Melissa Romano had a memorable birthday Friday.
“It’s like the best birthday party ever,” said Romano, co-owner of Lake Anne Brew House. “There’s nothing like having the governor sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you.”
Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s visit to Lake Anne Brew House was the end of an eventful week for the nanobrewery. Monday, they were one of only two breweries in the state to be honored with three medals at the Virginia Craft Beer Cup.
McAuliffe toured the brewpub while also shaking hands and posing for photos with the crowd that had gathered for his arrival. McAuliffe gave a short stump speech on the patio, encouraging residents to participate in Tuesday’s primary election.
Romano said McAuliffe has been a good friend of the craft-brewing industry.
“He invited all of the brewery owners in Virginia to the [Governor’s] Mansion last summer, and invited us all to bring beer for the best backyard keg party ever,” she said. “He is incredibly supportive of the craft-brewing community in the state and has done great things to help get some good legislation passed that supports breweries like ours.”
McAuliffe said he is attempting to visit every craft brewery in the state. Friday’s stop at Lake Anne put him at about 75, he said. There are close to 200 breweries statewide.
“It’s hard [to get to them all] when we’re opening one or two more a week,” McAuliffe said. “[Craft breweries] help farmers, they bring tourists in — all across the state, people love craft breweries.”