A Local's Review: Wasserhund Brewery
Have you ever thought about how much German style beer and the beach go together? No? Me neither. But, I'll tell you what: they do. Wasserhund (pronounced Vasser-hunt for those of you that are not fluent in german) has quickly become a local favorite in Virginia Beach. The name literally means water dog. And everything on the menu is themed as such. The vast majority of the beers on the menu have either a beach themed name or are named after dogs.
Finding the place can be a little difficult as it is off a service road in a busy part of Hilltop. When you walk in you will notice the simple set up. The tables are all wood planks on metal stands. There is a long bench along the back wall. Over the bar there is German to English translation of things you might say at a restaurant.
The main thing that you will notice is how relaxed everyone is. The staff is very relaxed and knowledgeable about the menu. If you have any questions about a particular beer or are unsure which would be the best for you they are all to help guide you to a choice that you will enjoy.
Where Is It?
Wasserhund typically has a wide variety of beers on tap that vary with the season. They have light beer, dark beers, wheats, and many seasonal selections. To get the best of your trip I recommend a full flight. They will bring a 2 oz sample of each beer. What is even better is they bring it out on a tray that is shaped like their emblem: a german shepherd dog head. Though, they now have more beers on tap an fit in their original tray. If you don't want to try all the beers on tap you can do a smaller fight or just ask your server for a sample of a beer or two.
Each time they change the beers on tap I do a full flight so I will know which to order the next time. Every few weeks they release a new beer. In the winter they have heavier beers, the bacon stout was quite good. In the summer they feature lighter beers. In the middle of March 2016 they realized a coffee beer (the Haywire Husky) and it was fantastic. In fact it was so popular that they added to it to the year round beer list. What is really fantastic about it is they partnered with a local coffee company to supply them with freshly roasted coffee beans.
One of the things I really like about Wasserhund is how focused is on the community. The Haywire Husky is brewed with coffee beans that have been locally roasted. There is usually at last one beer on tap that was made in collaboration with one other, sometimes two, other microbreweries in the area.
Unlike a lot of the other microbreweries in the area, Wasserhund has a kitchen. This means that they don't have to rely on food trucks to feed their patrons. This also allows for a more consistent visit each time since the menu really doesn't change.
The menu is perfectly paired to go with the beers on tap. They offer typical German food, bratwurst and soft pretzels. They have a pretty good selection of salads. I always mean to try one each time I go, but I get distracted by the pizza and pretzels. And, of course, they offer pizza.
I have never been disappointed with any of the pizza's I have tried. I did try one of the desserts once and I didn't think it was anything too special. It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't order it again. They used to have about 4 different dessert options, but currently they only have one. Perhaps they are working on redoing that part of the menu. To be honest, I don't really think of sweets with my beer. I would much rather enjoy my beer with a pizza and if I was craving something sweet after my meal I would head over to the frozen yogurt bar down the street.
Find yourself as the designated driver for the night? Wasserhund has you covered. They provide free non-alcoholic drinks to all DDs and children.
Each month a different charity organization is chosen and 5% of the profits are donated to the charity at the end of the month. Who chooses the charities? The customers. To see the charity of the month, or if you want to see how much has been donated, just head to the Wasserhund homepage.
Currently since Wasserhund has opened they have donated over $100,000. That's pretty fantastic!
Where Else Can You Try The Beer?
If you live in the Hampton Roads area you can actually try different Wasserhund beers at local restaurants. I've been to many different restaurants where I have been able to get a Wasserhund beer on tap. You can also find Wasserhund beer at local grocery stores. Wasserhund does not bottle their beer, but they are able to can it. Many of the local grocery stores offer six-packs of Wasserhund beers.
I, personally, don't like the taste of beer from a can so I hope that one day they are able to continue to expand and are able to bottle their beers. Maybe, at that point they will also be able to ship their beers around the nation or even world wide.
You read that right. Wasserhund delivers. What is better after a long day at work than beer and pizza? Not too much. However, right now they are only able to deliver to a small radius around the Hilltop area. While I'm still in the Virginia Beach area I no longer live close enough for delivery.
If you find yourself in the Hilltop area of Virginia Beach and are a fan of craft beers I highly recommend Wasserhund. The food is great, the beers are fantastic, and supporting a local business is always amazing. If you want to go where the locals go this is the place. Hilltop is just a short drive away from the busy oceanfront and is well worth the trip.