You have reached the Hampton Roads Brewing and Tasting Society (HRBTS) website. We are dedicated to promoting the enjoyment of homebrewing.

The HRB&TS works throughout the Tidewater area (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach) to promote homebrewing, beer judging, and beer appreciation. We are a brewing and tasting society, so in addition to homebrewing we also focus on beer appreciation, learning to judge homebrew and craft beer, and style education.

The club meets the first Wednesday evening of each month for our general membership meeting in various locations around Hampton Roads. We also have a club event every Third Wednesday of the month, alternating between Beer Seminars and Homebrew Competitions. We welcome brewers of all levels, from novice to advanced, extract to all-grain, as well as non-brewers who want to get started or mentored in the brewing process. We also welcome non-brewers as “tasters” who are interested in appreciating and learning more about craft beer.

Beer Seminars feature technical topics, style education, and BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) training. Technical topics over the past few years have included:

  • Dry vs liquid yeast viability
  • Keg cleaning and sanitizing
  • Calculating keg carbonation requirements
  • Off-flavor identification with doctored beers
  • Comparing and judging dry, oatmeal, foreign export, and imperial stouts, with chocolate pairing
  • Preparation for the BJCP online entrance exam
  • Comparing and judging German style weissbier, dunkelweizen, and weizenbock
  • Comparing and judging Belgian blond ale, golden strong ale and, tripel styles
  • Tasting comparisons of base beer brewed with different hops
  • Tasting comparisons of Pale, Munich, and Vienna malts
  • Brewing and appreciating sour beer styles
  • Are you a supertaster? Take the PROP test and find out!

Homebrew competitions provide an opportunity to learn how to judge beer, taste a variety of homebrews, and have your homebrew judged according to Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) guidelines, and compete for the Hampton Roads Homebrew Cup. These competitions are usually held Third Wednesday but occasionally are held on a Saturday.

Members receive a monthly newsletter via e-mail with club news and details of meeting, beer seminar, and judging locations. We vary meeting locations each month. Typically we meet in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, but a few times each year we meet in Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and/or Hampton.

The HRB&TS likes to travel, and the club has organized field trips to destinations like Richmond, Asheville, Raleigh, breweries like Dogfish Head, and events like Homebrew Con and Max’s Belgian Beer Festival. Members are treated to an annual Oktoberfest Party, Summer Picnic, and Christmas Party.