celebrate summer with local beer, local music [giveaway!]

A few weeks ago I received an email with the subject “Does Bella like beer?”. Well yes, Bella does like beer, and so I opened that email and kept on reading. In it, a very nice woman named Stephanie asked if I might like to visit an award-winning local brewery for a complimentary tour and tasting. She also asked if I thought the followers of Bella Eats might be interested in reading about that visit, and then submitting a comment on that post for a chance to win a pair of tickets to two separate music festivals in Virginia. Well gosh that all sounded like a lot of fun and, while product promotion and giveaways aren’t very typical in this web space of mine, I really liked the idea of reviewing a local company and hosting a giveaway that supports local music.

And that is how, a flurry of emails later, Brian and I found ourselves driving west out of Charlottesville two Sundays ago. Our destination, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, was recently named Champion Brewery and Brewmaster in the small brewpub category at the 2010 World Beer Cup. They also earned one gold medal and three bronze medals for individual beers entered in the same competition, and last year brought home four medals from the 2009 Great American Beer Festival. With stats like that, the not-even-two-years-old brewery had been on our “things to do/see in/around Charlottesville” list for good reason.

The brewmaster, Jason Oliver, has over 14 years of brewing experience and 15 medals for beers he’s brewed. We were lucky to have a semi-private tour of the brewhouse scheduled with Jason, who is incredibly knowledgeable about his craft and patient with those of us who are not. He took us through the entire process, from steeping barley in water to fermenting with yeast to flavoring with hops. We were able to try several types of barley from a handful of different countries so that we could see for ourselves how different grains influence the final flavor of the beer we drink. It was fascinating, and very enjoyable. If you live in central Virginia, or are planning to visit the area, I highly recommend scheduling a tour of the brewhouse at Devils Backbone Brewing Company.

[thank you Brian for the above pictures of Jason and me]

After our tour Brian and I found our way to a couple of stools at the long copper-clad bar. DB Brewing Company has 10 beers on tap at all times, 4 that are brewed year-round and 6 rotating seasonal beers that are created by Jason. We decided to split the sampler, and Jason lined up our ten samples alongside a menu with their descriptions. The beers ranged in color from the champagne-toned Azreal (my favorite) to the cola-dark Inspirado (Brian’s favorite).

They were each unique, some were surprising, all were quite good. The Wintergreen Weiss, a Bavarian-style hefeweizen, had my attention, as well as the Gold Leaf Lager. But the Azreal…oh, the Azreal (aka Gargamel…a little Smurf reference for you). Fruity on the nose and the tongue, so easy to drink yet nearly 8% alcohol…that one is dangerous, and I loved it. Brian’s favorite, the Inspirado, was also excellent with its deep, dark color and rich, fruity flavor.

If you’re in the area, make the drive out to Nelson County to visit Devils Backbone Brewing Company. Take the tour, try the sampler, stay for lunch. And be sure to go home with a growler or two. DB Brewing Company beer is available on tap at a few restaurants around Charlottesville, but the only way to take it home with you is to get it straight from the brewery.

Many thanks to Jason and Devils Backbone Brewing Company for hosting us, and to Stephanie for setting it all up!

Music Festival Tickets Giveaway!

Devils Backbone Brewing Company is hosting two music festivals on their Concert Grounds at Devils Backbone, the Brew Ridge Music Festival and The Festy.

Bella Eats is giving away one pair of tickets to each music festival!

You have three opportunities to win tickets:

  1. Leave a comment on this post specifying that you are interested in winning the tickets and which festival you would prefer to attend.
  2. Become a friend of both BRTMF and The Festy on Facebook and leave a second comment on this post telling me you’ve done so. (Honor system here folks!)
  3. Follow The Festy on Twitter and leave a third comment on this post telling me you’ve done so. (Again, honor system!)

Post comments by Friday, August 13th. I will pick the winners using a random number generator and announce them on Saturday, August 14th. Good luck!

Brew Ridge Music Festival: The second annual Brew Ridge Trail Music Festival is an all ages event featuring top musical artists and sixteen local beers on tap. Scheduled for Sat, August 21 at the Concert Grounds at Devils Backbone (Nelson County, VA, 45 miles from Charlottesville), Cerberus Productions, 106.1 “The Corner” and the Brew Ridge Trail members are thrilled that this year’s festival will be headlined by Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk. Additional confirmed acts include Devon Allman’s Honeytribe and William Walter & Co. For overnight accommodations, Wintergreen. Gates open at noon, rain or shine. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit Brew Ridge Trail Music Festival.

One winner will receive two Taphouse Tent tickets, which include admission to the festival and (8) 4oz beer tasting tickets!

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The Festy: The Infamous Stringdusters, The Artist Farm, Cerberus Productions and Devils Backbone Brewing Company present The Festy Experience, a 2-day camping festival over Columbus Day weekend (Oct 9 & 10) at The Concert Grounds at Devils Backbone in Nelson County, Virginia (45 mi. from Charlottesville). Hosted and curated by The Infamous Stringdusters, The Festy Experience will celebrate and combine the best in live music, outdoor sports and lifestyle, craft beer culture and raging good times.

In addition to two nights with The Dusters, confirmed acts include Railroad Earth, Josh Ritter, Toubab Krewe, The Tony Rice Unit and a slew of musically diverse acts that embody The Festy Experience spirit.

Wanna festy, but don’t wanna camp? Weekend day passes are available, but bypass couch surfing for the Wintergreen Resort Experience. All rooms booked at the Wintergreen Resort in association with The Festy Experience will receive an exclusive 20% off.

One winner will receive two tickets to The Festy!

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54 responses to “celebrate summer with local beer, local music [giveaway!]

  1. I’m a little busy that day so I won’t enter but I loved the post. Hehehehehe! ;)

  2. would loooovvvvvvveeeee some tix to the festy! :-)

  3. Would love to win tickets to Festy!

  4. I’m hoping to go to the BRMF! Looks like fun!

  5. I would love to win tickets to the Festy!!

  6. I used to live in Richmond, VA, but that was 20+ years ago – sounds like a great brewery and event.

    Glad you are enjoying your summer!

  7. Laura Orcutt

    I would love to win tickets to the Festy!

  8. I’d love to win tickets to The Festy!

  9. Michael Sullivan

    I would really like some free tickets to The Festy!

  10. Just followed you on the Twitter. Pretty psyched for the Festy. :)

  11. Also this might seem like a dumb question, but when will you be finalizing this contest? I only ask because I was planning on buying tickets pretty soon…

  12. I am very interested in tickets to either, but especially to The Festy! Thanks for offering!

  13. Michael Sullivan

    I am now a friend of both BRTMF and The Festy on Facebook !

  14. I would LOVE to win tickets to either event, PREFER FESTY………..

  15. Michael Sullivan

    I attempted to follow The Festy on Twitter, but the link on your website to follow The Festy on Twitter isn’t working. I also went to The Festy website and didn’t see a Twitter link.

    Did I fail the test? Am I disqualified?

  16. I’d Love Free Festy Tix—Need some fun!

  17. am FB Festy, Brewridge andFriend too! amd gettin’ ready to Twitter-up!

  18. Following @TheFestyXP on the twitter and would free tix to same. Thanks!

  19. I would like to win tickets to the Festy.

  20. I am friends with the Festy and BRTMF on Facebook.

  21. I am following The Festy on Twitter.

  22. FYI on the Festy page:

    This web page at http://www.thefesty.com has been reported as an attack page and has been blocked based on your security preferences.

  23. Would like to win Festy tix.

  24. I’m friends with both Festy and Devil’s Backbone.

  25. I’m following The Festy on Twitter.

  26. Michael Sullivan

    I am following The Festy on Twitter.

  27. Thanks everybody for entering! Keep the comments coming, enter by August 13th, I’ll announce and email the winner August 14th.

    Robin: I was getting that error last night too. I’ve let their marketing rep know. Thank you!

  28. Thanks for posting this! I always love learning about fun new things to do in VA!

    I’d love tickets to Brew Ridge Trail! I have other plans during The Festy weekend, but I’m still following on Twitter. :)

  29. I am friends with both on Facebook.

    Would love to win tickets to Festy!

  30. I’m interested in winning tickets!

  31. I’m following on twitter

  32. I’ve friended both BRTMF and The Festy on Facebook! Very excite!

  33. I’d love to win some tickets to the festy!

  34. Andrea, this sounds like such a fun brewery tour. I’m always looking for new reasons to visit C-ville, and now I definitely have another! :)

    I’m also looking to break in my new tent and totally want to win tickets to the Festy. Crossing my fingers…

  35. …and I’ve friended BRTMF and the Festy on Facebook…

  36. …and following @TheFestyXP on Twitter. Thanks for offering such cool prizes!

  37. Wow, I’m pretty stoked to learn about yet another brewery I need to add to my list and about another festival I need to go to! I’m all about the Festy for sure!

  38. Music Festivals at Devil’s Backbone are great. I would love to win tickets to the Festy.

  39. Already have plans the weekend of Festy. . . I would love to win tickets to Brew Ridge!

  40. Rob Benedict

    I will go to both of the Devils Backbone Festivals. If I had to choose one to win I guess that would be The Festy, since it is 2 days.
    Good Luck!

  41. Rob Benedict

    Commented on Facebook about the dates for both Festivals. May I win tix to the Brew Ridge Trail Music Festival. Thanks!

  42. Rob Benedict

    Commented on Twitter for The Festy.
    Would Love to win tix to The Festy.
    FESTY!!!

  43. Stephanie with Brew Ridge & The Festy

    Hey guys – thefesty.com is back up & all links are working. Good luck winning the tix! :) ~ Stephanie

  44. Rick Mangione

    Thanks for the chances to win tickets! Bella Eats is at the top of my to read list! See everyone at the festivals!

  45. BRTMF sounds like good fun and an event the whole family can attend! Would love to go.

  46. oh, and i’m now following the BRTMF on Facebook. . .

  47. I’d love some tickets to BRTMF!!!!!

  48. Pingback: exciting news! | bella eats

  49. Thanks, Andrea! Will you have lime and blackberry tarts at Festy? Oh, and a ticket for me, too!

  50. Dusters Festy! Watch out VA..you’re gonna be invaded by us New Yaawwkas!

  51. Bought my tickets to BRMF @ Capital Ale last night- and am now following both on Facebook. Would love tickets to the Festy!!!

  52. Matt and I MUST go there ASAP!! :)

    Will you be attending the festival this Saturday? I think we are!

  53. Hi Kath – you guys should go to DBB! You’ll love it. We’re not going to the festival Saturday because I am photographing a wedding in Raleigh. Have fun!

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