New releases at Vu Ja De Vineyards


Vu Ja De Vineyards released four new wines recently that are a further testament to the winemaking skills of vintner Bryan George. Operating from his tiny boutique winery located in the rolling hills of Roane County, WV, George masters the art of blending like few others in the region.

Two new Vu Ja De Vineyards proprietary blends

The first two of the new releases are wines for drinking now.

His 60% estate-grown blend—Remember Your Dreams II is a standout. In this red beauty, George shows just how lovely his estate French-American hybrids can show when balanced with a portion of high quality vinifera juice. Continue reading “New releases at Vu Ja De Vineyards”

Tamarack to add craft beer sales

Tamarack, Beckley, WV

Tamarack, the premier outlet for West Virginia artisans, will add craft beer to its already impressive line up of arts, crafts, food, and wine, Brilliant Stream has learned.

A new beer and wine sales area reportedly will be established in prime space next to the facility’s popular restaurant. The Tamarack restaurant has consistently been a big draw for travelers. Being located next door to it should prove a boon for both beer and wine sales. Continue reading “Tamarack to add craft beer sales”

Flying squirrel & distillery land in WV

Last year a new, Hampshire County, West Virginia, farm owner and his crew were out generally clearing some land when this one particular oak tree was felled. As it came crashing down, a large family of flying squirrels bailed out and scattered.

Stephen Settimi
Stephen Settimi caught at the recent WV Small Farm Conference in Charleston WV. Settimi, put his career in international development on the back-burner to buy a West Virginia farm where he will establish a farm distillery and market under the Appalachian Spirits label.

“I was mortified,” said farm owner Stephen Settimi. “I said right then and there that I would never cut down another dead tree again because there are things living in them.”

So in honor of those squirrels, the Flying Squirrel Ranch & Farm was born. And soon, some attractive farm-based ventures will follow. Continue reading “Flying squirrel & distillery land in WV”

Wheeling Brewing builds on tradition


Wheeling Brewing building
The blue building at 2247 Market St. is the home of Wheeling Brewing Company in Wheeling, WV’s historic Centre Market area. It is part of keeping this section of the city vibrant and attractive. Wheeling Brewing Company is the latest effort to revive that city’s rich brewing tradition, which has roots back to the early 1800s. The new brewery’s namesake, Smith’s Wheeling Brewery, was a popular ale brewery that operated for roughly 50 years during the mid to late 19th century. 

From a basement to a marketplace

The new Wheeling Brewing Company is actually an outgrowth of the tiny Basement Brewery that was really started in a basement in 2012 by local homebrewers Chad Hill, Jimmy Schute, and Dave Cornett. It was both the success and difficulties of that start-up that led the owners to plan an expanded operation that would be a full-fledged brewpub and restaurant located in Wheeling’s historic Centre Market. As a result of those plans, Wheeling Brewing was born. Continue reading “Wheeling Brewing builds on tradition”

Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine available online

Drink of the Devil

This little distillery hidden deep in the Appalachian Mountains makes only one product: Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine. It’s made from the original Hatfield family moonshine recipe passed down to Nancy Hatfield, who is a great-great-granddaughter the of notorious Devil Anse Hatfield. Hence the distillery’s catchy slogan, “The Drink of the Devil.” Continue reading “Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine available online”

Wicked Weed sours for all seasons


In late 2012 Wicked Weed Brewing introduced the world to Black Angel, its sublime black sour ale aged six months in bourbon-barrels with tart cherries.  It was an immediate hit.

Fifteen batches and two years later, the brewery says the success of Black Angel Cherry Sour has inspired a whole series of “Angel” sours. Red Angel, Gold Angel, White Angel, and The Angel of Darkness will be released throughout 2015 as a unique and limited series of sours. Continue reading “Wicked Weed sours for all seasons”

Appalachian chefs, restaurants compete for James Beard Awards

James Beard Award

Appalachian chefs and restaurateurs are well represented among the list of James Beard Award semifinalists announced yesterday. Fifteen different Appalachian region chefs and restaurateurs made the cut.

Damian Heath of Lot 12
Damian Heath of Lot 12 Public House in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia is a James Beard Award semifinalist for the ninth year in a row. He is competing for Best Chef, Southeast region. He is one of 5 Appalachian region chefs named as semifinalists in the Southeast category. Photo: Facebook

The James Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in the United States.  Eight Appalachian chefs and restaurants became semifinalists in 7 of the 11 national categories. Seven more made the cut for Best Chef in their respective geographic regions.

Continue reading “Appalachian chefs, restaurants compete for James Beard Awards”