I was invited to attend Barley's Angels' 1st Annual Christmas party being held at the new Beach Brewing Company location. Rules were you had to bring a beer and a dish. At our house we have a habit of hording beer and wine. It's easy to do when you go to tastings every week and grab a bottle for "later." So I had a few good beers I could take with me and decided I'd take my bottle of Bitter Valentine from Williamsburg AleWerks. The food choice was easy enough, I went with my go-to potluck dish--Spicy Thai Basil Fried Rice. It usually is a crowd pleaser and I thought the beer would go well with it.
I cooked the fried rice before the event so I was running a little bit late. It's funny, because Shelby was looking at me sitting in front of my computer before I started cooking and asked what I needed for the rice. I told her I was going to run to the store and get what I need but I'll be on time. She said "I've been married long enough to you to know better." She was right of course.
I got everything packed up and headed to the brewery. When I pulled up I was able to see that pretty much everyone was there already so I slipped in. I saw Lesley Summers, Barley's Angels - Coastal Virginia Organizer. She grabbed the fried rice and I went to put the beer in the cooler. This was cool.
The cooler was filled with plenty of beers I've never had before and I was excited at the thought of trying a bunch of them. The beers were going to be opened and we had little cups to get a swig of each. Great idea. There was plenty of food too. Lots of dips, my favorite being a lobster dip brought by Elizabeth Erschens - Owner, Homebrew USA, if I remember correctly. There were cheese balls too. I love cheese balls, I'd pick the whole thing up and put it on a cracker if I could.
After scoping out the area I saw Justin MacDonald, brewer/owner of Beach Brewing Company. He wanted to show me around the new brewery, so we headed to the back where the equipment was. The place was huge; the new construction and large stainless steel brewing equipment made it a very impressive sight. We were joined by some other enthusiasts and brewer types while Justin explained how he was getting everything in place and will most likely brewing by Christmas of this year. He said output will quadruple when all is said and done.
After the tour we headed back inside to mingle and I bumped into a few familar faces. Here's one:
I snapped of photos and the women did a gift exchange. Looked like everyone was enjoying themselves and drinking some good beer. I was able to salvage about a small bowl of leftover fried rice that I took home with me.
Thanks again to Lesley of Barley's Angels and Justin MacDonald of Beach Brewing Company for letting me hang out.
See the rest of the photos here.