25 August 2015
Local brewery wins two medals at Virginia Craft Beer Festival
The James River Brewing Company made quite an impression at the Virginia Craft Brewers Festival with medal wins in the Virginia Brewers Cup in two categories – an impressive feat for a fledgling company under new ownership and management since March of 2015. The festival, held on Saturday, Aug. 22, awarded three medals each in 24 categories. There were a total of 306 submissions across all categories.
“Fluvanna Fluss – which is a name that we have recycled from the past, but with a new recipe – won gold as a German wheat beer,” said Manager Clay Hysell. The beer, which is brewed with half wheat and half barley, wheat “has a slightly fruitier and more mild taste,” Hysell explained, “whereas the other beers and ales we have are all barley.”
“The Green Eyed Lady is a Belgian Golden Strong,” said Hysell. “It is brewed using a particular Belgian yeast in the accepted style,” he said. The Green Eyed Lady, also a name from the past with a new recipe, won a bronze medal in the Belgian Strong category.
Hysell said that the brewing company has been growing in sales since March. “The quality of beer is very strong – it is top–notch,” he said. “We are brewing to the internationally accepted style of the beers, using primarily malt, water, barley, yeast, and hops,” he explained. In a time when many beers are advertised with added fruit and other flavorings, this style of brewing, being traditional, is almost revolutionary.
“The current owners – we have four of them – all have experience in managing hospitality businesses. They have run hotels, and restaurants, and bars, and they have brought that knowledge to this business,” Hysell said. “I am definitely a beer geek, and then they have hired consultants who are giving us their expertise in brewing the beers, and are helping to train the next generation of brewers here at JRB,” he added.