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Virginia Beer

A Guide from Colonial Days to Craft's Golden Age
Lee Graves

BUY Paper · 384 pp. · 4.5 × 8 · ISBN 9780813941714 · $24.95 · Oct 2018
BUY Ebook · 384 pp. · ISBN 9780813941721 · $24.95 · Oct 2018

The days of choosing between a handful of imports and a convenience store six-pack are long gone. The beer landscape in America has changed dramatically in the twenty-first century, as the nation has experienced an explosion in craft beer brewing and consumption. Nowhere is this truer than in Virginia, where more than two hundred independent breweries create beers of an unprecedented variety and serve an increasingly knowledgeable, and thirsty, population of beer enthusiasts.

As Lee Graves shows in his definitive new guide to Virginia beer, the Old Dominion’s central role in the current beer boom is no accident. Beer was on board when English settlers landed at Jamestown in 1607, and the taste for beer and expertise in brewing have only grown in the generations since. Graves offers an invaluable survey of key breweries throughout the Virginia, profiling the people and the businesses in each region that have made the state a rising star in the industry. The book is extensively illustrated and suggests numerous brewery tours that will point you in the right direction for your statewide beer crawl. From small farm breweries in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains to cavernous facilities in urban rings around the state, Virginians have created a golden age for flavorful beer. This book shows you how to best appreciate it.


Virginia’s history is vast and varied, as is her dynamic craft beer story. From colonial times to today’s exploding beer scene, Lee captures the essence of the Commonwealth’s unique beer heritage and place in the modern craft movement, as well as the state’s rise to a national destination for craft beer lovers.

Bill Butcher, Founder, Port City Brewing Company

Lee Graves is a first-rate writer—engaging and erudite—and his book is both an ideal introduction for newcomers to the basics of beer making and an indispensable addition to any beer aficionado’s library. Graves shows us the importance of Virginia in the history of American beer and in the current scene, and he offers the most useful manual for anyone planning to visit the state’s breweries.

Taylor Smack, Owner of Blue Mountain Brewery

Lee Graves relays the deep, rich history of brewing in the Old Dominion as never before, from the early colonists to the modern-day craft brewer. A great deal of research by the author is evident throughout the book, with direct quotes from many brewers, to lend insight into the current state of this vibrant industry.

Bill Madden, CEO/Brewer, Mad Fox Brewing Company

[A] useful point of reference for beer exploration: setting the context of each region and giving a backstory on top breweries, plus a map and listings of events, beer trails, groups, tours, publications and breweries.

Boomer Magazine

Graves takes us on a complex and fascinating journey from Roanoke to Richmond, Charlottesville to Tidewater, Northern Virginia and Loudoun County. It reminds us of where and why it all began. He delves into the unexpected role of women and slaves in the brewing of beer, and that of newly arriving immigrants — from Europe.

Virginia Craft Beer Magazine

The explosion in craft-beer brewing and consumption is not limited to hipster locales like Seattle, Portland, and Brooklyn, as Lee Graves illustrates... Virginia Beer shows how the Old Dominion’s central role in the current beer craze is no accident, given that America’s beer tradition began in Virginia with the settlers at Jamestown, who brought the first beer to the American continent in 1607. The book is extensively illustrated and suggests numerous brewery tours that will point you in the right direction for a statewide beer crawl.

Publishers Weekly

Known as the Beer Guy... Graves suggests several origin stories of Virginia beer—ranging from the beginning of civilization when people first started to making alcohol to a gathering of brewers in Richmond in 2012—unraveling the rest of the history from there and interweaving stories from personal experiences with Virginia breweries, instructions on tasting and appreciating beer, and descriptions of the vibrant craft beer culture.

Virginia Living

About the Author(s): 

Lee Graves is an award-winning beer writer and the author of Richmond Beer: A History of Brewing in the River City and Charlottesville Beer: Brewing in Jefferson’s Shadow.

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