Happy or Hoppy New Year!!

Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year
and wonderful 2018!

As we start 2018, we feel very fortunate for many things.  One thing in particular is having access to all the great craft beer that Northern Virginia and the surrounding area has to offer.  We are in the midst of a revolution, or at least an age of enlightenment when it comes to beer.  The explosion of breweries and options locally for exceptional craft beer is truly amazing, and at the same time awe inspiring.  Although sometimes, it can also be overwhelming.  Lots of choices and so little time.  When I started this blog, my mission was to help people connect to the craft beer opportunities all around us.  I hope that we have in some small way, enabled you to find and enjoy all that this area has to offer!  If not, you can always start now by using the resources and reviews here to get going…

As we start 2018, there are truly some amazing opportunities to be had and enjoyed from numerous local breweries here in the area.  If you want to make it a Happy or a “Hoppy” New Year – here are some top picks in no particular order.  we are fortunate to have so much amazing beer around us all at one time.  So get out and start the new year off with a wonderfully satisfying local craft beer – one that only this area can deliver!

 Old Ox:

Here you have two New Years related beers to choose from – courtesy of your friends at Old Ox Brewery, who in our opinion never disappoint!

If you are looking for a happy and hoppy place to celebrate 2018 – may we suggest you try:

  • Hoppy Place – west coast style IPA at 6.5% ABV
  • More info here

For those of us that are in goal setting and New Years Resolution mode there is:

  • Goal Crusher – another IPA made with international hops from Australia and New Zealand at 7.0% ABV
  • More info here

*Because one goal we should all have for 2018 is to enjoy more craft brews!

 Lost Rhino

If you are looking to get the New Year started off on more of a dark and mysterious note we recommend:

  • Dark Hours – Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. Aged over a year in American Oak whiskey barrels. ABV: 10.7%
  • More info here

If your year ended on a sour note or you just like sour beers that push the boundaries – this is also a great choice from Lost Rhino:

  • Exesus Sanctum • American Barrel-aged Fruit Sour Ale
  • More info here


If you are Hoppy and you know it, but also really want to show it (your generous side that is), Ocelot has this beer supporting a great cause:

  • Hope (2017) – an American IPA hopper with Galaxy! All proceeds go to the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children.
  • More info here

They also have a Stout on Nitro, and of course that can’t be a bad way to start the new year off!

  • Little Black Book – Nitro Milk Stout. 5.3% ABV
  • More info here

Black Hoof Brewing

If you are looking to kick 2018 off with a taste of German influenced brews, or expand your beer repertoire in new areas –  Black Hoof Brewing has you covered. Not one or two or even three Greman style beers but six German style beers across multiple categories including Marzen, Dunkelweizen, Lagers and even a Berliner Weiss Sour.  You can get quite the German beer experience all in one place with a flight of these beers!

Dirt Farm Brewing

As the premier area “plow to pint” movement brewery, Dirt Farm is celebrating the 2017 farming season with their Bumpah Crop IPA.  A New England inspired juicy and hazy IPA as the call it.

  • Bumpah Crop – NE IPA.  5.0% ABV
  • More info here

Get Dirty in 2018 and get over to Dirt Farm for something new.


Vanish always has many selections to choose from, and if “Hoppy” is your new year focus, they won’t disappoint with 5 IPAs currently on tap.  These include some strong selections like the:

  • Imperial Ghost Fleet IV IPA – Imperial / Double with a 8.9% ABV

If dark, rich and savory are more your style, Vanish is also barrel aging:

  • River Run Stout – Imperial / Double – Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout  12.8% ABV
  • More info here

Either way – go easy on the consumption or your year might start off in way you did not intend at those ABVs :-).

Belly Love

If you are tired of the New Years noise and pandemonium – Check out Belly Love – Always a brewery with a sense of humor and primo beer naming skills, we kick the the year off here with:

  • Shut the Fook Up – an Amber style Pale Ale at 5.4% ABV

Or if you are extra grumpy and your aggression is coming out, you could go with the:

  • Flying Unicorn Crotch Kick – an strong Imperial IPA with Mosiac and Galaxy Hops and a kicker of a 8.9% ABV
  • more info on both here

Crooked Run

Big news out of Crooked Run this year.  As they celebrate their expansion in 2017, they are very focused on continuing that in 2018.  Check out their blog post on the news here – for more details on what that means.  If you 2018 is all about looking forward, you can count on Crooked Run with their upcoming release schedule listing some impressive beers to come out soon – new release schedule

One that caught our eye is:

  • 1/5 release date for Sin Nombre imperial stout w/vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks

Lastly from Crooked Run – there is a great blog post on the realities of running (and opening) a small brewery.  If your New Years Resolution is to get into this game of brewing, there is some good info here in this post from their experience.

Beer Education 101

If you are looking to sharpen your beer skills and become more educated on the process, styles and intricacies, you can try these resources in 2018


So Happy or Hoppy New Year to everyone that enjoys the exceptional craft brewing that we have in this area.  I know we missed some good breweries and suggestions, so please post your favorites below in the comments as well.

One thing is for sure – 2018 is going to be a great year for craft beer drinkers in the NOVA area.  So get out, grab a pint and enjoy what we have all around us!

– Scott

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