VIRGINIA BEACH — Warriors Taphouse had its grand opening on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Five-hundred made-from-scratch Irish bangers and 29 kegs later, they are continuing to get creative in the kitchen and with their tap selections.
When Tony Bird, Mike Herron, and Dave Culler got together over their love for brewing beer, their first business idea was to open a brewery. After exploring their options, they decided to open a taphouse at 1630 General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach.
“Our goal is to pair the finest quality beers with the highest quality food for the best experience for our patrons,” Bird said.
Warriors Taphouse offers 50 beers on tap from all over the United States, with three popular ones from Belgium squeezing in as well. Wines are also on tap as well as Charlottesville’s Snowing-in-Space cold-brewed coffee and root beer.
“We also have high-end quality European and Asian bottled beers to tweak your senses,” Bird said. “We have a really great starter collection with beers from Germany, Belgium, Italy, Australia, Japan, and the UK, but we aren’t close to being done.”
The first beer list created for Warrior’s started with 29 IPA’s and the owners knew they needed more diversity, so they asked for favorite beer selections from everyone involved in the project. After many samplings and tastings, the list has broadened into an eclectic group of beers.
Locally and humanely raised
A new twist to the original pizza and bar food menu plan came in the form of Executive Chef Adam Snyder.
“We make everything from scratch here,” Snyder said. “We have 50 craft beers on tap, so we needed craft food as well.”
Snyder, who studied at Baltimore’s International Culinary College, seeks out small, local family farmers when possible for the Warriors’ menu which is still a work in progress.
“I am currently focusing on finding pork and beef raised locally, humanely raised, and treated with care,” Snyder said.
When proteins are brought in, every part is used to create an aspect of the menu. Having walked in on Snyder taking down a whole pig, Bird then watched as Snyder broke the pig down to make a variety of culinary items, including sausages varying from Andouille to Italian.
The core menu won’t change often; however, it may vary with the seasons, so Synder anticipates about three changes a year. Specials will vary as well depending on what’s abundant and in season. Lunch specials start at $7, and dinner specials will be available as well.
“Chef Adam is top of the notch,” Bird said. “He’s very meticulous.”
Warrior’s ambiance has been an undertaking by the stakeholders and their families. From the repurposed Norfolk Naval Shipyard wood, fitted with hardware, and assembled to make the bar area pergola, to the multicolored stained walls highlighting America’s colors, the build-out was a labor of love.
Warriors Taphouse Bar area and challenge coins in the bar top (Courtesy of Warriors Taphouse and Southside Daily Staff)
The lacquered bar was given a recessed slot to house challenge coins, both donated by the owners and members of the community, while pictures of veterans grace the walls and windows.
Entertainment will begin soon at Warriors with open mic night and bands every Thursday.
In addition to food and beverage offerings, a mission sits at the core of Warriors Taphouse.
“We want to give back to the combat wounded guys and their amazing families,” Bird said. At the grand opening, Warriors Taphouse presented a $4,000 check to EQUI-VETS.
To learn more about Warriors Taphouse, click here.