And a final note, GBG will be closed tomorrow, October 2. We’ll be at a beer trade show in Richmond…seriously!
A few months ago we had the great fun to met Elizabeth Ü at George Bowers Grocery.
Elizabeth is a super cool surfer from California… and also an expert innovator regarding local food systems. You may have seen her in one or more TED Talks. She is the Executive Director of Finance for Food and involved with the localist movement at BALLE.
(Let’s get to the most exciting part!)
Her newest book, Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business features your favorite neighborhood spot! Yes, read all about our follies starting George Bowers Grocery in Chapter 2.
(Well, some of them anyway…they will fill a book of their own!)
UPCOMING — DON’T MISS OUT!
Saturday, 8/24 — SQUINTIBUS. Starts at 6pm but GET HERE EARLY…
Don’t come cry’n if you miss out! Seriously.
IOWA CRAFT BEER REPORT
YES, we’re back from our trip biking across the state of Iowa! We survived with tales to tell. The people of Iowa are great, and so are their craft beers!
Here are our reports…
We got lucky that it wasn’t too hot this year… but even so, after biking miles in the summer heat — trust me, you are ready to chill out with a beer or two! Each day along the RAGBRAI route there was an undisclosed “pop-up” party thrown by Backpocket Brewery. What a treat to turn a corner and discover several hundred people enjoying beer and live music on someone’s sprawling farm.
My favorite from Backpocket was Jack Knife, a “GPA” — German IPA, made from a combination of German and American hops.
Backpocket was a favorite of our many in our “High 5!” cycling team in part because they gave a free pint to anyone who experienced a flat. And yes, there were a few…
(Side note: Team High 5 represented coast-to-coast [DC to San Francisco] but most of us were from Staunton. If you might like to join in next year get involved with the local group, Ride Staunton.)
My favorite day on the trip was our excursion to 515 Brewing in Des Moines (slogan: “Exceptional people drink exceptional beer” — we agree!)
My sister Annette and I took a detour from the official cycling route to see 515. We tried the Hippie Heifeweizen (named for the addition of hemp seed), Dubbel B (a Belgian) and my favorite, an IPA called Hopititus (and yes, I caught the fever).
We followed our beers with filling vegan chorizo from Tacopocalypse (on-site). Their logo is as good as their eats…(do you recognize the font?)
Watch for Brian’s new shirt from 515. It is blue and says: “Drink Local”.
It may feel like the start of Fall but we’re still on Summer hours (Noon ’til 10pm, Tuesday through Saturday).
Iowa has great beers, but there’s were a lot of non-Iowa brews to scope out. Two of my more memorable pours were:
Thunderhead Brewing Cornstalker dark wheat, from Nebraska. True to its name, its brewed with corn grits in the mash. To my palate, it was a much richer, fuller version of Yeungling (which is also brewed with corn grits). Great label too…
Another memorable brew was the mysterious Hard Root Beer from Sprecher Brewing in Wisconsin. Yep, a boozy root beer. Definitely not for everyone – this would make a fine dessert beer – just add vanilla ice cream. You know we carry their sodas, but, unfortunately, we can’t get any of their fine beers here.
See ya soon!
We’re leaving town!
We’re off to enjoy our first vacation since starting George Bowers Grocery in 2008. (Phew!) But, we won’t be poolside. We’ll be biking 500+ miles across the state of Iowa. We’re heading with a dozen friends to participate in RAGBRAI, the world’s oldest and largest bicycling event! We hear it is a lot like a rolling carnival: music, beer, lots of food! We thought it sounded perfect.
We’re both looking forward to seeing all the small towns and independent businesses along the way. If possible we’ll try to send updates on Facebook. However, we’ve been told the networks often crash because so many people (15,000+) show up in places Staunton-sized or smaller. We’ll keep you posted….
No lunch tomorrow!
We’ll be opening tomorrow afternoon (7/18) around 4-ish to host the final installment of Confessions of an Entrepreneur series. This month’s installment features community development leaders: Virtually Sisters, Project GROWS, hOUR Economy, and Parks & Rec. We won’t be serving sandwiches but you’ll still have access to plenty of beers and snacks. This is a great series of community conversations.
We’ll be closed starting Friday, July 19.
Fingers crossed we’ll be back (and not too sore or sunburned!) to reopen Wednesday, August 7.
Thanks for all your support. We hope to have tales to tell when we return!
Tomorrow, our groovy buddy Danny Dolinger hits the patio again! Start time is 7pm! Are *you* experienced???
BTW: Congrats to Danny! This super guy and talented musician recently opened his own business using the expertise he’s built over many years: Fret Boss Guitar Works. As he says, “Fix Your Guitar…Change Your Life!” He provides personalized improvements, set up, and repair services for all fretted instruments, acoustic & electric. He serves Harrisonburg, Staunton, and all points across the Shenandoah Valley — what a great addition to our local music scene.
Find him on Facebook, too. Yay, Danny!
We have a talented line up of musicians playing original music on the patio this weekend!
Friday: Cliff Hillis from Philly joins us on his “Southern Tour”…
“There are some artists who you just know should rise up and become stars, and Cliff Hillis is one of them.”
– David Bash for Entertainment Today, Los Angeles
“Corn liquor meets craft beer with a Hot Toddy chaser.”
– our favorite description of their music
– one band member’s take on a recent beer
As a reminder we are closed today (6/11) and tomorrow (6/12) for a family matter. We will reopen on Thursday for regular hours (noon until 10pm).
Join us NEXT Thursday for the second installment of “Confessions of a Stauntonian” on the patio at 6pm, for “I Choose Here,” which is an informal conversation of people who choose to live, work, and play in downtown Staunton.
Last month’s presenters included: Gerri Stowers of Meditation in Motion Massage, Tracey Coltrain of the Staunton Creative Community Fund and Ride Staunton, and Lou and Ellen Boden of the Staunton Antiques Center.
This month’s guests are a surprise! The series is hosted by the SDDA.
MUSIC RETURNS to the PATIO!
We’re excited for June as music returns to the patio. This Saturday, Sarah Lynna and the Misfit Toys return for another set of original music! Music starts at 8pm.
CLOSING (FOR A FEW DAYS) NEXT WEEK
We’ll be closing next week for a few days to attend to a family matter. We’ll keep you in the loop. Tentatively, we’ll be closed next Tuesday (11th) and Wednesday (12th), reopening as usual on Thursday the 13th at noon.
Thank you for your patience and continued support!
Thank you for your signatures in support of making Staunton a more bike-friendly community!
Now, it’s time for action — and CAKE!
Tomorrow (5/23) is the big day! We need you to show up, in person, to voice your support at the City Council meeting. All you need to do is show up at City Hall at 7:30. You are welcome to speak but not required to do so. Then, there will be an after-party with cake here at George Bowers. (Oh, and, it’s also my birthday!)
Brian and I started George Bowers Grocery because we strongly believe in walkable, livable downtowns. We are both biking enthusiasts, too. In fact, this summer we will join several members of RideStaunton.org and will bike across Iowa!
We believe making Staunton more cyclist friendly will do a lot of good, especially if you only consider one aspect: the ability to strengthen our local economy. Here’s a great .pdf showing how other states have benefitted from being bike friendly. We’re in it for long haul and know you are, too. Harrisonburg and Waynesboro are doing great things in support of biking. Staunton shouldn’t be left behind.
(If you haven’t signed yet, there is still time! Head here or to one of your other favorites: Black Dog Bikes, Turtle Lane, Staunton Creative Community Group, Rule 42, The Dragon’s Hoard, Sacred Circle, or Staunton Antiques Center.) Signing is wonderful but what what we really need is for you to show up tomorrow.
See you tomorrow at City Hall!
photo: Frank Hebbert
GBG in the NYT!
We’re pleased to announce that George Bowers Grocery is featured in the Small Business Section of The New York Times!
Our business was featured in a section called “Money Shot,” which asked business owners to send in a photo that represents their business. Here’s the direct link to our photo profile.
Women’s Bike Day (3/17)!
Ladies (& gents!) — remember how much fun you had as a kid riding your bike?
If you’ve been toying with the idea of getting back on your bike don’t miss the opportunity to join the Women’s Bike Group for a beginner’s ride on St. Patrick’s Day (this Sunday).
Also check out their new website for regular rides, routes, and rowdiness: RideStaunton.org
To bikes+beer this St. Patrick’s Day (but not at the same time!)
Katie & Brian