WILLIAMSBURG — The Virginia Beer Company (VBC) has been supporting the LGBTQ community for over six years now, and this year is no exception as the local beer company recently designed and brewed a new batch of its Pride IPA called Friends of Dorothy.
This time around, VBC brewed Friends of Dorothy in a particularly large batch. That’s because this new batch will be distributed throughout the local business’ entire distribution footprint — across the Commonwealth of Virginia — to coincide with pride month.
A portion of the proceeds from every pour goes directly to support the non-profit known as Equality Virginia. Founded in 1989, the non-profit organization advocates equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender people.
“It’s a passion project for the brewery,” said The Virginia Beer Company Director of Sales Michael Rhodes in an interview with WYDaily. “It’s a personal project, we have members of our management team that identify as queer or LGBTQ. It makes this particular beer and our partnership with the nonprofit that much more personal and meaningful.”
Not only will this pride IPA be offered in the company’s taproom, at 401 Second St. in Williamsburg, but the beer will also make an appearance at a couple of LGTBQ+ events this weekend and throughout the month of June.
One event that’s slated for this weekend is the Queer Beer Festival in Washington, DC. The local Williamsburg business will join other breweries from around the country to show support for the LGBTQ community. VBC will be selling the Friends of Dorothy IPA at the festival. The event is sponsored by Hop Culture and New Belgium Brewing.
“That’s coming up this weekend,” said Rhodes. “It’s a large-scale festival that is curated and specifically targeted for the community at large, and beers and breweries that give back to the community. So we were thrilled to be invited and to be a part of that this year.”
Also, this weekend VBC will have a presence at MJ’s Tavern’s 10th Annual Pride Month Kick-off party in Norfolk. The event will feature live bands as well as community outreach members.
In addition to these events, VBC is planning to host its own Pride Month event at its taproom. Rhodes says that the event will include live music and drag bingo.
“The folks from Equality Virginia will also be there to spread the word about the good work they’re doing across that state for the LGBTQ community at large. So it’s just going to be a great fun time,” Rhodes said.
“Being a member of the community, this beer is personal for me,” Rhodes added. “I think it sets Virginia Beer Company apart from a lot of the other businesses that put a rainbow out on their logo every year. We’re actually members of the community. Virginia Beer Company really likes to embrace the community. I think it speaks to the soul of the company and who we are when we give back to an organization like this. It’s so personal to our team members who are so intrical to our daily operations.”