Raising Your Spirits this Winter in COVA

Not all of us like the cold, but most of us enjoy quality beer, wine, & spirits. Coastal Virginia offers a great selection as breweries, distilleries, and brewpubs that continue to grow in the area.

Here are 7 ways to raise your *spirits* this winter in COVA:

Virginia Beach

Housed within a building that many Virginia Beach locals remember as an iconic surf shop, Chesapeake Bay Distillery, the first vodka tasting room in Virginia Beach, is pouring out spirit, in the form of their Blue Ridge Vodka, Beach Vodka and Chick’s Beach Rum, by the shot glass in their tasting room. You can sample each vodka on its own or choose up to four shooters of flavors such as Cranberry, Bloody Mary, Lemon Drop and Apple Pie (flavors change regularly) to enjoy in the tasting room. Cheers! LEARN MORE

Keith Johnson at Pagan River Wine Merchants


A fresh point of view at Pagan River Wine Merchants Monthly Wine Tastings. Do not mistake Keith Johnson’s youth for inexperience! The manager of the Pagan River Wine Merchants is a knowledgeable and skilled wine connoisseur. And it’s Keith who offers the shop’s monthly wine tastings. Held the last Friday of each month, Keith or a guest speaker will guide you through a series of six different wines and give a brief talk on each. A cheese board is also provided. Cost is just $10 per person. This is no stuffy event. With Keith selecting the wines and presenting them, you’ll be sure to find the latest and best that the wine world has to offer. Pagan River Wine Merchants is located at 409 S. Church Street (at the Boardwalk Shops at Smithfield Station) in downtown Smithfield, and can be reached at 757.357.5375. LEARN MORE



Did someone say craft beer? With seven great breweries, an eclectic lineup of gastropubs, and one of the nation’s top 5 beer bars, Norfolk is serving up some serious fermented fun. Norfolk is also home to Virginia’s first urban winery, Mermaid Winery. Located in the historic Ghent district, visitors can watch the wine-making process from the tasting bar, and choose from 12 different wine flights. The winery offers a list of nearly 600 wines from around the world and a menu of artisanal cheese platters, sandwiches, and entrees. Press 626 Café & Wine bar, also located in Ghent, employees three Certified Sommeliers, and two first level Sommeliers, and is a recipient of the Wine Spectator Award. LEARN MORE



Warm up this winter with delicious drinks at the Williamsburg Tasting Trail! From award-winning wine and micro-brewed beer to ancient mead and distilled spirits, experience the best of handcrafted alcoholic beverages in Greater Williamsburg. The Tasting Trail includes tours and tastings at four locations, transportation, and runs Wednesdays through Sundays. There are also Happy Hour tours available Mondays through Thursdays, and includes tours and/or tastings at three locations. LEARN MORE


Franklin Southampton

Cheers & Beers in Downtown Franklin! A family tradition since 1945 Fred’s Restaurant is a local favorite in Downtown Franklin. We invite you to come unwind, grab a brew and enjoy this local hangout. Answer the age old question “WHEREINTHEHELLISFRANKLINVA” and get your very own t-shirt as proof you enjoyed it! LEARN MORE



The Downtown Hampton Development Partnership, Coliseum Central BID, and the Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau, in conjunction with Coastal Virginia Magazine, are pleased to announce that Olde Towne Tavern, located at 31 E Mellen Street, in the Phoebus section of Hampton, is the winner of the 2016 Hampton Eats Cocktail Challenge! The winning cocktail is described as a “Cherry Kool-Aid that tastes like your mama made it…plus vodka.” Grab one today, you won’t be disappointed! LEARN MORE

Newport News

We’ve rounded up our favorite “spirited” spots throughout Newport News and throughout our neighboring cities on our Toast the Coast: Beer, Wine and Shine Trail! Enjoy beverages from our new establishments, Tradition Brewing Company and The Ironclad Distillery. Tradition Brewing Company always has something going on for you, your friends and family to enjoy! With regular musical performances and food trucks scheduled almost daily, there is always a good time in store at this local favorite. The Ironclad Distillery in Newport News produces some of the finest bourbon in Virginia, and it is open weekly for tours. Although its tasting room won’t be open until later in 2017, you can schedule a behind-the-scenes tour of the establishment by sending an email to RSVP@ironcladdistillery.comLEARN MORE

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