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LoCo Brewery Tour

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I finally had a free weekend a couple weeks back so after some chores on Saturday morning, I decided to devote some time to checking out some of Loudoun County’s finest craft breweries. Here’s a recap of my visits to Old 690 and Adroit Theory in Purcellville, and Old Ox in Ashburn. Old 690 Brewery Tucked away in the hills of Purcellville and surrounded by farms and dirt roads is Old 690 Brewery. We missed the initial turnoff so we had to re-route to a narrow dirt and gravel road for a couple miles. After finally finding it, we pulled into the packed gravel lot and stole a spot right near the entrance. There didn’t appear to be any normal food service, but the Reata BBQ food truck was parked outside serving up some delicious meat and sides. We picked up a tasting tray with all of their beers (It ...

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Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Bigfoot (2015)

barrel aged bigfoot

Producer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company; Chico, CA Style: Barleywine Price Range: $15 / bottle (750 ml) ABV: 11.9% Appearance: Clear burgundy, foamy white head Aroma: Virginia Pour House Review: Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Ale is one of my favorite barleywines. So when I saw that they were releasing a barrel-aged version this year, I got excited. This is their big, bold seasonal barleywine aged in Kentucky whiskey casks for nearly a year. The beer pours a deep burgundy but is clear with a healthy white head that dissipates upon sitting. The aroma is faint, but some malt and dark fruit stands out. The first sip is big and bold. It attacks the palate with big bitter whiskey notes, with some bitter dark malt in the middle and a lingering overall bitterness. Subsequent sips aren’t quite as alarming and more of the flavor pops through. There’s a lot of whiskey flavor here, ...

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Beer Review: Alewerks Bitter Valentine

alewerks bitter valentine

Producer: Alewerks Brewing Company; Williamsburg, VA Style: Double IPA Price Range: $10 / bottle ( oz) ABV: 8.3% Appearance: Rich orange amber, small white head Aroma: Citrus, pine, grass, hints of orange, mango, pineapple Virginia Pour House Review: Alewerks releases this big double IPA every year around Valentine’s Day. This year I found it a little later than normal, but judging by the appearance and aroma I don’t think anything will be lost here. The beer pours a deep rich amber, almost orange, with a thin white head. I get big citrus and floral notes in the aroma, with hints of orange, mango, and pineapple, but also an earthiness and some pine. The first sip is super bitter, but there is a lot of flavor here. Lots of citrus bursts through first, but also some floral notes and an earthy finish. The big citrus notes dominate the flavor, with some ...

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Dogfish Head Alehouse Off-Centered Beer Dinner

Last week was American Craft Beer Week and so the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax had a special beer dinner for the occasion. It was a five-course dinner, each one paired with a beer, and each pairing off-centered. What does that mean? It means that the food was a little off the wall and the beer pairings were not quite what you would expect for the dish. Here’s a quick review of each of the five courses. First Course: The Great Grapefruit Salad with Aprihop The Great Grapefruit Salad consisted of fresh spinach, chopped grapefruit, walnuts, sliced radish, and feta cheese, tossed with a grapefruit vinaigrette. The salad was actually served in half grapefruit rind. The salad had a nice subtle citrus flavor, slightly bitter but not overwhelming. The subtle citrus brought out a citrus in Aprihop that usually isn’t there. The feta offset the bitterness of the citrus and ...

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