Next month, the owners of Mix it Up growler bar in Virginia Beach will be on television – and the customers will be, too.
Cox Media Group Inc. and Cox 11 recently partnered to create a TV show called Untapped Virginia. The program follows two hosts as they travel the state, “showcasing craft breweries, retailers, restaurants, and festivals that are fueling the Virginia craft beer movement,” according to description on cox11.com. Mix it Up, 2973 Shore Dr., was the show’s second stop in Hampton Roads. The brew spot will be featured in the second episode, which will air next month on Cox 11 in Hampton Roads and in all Virginia homes with cable from Cox Communications.
“It’s all about promoting Virginia craft beer,” Dave Stinson, creator of Untapped Virginia, said in an interview. “And hopefully bringing people to Hampton Roads and throughout the state, just from a tourism perspective also.”
Stinson, a media consultant with Cox Media, lives in Virginia Beach. The show is beginning with Hampton Roads, but Stinson hopes to branch out to the rest of Virginia soon. The first episode, currently live on cox11.com, was filmed at O’Connor Brewing Co., 211 W. 24th St., in Norfolk.
Mix it Up carries 50 beers on tap weekly. Half of these are from Virginia, co-owner Amberly Carter said in a phone interview, and about 10 are from the Hampton Roads area, she said.
Carter and co-owner Coleman Ferguson were accepting of being featured, Carter said. She hopes the show will interest those who aren’t currently into craft beer and make them curious enough to check out the scene.
“Expanding craft beer around here is always good,” she said.
The second episode will feature Mix it Up, Pleasure House Brewing and the restaurant Simple Eats, which serves dishes with local ingredients. All three businesses are located on Shore Drive in Virginia Beach.
The show’s executive producer, Will Rodriguez, said the timing is right to spotlight the subject.
“Everyone loves beer,” he said in an interview. “The craft beer movement is building in the area.”
In Virginia Beach, craft brewers include Reaver Beach Brewing Co., Pleasure House Brewing, Young Veterans Brewing Co., Back Bay Brewing Co., Commonwealth Brewing Co., and Wasserhund Brewing Co. The newest addition, Green Flash Brewing Co., is slated to open on November 13.
When the team began research to see whether or not the show would be well-received, two things became obvious, Rodigruez said: the interest in the industry was huge, and the support for it was just as huge.
“We’re hoping to expand it to make it all of Virginia at some point,” he said.