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Food & Drink

COTU’s “Brewski” now available on Amtrak trains in Virginia

Beginning June 8, Brewski will be available for purchase in the Café Cars on Northeast Regional service traveling along four corridors from Roanoke, Newport News, Norfolk, and Richmond to Washington, D.C. and continuing to Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. 

Trevor Dickerson

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Customers will get a taste of Virginia while traveling on the train. The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority,Amtrak, and the Center of the Universe Brewing Company in Ashland are partnering to offer a local craft beer, Brewski, onboard Amtrak Virginia trains.

Beginning June 8, Brewski, will be available for purchase in the Café Cars on Northeast Regional service traveling along four corridors from Roanoke, Newport News, Norfolk, and Richmond to Washington, D.C. and continuing to Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. A 12-ounce can of Brewski will cost $8.00.

A 5% German-Style Dortmunder pale lager, Brewski debuted at the Center of the Universe in April of 2022. TheDortmunder style was originally created in Germany around 150 years ago as a lower ABV lager alternative for working class citizens. This origin story influenced the tagline for the brand, “THE LAGER THAT WORKS AS HARD AS YOU.”

The addition of Brewski to Amtrak Virginia beverage options is the culmination of a two-year effort to offer locally-sourced products on Virginia trains, a key recommendation of the Amtrak Food & Beverage Working Group (FBWG). A cross-functional team comprised of representatives from Virginia and Washington state, Amtrak employees and unions, as well as rail advocacy groups, the FBWG was created as a part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

The FBWG called on Amtrak to establish a formal process for states to sell locally-sourced products on their respective state-supported routes. Virginia is currently serving as a pilot state, implementing those recommendations. The additionof Brewski to the menu aids Virginia in meeting the FBWG goals to cultivate partnerships with local producers, boostthe local food and beverage industry, and improve overall customer experience on trains.

“Offering Brewski onboard our Amtrak Virginia trains isn’t just about adding to our beverage menu, it’s about supporting Virginia’s vibrant craft beer industry, a cornerstone of several local economies,” said DJ Stadtler, Executive Director of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority. “This partnership allows us to celebrate Virginia’s unique craft beer offerings while supporting the communities we serve and directly injecting revenue into Virginia’s economy.”

“Our food and beverage offerings are essential to the customer experience,” Amtrak Vice President Ray Lang said.“We are pleased to partner with VPRA and Center of the Universe Brewing Co. to offer something new for people to enjoy while traveling with us.”

“Rail fans and craft beer fans alike have been sipping Brewskis and watching trains at our Downtown Ashland brewery and taproom, Origin Beer Lab, for six years now,” said Chris Ray, Owner of the Center of the Universe Brewing Company.“Amtrak Virginia passengers can now raise a glass of Brewski as they journey across the state, savoring a taste of Virginia’s rich brewing heritage. This partnership is a welcome boost to the local economy.”

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.