From Duck Blind to Brewery, Back Bay Brewing Company

From Duck Blind to Brewery, Back Bay Brewing Company
Back Bay Brewing Co.
614 Norfolk Avenue | Virginia Beach, VA. 23451
(757) 531-7750

Back Bay Brewing Company was founded by friends Charlie Burroughs and Josh Canada in 2011 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The pair decided to make their dream of brewing their own beer a reality while in a duck blind in Virginia Beach’s Back Bay.

Three life-long friends, George Powell, Will Yearick, and Josh Malbon came on board, and a year later, Back Bay Brewing Company released their first beer, False Cape Ale.

Back Bay’s False Cape Ale is a dark copper colored, full-bodied red ale with a well rounded malt base. The beer is a bit sweet, with a lightly hopped tea-like flavor, and an even, dextrinous body. A drying finish comes from Cascade dry-hopping.


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The inspiration for the brewery’s name, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, includes over 9,250 acres of land on and around a thin strip of coastline. About 10,000 snow geese and a variety of ducks visit Back Bay during the peak of fall migration in December. Other wildlife such as loggerhead sea turtles, piping plovers, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles can be found in the refuge.

Back Bay Brewing Company’s tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday. The tasting room has a rustic beach feel with tin panel walls, concrete floors, and white wood accents throughout. There are long wooden tables with a view of the brewing system. The large wooden bar seats 18, and the lights hanging above the bar are made from small glass growlers.

The beers on tap during my visit included:

  • Honey Blue Blue – 4.9% ABV Golden Ale
  • False Cape – 6% ABV Amber Ale
  • Steel Pier – 4% ABV Bohemian Lager

  • Atlantic Ave IPA – 6% ABV India Pale Ale
  • Beach Cruiser – 5.5% ABV Pale Ale
  • Back Bay Porter – 5% ABV Porter


My favorite was the smooth, malty Back Bay Porter. A radler was also available on tap, and beer and soda are available for purchase. Since my visit, Back Bay released Witch of Pungo, a pumpkin ale. Pints and samplers are available in house. Both 32 and 64 ounce growlers and six packs are available to go.

Back Bay recently held an Oktoberfest celebration. Their collaboration brew with HomeBrew USA was released at the event. The beer, Back Home Hefeweizen, is a traditional German wheat beer brewed with Citra hops. HomeBrew USA will be selling kits at their stores with the ingredients, allowing homebrewers to whip up a batch of their own.


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