WILLIAMSBURG — Virginia Beer Company (VBC) is now on tap in more than just the Historic Triangle.
A year after expanding to New York with can releases, VBC has sent over flagship offerings and limited releases on draft, including Pride beer, Friends of Dorothy.
Three years ago, VBC introduced Friends of Dorothy, a bright IPA that was started by leadership team members who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and wanted to create a beer that represented inclusivity and positivity.
Last year when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, VBC was in contact with TapRm, a distributor out of New York, about bringing their beers to that state.
TapRm quickly began offering home delivery of cans throughout New York.
Robby Willey, co-founder of VBC, said that TapRm’s commitment to home delivery was a big reason why VBC signed with them.
“We loved the fact that beers could still get to folks who were isolating at home and could find some peace and fun in an otherwise turbulent time,” Willey said.
VBC launched the distribution of Friends of Dorothy and a number of other VBC beers with TapRm.
While it was launched in June 2020 for the New York market and lasted throughout the summer. However, VBC offers Friends of Dorothy to the Virginia market a few times a year.
“We try to brew the beer more than once a year, because Pride is more than just one month,” Willey said.
Friends of Dorothy was so well-received in New York that when VBC reached back out to TapRm to see if they wanted to showcase the IPA again a year later, the distributing company not only wanted to bring out a draft of the beer in addition to the cans, but also to bars and restaurants as they opened back up.
Through long-standing connections with various bars and restaurants in New York, Willey said that they reached out to to express the importance of the beer and the excitement of the restaurant industry reopening to patrons.
“It’s been fun to see the beer kind of start to slowly spread out in New York, not just for home delivery but also at bars and restaurants and kind of showcase the whole positivity and concept behind the beer,” Willey said.
An Irish bar in Brooklyn called The Craic has been VBC’s Williamsburg (Va.)-to-Williamsburg (N.Y.) connection since the industry has begun reopening. The Craic was the first bar to put Friends of Dorothy on tap in New York.
“It’s crazy that we launched our brand in New York without literally being able to step foot in the state,” Willey said.
“To see if finally hitting taps in New York City is really exciting,” he added. “It feels like normalcy is returning and it seems like normalcy is hopefully a world of more acceptance and more tolerance. That’s really what we’re going for.”