A brewery that doesn’t brew? And what’s the deal with the water?
I found myself in Newport News, VA last weekend, and I decided to visit a local craft brewery which I had heard about, but never visited. I won’t mention the name of the brewery, but I had a very interesting experience, and could not resist sharing.
When I first arrived, the parking lot was very full, and I couldn’t find a spot. But then a guy who apparently works there waved me down and told me where I could find a spot. After I parked, he even checked with me to make sure I found the spot ok.
It was a very nice place, with a neighborhood pub/tavern kind of feel, but they were very busy when I got there. Apparently, a local men’s rugby team had just finished a game, and come there for their after-game celebration. I managed to find a table and sat down to wait.
After about 10 minutes a waitress dropped off a pitcher of water (no glasses), and walked away without saying a word. I waited another 15 minutes, and while she walked past many times she never spoke or even made eye contact.
I finally got up and walked over to the bar and ordered a beer. I asked the bartender about what beers they brewed in-house and was told they were shorthanded and hadn’t brewed their own beer in some time. She said they had brand new brewing equipment in the back, but no one to brew, and had no idea when that might change. However, they did have a wide selection of craft beers and ciders from across Virginia on tap, as well as a few regional selections, so I ordered a Star Hill wheat ale, and returned to my table.
A few minutes later a friend joined me, and after about 15 minutes of watching the waitress walk back and forth past our table, he finally went to the bar and got himself a Bold Rock Hard Cider and a couple of menus. After another 20 minutes of watching the waitress walk past us, my friend went back to the bar and ordered food, which the bartender brought out to him a short time later.
Eventually we both went back to the bar to get a second beer. I got a Kentucky bourbon barrel ale (no idea who brewed it), and my friend got a beer from St George Brewing, A few minutes later, the waitress stopped at our table and, without saying a word, took the water pitcher from our table (we still didn’t have any glasses) and placed it on another customer’s table.
We left shortly after finishing our second beer.
As I said, they were extremely busy, but in the more than an hour and a half we were there, the waitress never spoke to us, even though she walked past repeatedly, and only acknowledged our table twice- once when she placed the water pitcher without glasses on the table, then later when she retrieved the pitcher to give it to other customers.
I was initially impressed when an employee helped me find a parking space, then followed up to make sure I found it. The place had a welcoming atmosphere, a great neighborhood feel, an awesome selection of beers, and the bartender was friendly, and on point. However, despite being billed as a brewery, they did not brew beer, and the waitress wouldn’t speak to us and gave then took away a pitcher of water without glasses.
Honestly, I think I will go back. I liked the feel of the place, I liked the beer selection, and the smell of bbq coming from the back was crazy good. I’ll just sit at the bar.