Alewerks named Hampton Roads' best brewery

sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com

Williamsburg's own Alewerks Brewing Company won the region’s 2017 Golden Tap Award, taking home several medals alongside the title of best overall brewery in Hampton Roads. Geoff Logan, the company’s brewmaster and managing director, said the recognition is a testament to their pursuit of quality.

“I was elated. The team worked really hard,” he said, extending “an absolute sincere and heartfelt thank you to everybody in the local community for their support.”

Norfolk-based Veer Magazine hands out the Golden Tap Award, which judges beers from area breweries across a number of categories, such as IPAs, stouts and pale ales. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded based on an online poll and feedback from a group of judges. Each medal adds points in favor of the brewery in question. With 23 points based on medals for their Oktoberfest lager, Jubilee XI Belgian strong ale and Cafe Royale stout ale, among others, Alewerks came out on top.

The Williamsburg establishment dethroned Norfolk’s O’Connor Brewing Company, which previously won three years in a row.

This year proved to be a watershed moment for Alewerks, which launched in 2006. The company opened a second tasting room within Williamsburg Premium Outlets in September, and its team is working toward the release of canned beers for the first time. They also introduced new branding earlier in the year.

“It’s attracting new customers on a daily basis,” said Jeff Phillips, marketing director.

Phillips said he was particularly proud because of the region’s competitive brewery scene, including several peers in the greater Williamsburg area, such as the Virginia Beer Company on 2nd Street and Brass Cannon Brewing, which sits on Mooretown Road less than a mile from Alewerks.

“Everyone’s raising their game at the same time,” he said.

Phillips said the variety of their medal-winning beers — a total of 10, in addition to two runner-up mentions — helps them stand out.

“I know we make good beer. That’s why we all work here,” he said. “But it’s nice to get recognition from the outside world.”

Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.

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