class as it relates to the habits and skills learned in the action pistol sports.

If you are a concealed carrier, or carry a gun for protection at any time, you owe it to yourself and those around you to be proficient in using that weapon. Just getting the permit and spending time putting holes in paper isn't enough. In fact, I would dare say that stopping at that could even be considered irresponsible. You must get good training, and keep up your skills. It's work, but it can also be fun. Someday, for one brief moment in time, when things have gone horribly wrong, it may well prove to be the most important thing you've ever learned to do.

Monday, August 27, 2012

VA Craft Brewers Cup Winners

The 1st Annual VA Craft Brewers’ Festival and VA Craft Brewers Cup was held at Devils Backbone Brewery in Nelson County, VA this past Saturday. I had a previous engagement so was unable to attend, but the event was by all counts a success.

The first VA Craft Brewer's Cup winners are listed below. Sadly, there are a few beers on this list I've not tried yet. That must be corrected soon!

2012 Virginia Craft Brewers Cup Winner (Best Overall Beer)
Devils Backbone Brewing Company: Schwarzbier

Pale Ale:
Gold: Port City Monumental IPA
Silver: Starr Hill Double Platinum
Bronze: Mad Fox English Summer Ale

Dark:
Gold: Capital City Oatmeal Stout
Silver: Hardywood Park Gingerbread Stout
Bronze: Port City Porter

Lager:
Gold: Devil’s Backbone Schwarzbier
Silver: Lost Rhino Rhinofest
Bronze: Starr Hill Festie

Belgian:
Gold: Wild Wolf Blonde Hunny
Silver: Devil’s Backbone Azrael
Bronze: Port City Optimal Wit

Specialty:
Gold: The River Brewing Co Farmhouse Heffeweizen
Silver: Lost Rhino Rye Wit
Bronze: Wild Wolf Ginger Lager

Congratulations to all the winners!

See the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest website for more information.

More Handgun Drills

Some shameless self-promotion. Face it, anyone who writes a blog is guilty of it. Nonetheless, I thought I'd share a couple of exciting tidbits today. Remember that post on Dry Fire Practice from a few days ago? Seems more than a few folks liked it. The team over at GunUp.com as well as a few other sites posted links to it. I turned out to be one of the most popular posts in the last month. I hope all the new visitors enjoyed what they saw and will return soon.

The interest in that post led me to a useful source for other drills to try out. I had a very nice email from Gary Slider of www.handgunlaw.us. In addition to up-to-date legal information, Gary maintains an interesting and useful document called CCW Handgun Drills and he asked permission to include an excerpt from the post in his document. My routine is adapted from a number of other sources, and represents what works for me, and my schedule. I certainly hope others find it useful. There are some well-known names listed in that document and it's pretty cool to share a contributor list with so many folks who have influenced me. Check it out for yourself.

Not all the drills I do are dry fire, and that requires ammo. I try to keep the marketing to a minimum, but something's got to pay for the domain registration, as well as the beer and ammo I go through in order to keep you all entertained. I've added an affiliate link to Lucky Gunner in the right column. I buy a lot of ammo from these folks so have no qualms about recommending them. If you click the link before you buy, I might earn a few pennies to help keep me in precious metals like copper, lead and brass. Thanks.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Beer Garden Coming to F'burg

The Fredericksburg Business Browser brings news of an interesting addition to downtown Fredericksburg.
Denise Antinori plans to realize a childhood dream by opening a market, deli and German restaurant with an outdoor beer garden at a historic William Street building in downtown Fredericksburg.
Extensive renovation of the building will start in the next couple of months. Plans call for a gourmet market and lunch deli called Antinori’s to be located on the first floor. Also a German restaurant, Deutschland Downtown, located in the to-be-built back space of the building, with the beer garden off of that. Of course, all the plans are preliminary at the moment, so we'll be watching for more developments as they occur.

See "Market, deli, German fare coming to William Street property" for more details on the plans for the property.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Five O'clock Friday Funny


Of course that never happens around here. ;-)

BeerText

Did you ever see an unfamiliar beer in a store or on a pub menu and want to get some info on it before buying? When it happens to me, I'll typically bring up one of the beer rating sites, or Google, on my iPhone for some quick research. That's okay if I'm someplace where I can get a relatively decent data connection. Now there's a new service that promises a quick response if you can send and receive a text message.

BeerText is an SMS interface to BreweryDB.com. To use the service simply text the name of the beer in question to 315-679-4711. Within a few seconds you'll receive a series of messages back with information about the beer.

As a test I chose a few beers that are not nationally distributed. First up was "Port City Optimal Wit" which returned a three part text with the brewery's description. A test with "Blue & Gray Stonewall Stout" returned no results, just a tip to add the beer at brewerydb.com. Next I tried leaving off the brewery name and just sent "Gold Leaf Lager." That was still a successful hit, returning the information on this beer from Devils Backbone Brewing Company.

I expect I'll be making use of BeerText frequently. It's certainly quicker than loading a search engine. I've even made an entry in my address book to make it easier to enter the number.

You can read about the development of BeerText here

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hump Day IDPA

I went out for the Wednesday evening indoor IDPA match at The Range last night. As usual, four quick and fun stages were set up. It was good to get back out and shoot, as I hadn't done any live fire since attending this match two weeks ago.

The first stage had the shooter putting one hit on each of four targets while moving to the left towards cover. Then from the right side of the barricade, each target required two more hits. It was a good basic warmup stage.

Stage 2 made use of the hanging target rails at the range to present two moving targets. The shooter started with just 6 rounds in the gun. Upon the start, the first target moved towards the shooter, and required six shots made while retreating. After a slide-lock reload, the second target retreated down range as the shooter moved forward, again requiring six shots on target. This was a limited count stage so no makeup shots were allowed.

Stage 3 found us standing behind two double stacked barrels. The four targets downrange required 2 body and 1 head shot each. All targets had to be engaged through the 6 inch gap between the stacked barrels.

Stage 4 was essentially a mirror of the first. This time the shooter started facing to the left side of the bay, turning to shoot and moving to the right for the first 4 hits on four targets, followed by two more on each from around the left side of a barrel stack.

I finished the match with 7 points down (1,4,1,1) for a third place finish. I am absolutely convinced that my dry fire practice is having a positive effect. I am also working on calling my shots and not relying on seeing the hits, as it's difficult for me to see the holes on patched targets downrange. I took a few makeup shots that turned out to be unnecessary, so there's still some work to do in that area. But most importantly, I had a great time shooting the match. The atmosphere at these matches is relaxed and, even though it sounds cliché, folks really are there just to shoot and have some fun. I'm already looking forward to next time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dry Fire Practice

I've tried to be dedicated to getting in some dry fire practice on the days I don't hit the range. It took me a long time to 1) understand that this is a valuable training tool and 2) get committed to making it a routine. Dry fire practice involves going through the various actions involved in accurately firing a pistol, without actually firing a pistol. It helps to build muscle memory, so that when you actually shoot, your body instinctively knows what to do.

My basic routine focuses mainly on some basic skills used in competition. It only takes about 15 minutes do. In a typical session, I do 20 reps of drawing the pistol, finding the sight alignment and making one "shot" from each of the listed start positions.
  • Facing the target with hands at side
  • Facing the target with hands above shoulders
  • Facing away from the target with hands at side, turn and draw
  • Facing away from the target with hands above shoulders, turn and draw
  • While stepping left
  • While stepping right
  • While stepping forward
  • While stepping backward

In each of these drills, the goal is to get the gun smoothly and quickly on target, in this case a 4" square, and dry fire the pistol without losing the sight alignment.

The next exercise practices reloading skills. I work through all the positions of the mags on my belt. The goal is to pull the trigger, drop the mag, and smoothly load a new magazine, and regain the site picture.

I finish with the Wall Drill. This involves repeated trigger pulls while focusing only on the sight alignment. This is done using a two-hand grip, as well as strong hand and weak hand only. When I first started this drill I was shocked to realize just how much I moved the pistol while pulling the trigger.

Most of the time, I do the drills using my USPSA gear, complete with eye and hearing protection. The idea is to get as close as possible to actually shooting in competition. A couple of times a week I add in some practice with the leather holster I currently use for IDPA. And yes, on occasion I also practice with my conceal carry gear.

There's a lot written on dry fire and a quick internet search can bring up much information on various drills and the benefits. I adapted my basic practice session from the Sig Sauer Academy Dry Fire Routine and the previously mentioned Wall Drill from pistol-training.com.

There are also some good books that go into in-depth training using dry fire. A few I've enjoyed are "Your Competition Handgun Training Program: A complete training program designed for the practical shooter" by Michael Seeklander, and "Refinement and Repetition, Dry-fire Drills for Dramatic Improvement" and "Principles of Performance, Refinement and Repetition 2", both by Steve Anderson. I am not following the specific programs from these books, but have gleaned many tips and useful insight from the authors. I think they are worth reading even if you don't have the time or resources to follow their timetables and exercises exactly.

No matter what dry fire routine you practice, safety is the most important rule. Be sure your weapon is completely unloaded and double-checked before doing any of these drills. Keep all live ammo in a separate room.

I've seen noticeable improvement in my ability to obtain and keep a good sight picture after practicing with these drills. My reloads are getting better as well. I intend to keep it up and even expand my practice routines. Next, I want to set up a couple of targets outside in order to practice moving from one shooting position to another. It's a good thing my back yard is fairly secluded from the neighbors' prying eyes, at least until the trees lose their foliage.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stormcloud IPA

I was staring at the beer fridge Friday and spied a forgotten bottle from the beer trade with 45er. Yea! I still had a couple of those Texas beers, so Rahr & Sons Stormcloud IPA became my choice for some end of the work week relaxation.

Stormcloud IPA pours the typical IPA copper-orange color. The head was noticeably slow to build, and it quickly dropped to a fairly thin, but persistent layer. The aroma of the beer is quite mild, with sweet bready malt and a hint of pine. The malt-rich taste is accompanied by a resinous pine flavor. The mouthfeel is creamy and leaves a sweet coating behind.

The flavor of this IPA avoids either extreme often found in the style, being neither citrus-rich, nor cloyingly sweet, but falling somewhere in the middle. At 6% ABV, it's relatively low in alcohol for an IPA as well. Overall, it's a pretty mild representation. The Rahr & Sons website describes it as a "German-Style IPA- a traditional India Pale Ale with German Influence." That means some German malts and hops I presume, which must serve to give the beer it's different character.

While probably not one I'd pick up regularly (if I could) it was still an enjoyable libation. As with all the beers received in the trade, this isn't one we are able to buy in Virginia. I enjoyed the opportunity to explore a new beer and get another taste of what my fellow beer fans are enjoying in another part of this great, and diverse, country.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I Turned Down Burgers and Beer

No, you didn't stumble on to some alien clone of these Musings. Circumstances just decreed that I forgo two of my favorite "flavors" at lunch yesterday. On Friday, we had a lunchtime cookout at work to honor two employees who were leaving for greener pastures. The burgers and brats went on the grill, and a couple of six-packs of Guinness made an appearance too.

Being Friday, I was already skipping meat that day. I'm trying to be better about making that simple sacrifice. Contrary to common misconception by those who don't know better (and some who should know better) Catholics are not required to eat fish on Friday. The Church simply asks that we make an extra sacrifice on that day, and the traditional abstinence from meat is how I'm trying to meet that obligation.

But what about the beer? Beer at the office isn't a normal thing, but occasionally it accompanies the monthly lunch gatherings. During lunch I was repeatedly asked if I wanted a beer, and I repeatedly declined. My fondness for fermented beverages is better known at work than my interest in the shooting sports. So I was left in a small quandary. I didn't know all my after work plans, but I always like to leave myself the option of hitting the range. Since it's been over a week since did any live fire, I was itching to go. I've written about shooting and drinking in the right order before (as opposed to the wrong order) and I'm a stickler for that rule. Sure, it would be more than a few hours, and just one beer, but if I had the beer with lunch, I would not allow myself to shoot later that day.

So yes, I skipped both beer and burgers (and brats.) And no, there's no pod under my bed. It's really me.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Center of the Universe Brewer

Press Release from the brewery:
CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE BREWING COMPANY WELCOMES
MIKE KILLELEA AS HEAD BREWER

Ashland, Virginia, August 17th: Center of the Universe Brewing Company is proud to announce that Mike Killelea has accepted the position of head brewer. Mike will join brothers Chris and Phil Ray as they ready the building for their projected late October opening.

Boston native Mike Killelea is the founder and current elected Chairman of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. Killelea's efforts to promote the interests of Virginia craft beer included rallying the emerging craft beer renaissance in the state while at the same time spending time with legislators and community leaders to push key legislation to help the industry grow. He organized the first Virginia Cask Beer Fest in April of 2012.

Growing up in Massachusetts, Mike was inspired by the New England craft brewing scene and began home-brewing in his small apartment. After moving to Virginia in 2004, Killelea went on to attend the American Brewers Guild’s CraftBrewers Apprenticeship program. Upon completion of the program, Mike joined Legend Brewing Company in January of 2007, beginning with an internship that developed into a full-time brewing position.  He spearheaded the drive to organize the brewers of Virginia and has become one of the faces of Virginia craft beer.

"I'm really excited to be joining COTU [short for Center of the Universe].  It's a fantastic opportunity.  Chris and Phil are extremely passionate about craft beer.  I'm looking forward to working with them and making some great beer." - Mike Killelea

 Center of the Universe Brewing Company is completing the required build-out to ready the old Herald Progress Building in Ashland, VA for brewing operations. They anticipate to be brewing with Mike in September and ready to serve beer in late October. You can visit their website at www.cotubrewing.com.

“Given his knowledge and passion for craft beer and craft brewing in Virginia, we have no doubt that we have the right man for the job.” - Phil Ray, co-founder of Center of the Universe Brewing Company.

As noted previously, I'm looking forward to the opening of this new Ashland brewery. It will be a convenient stop on my frequent visits to the area.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Instant Beer?

The increasing availability of canned craft beer is a boon for those wanting to enjoy their favorite beer in the great outdoors. Cans are lighter to carry than bottles and much more durable. Now the folks at Pat's Backcountry Beverages are claiming to make packing in your beer even more convenient with their beer concentrate.
Beer is typically about 95% water, which makes it heavy, cumbersome, and expensive to transport. But with our innovative and modern brewing process (patent pending) we can create a nearly waterless beer concentrate that contains all the great flavor, alcohol, and aroma of a premium quality micro brew. Our beer is not dehydrated beer! 
Unlike other concentrate processes, this is not just about making the beer and then "removing" the water afterwards (which is extremely energy inefficient). Instead, our process (patent pending) allows us to start with almost no water, and carefully control the environment of the fermentation. The result... concentrated beer with all the same great taste you're used to in a premium micro brew. All you do is add water, carbonate (check out our carbonator), and enjoy.

The system consists of a special carbonator bottle and cap, the "eco-activator" that produces the C02, and the liquid beer concentrate. The company expects to release the beer concentrate product in 2013.

The company's Facebook page has a video demonstrating the process of preparing your "instant" drink.

Will it work? What will it taste like? The website focuses on the system, which also makes sodas, rather than the actual brewing process. Admittedly, I'm skeptical that an instant drink from "beer concentrate" can stand in place of a "real" beer, but I find the concept interesting nonetheless, from a purely academic view naturally.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Words

Remember that scene from "The Jerk" when Navin R. Johnson gets excited over the arrival of the new phone book? He exclaims "The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!"

Well the craft beer world had its own Navin R. Johnson moment this week. The folks at Merriam-Webster released the list of "new" words added to their Collegiate Dictionary. Among the new entries, "craft beer."
  • craft beer n (1986) : a specialty beer produced in limited quantities : microbrew

But it, gets better. Among the new words added thus year, we also see:
  • gastropub n (1996) : a pub, bar, or tavern that also offers meals of high quality
  • man cave n (1992) : a room or space (as in a basement) designed according to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities

To use another "new word," is this a game changer?
  • game changer n (1993) : a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

To paraphrase Navin "Things are going to start happening to [us] now."

Bottle Cap Blues

Monday, August 13, 2012

Brew Ridge Trail

Roaming the Planet took a weekend tour of Virginia's Brew Ridge Trail. They gave a detailed, and enticing report in "Hopping along the Brew Ridge Trail."
In the Blue Ridge Mountains, everything seems to be found along a well-organized trail. The Wine Trail, the Artisan Trail and the granddaddy of them all – the Appalachian Trail – send us out in search of everything from the bounty of the land to inner peace. 
And the Brew Ridge Trail? That gives us a place to kick back, relax, connect with one another and give thanks. The gifted few who brew are making a bit of magic here that may just border on religion, at least to the folks who congregate on their patios and decks and in their tasting rooms and biergartens. 
This weekend romp will make you proud to be a Virginian, leaving you in awe of our talented brewers, their inspired products and the intoxicatingly beautiful surroundings.

The seven stops, representing 5 different breweries, sure sounds like a fun weekend!

See "Hopping along the Brew Ridge Trail" for pictures and details of the author's weekend.

On Home Brewing and Reloading

In a recent thread on the Virginia IDPA mailing list someone commented about placing an ammunition order with a popular vendor. The thread quickly morphed, or rather degenerated, into a discussion of why people did or did not reload their own ammo, as opposed to buying commercially. The discussion got me thinking about an interesting parallel between reloading and home brewing.

For as long as I've had an interest in craft beer, people have been asking "Do you brew your own beer?" Sometimes they don't ask, they simply assume that I must. When people ask me if I am a home brewer, I often jokingly reply that when I've tasted them all, I'll know what I want to make for myself. In all seriousness, I really have no desire, at this time, to brew. I respect the people who do, and I've been the beneficiary of many of their efforts. If you really think about it, does the question logically follow? I love a good steak too. But I've never been asked if I raise my own cattle.

The same pattern follows for shooting and reloading. It doesn't take long before the topic of reloading comes up in a conversation about shooting. People assume that the second activity automatically follows the first.

The ammo reloading question is almost always based on a presumed economic advantage. If you compare the cost of the components alone to the cost of commercial ammunition, reloading is going to win hands down. The same could probably be said for brewing, though I've never actually done the math on that. For the sake of argument, let's ignore the start up costs in acquiring the equipment to do either activity. We'll assume those costs will eventually be recouped. But we must add in the time factor. Both brewing and reloading require a time investment, and not an insignificant one at that. How much is my time worth? Better yet, how much time do I have to devote to reloading or brewing, however much fun it may be? These days, very little time it seems. Hardly a month goes by that I don't have opportunity to lament missing some shooting event, or some craft beer tasting, simply because they conflicted with other demands on my time.

When I stop to think about it, I see both home brewing and reloading as distinct activities or hobbies from the related interest that may spawn them. They are hobbies in and of themselves. Sure someone may start brewing or reloading as an offshoot to their interest in drinking good beer or shooting, but these interests aren't a mandatory part of the first activity. Someday I may even try both, but for now I'm very happy to stick with beer and ammo created by dedicated professionals.

Reload or buy, we'll have to do something about this empty box!

Based on some other conversations I've had, maybe next I need to discuss the difference between IDPA and IPA. :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

J. Brian's Back Yard

We met a couple of friends for dinner Friday evening at J. Brian's Tap Room in downtown Fredericksburg. J. Brian's is one of the older, if not the oldest, good beer pubs in town. They served good craft beers before other local establishments did, and well before specialty bars like Capital Ale House come to town. I haven't visited in a while, but I recall drinking many pints of Bell's Two Hearted Pale Ale there when it was a rare treat to find anything other than BudMillerCoors in the area.

J. Brian's offers 20 beers on tap. This evening the selection featured a diverse list including Start Hill Starr Pils, Avery White Rascal, New Belgium Fat Tire, and one listed just as "Burning River IPA." I opted for the mystery IPA. I figured I'd take a chance even though I couldn't place the name. After the first sip I realized the beer wasn't an India Pale Ale, but actually a Pale Ale. It was quite tasty, enough so that I stopped thinking about the name, and just enjoyed it. The beer was good and I didn't feel like going all beer geek at dinner.

It wasn't until we got in the car to drive home that it clicked. "Burning River, now I remember, that's Great Lakes!", I said to Colleen. Great Lakes Brewing Company has been distributed in Virginia since February of this year, and I've picked up various six-packs of the brewery's beers, but this was the first time I've enjoyed any Great Lakes beer on draft.

As noted, Great Lakes Burning River is a Pale Ale, not an IPA. The beer is a bright copper color with a pleasing aroma of floral hops and caramel malt. The flavor is crisp citrus with a substantial malt base. The finish is mildly bitter and dry. It's quite an enjoyable and balanced pale ale. Despite the mistyped menu, I enjoyed the beer and ordered another to accompany my dinner.

We had a very enjoyable evening dining outdoors. J. Brian's has a new outdoor seating area, in a courtyard behind the restaurant. It makes for a very pleasant atmosphere, especially with the mild breeze that was a constant during our meal.

I resisted the temptation to whip out my phone and take a picture of my beer as I do so often, so no pics. This time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Friday

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday Night IDPA

I participated in another IDPA match at The Range Wednesday evening. The match consisted of four stages. Stage 1 was a version of the classic "El Presidente." The shooter starts facing up range. At the buzzer, you turn and put two shots on each of three targets. Following a mandatory reload, with retention, place two head shots on each target. I was just one point down on the stage. The second stage had two targets on either side of a stack of barrels, with the center two targets partially obscured. The task was to put three shots on each target while retreating. I was happy to finish that stage zero points down. Coincidently just the day before I had the opportunity to practice shooting while moving backwards during my weekly practice session.

Stage 3 was shot from behind a barricade. Two targets were engaged with three shots each around the strong-hand side of the barricade, then after a mandatory reload with retention, the 2 targets on the opposite side were engaged weak-hand only. I didn't do quite as well on that stage, ending 7 points down. Three of those points down were earned when I snatched the trigger and pulled the first shot in a big way. The final stage had us holding open the lid on a large trash bin with our strong hand, with four targets down range to our left. The course of fire called for one shot on each target, then a retreat to cover behind the trash can. From cover two more shots were required on each target. I ended up 2 points down on the stage.

Also attending the match were two regular USPSA shooters I know from the Fredericksburg USPSA matches. We had some laughs over keeping the rule differences straight, especially the aforementioned "reload with retention." That's probably the most frequent cause for penalties for USPSA shooters coming over to IDPA. I've been caught by it myself.

I felt good about my shooting that evening. And, I was pleasantly surprised to finish 2nd out of 16 participants. There are some days the shooting comes together as it should, and some days it doesn't. Fortunately it worked as it should this week. Next week, who knows?

As noted previously, I'm going to try and make this match a regular thing. The atmosphere is relaxed and everyone seems to be there just for the opportunity to shoot safely and have fun. The range is close by, and the match is over in under an hour. Just the thing for some mid-week recreation.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pliny the Elder - A Gift Enjoyed Right Away

I'm not one to jump into the hype of a "perfect" beer, or go on a quest to find that "holy grail" of beer. But when a friend dropped off a bottle of Pliny the Elder he brought back from a trip, I admit to letting out a squeal of delight. I've had this beer just once before, four years ago, and I was looking forward to another taste. The directions on the label are quite clear that this beer is to be consumed fresh and not saved. The bottle was dated July 11, so to best respect the wishes of the brewer, I complied and enjoyed the beer right away.

I broke out the fancy tulip glassware and invited Colleen and a friend to share in the tasting. Pliny the Elder Double IPA pours a bright golden color with a thin and short-lived white head. The aroma is more reserved than expected, with fruit and sweet malts. The flavor is very complex and balanced, and frankly it's hard to describe. The fruity citrus flavors of grapefruit and orange are apparent. There's also sweet, malt side to the flavor. The flavors linger and move towards the bitter at the finish. The beer is amazingly smooth at 8% ABV, but a pleasing alcohol warmth comes through at the end. The alcohol becomes more apparent as the beer warms but remains muted still.

For a high alcohol beer Pliny the Elder is amazingly smooth and easy to drink. I'm a fan of big, in your face beers, and actively seek them out. Pliny is a big beer, but one I'd describe as "polite." It's rich in complexity and doesn't hit you over the head with overwhelming extremes.

This beer is hard to find away from the west coast. It apparently has a cult-like following, so it doesn't stay on shelves long. Russian River Pliny the Elder rates perfect scores on the two leading beer rating sites. Nothing is perfect but this beer certainly lives up to the hype. I hope I don't have to wait 4 years for another taste of this wonderful elixir.

And to my buddy Greg, thank you for thinking of me!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August "Guns Welcome" Sign Giveaway

I commented on this sign last December, and came across it again recently during my random internet travels. Given so many recent events in our country pointing out the absurdity of "gun free" zones, I realized I'd like to see the sign posted in more places.


To that end, I'm holding another giveaway. I have one copy of this sign I purchased from ComplianceSigns.com which will be awarded to one lucky reader. The sign is aluminum and measures 10x7 inches.

How It Works: Any qualified reader who posts a comment on this post, or on any post on the Musings, between now and the contest end will be put down for one entry in a random drawing. Sorry, one entry per person. Please continue to comment regularly, but let's keep it to one contest entry per person. The contest will end at 10:00PM EDT on August 31, 2012. I'll randomly select one winner from all entries made up until that time.

Fine Print: The sign will only be mailed to U.S. addresses. Feel free to enter no matter where you live, but if you can't provide a U.S. shipping address, I'll pick another winner. I must be able to contact the winner, so anonymous entries are problematic. I'll make a reasonable effort to contact and verify the winner, but if I can't find an easy way to contact you, I'll pick another.

Compliance Signs is not a sponsor nor connected to this contest. The sign and mailing costs are provide at my expense. Because I like you folks. :-)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hold My Beer

There's an old adage that the scariest phrase you can hear a drunk say is "Hold my beer." It's usually followed by "Watch this." But a Serbian tourist in Egypt has taken the phrase, or warning, to a whole new level.
"Dragan climbed on the jumping board, told me to hold his beer and simply ran to jump. There was no time for me to react or to try to stop him, he just went for it"..."Dragan jumped high and plunged down to the sea, but didn't make as much splash as we thought he would"... 
The reason could be because Dragan Stevic ended up jumping straight on the shark which was lurking near the beach, probably looking for its next victim. Dragan had nailed it right in the head, killing it instantly. The Egyptian police found the shark washed out on the beach that morning. 
At the moment, the fearless hero is in a hospital recovering from alcohol poisoning. After Dragan gets well, he will get a chance to have some more drinks as the resort had awarded the Serb tourist with a free vacation for his heroic deed.


The shark had already killed one person and injured four others. From my reading of the story, the fearless drunk is probably an accidental hero, not realizing the shark was there. But I wonder if he'll be purchasing any lottery tickets in the future.

See "Drunk Man Kills Shark By Jumping On Head" for more.

Flying Dog Single Hop Chinook IPA

Flying Dog Brewery recently sent over a sample bottle of the latest addition to their Single Hop Series of beers. The Chinook hops version is the fourth beer in the series that's been reviewed in these Musings. I think it's one of my favorites so far.

Flying Dog Single Hop Chinook IPA pours a dark amber color with a moderate, but short lived, off white head. The aroma is earthy and sweet. The flavor is rich with bitter pine resin balanced with sweet malt. The beer has a thick, malty character that leaves behind a coating of sweet malt in the mouth. The 10% ABV reveals itself in the finish with a lingering warmth. It's a bold beer, but without being overbearing or burning out the tastebuds. If you're a fan of big beers, you'll likely enjoy this.

The previous Single Hop beers reviewed were El DoradoCentennial and Simcoe. As an unabashed hop head I've enjoyed the opportunity to try them out. I think it would be an interesting exercise to try them all in a side-by-side comparison in order to compare the various hops against one another.

Flying Dog sent me an unsolicited bottle of this beer. It is through my own free will that I consumed and reviewed it. No compensation was received for this review.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fredericksburg USPSA Match

This month's USPSA match at Fredericksburg Practical Shooters was a "Classifier" match, with 4 classifier stages and two field courses. Many of the USPSA classifier stages are "stand and shoot" stages but this event the match directors picked ones that I thought were especially interesting and challenging. Since the stages for next weekend's Area 8 Championship Match are being set up, the monthly Fredericksburg match was worked in around that activity. The two field courses made use of some of the stages for next weekend's event, with targets placed among those props. (Stage photos in Flickr Album here.)

Like most summer Fredericksburg matches, the day was seasonably warm hot. However, in a switch from what is typical, we were treated to a nice breeze much of the day, complete with refreshing strong gusts on occasion. Although, at one point my sunburned neck was unpleasantly abraded by cloud of wind-borne sand. Interestingly, my squad include two father and son pairs, and a husband and wife — this really is a family sport.

Our squad started with "Mini-Mart." The loaded gun and magazines are placed on a shelf under the table. A Virginia count stage, no extra shots are permitted. Each target gets two shots, then a mandatory reload followed by two more shots one each target. I fortunately placed two mags on the shelf even though only one is was needed. When I reached for the magazine I knocked it to the ground and had to go for the spare that was fortunately there.

Next up we shot one of the field courses, "Why Not." Ten targets were hidden among the walls setup for the upcoming Area match. The targets were placed such that they weren't visible without the shooter moving around quite a bit. I had one miss on this stage. When I shot that particular target I suspected I may have pulled the second shot, but didn't decide quickly enough to make it up before moving on.

Next up was "Raw Deal." The shooter started seated, with elbows on the table and holding a playing card in each hand. At the start signal three targets are engaged, followed by a mandatory reload, then the remaining three targets. This stage is also scored Virginia Count, which means no makeup shots. The furthest target was 40 feet from the table so careful aiming was called for. 



The second field course, "Barrel Race," featured targets placed among walls and barrels around the perimeter of the free fire zone. As an interesting twist, the stage started with the unloaded gun placed on a barrel at the start position. The shooter strategically placed all magazines he would need on top of barrels which were staged around the course, and all reloads were done by grabbing mags from the barrels. It was very fun stage requiring lots of running. I found myself reaching for my belt during the reload even as I was looking at the magazine on top of the barrel I was approaching. Old habits.

Next up was undoubtedly the most interesting and complicated classifier stage I've done, "Color Blind." Many shooters were surprised it was actually a classifier. The designer of this "test" made use of a smorgasbord of options and props. The starting position was seated in a chair, with legs extended under the table and crossed at the ankle. Arms were folded at the chest. The loaded gun was placed in the center of the table. At the start signal you had to lean forward to retrieve the gun and shoot at three head shot targets, aiming under a low barrier. Next the shooter moved to a door to be swung open, through which three more targets were engaged. That completed, the shooter ran to a low barrel port and shot at three partial targets through the barrel. It was a fun course of fire that offered a variety of shooting positions.



The final stage was "Big Barricade" which consisted of 7 targets arranged in an inverted "V" behind a barricade. All of the targets were partially covered by "no-shoot" targets. As I reloaded and moved to the other side of the barricade to the engage the last four targets, I missed getting a hit on the furthest right target, giving me my second miss for the match. The size of the available target area was a bit deceptive as we were shooting it at an angle. Several shooters ended up with misses on this particular target.

Even though I helped to set up the match on Saturday morning, seeing it for the first time fully set up on Sunday, with the targets in place, was interesting as I hadn't realized just how many "no shoot" targets were being staged. While I finished, again, about in the middle of the pack, at 52.182% match percentage, I felt a lot better about my shooting this month. I'm pleased that I no "no shoot" penalties and just two misses for the entire match. Once the scores are posted to the USPSA results page I'll be able to look at each stage in detail to get an idea of what was good and what was not. The interesting stages, the cooling breezes, and a fun squad of shooters combined to make a very enjoyable match.

Back home afterwards, I relaxed with a cool pint of Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale from Heavy Seas Brewing, while I started writing up my thoughts on the match. I thought the name of the beer was especially apropos to follow a day of shooting. The evening was capped off by throwing some very thick steaks on the grill for a tasty dinner. All in all a wonderful way to end the weekend.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Starfire .380 Ammo Review

Earlier this month the folks at Lucky Gunner sent me a couple of boxes of PMC Starfire .380 Auto ammo for review. I finally got around to hitting the range with it this week.

Two other members of the Gabriel Possenti Shooters helped out with the shooting and subsequent review. We had three small pistols with which to try the Starfire rounds; a Walther PPK, a Bersa Thunder and a Keltec P-3AT. We all took turns firing the Starfire ammo, along with some "plain" full metal jacket rounds for comparison, through each of the weapons.


The immediate impression from all the shooters was how soft the recoil from Starfire rounds felt. The difference from the FMJ ammo was significant. Shooting these small guns is not the most pleasant experience in general, but it's quite bearable with this hollow point ammo. It's important to practice regularly with any carry weapon, and the reduced recoil is conducive to regular practice. Granted it's not as inexpensive as FMJ ammo, but you're not going to be firing hundreds of rounds in practice either, just enough to remain proficient. I know many folks carry full metal jacket rounds in their .380 pistols, however the reduced felt recoil may be beneficial when you are shooting to protect yourself or someone you love.

The Starfire ammo fired and cycled without any problems in all three guns. One of the shooters concentrated specifically on accuracy, from 5 - 7 yards. He commented the ammo was very accurate and produced nice tight groups. Even with a fairly rapid rate of fire, I was able to easily keep the groups within the A-zone. Unfortunately I forgot to bring along some phone books to catch a bullet in order to photograph the expanded round. You can read some technical details on Starfire ammo here.

Lucky Gunner is one of the online sites from which I regularly buy ammo, much to the chagrin of hoplophobes like Senators Lautenberg and McCarthy. Just prior to receiving this ammo for review I happened to place an order for a case of 9mm ammo. (Yep Senators, that's 1000 rounds.) Lucky Gunner ships orders the same or next day, depending on what time the order is placed. I submitted my order the evening of July 2, the ammo was shipped on July 3, and despite the July 4 holiday, it was delivered on July 6. You can't get much faster than that.

The "pocket pistol" chambered in .380 has been in the news recently, so this was a good time to dig out a few of the small pistols and try out this self defense ammo. I know the .380 ACP round has its limitations, but even a small pistol carried is better than any other pistol not carried. After our time at the range with the small pistols and this ammo, one member of our group remarked that they would probably start carrying the Walther again while wearing summer clothes. I expect the gun will soon be loaded with PMC Starfire rounds.

Notice: The ammo reviewed in this post was provided at no charge by Lucky Gunner. The content of the review was written with no compensation or influence from Lucky Gunner. In the interest of full disclosure, this blogger could possibly earn some extra  "ammo funds" if you click the associate links in this post.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Today's Lesson

I always usually carry a folding knife with me. I use it for everything from opening packages to cutting up a lunchtime apple. Today I received the package shown below. The envelope was wrapped in multiple layers of reinforced strapping tape. I wasn't going to be tearing this one open by hand. After registering my amazement at the packaging method, I reached for the knife that should be in my pocket, and it was not there. I somehow forgot to load it up this morning when I left for work.


This wasn't an emergency, but it made me think. You can't predict when you'll need a tool, be it your knife, a flashlight, or even a gun. It's easy to be complacent and head out unprepared for an emergency. In my case I didn't check that I had everything I usually carry before I left the house. The knife is something I use frequently, and this time when I needed it, my carelessness caught up and it wasn't there. I didn't even realize I didn't have it until I needed it. It certainly wasn't a crises that I couldn't get into the package right then. But it was a reminder. Be prepared. Carry your tools.

The Tavern

I've written previously about a local pub called The Pub. I've told you about a local indoor shooting range named The Range. Now I'm here to tell you about a local tavern, yep you guessed it, The Tavern. We like to keep things simple around here.

The Tavern (also on Facebook) is a standalone, nondescript building in the Lee's Hill shopping center. Once inside we found a comfortable pub atmosphere with dark wood and a large stone fireplace. There's a small seating area with tables and a bar area separated by a windowed wall. There is also a small outdoor seating area. The beer menu on the table listed 15 selections, and the waitress named off a couple more that I don't recall. They had the usual factory beers, and the expected Irish selections of Guinness and Smithwick's. There were some good craft selections such as Blue & Gray Fred Red, Fat Tire and Yeungling. In a surprising twist, the draft selection also included Goose Island IPA and Heavy Seas Small Craft Warning. I was especially surprised to see the "Über Pils" from Heavy Seas on draft. That's an off-the-wall selection for a non-specialty pub.

I opted for the Small Craft Warning to enjoy with our Tavern Sampler appetizer, which consisted of buffalo wings, fried shrimp, mozzarella sticks and jalapeño poppers — a fried pub food delight. The wings were the best part of the platter and we'll definitely be ordering more of those in the future. Small Craft Warning is a malt-rich, sweet and toasted brew with some piney hops to balance. For our meal, our group all opted for burgers. The burgers are hand-formed, juicy, and surely check in around 1/2 pound. Ordered cooked "medium," the centers were hot but still bright pink. These are indeed multiple napkin meals. Add thick streak fries drenched in malt vinegar and you have a robust and tasty meal. I selected a Goose Island IPA to enjoy with my "Lee's Hill Burger" topped with green peppers, onions, mushrooms and provolone. The IPA was a malty English IPA with a rich dose of citrus hops mixed in.

I admit to being ignorant of the existence of The Tavern until very recently. It's not a new place, they celebrated 7 years in business earlier this year. The food was good, the beer selection interesting, and the service excellent. I understand the spicy tavern shrimp are quite popular. I expect we'll be back to try them out, along with more of those wings.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Day To Remember The Constitution

We participated in two activities today that remind us of the widespread attacks on the Constitution currently underway in our country.

In 1777, a committee, which included Thomas Jefferson, met in Fredericksburg to revise and rewrite Virginia’s laws. They produced a document, known as the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which later served as the basis for the guarantee of religious freedom in the Bill of Rights. In 1932, the monument was erected to recognize this great achievement. The monument is located near Washington Ave. and Pitt St. in Fredericksburg.

Today, August 1, marks the day that the HHS Mandate takes effect, demanding that Catholics and others must now violate their deeply held religious beliefs or face persecution, and prosecution. This morning members of local Knights of Columbus councils and others gathered at the monument to bear witness to their faith and to mark this egregious attack on the Constitution by the Obama administration. I was excited to speak with folks at the gathering who were not Catholic, but who were there to protest the president's attack on First Amendment rights.

Later in the day, we ventured over to Chic-fil-A for a meal to show support once again for the Constitution and the First Amendment. Leftist activists are attacking the fast food chain because the company's president stated his personal support of "traditional marriage," based on his Christian faith. For that, the mayors of Chicago, Boston, Washington, DC, and other cities stated that they would work to ban the restaurant from doing business in those cities, despite the illegality of doing so. The attackers ignore the fact that Chi-fil-A does not discriminate in its hiring or service.

It's interesting to note that the mayor of Chicago welcomed the rabid anti-gay leader of the Nation of Islam to the city with open arms. This belies his claim that the indignation towards Chic-fil-A is a "gay rights" issue, when in fact we are facing an anti-Christian and anti-Constitution issue.

I'm reminded of how the Nazis in 1930s Germany ordered a boycott of Jewish owned stores. Now in 2012 Democrats are calling for a ban on a Christian-owned business. A government entity attacking a private business for the personal beliefs of the owner was a scary proposition in Germany, and it's just as offensive today. I even saw a call on Facebook for slashing customer tires at Chic-fil-A today from the "tolerant" left.

Both of these events bring a focus on the First Amendment to the Constitution. These are not specifically issues for Catholics, nor are they "gay rights" or partisan issues. What we are facing today are direct attacks on the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech, the very foundations of our way of life. There's a reason our founding fathers placed these rights first. When the First Amendment falls, the rest will go easily. The forces behind these attacks won't stop with just some our natural, God-given rights, they'll deny more and more until we are nothing more than slaves of the state.

We must be resolute in standing up against these assaults with every fiber of our being. The government is not the grantor of these rights. Government is supposed to be the protector of rights. When the government begins taking away what is not its to grant, then freedom is lost. Freedom lost is not easily regained.

August Is Virginia Craft Beer Month

The Virginia General Assembly has declared August to be Virginia Craft Beer Month.


HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 522
Offered March 5, 2012
Commending the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild.
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Patrons-- Carr, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Cline, Crockett-Stark, Greason, Landes, Loupassi, McQuinn and Tyler; Senators: Barker, Deeds, and McEachin 
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WHEREAS, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild works to promote the interests of small, independent, and traditional brewers of beer and currently 40 craft breweries operate in the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild was established in 2010 to promote economic development, streamline business processes, develop good relationships with business partners, and encourage tourism efforts; and

WHEREAS, Virginia’s craft breweries already are an economic engine in the Commonwealth; most sell their beverages only in Virginia, thus the money raised from sales of craft beers and the revenue from tourists visiting the breweries remains largely within the local economy; and

WHEREAS, the members of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild also contribute to the state’s economic growth through job creation, the purchase of locally grown barley and hops, and the donation of spent brewing grains to local farms to be used as animal feed; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild has designated August as Virginia Craft Beer Month, encouraging residents and visitors alike to patronize the dozens of traditional craft breweries in the state; a festival will be held August 18, 2012, in Nelson County, which will feature the Virginia Beer Cup competition to determine the best craft beer in the Commonwealth; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the good work of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild to promote Virginia’s small breweries; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Mike Killelea, chairman of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, as an expression of the General Assembly’s appreciation for its efforts on behalf of economic development in the Commonwealth.

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Many Virginia breweries are planning events to celebrate the first ever Virginia Craft Beer Month. Visit the Virginia Tourism web site, www.Virginia.org/CraftBeer/ to find events near you.

The month long celebration will culminate with a Craft Beer Festival at Devils Backbone Brewery in Nelson County on August 25.