In addition to some pretty good pub grub, one of the coolest discoveries I made at B&D was the fine microbrews crafted at the North End Tavern & Brewery in Parkersburg.
Although I've heard of the place, I'm much more familiar with Bridge Brew Works and Mountain State Brewing Co. and just haven't had the opportunity to sample North End's fine creations. That all changed with the opening of B&D, currently the only place in Charleston to carry them.
All North End beers are hand-crafted on site from all-natural ingredients, including the finest barley malts, cereal grains, hops, yeast - and West Virginia spring water. Styles range from Belgian ales and Czech pilsners to British porters and light American lagers.
On the dark side, there's a rich and frothy porter with roasted chocolate and black patent malts, or you can lighten things up with crisp golden ale. There's also a berry wheat (with West Virginia blackberries) and an aggressively hopped IPA bringing five select American malts and five unique American hops together in a bold blend.
But the best by far is Roedy's Red. North End's flagship brew is a classic American amber with bold hop and malt characteristics. Traditional two-row and caramel malts create its unique body while Warrior and Amarillo hops give personality to its aroma and finish. This amber ale (think a "hoppy" Killian's) has won statewide competitions, including several People's Choice Awards.
I can see why. It's a beauty!
Speaking of beer, the National Beer Wholesalers Association reports that West Virginia's beer distributors generate big business - and big bucks - for the state each year.
According to the group:
* West Virginia beer distributors directly employ 898 people and generate $246 million in total economic impact.
* When the combined impacts of distributor operations, capital investment and community involvement are considered, the total number of West Virginia jobs created exceeds 1,812.
* West Virginia beer distributor activities contribute $54 million to the federal, state and local tax bases.
* Plus another $66 million in federal, state and local alcohol excise and consumption taxes are collected from beer sold in West Virginia each year.
Contact writer Steven Keith at dailymailfood...@aol.com or 304-348-1721. You can also follow him on Facebook and Pinterest as "DailyMail Food Guy," on Twitter as "DMFoodGuy" or read his blog at http://blogs.dailymail.com/foodguy.