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The Lagerheads took a little day trip to Fredericksburg last weekend. After parking the car and walking past only a handful of quaint colonial buildings, we stumbled into one for a wine tasting thinking we could score some free cheese. We did get some aged cheddar but wound up stumbling upon a great little beer shop. We prefer that to cheddar any day.
There were three things we loved about the Virginia Wine Experience in Old Town Fredericksburg.
1. Selection: First and always most important is the selection. In addition to a whole slew of well-chosen American craft breweries, the shop carries a nice selection of Belgian, German, British, Canadian (Unibroue and Dieu de Ciel), and Scandinavian imports.
2. Single City: As we made our way past the coolers of individual bottles, we soon noticed that every bottle in the store was priced and marked for individual sale. Most were between $3 (like Bell’s) and $10 (hard hitters like Dogfish Head 120). No bargain, for sure, but the shop offers a 10% discount on a mixed 6-pack and 20% off a mixed 12-pack. Don’t know about you, but we’re willing to pay a little more for variety. We got out of there with 12 bottles of fermented beverages for about $45.
3. Community: The place was pretty busy, and just as we were excusing ourselves behind other shoppers we noticed something particularly cool: everyone knew the good stuff from the fluff and seemed to be helping each other make good beer selections.
Our only beef with VWE (so far—it’s still a honeymoon for sure) is that they seem ashamed of the fact that they carry beer. Their Facebook page only has pictures of wine. All the promotional stuff we’ve seen has no mention of beer whatsoever, save two measly posts on their Facebook page. We prefer the proud, beer-focused attitude our favorite shops in Washington have.
Some gems from our loot: Blue & Gray Christmas Cranberry Ale (from a local Fredericksburg brewery), Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale, Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Extra, and three Dieu du Ciel brews: Route des epices, Derniere Volonte, andCorne du diable.
More photos of the shop (and plenty of other beer updates) are on our Facebook page.