If there’s one thing we know for sure about Norfolk, this city loves a brewery festival. Later this month, Norfolk is getting a block-rocking party like no other as the local brewery, Reaver Beach Brewing Company, gears up to celebrate its second anniversary. In an interview with the brewery’s Event Manager, Kourtney Houghtaling, she spills the beans on the exciting and adventurous festivities planned for the upcoming event.
“We’re looking to create a fun and celebratory vibe for our event,” says Houghtaling as she describes the atmosphere they’re aiming to hold at the festival. The brewery has pulled out all the stops to make this anniversary celebration an unforgettable experience. Reminiscing about the first-anniversary festival, she shares some anecdotes that illustrate the adventurous and candid spirit of the event. “Our 1st Anniversary Party still stands as our busiest day as a brewery, and we can’t wait to try to top it this year!” she exclaims. With the anticipation building up, attendees can expect memorable moments and unexpected surprises at this year’s event.
The block party will be held in the brewery’s spacious parking lot, with local businesses and pop-ups surrounding the area. Attendees can sip on their favorite craft brews while shopping for unique local goods and supporting the Norfolk community.
But it’s not just the usual beer and live music that will make this fest stand out. Houghtaling shares, “I wanted to do something different than just live music and beer releases. Anniversaries are supposed to be a celebration of the years and memories that led you to the current one.” Houghtaling and her team wanted to highlight the people and partnerships that have helped them reach this milestone, making it a truly authentic and community-driven event.
The lineup of performances for the festival is diverse and reflects the local culture of Norfolk. While FOX and the BEAR and Nate Sacks will be opening and closing the party with their crowd-pleasing live music sets, there’s more to look forward to. The brewery has invited their regular improv groups, The Reaver Beavers – All Female Improv Group and the Improv Group hosted by Trip Rumble, for an interactive and engaging set that promises to be full of laughter. And that’s not all. Javon Love, the popular Drag Show host, along with Sage Angel and Baby Angel, two of the brewery’s regular performing queens, will be taking the stage for a glitzy and glamorous outdoor performance.
Houghtaling is enthusiastic about how the event party will foster a sense of authenticity and connection among the attendees. “Showcasing the local businesses and partnerships that we’ve worked with over the years certainly helps to foster a sense of authenticity,” she says. From adoptable animals on site with NACC (Norfolk Animal Care Center) to business pop-ups from Pawsnickety Pets, Stonewall Sports, HRRJL (Hampton Roads Reproductive Justice League), and Norfolk Currents, attendees will have the chance to support and connect with various local organizations and businesses. Crafted Indie Arts & Craft Market and HanksVintage, the brewery’s large market partnerships, will also be represented, adding to the sense of community and camaraderie that craft beer is known for.
Houghtaling also revealed some lesser-known details about the festival. In addition to the double beer release of Raise Hell, Praise Dale – American Light Lager and Fortress of Bones – DIPA, there will be a beer tent in the parking lot for easy access to the brewery’s delicious brews. Snacks and food will be available from Tumbeezy cookies, Gocho Gourmet, and Flippin’ Hangry. And for those looking to snag some unique brewery merchandise, there will be a small Spring merch drop on the day of the event. Best of all, the event is free to attend for humans and dogs alike.
Paul Stetson Rice
Paul is the creator of NFKVA.com. He was born and raised in Norfolk, graduated from Virginia Tech, and narrowly avoided law school. Chat with him about economics, entrepreneurship, hip-hop, and hiking. When he's not working on five different projects, you'll catch him sharing a beer with friends at a local brewery.