Since many of you loyal readers don’t live in the New River Valley, we want to tell you about an interesting article on craft beer that ran in the Roanoke Times on Sunday. According to the Sunday Business Section, ten breweries are open or in the process of opening in the Roanoke area, and most have popped up in the last two years. Tiffany Holland, the author of the piece, partially attributes the brewing boom to a 2012 change in ABC law that allows breweries to sell beer by the glass-even if they don’t sell food. Breweries without restaurants could once only serve samples and beer for off-site consumption, but now there’s no limit to the amount of beer they can sell.
The article went into detail about several breweries in the Roanoke area. Some, like Roanoke Railhouse and Parkway (Maddy’s employer!), we’ve visited, but most we hope to check out soon. First on the list: Sunken City, a brewery in downtown Roanoke near the Virginia Museum of Transportation, and Apocalypse Ale Works, located in Forest. We talked about Apocalypse’s divine Imperial Red Ale in our post on the Big Lick Brewfest.
I’m thrilled every time I hear that a new brewery has opened, but it’s crossed my mind that the craft beer market could become too saturated. The brewers interviewed for this piece don’t seem worried yet though. They describe the world of craft beer as an inclusive community in which everyone helps each other. Joe Hallock, owner of Chaos Mountain Brewing Company in Franklin County, says that the competition motivates brewers to create a better product. You can’t just willy-nilly brew any old beer these days because it’s pretty much guaranteed that someone nearby will be brewing something better. I’d call that good news for craft beer drinkers.
The Roanoke Times had another blurb about Parkway in today’s Extra. Parkway is celebrating the publication of Roanoke author Beth Macy’s book, Factory Man, with the release of Factory Girl, a session IPA. Factory Girl is the first of the brewery’s “Books and Brews” series of beers that will honor SWVA writers. In the fall Parkway plans to re-introduce their brown ale, The Remedy, in honor of Martin Clark’s upcoming book The Jezebel Remedy. Thank you, Parkway, for encouraging the pairing of two of my favorite things: beer and literature. It’s a coupling that I’ve always supported 😉 Find out more about the Factory Girl/Factory Man connection here, and see if you can spot a familiar face!