Beer School - O'Connor Brewing Co. Edition

 "Beer Nerd" Dan Yarnell listening to Kevin O'Connor

 "Beer Nerd" Dan Yarnell listening to Kevin O'Connor

The Porch, Whole Foods Virginia Beach's beer and wine bar, holds a beer school every Thursday. I've always meant to go to one, but my schedule didn't jibe with theirs and I heard it was always jam-packed. A little while back they started to limit the attendance to keep things under control. This past Thursday worked out perfect for me: I had the next day off, Chayce (my son) was available, and Kevin O'Connor from Norfolk's O'Connor Brewing Company was going to MC the event. 


O'Connor Brewing Company wasn't the first craft brewery in Hampton Roads but when they opened over three years ago it proved a micro-brewery could be successful in the area. Since then, there have been several new breweries established in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.



Kevin introduced a few of his beers to us, my favorite being the Bells Beach Galaxy Saison. We had the Norfolk Canyon, Great Dismal Black IPA and the El Guapo Agave IPA. While we were there Chayce and I split a dozen oysters. We bought 6 Battle Creek Oysters from Chincoteague, VA and 6 Blue Point Oysters from Connecticut. Delicious, I was favoring the Blue Points, big, meaty, and juicy.

After the tasting Kevin walked around the room to talk to the patrons and answer any questions they might have had. It's always nice bumping into him, we chatted a little bit and took some photos. I had a good time.  Check out O'Connor Brewing Co. if you're ever in the area.



24 Oct beer action!


Tomorrow (24 Oct) is a good day if you like beer in Hampton Roads, VA. Tastings and discounts all the way to secret stashes and full-blown tap takeovers. I went ahead compiled 5 events I know about, with links if available:

—Beer Tasting

Grape & Gourmet, 4:30-7:00PM

Weekly selection of beers to sample that are available to purchase.

—Thirsty Thursday

O’Connor Brewing Co., 4:00-7:00PM

30% off everything in the taproom.

—Young Veterans Brewing Company Tap Take Over

80/20 Burger Bar, 5:00PM

Young Veterans Brewing Company and 80/20 will be pouring 6 delicious drafts from the newest brewery to grace the 757! The guys from YVBC will be here to offer their beer expertise and hand out some awesome swag! DO NOT MISS THIS. The only spot in Norfolk to get all of these!

Even Keel Pale Ale

Jet Noise Double IPA

New Recruit Honey Blonde

Night Vision American Stout

Simper Fi IPA

Pineapple Grenade Wheat

We will run out of these REAL FAST!!! Do not miss it!

—Secret Stash Birthday Party

The Porch, 6:00PM

It’s our first birthday, and we’re celebrating by tapping some more of Dan’s secret stash kegs on The Porch.

Here is the list…

Bear Republic Barrel Aged Racer 5

Ommegang’s Game of Thrones “Take the Black” (no growler fills)

Firestone Walker Double DBA (no growler fills)

Bell’s Expedition Stout

New Belgium La Folie

Aecht Schlenkerla “oak smoked” Doppelbock Rauchbier

—Bell’s Steal the Glass

Norfolk Taphouse, 7:00PM

Come have a … pint? … of one of Bell’s awesome brews! Choose from Two Hearted, Porter, Best Brown, or Java Stout and keep the swag.

Chow. Norfolk, VA

Coming home from the Williamsburg Outlets we stopped at Chow in Norfolk, VA for dinner. I was looking for something filling and meaty and ordered the Duck-4-Ways special and Shelby got the lamb burger.

I lucked out because Smartmouth’s Notch 9 was on tap too. Smartmouth recent won a bronze medal in a national competition with this beer so I was dying to try it. The duck was delicious. The plate came out with Seared Duck Breast, Braised Duck Thigh and Leg, Duck Cracklin’, and Duck Gravy with sides of Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes. The breast tasted like a great steak and I couldn’t believe I was eating fowl. The braised meat fell from the bone and the gravy was tasty. The cracklin’ could have been a little more crackling but it was good fresh.

The lamb burger was cooked perfect and dressed nice. We both ate about half our food and took the rest home. I did get a O’Connor Great Dismal Black IPA before we finished out meal—love that beer. I was very happy with Chow and the Southern, comfort food style menu. I’m looking forward to eating there again.