Bedford’s New Gem

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Discover craft beer, smoked meats (and maybe some hidden treasure?) at Beale’s Brewery and BBQ.

Bedford has got it going on. (Yes, you read that right.)
The once sleepy, always sweet small town of Bedford, Va. has a lot happening these days. The current buzz is about the opening of Beale’s Brewery and BBQ, located on Grove Street in the heart of downtown.

Owner Dave McCormack is a Petersburg developer who specializes in the rehabilitation of old buildings that most people overlook. He visited the area for the first time in 2009, then purchased a series of buildings within the Jackson and Grove Street corridor a few years later. After first bringing the Bedford Lofts to life, Dave thought the adjacent space was the ideal spot for a production brewery and taproom.

Dave is proud of the seasoned team they have put together that includes Taproom Manager Melanie Ellis, Hospitality Director Jared Srsic and Brewmaster James Frazer. Frazer (right), a Bedford native and homebrewer who has won several beer competitions, caught Dave’s attention with his signature White Ale.

According to Frazer the focus at Beale’s is on high-quality, low ABV approachable beers. “Everything is meant to be straightforward and unassuming, which is represented in our name choices,” he says.

Their flagship beer, Beale’s Gold, is a traditional Helles Lager that Frazer says is “crisp, smooth and relatable” in taste.

Other styles include:
Silver—a German-style hefeweizen, or wheat beer, with notes
Red—a light-bodied red Indian Pale Ale, perfectly balanced in sweetness and hoppiness
Black—a smooth, creamy oatmeal stout
Brown—a German-style brown lager that’s dark in color, but drinkable all year-round

The perfect complement to a delicious craft beer? Barbecue. With hints of Texas, Virginia and German styles, Beale’s offers barbecue sandwiches and smoked meats by the pound. In addition to daily staples, Chef Srsic serves up weekend specials such as Friday’s prime rib and Saturday’s “dinosaur beef ribs,” which often sell out before the end of the evening. He recommends “getting a smorgasbord of meat options, paired with the fire and ice pickles, slaw and potato salad.”

There are other options and surprises to be discovered from their “hidden menu” so don’t forget to ask your server.

Locals may already be familiar with the name choice—a nod to the legend of Beale’s Treasure. The story dates back to 1818 when Thomas J. Beale and a group of 30 other Virginians struck gold in the Rockies then brought the treasure back to Bedford and buried it.

“Three ciphers were created to tell the contents, location and names of the treasure owners, but only the cipher describing the contents of the treasure has ever been decoded,” Dave explained.

The Beale’s Treasure story, while exciting, is also believed to be a fitting metaphor for the area.
“A place of beauty, charm and value, seemingly hidden right under the noses of those looking to find it,” Dave says.

But with the opening of Beale’s and other downtown developments, it looks like Bedford has been discovered. Hopefully Beale’s is just the beginning of more great things to come for this small town with big potential.

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