Beer Reborn

by MIKE HIXENBAUGH
Distinction Magazine

Two decades before the craft beer explosion swept Hampton Roads, one of the nation’s most celebrated microbrews flowed from old dairy tanks in a tiny plant off London Bridge Road.

It was 1986, long before Sierra Nevada and New Belgium became staples on grocery store beer racks, and a 26-year-old Allen Young had just landed in Virginia Beach. He joined a ragtag group of beer lovers with radical plans to sell German-style specialty beers on the East Coast.

Together they started Chesapeake Bay Brewing Company and soon became rising stars in a fledgling industry, winning a gold medal in the inaugural Great American Beer Festival taste contest the very next year and establishing a cult following in the brew pubs of suburban Washington.

“We were like rock stars up there,” a more grizzled Young says now, recalling the response in D.C. after the little-known brewery unveiled its signature Chesbay Double Bock. “But down here – down the street from where we were actually making this stuff – we couldn’t get anyone to buy in. We were brewing a dark, malty beer in a strictly Budweiser kind of town.” Continue reading “Beer Reborn”

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Debate swirls: Can women make cut in elite ranks?

By Mike Hixenbaugh
The Virginian-Pilot
© February 2, 2013

A bruised and bloodied female recruit pulls herself to her feet, spits out a mouthful of blood and shouts an unladylike insult at an abusive master chief, instantly earning respect from her male teammates as she becomes the nation’s first female commando.

The dramatic scene from “G.I. Jane” suggests that integrating women into a special operations unit is as simple as finding a physically fit woman willing to shave her head and put up with misogynistic jerks.

That was just a movie. This is real life.

Continue reading “Debate swirls: Can women make cut in elite ranks?”