Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Billsburg celebrates first birthday with cake, music and – you guessed it – beer

Billsburg Brewery is celebrating its first birthday Saturday and the Historic Triangle is invited for cake and beer.

The brewery opened by the James City County Marina Oct. 27, 2017.

To celebrate its first trip around the sun, the brewery will be hosting live music and unveiling new beers, including a session IPA named Circle the Sun, said owner Dave Baum.

Baum said he has been overwhelmed by the community support in Billsburg’s first year. Before he opened Billsburg, Baum said he anticipated the brewery would be more popular among tourists than Greater Williamsburg residents, but he’s seen the opposite since he tapped his first keg.

“It’s the locals that are keeping us in business,” Baum said. “The big, pleasant surprise is becoming a community venue.”

Circle the Sun is one of five beers Billsburg will be introducing to its fans and friends Saturday as part of the brewery’s Birthday Bash.

The other four beers include a dopplebock aged in portwine and whiskey barrels named The Negotiator, a whiskey barrel-aged smoked Baltic porter named Smokestack Lightning, a douple IPA called Below Deck and a Hazy IPA that is the next in an ever-changing series of beers called Tourist Trap.

Billsburg is also going to host guest tap handles from Gordon Biersh from Virginia Beach, Bold Mariner in Norfolk, and offerings from the Hampton Roads Winery.

Three food trucks will be on site Saturday — The Hungry Pug, the Black Pearl and Two Drummers Offbeat Eats. Birthday cake will be catered by Carrot Tree.

The music will be provided by one of Billsburg’s own. Employee Scott Brown is also the drummer for the self-described “high energy” local band Hangar 09, which will take the stage under the big tent from 6 to 9 p.m.

“We’re keeping it all in the family this time,” Baum said.

DJ Kudlz will cue up jams from noon to 5 p.m.

Baum said some moments of the first year stick out in his mind — Grand Hallucination last December, when light all over the property was illuminated, the release of their first double IPA in April, and the Bunny Hops 5K and Easter egg hunt.

He hopes to see plenty of Billsburg’s regulars and the people he shared those moments with at the Birthday Bash, adding he and the Billsburg staff have made countless friends in the community over their first year.

“I think we’ve gotten to know more than half the boaters in the marina,” he said. “There was some trepidation when we entered into this whole thing. Nobody knew what would happen with their marina, but there’s been some success with building a relationship with the boaters.”

Baum also hopes to meet some new friends and make some new Billsburg patrons in the coming year. That means putting the brewery’s most popular beers in more establishments throughout the area.

“Instead of the 60 beers out here, we’ll focus on the ones we know our customers love,” he said. “I think you’re going to see us commit to making sure the greater triangle is taken care of with Billsburg Beer.”

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