Is there beer at the Salem Red Sox? – Always has been, but now good beer!

Is there beer at the Salem Red Sox? – Always has been, but now good beer!

Mrs. Fin and I headed to Salem for the Red Sox game and found some good craft beer. Ok, they had good beer before, but not on draft. Just went to a game and saw some Devils Backbone and some River Company beer on draft there. It was Thirsty Thursday so I had some Keystone Light for a dollar. Reminded me of my college days at Radford University, except for the fact that you couldn’t get any beer from Colorado in Virginia back in 1975, and it was just a college back then.

Taps at Salem Red Sox concessions.

The Sox were whipping the Nationals’ a** so it was a good game. Ran into some friends and had two-for-one tickets from those fine folks at Next Three Days who we saw at Steppin’ Out.

Of course, one of the best parts of the game is Mugsy, and he didn’t disappoint us.

Looks like he really likes to…Laissez les bon temp rouler!

 

Where can you find Blues and Brews in Roanoke, Virginia? Why Blue 5, of course.

I often write about Blue 5, but there’s a good reason. They have the best beer AND the best music the close to me. Now, you may or may not agree with me on what the best beer or the best music is, but that’s ok. I’m writing this so I get to decide.  🙂

 

I was wondering if there they had a good band this weekend, so I looked on the old Internet and discovered that they had great blues bands for the next several weekends:

Biscuit Miller and the Mix 7/27

Zack Harman 8/2

Skinney Velvet 8/3

Little Ronnie and the Grand Dukes 8/4

Mac Arnold and the Plate Full o Blues 8/11

Then a little classic rock on 8/17 with Runaway Jones. Who doesn’t like a little classic rock?

Other music beer venues would be mentioned if they would just step up and provide this kind of entertainment and craft beer. How about it Blacksburg? Bring us the Blues and Brew!

What about the beer you ask? If you are a craft beer aficionado and I tell you that they have both Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA and Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA on tap right now, you would know what I mean. In fairness, they may run out tonight and be replaced before you get there, but let me assure you the replacements will be acceptable. They keep about 25 beers on tap all the time that are “regulars.” I would prefer that number to be somewhat lower and have new and unusual beers on most of their taps, but that might upset the less imaginative amongst us. Still plenty of good beer there.

Might see you there during one of the great bands coming up drinking one of these great beers.

Laissaz les bon temps rouler!

Report from the taps at Blue 5 – Roanoke’s now a real beer city!

Report from the taps at Blue 5 – Roanoke’s now a real beer city!

I received a FB message from Mrs. Fin that she wanted to ride the Smart Way  Bus from Blacksburg to Roanoke and have me pick her up so that we wouldn’t have to drive back and forth. That blended in well with my desire to check out the new taps at Blue 5 and hear some great blues.

Allie and the new taps! New beer, old bartender…oops, I mean “experienced”!

Blue 5 has been one of my favorite restaurants since they opened, and I’ve been hanging out with the owners since before it opened. I’d like to think I had some influence on the development, but the guys are blues lovers and craft beer lovers, so it was probably minor if any.

I arrived at eightish and was surprised at the huge crowd!

Not an empty seat in the house at Blue 5 with 46 taps and good blues playing!

I had two first-time beers, Lagunitas Pilsner and Gnomegang and then went to pick up Mrs. Fin at the bus stop. She had the whole bus to herself from Blacksburg to Roanoke. We came back to B5 and took a tour of the keg cooler.

Don't see any of the "usual suspects" in here! Definitely a high-falutin' crowd in Blue 5's keg cooler.

Chris from the restaurant told me he had heard other places were adding taps. Knowing the local beer scene, I can’t see anyone even coming close to competing with this quantity and quality of beer. The choices for these taps were obviously made after careful study and consideration of good craft beer. Most of the selections in Roanoke are made by a persistent salesperson or promoter who may or may not have the best interest of the craft beer public in mind.

The blues band was just starting up when we got back and they were really good.

Tom Principato and his band slayin’ ’em at Blue 5 in Roanoke.

That’s another thing that stands out about B5 – they are the best Blues music venue in the area. Other places have an occasional blues act or are too small to really bring in the good blues acts. B5 has consistently brought in great blues since the beginning. It was good to see at least 15 fellow members of the Blue Ridge Blues Society there last night. There’s another great band there tonight – JW-Jones.

We are going back soon. Perhaps we will see you there!

Laissaz les bon temps rouler!

Devil’s Backbone comes to Roanoke – 46 taps now on-line at Blue 5!

Devil’s Backbone comes to Roanoke – 46 taps now on-line at Blue 5!

Breaking news! The new taps at Blue 5 are on-line! The official announcement and party will be next week, details to come.

Nice looking choices at Blue 5 in roanoke!

The Blue 5 hosted the folks from Devil’s Backbone last Thursday evening as they try new beers to fill out the increase in tap capacity they are installing. They were giving out samples of four of their craft beers to a happy group of beer lovers. There are going to be a bunch of events all across the state as DB rolls out their increased production from the new brewery in Lexington, Virginia.

Brian from DB hands out craft beer samples.

The new taps are not fully operational yet but are in place on the bar back and being hooked up. I gave ’em a test run while I was there…

Couldn't find a glass.

Blue 5’s 46 taps will be taking Roanoke to a whole new level of craft beer. They will likely have more of each style on tap than all the other bars in Roanoke put together have on tap collectively right now. Six IPAs or five porters will make Blue 5 a destination for microbrew lovers from all over the region.

Sneak peek at what's going to be on one of the 46 taps!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait…should be sometime this week! See ya there!

Laissaz les bon temps rouler!

Huck got Lucky at Lucky Restaurant on Kirk Ave. in Roanoke!

Huck got Lucky at Lucky Restaurant on Kirk Ave. in Roanoke!

Had a meeting in Roanoke Monday and made my second attempt to visit Lucky Restauant on Kirk Ave. in Roanoke. We were successful this time and scored some great beer!The selection is pretty amazing – or ridiculous per their Facebook page.

Looks to me like Kirk Avenue has the potential to be Roanoke’s “cool” place. I hope that the people and officials will support this type of addition to the Roanoke scene.

Lucky Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia.

They had several offerings of Bell’s Brewery, one of my favorites, and some interesting, if not particularly great, bottles and cans. One of the beers was Butternuts Pork Slam. Their web site is more annoying than their beer, but I mention them because the name is as good as the beer is bad. They apparently sell a lot of it at Lucky, but I expect it’s mostly new customers. It’s not the restaurant’s fault it’s bad, and I would still serve it just for the name. In fairness we tried the Butternuts Hefe and it sucked too!

On the bright side the Bell’s was cold, came in a cold glass with a smile, and cleanly washed the taste of the Pork Slam out of my mouth! Nice… they also had a cool bathroom. One of these days I’m going to do a post of all the bathroom pictures I have.

Lucky Restaurant Bathroom.

It’s on a quiet street right off the market area.

Kirk Avenue Street View.

Mrs. Fin showed some interest in the Steel Erection, folks – what’s she trying to say?

Didn't know you could buy one...

The kitchen was closed but the menu looks good. We are going have to head back to eat soon and you all should too!

Lassaz les bon temps roulez!

 

New Belgium Beer coming to Virginia – You can get some at the Wine Gourmet’s new location!

New Belgium Beer coming to Virginia – You can get some at the Wine Gourmet’s new location!

I accompanied the kind folks from the Wine Gourmet to the New Belgium Brewing announcement of the expansion of their market to Virginia. The Wine gourmet will have the beer at their new location at 3524 Electric Road in Roanoke. The event was held at the Taubman Museum in Roanoke. It was sponsored by Blue Ridge Beverage of Salem, the local Miller distributor.

The Wine Gourmet "Party" at the New Belgium roll out!

One of the people above misbehaved; fortunately, I caught it on film!

They put on a pretty good spread…

Lots of yummy food!

They provided some beverages…

Lots of yummy beer!

Somehow I missed the actual announcement, but I was able to chat with Neil Reeves, the head beer bringer for New Belgium in Virginia.  You can see it on my YouTube channel here. The gist of it is that you will see these around soon…

Fat Tire beer trucks!

I think we can all look forward to some good beer coming to our area in about two weeks.

Lassaz les bon temps roulez!