LYNCHBURG, Va. – Yao Liu opened a Chinese and Japanese restaurant after moving to the U.S. from China in the late 1980s. She says that she’s always loved craft beer, though. In 2015, Beer 88 was born.
Why 88? There are a few reasons. First, she says, “8 or 9 is a lucky number back in my culture.”
Secondly, she thought it would be too hard to have 99 beers available and opted for 88 instead. As she quickly learned, “We have more than like 88 beers.”
If you make it through one list of 88 different beers, you get your name on a glass. One look up inside the restaurant makes you wonder how do people get their name and pictures on a ceiling tile?
Liu tells us that’s what you get if you complete a second list of 88 beers. Talk about dedication!
While Liu loves the craft beer scene, she has one clear message for anyone who comes into Beer 88.
“It’s not a beer bar like you’re staggering out or argue over silly things.”
It’s easy to be positive here. Between the cold beer, Liu’s humor and the food, this has become a hot spot in the Wyndhurst neighborhood.
The transition from Asian restaurant to beer and burger bar meant changing up the menu, so Liu tells us, “I just studied about a book about the History of the Burger.”
This, along with her studies of food science, allowed the menu to take off. She says the, “Smoking Gun is the most popular one.”
This burger is topped with a homemade bourbon BBQ sauce, mayo, bacon and cheese. Then, you can load up on carbs with The Mac Attack. This, of course, is topped with mac n’ cheese and bacon. I opted for the Hawaiian, which has a cucumber-wasabi dressing, homemade teriyaki sauce, grilled pineapple, bacon and fire-roasted tomatoes.
What good is a beer bar without wings? Liu has a method to the madness when it comes to these. She says they, “Marinade over 12 hours, then smoke it and it turns out great.”
So come on in, have a beer, chow down and make sure to say goodbye to Buddha on your way out.
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