Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Answer Brewpub: The Visit!

Let me begin by stating that I love Mekong. They have great food (in my opinion) and an even greater offering of craft and Belgian beers. As far as I'm concerned, they can do no thats out of the way, The Answer Brewpub is a perfect addition to the strip mall that houses Mekong. If you haven't been you may be thinking, "You say they are both good, but don't they both serve beer? Don't they both serve food? Isn't having two restaurants next door to each other potentially bad for business?" To answer those questions I would say "Yes, yes, I seriously doubt it. Also, don't ask so many questions all at once, give me a chance to respond to one and then ask another one. Don't you understand how a conversation works? Dick."

Yes, both Mekong and The Answer Brewpub serve beer but this isn't like you are going from one bar to another where you may find a different configuration of the same domestic beers. Instead both places offer beer but from vastly different points of view. Mekong is where you would go if you are looking for a wide variety of Belgian beers with a healthy mix of local craft beers and the occasional tap-takeover from some amazing brewery. The Answer Brewpub serves up an array of hard-to-find/ obtain craft beers as well as some great collaborative beers with some local favorites. To see some of those collaborative beers refer back to this post!

 Happy people drinking.

Other side of The Answer Brewpub.

Yes, both offer food as well, but once again the food selections are totally different. Mekong= Vietnamese food. Wait, no- delicious Vietnamese food. The Answer Brewpub serves up, if you can imagine this, Vietnamese pub food- so you have your fries to enjoy while you drink or you can venture out and get some shrimp crackers or if you are feeling hungry grab a Banh Mi! They offer some different ones, but I had the house special (chicken, fish, and beef) and it was fantastic. Sorry that I don't have pictures to offer, I was busy eating. While both Vietnamese based in cuisine the offerings couldn't be farther from each other.

Third question- I doubt it. Like I stated before, I don't think that Mekong will lose business by having The Answer Brewpub next door. The Answer Brewpub is exactly that, a brewpub; people go there looking to enjoy a few pints, maybe grab a light snack, and then leave...or stay for a while and enjoy a lot of beer, more food, and then have someone drive them home...either way, a good time. There is a stage set up inside of the main area, so I assume there will be bands and/or DJs in the future. In the background they played some dancy remixes of jazz, radio-friendly hip hop, and other genres that lend themselves to bass-heavy background music...somehow it all fit. The space is large- I would imagine the same size as Mekong, but without all of the walls and tables that separate Mekong's various dining areas. All in all, a great space with lots of room for people and their beers!

Apparently "dancy" isn't a word.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fidelis Beer Company Launch Party!

Last Saturday Clay and I checked out the Fidelis Beer Company launch party. The brewing company is brand new to the market and has an interesting business model. Similar to Toms Shoe Company, Fidelis will be benefiting a cause with each of its beer labels. Fidelis is part of a relatively new wave of companies that aim high, not just to make the best product possible, but also to help affect positive change in the world.

We got a taste of the first brew Brian, the founder, is ready to ship. The beer is a farmhouse ale and is a delicious, simple brew, wholesome and fruity in aroma and rustic in taste. It's yeasty and has a grassy barnyard taste but carries more body than I was expecting -a very good thing. It's terrific to see this style gaining so much popularity in recent years.

Apart from sampling the beer, we met Brian, the founder and owner of Fidelis. He's a humble, interested guy who doesn't seem to do things half way. Apart from being an attorney in the US Marines, he's a husband, father, and brewer! He seems passionate about the beer and the causes, which will hopefully drive excellence in both. He's not the only heavy hitter on the team: Fidelis also has a fighter pilot, and a PhD in their ranks. From the surface it seems as if they have a driven and experienced crew. This is a brewery to watch.

Keep up to date on their new releases and info on their website. Let them know you'd like to see their beer on tap near you on their twitter!

Check out this interview of Brian at Bible, Beer, and Babies.


Monday, September 1, 2014

The Answer Brewpub!

The Answer Brewpub- Building an Empire of beer!

If you drink beer in Richmond/ Central Virginia you (should) have heard of Mekong. Mekong has some great offerings when it comes to food- authentic Vietnamese cuisine at affordable prices! YAY! What makes Mekong truly great is their selection of beers; there are so many beers I'm not even going to begin to list them all, but there are enough to warrant Mekong receiving's Great American Beer Bar for both 2012 and 2013! This led to some astounding beer specials both years, and when they win again this year there will be more! Mekong is one of my favorite restaurants in Richmond and definitely my favorite beer spot in the city. 

All of that being said, An Bui- the genius mind behind Mekong, has been working on The Answer Brewpub. The Answer will be located next door to Mekong (seriously, right next door!) and will have a different list of beers from Mekong plus some collaborative beers from An and other local brewers. The Answer Brewpub opens tomorrow, the 2nd, at 4 pm and I know that I plan on being there! Earlier today the facebook page for Mekong and The Answer Brewpub filled people in on what their offerings are is as follows: