Perhaps you know the craving. You may be enjoying a healthy-sized plate of hot wings or succulent barbecue ribs, and you suddenly desire a cold beverage to help savor the enjoyment. No fizzy soda or plain glass of ice water will do – you need a beer, frosty and sharp with the right amount of flavor to compliment your meal. Why settle for a standard name brand, though, when you can try the unique taste of a drink brewed regionally? If you live in the Mid-Atlantic area – Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland, you’ll find a host of micro-breweries to try.
So where are the best lagers? Next time you’re browsing a specialty liquor store, or on the road and looking for an interesting attraction to tour, consider making the following stops along the way:
Weeping Radish Brewery – Outer Banks, NC
For over twenty years, the Weeping Radish has been the place to go for beach brewed goodness. Visitors to the Outer Banks can tour this working farm and eco-friendly brewery, where you’ll find delicious pale ales and full-bodied lagers created in the old German style. Grab a case of homemade root beer to go, too, and try a cold wheat beer at the brewery’s restaurant with some authentic Carolina BBQ.
Starr Hill Brewery – Charlottesville, VA
Based near the rolling hills and valleys of Shenandoah, Starr Hill is known for its award-winning tastes and trippy-looking labels. Beer connoisseurs may enjoy the Dark Starr Stout, described by the brewery as a liquid equivalent to “Grandma’s pumpernickel bread,” or the Festie, an Oktoberfest style lager.
Clipper City Brewing Company – Baltimore, MD
Organic beer? You bet! This Maryland brewery offers two varieties of organic beer – a traditional amber ale and a bold raspberry wheat. For others tastes, Clipper City has Holy Sheet, brewed in the manner of the old Belgian Abbey monks, and Peg Leg, a dark chocolate stout, among many others.
If the craving for a unique regional beer hits you, try any of these Mid-Atlantic brands. Just remember to drink responsibly and in moderation.