Jackson Landers

Brasserie Saison is celebrating the season with German beers that eschew the traditional less-than-desirable Oktoberfest offerings from Munich, instead pouring dark, heavy American lagers that taste “far better than the real thing.” Photo by Natalie Jacobsen

Charlottesville breweries are full of fall beer options

What makes for a good fall beer? Extra body? Darker malt? Pumpkin spice? Every brewer and brewery in Charlottesville has their own ideas about this. So I grabbed a friend and visited five local breweries to see what their takes on fall beers are—and whether they shied away from the polarizing pumpkin beer. At Reason […]

William Taylor, president of the board at Piedmont Council for the Arts, says the organization, which took over management of the ArtInPlace program two years ago, outlived its purpose as a communications center for the arts community. Photo by Amy Jackson

With a whimper: Piedmont Council for the Arts pulls the plug

One week after issuing a report on the economic contribution of the arts in August, the Piedmont Council for the Arts, which commissioned the study, closed its doors after 38 years. Only months earlier it had renovated space in York Place and hired a new executive director, the latest in a string of leaders over […]

L.L. Bean, the newest addition to the Shops at Stonefield, is geared toward college students who want to give off an outdoorsy vibe, and day hikers in search of rations and non-breakable plastic wine glasses. Photo by Natalie Jacobsen.

Bean counter: On the hunt at our newest outdoors store

L.L. Bean opened in Charlottesville a few weeks ago, which may be as much of a cultural milestone as the arrival of a Trader Joe’s. The new store at the Shops at Stonefield arrives at a time when the outdoor business is in a state of upheaval on the north end of Charlottesville. Woodbrook Sports […]

The Barracks Road Harris Teeter’s bar was the hands-down winner of the night, with cheap prices and excellent service. Photo courtesy of Eze Amos.

What’s the best grocery store bar in town?

As competition has grown among Charlottesville’s high-end grocery stores, a trend has emerged of adding bars. I’ve walked past these odd grocery store bars countless times but it has never occurred to me to pull up a stool and order a glass of beer before picking up milk and vegetables. Which invites the questions: Who […]

Jason Kessler's insurance policy for his August 12 rally in Emancipation Park has been canceled. Photo by Eze Amos

Coverage denied: Insurance for rally canceled

White nationalist-event organizer Jason Kessler obtained a special event insurance policy for his Unite the Right rally planned for August 12 in Emancipation Park, although the city does not require one for demonstrations. Good thing for Kessler, because newly uncovered problems with the insurance policy and with the certificate issued as proof of it have […]

Protesters showed up at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail on Mother’s Day. Photo by Eze Amos

Bailed out: Local jail isn’t a debtors’ prison

This past Mother’s Day, a new political organization found an unusual way of observing the holiday: By standing in front of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail holding signs in support of certain classes of incarcerated women. The group, Southerners On New Ground, is a national group working to establish a local chapter. SONG wrote in a […]

Although Reason head brewer Mark Fulton loves making and drinking IPAs, he wanted to tap into an underserved segment of the local beer market by offering beers with an ABV lower than 5 percent. Photo by Tom McGovern.

New brewery wants to tap into under-served market

Charlottesville’s newest brewery will open without an IPA. That is not a typo. Mark Fulton, head brewer at Reason Brewery, has four beers planned for the July opening, and none of them will be a standard-issue bitter palate bomb or even have an ABV of more than 5 percent. Reason’s reason for avoiding IPAs is […]

Lee Graves started writing about Virginia’s craft-beer scene in 1996 for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. His latest book, Charlottesville Beer, traces the area’s beer history from Thomas Jefferson’s father’s homebrewing to our plethora of craft beer options. Photo courtesy of subject

New book details Charlottesville’s beer history

Fans of locally made craft beer have long felt that we had something special happening here. Now there is a book to reinforce that. Author and journalist Lee Graves has written Charlottesville Beer, documenting the history of area brewing and outlining the current state of the industry. While working as a journalist in Richmond, Graves […]

Don’t expect an all-oldies show from reggae legend Culture at The Ante Room on Friday. The band has released 25 albums in its 40 years. Publicity photo

Reggae legend Culture keeps local connections strong

When a major band comes to Charlottesville, it doesn’t necessarily take the stage at the John Paul Jones arena or the Jefferson Theater. Culture, one of the most influential reggae bands of all time, returns to play The Ante Room on April 21. And while the band hails from Jamaica, its current keyboard player is […]

As Lauren Hoffman's music star was rising in the late ’90s, her 17-year-old eating disorder battles was just beginning. Photo by Eze Amos

Musician Lauren Hoffman shares her eating disorder struggle

In 1997, local musician Lauren Hoffman almost had the world in her hands. A three-album deal with Virgin, rave reviews from music magazines, and a growing audience in Europe. Then something went wrong. And when she launched other albums, something went wrong again, despite packed shows on several continents. Now she’s ready to talk about […]

Brasseries Saison, which specializes in Belgian cuisine and beers, opened in February on the Downtown Mall.  Photo by Eze Amos

Brasserie Saison crafts new options for the local beer scene

The idea of a restaurant and brewery on the Downtown Mall that specializes in Belgian cuisine and beers would have been completely absurd as few as five years ago. Today, with the mainstream dominance of craft beer culture in Charlottesville, it is practically a no-brainer. Charlottesvillians discuss new beers the way farmers talk about the […]

Kenneth White, associate dean of UVA’s School of Nursing, says everyone should have an advance directive, so that their loved ones don’t have to make tough decisions around end-of-life care. Photo by Amy Jackson

Make your last wishes known before it’s too late

On the evening of what would have been my grandmother’s 99th birthday, our family raised champagne glasses and toasted her. “She would have hated turning 99,” my mother said, smiling. We all drank to that. My grandmother, Edith, had made her wishes clear before passing away under palliative care in her mid-90s. No resuscitation or […]

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy says he’s being targeted because he’s causing too much trouble by trying to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee.
Photo Ézé Amos

Bellamy asks court to dismiss petition

In the latest twist of the saga of Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s controversial and racially charged statements on Twitter unearthed by Jason Kessler, a right-wing activist, Bellamy’s attorney has filed a response to the petition calling for his removal from office. In a press conference February 16, Kessler and his supporters presented their petition with 527 […]

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery lead brewer Kevin Storm is especially proud of their new IPA, Tropication. “We did it unfiltered, just like super raw, mega-hopped IPA. Almost a mimosa-like IPA,” he says. Photo by Eze Amos

Hardywood’s brewers offer taste of creativity

Richmond-based Hardywood Park Craft Brewery has opened a satellite tasting room and brewery on West Main Street, becoming the fifth brewery within Charlottesville city limits. At its grand opening last Saturday, 15 beers were on tap. The unseasonably warm afternoon brought out such a large crowd that five taps were off the list by 2pm. […]

Jason Kessler, left, goes to file a petition to remove Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy from office. Staff photo

Rare recall: Petition filed to remove vice mayor

  In a press conference today at City Space on the Downtown Mall, conservative activist Jason Kessler presented his case for the removal of Charlottesville Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy from office, along with a petition intended to begin the legal process, which is unprecedented in the city. Bellamy, 30, recently came under fire for old tweets […]

A crowd at the Livery Stable cheered on brave Carolina reaper pepper-eating contestants, as they fought the urge to guzzle milk for some temporary relief. Photo by Tom McGovern

Pepper-eating contestants bring the heat

A row of men plus one woman faced the bar amid a crowd of cheering, beer-hoisting onlookers. In front of each person was a glass of milk and a ceramic plate holding a single red Carolina reaper pepper. The bartender, Curtis Thornton, hushed the crowd and made an announcement. “The rules of this competition are as […]

José Bedia’s “Memoria y Creencias Culturales/Memory and Cultural Beliefs” opens on Friday at Second Street Gallery. The artist will make brief remarks at 6:30pm Friday, and offer a longer presentation at the gallery at 1pm on Saturday. Courtesy of the artist

José Bedia brings new energy to Second Street Gallery

A new exhibit at Second Street Gallery might represent the start of a new era for the gallery. José Bedia, a renowned Cuban painter and sculptor, will visit the gallery February 3 for a solo show and other events. Born in 1959 in Havana, Bedia studied Palo Monte, a branch of Congo-derived religion brought to […]

Tom Perriello has plenty of support in Charlottesville, but will that carry him to a statewide Democratic nomination for governor?
Photo Jen Fariello

Perriello resurfaces… and wants to be governor

Former congressman Tom Perriello announced his surprise candidacy for governor of Virginia Thursday, upsetting the plans of many leading Virginia Democrats. In a hastily arranged speech at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in downtown Charlottesville, Perriello spoke of how his father first arrived in Virginia. “He grew up in West Virginia, Italian immigrant […]

Gopal Metro and his wife, Angel, recently launched a weekly Goth Night in the basement of the Jefferson Theater/Cinema Taco. The couple’s band, Gild the Mourn, will play a show there once a month. Photo by Ron Paris

C’ville’s goth scene returns from the dead

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the rest of the world saw Charlottesville as the home of Dave Matthews. But to insiders, the beating heart of the local music scene could hardly have been more different from the frat-friendly hits of DMB. It was called The Dawning. A weekly goth night held in the […]

Isaac Wilker (right) says driving one of eight Oscar Meyer Weinermobiles is franktastic! Photo: Jackson Landers

Frankly speaking: Wienermobile’s visit a success

“Oh, look at that, it’s the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile!” Two excited women race across the parking lot of Reid’s Supermarket on Preston Avenue yesterday and marvel at what appears to be an enormous hot dog on wheels—they immediately begin taking selfies. Isaac Wilker is one of two recent college graduates who drives one of eight […]

Hunter Smith, founder of Champion Brewing Company, says the new city brewery regulation could “disincentivize someone from locating in Charlottesville in the first place if they are going to be hamstrung down the road.” Photo by Eze Amos

City regulations could have an effect on new breweries

Breweries have been popping up around Charlottesville like mushrooms after a rain. About a dozen beer producers are now located within an easy drive from town. But curiously, only four breweries are actually located within the city’s limits: Champion, South Street, Three Notch’d and—the newest addition in September—Random Row. In the middle of a regional […]

Jane Dittmar was unable to overcome the odds in the GOP-heavy 5th District. Photo Eze Amos

Winners and losers on election night

As the presidential election played out across the United States, the battle for both the White House and an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives played out in Charlottesville on its own small scale. At Carver Recreation Center near the Downtown Mall, afternoon voters were greeted by a pair of smiling volunteers from […]

Chris Kyle says that Draft, with about 60 different beers (30 of which are from Virginia), has the largest collection of local taps in the state. Photo by Tom Daly

Serve-yourself bar offers unique experience

The Downtown Mall’s newest bar doesn’t have a bartender. Technically, it doesn’t even have a bar. At Draft, there is no barrier between the customer and 60 taps of beer. “It is pour-your-own, with no bartender,” says Chris Kyle, Draft’s technology manager. On arrival, customers stop in at the front desk, where their IDs are […]