Last month, Dan and I made a trip down to Woodbridge, Virginia, to check out Heroic Aleworks. Dan is a huge comic fan, so he had been patiently waiting for a chance to check out this comic-themed brewery. They truly went “all in” with the theme. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find artwork and figurines adorning the walls. Most of the decor comes from the owners’ personal collection. Tim and Kate Hoke own the brewery and have made it their mission to make sure you know exactly what they’re about when you walk in, and they nailed it.
One of the most interesting aspects of Heroic is that they create a superhero, along with coordinating artwork and backstory, for each of their beers. The superhero then becomes the beer’s identity and holds a place in Heroic Aleworks comic universe. Therefore, there is a lot of thought and time spent going into each new release. They have more than one artist, and Kate submits a very specific description with “must haves” for the character’s artwork.
As I briefly mentioned above, one of the cool ideas that Tim and Kate are implementing with their beer and characters is the idea of a constant comic “universe.” All of their beers will have some place in the universe they are building, whether it’s a superhero, a villain, a place, or any number of items that they plan to create and attach to a beer. Within this universe, Tim gave us the general idea that their 6 flagship, year round beers will represent the “good guys” and their rotating, seasonal and specialty brews will take the roles of villains, places and objects. We thought this was a great way to ensure they can continue to be inventive and evolve their beers and comic characters, all while keeping some of the favorites around full time! They also recently held a contest to name their group of superheroes, with the winner being the “Superhuman Syndicate.” Each beer comes with a trading card that features its accompanying character, complete with artwork and a story. Tim hopes to eventually create a card game (similar to Magic the Gathering), basing the game’s mechanics on stats like ABV and IBUs.
The beer is brewed by Leon Harris, who came from Capital City Brewing. Harris has been trained by some of the most respected brewers, so his expertise is a privilege to have. Next month, Heroic is releasing a collaboration beer with Lost Rhino, in honor of the upcoming NovaCon: The NovaCon Cofounded IPA.
You can (and should) keep up to date on all of Heroic’s upcoming events by following their Facebook page. This is also where you can find out which food trucks will be in attendance each weekend.
Thanks so much to Tim and Kate for having us out, and spending so much time chatting with us and showing us around!