Weekend Ale Trails: Virginia Beach, Virginia
For the next several weeks we’ll feature fun places to explore beer — and much more–a different destination each week. Our beers of the day will feature beers from this wonderfully wet destinations.
This week’s beers are from Virginia Beach, Virginia. You can stay on the beach and walk to several of the town’s breweries; other’s will require a ride sharing service. Be warned — while some of these breweries are easily reached by walking or ride share, others are a fair distance from the center and Virginia Beach is, by area, larger than either New Orleans or Philadelphia.
The main attraction of Virginia Beach is, of course, the beach and its three-mile-long boardwalk. The statue of Neptune is iconic. There’s also an aquarium, an historic lighthouse, and a huge pile of trash that has been landscaped into a tourist attraction (Mount Trashmore).
We’ve tended to stay at the north end of the beach more or less near 32nd street. There are good bars in addition to the two easily walkable breweries and a number of chains to choose from if you’re using or stockpiling points. A Hilton Garden Inn is a bit more affordable than the full scale Hilton nearby. A Courtyard was one of the best of that brand if you’ve got Marriott status. An impressive buffet breakfast is around the corner from the dreary “Bistro” on weekends and in season.
There are many dozens of hotels up and down the beach and reaching up to five miles inland. The number of new hotels dropped like a stone during the Great Recession and recent growth has still left the number of rooms in season well short of demand. Off season is a great time to explore if you can live without an ocean dip. Rates drop like a stone, but most businesses stay open most of the year.
A dazzling array of breweries await you if your quest includes all within the massive city limits. We’ll start with three that are walkable from the beach. Home Republic and Smartmouth’s Pilot are an easy walk back from the boardwalk on either side of 32nd Street. Back Bay is a longer walk west on 9th, then continuing as it turns into Norfolk Avenue.
The nearly one dozen breweries run from fairly small local favorites to the much more ambitious New Realm which took over the space built for Green Flash’s failed east coast project. Check out our Beer of the Day feature each day this week for some of our favorites.