TODD'S BEER & BLUES ADVENTURES: O'Connor Brewing Company

If you’ve never had the chance to meet our assistant store manager, Todd Taylor, you’re missing out on a good time. Todd is without a doubt, a lover of beer, especially good beer. Paired with his love for hops, Todd shares a great love for the blues, music that is. Combine the two and you’ve got yourself a palate built for flavor and soul, all wrapped into one stellar guy.

If you frequent the Ellwood’s website often then you’re in for a treat. In Todd’s spare time, he loves to visit local and regional breweries and listen to blues music along the way. So whenever Todd visits a new brewery, discovers a new beer or falls in love with a new track, we’ll be posting it and keeping you updated. Why we didn’t think of this sooner, we’re not sure.

So here is the first post in a series of many. Today, Todd takes us to O’Connor Brewing Company in Norfolk, Virginia. 96 miles from our front door.

O’Connor Brewing Company began, like many small breweries, as a dream to bring another option to a local crowd. It all started in 1995 when Kevin O’Connor caught the bug for homebrewing in his college dorm room, and here starts the journey. Post college and after many failed batches of backyard brew (with some eventual successes), he was head over heels for the microbrewing industry and started learning more about the craft. Kevin got his professional start at Steamship Brewing Company in Norfolk, Virginia, a brewery that is no longer with us. Fast forward 10 years later, Kevin, with the help of his equally passionate and enthusiastic brewing team, has begun to make the dream come true of spreading the love of craft beer to Hampton Roads and its’ neighboring cities.

On Wed Jan 05, 2011 while traveling through Hampton Roads I had opportunity to visit the local brewery O’Connor Brewing.  They’re located on 521 West 25th St in the fair city of Norfolk VA.  I was met at the front door by the President of the Company Kevin O’Connor and he was nice enough to give a tour of the innards of the brewery and meet the staff.  We should be introducing our café patrons to one of their fine ales called Nun Red Ale shortly.  It is a refreshing, sessionable ale that should be a hit with our café fare.  It was exciting to hear of his future plans of expansion, but also share his respect for other local breweries that have gone before him.  He has 200 accounts in the Hampton Roads area and he is always suggesting to his customers to offer other local beers such as Legends, St. George, and Williamsburg Alewerks.  He believes in supporting locally run businesses.  His father before him enjoyed success running a local business as well.  Look forward to seeing this local beer as part of Ellwood’s Café very soon.  Coach Todd.

And to end the visit with a taste of the blues, we’ll leave you with Muddy Waters – Forty Days and Forty Nights