Many unpaid enthusiasts encourage and nurture 'craft' beer in Virginia, but maybe not to the extent of Edmond Medina.
For five years, at his website —VACraftBeer.com— Mr. Medina has collated, comprehensive calendars and announcemetns of Virginia 'craft' beer events statewide, and blogged on Virginia breweries and their emergence. It's been Mr. Medina's labor of beer love; his Twitter handle might reveal the reason —@VA_beergeek. Sadly for us in Virgina, he's moving on from that endeavor (figuratively and literally: to North Carolina), and has turned over his website's domain to the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild.
Good on you, Edmond. Your efforts are now part of the ongoing legacy of good beer in Virginia. Thank you.
My first post was July 22, 2009. I started this site to help promote Virginia Craft Beer. Living on the East Coast, I was tired of hearing how good the beer on West Coast and felt we had some thing to offer as well. Back then the Richmond beer scene consisted of two Capital Ale House locations, Legend Brewing, Richbrau, Hops and Extra Billy’s BBQ. Mekong was here but wasn’t the power house it is today. As for Virginia breweries Starr Hill, Devils Backbone and Blue Mountain were either just starting off or slowing building their fan base. Old Dominion Brewing was just sold and moved out of state and public worried about would happen to the Tuppers brand.
I would publish articles, reviews and eventually events to help get the word out. I met many of you at events, bars, breweries and even at my local gym. I am proud of the work I did and to see the scene grow. I’ll cherish the memories of stepping into a brewery having the owner or brewer recognize me and offer a private tour or special taste of some thing. I never accepted cash or sponsors even though I poured many hours a week into the site. So to say good bye is going to be difficult. Even today I contemplated delaying my hand over of the domain to the Guild. Don’t worry Cassidy, it’ll go as I planned!
I have seen the craft beer market grow leaps and bounds and I know that the folks who are as passionate as I am (and even more so) will keep pushing the scene to grow. Breweries like Starr Hill, Devils Backbone, Blue Mountain, Port City, Alewerks Brewing, Hardywood Brewing and Lickinghole Creek keep winning awards. And others like Strangeways, Lost Rhino, Mad Fox and Adroit Theory keep pushing the envelope on innovative techniques and brewing ingredients. Virginia can stand tall with states like California, Colorado and Oregon as providing some world class beer.
I am not sure where the future will lead me but I’ll always a special place for Virginia. I’ll return from time to time. I got to get my Hardywood Gingerbread and Rum Pumkin and Alewerks Bitter Valentine, Cafe’ Royale and Bourbon Barrel Porter. Oh yeah, there’s the one off releases from Strangeways and Lickinghole Creek that’ll keep me coming back too.
Once the transfer of the URL is completed, Medina's original blog may no longer be viewable.