The World of Beer is undergoing a reinvention in Northern Virginia this week. The three franchises – Reston, Arlington, and Fairfax – have transitioned from World of Beer and will be known as CraftHouse.
The locations, owned by Eban Metz, have been laboring under the World of Beer logo since they opened, paying for the menus and supporting the computer systems. Metz believes that he could do so much more with an expanded beer selection and an updated menu without the World of Beer fees. The Fairfax location has already made the transition, and it is safe to say that the Reston and Arlington locations have likewise done the same.
The Fairfax location, because of it abundant outdoor area, is one of the top 10 locations for World of Beer, headquartered in Florida. The Reston location was within the top 10 until Fairfax opened, so two of its top flight locations will be leaving the fold, a fact not to be missed by World of Beer.
Where you have a number of states that com
e together, inevitably you get into a discussion of what state has the best. And on top of that, you make it something as a simple of beer and you ratchet it up a notch. It is inevitable.
So, the good folks at yet another food and drink magazine have thrown down the gauntlet for yet another brewpub comparison, but it looks like this one is pretty well matched because it is brewpubs (food and beer) rather than breweries (just beer).
So without further adieu, here are the fifty-one best brewpubs in the United States.
OK, I know that is a little bit strange to have two brews from the same brewery in a one-two ordering, but I am feeling a little bit wiggy at the moment. Now the last beer, Rueuze from The Bruery, was a combination of sour and blond ale and it overcame all of my trepidations about blond ale. Now I have another beer from The Bruery Terreux again and it literal has blown my mind regarding sours and Berliner Weiss.
Now Berliner Weiss has a number of the same issues as blond ale, but it also has a couple that are special to it. One is that is supposed to be light with grapefruit and orange flavor and a light little bit of sour added to it. This can be tricky because unless it is a lot of sour, the sour actually become lost in the mix and it kind of comes out as a something of a fruit beer. The second one is that it is to be served with syrup, which I don’t take akin to because that is making it a sundae. It is beer, for heaven sake, not ice cream!
The Bruery (737 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Voice: 714-996-MALT(6258) Hours: 830am-5pm Mon-Fri; www.thebruery.com) is an established setting. It has a 4.4% ABV but don’t let it fool you for a minute. Frederick H. is set up as follows:
So, having all of this in mind, I order it. When it comes, it has a nice deep rich color to it, a rich hue, that says all kinds of good things about what will be in the glass. I lean over the glass, get my nose into it and I get a real sharp tart smell. This thing is loaded for bear! And now for the taste…
Tart! Really tart! But it is part of a carefully crafted flavor palette because they the tart entry is carefully matched with a Berliner Weiss that is without match. The tart entry is really what you taste, but the Berliner Weiss begins about 1/3 of the way through the taste and ends up with the flavor you have at the end.
This is the part where I say it is good but not a whole lot different from the Rueuze, but I can’t because it is a whole different calling. Yep, two beers, one brewer, and they are equally good. Just a bit wiggy.
Now sours, as you can guess, are one of my favorite groups within brewing. I know some of you do not support my appreciation, but I really love sours and I like to see more of them across the board. They make beer really sing.
But the other side of the board is blond ales. If there is one area where I do not support blonds, its in blond ales. (Yes, you can guess my hair color.) Blond ales are a throw away place when you don’t know what to do with a mild tasting ale but you have to put it somewhere, so you decide to put it out there and hope that it sells. Something. Anything. Just as long as it turns a profit, you will be OK with it.
So, I wince when I see Rueuze by Bruery Terreux sour blond ale on the menu at Rustico. Wonderful to see a sour beer, but not so great to see it mixed with a blond ale. But The Bruery (737 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870 Email: email@example.com Voice: 714-996-MALT(6258), www.thebruery.com) has regularly produced some pretty good brews in the past and their Terreux brand is a showcase for some of these respectable beers. It describes its Rueuze as follow:
“Rueuze is our take on the traditional Belgian-style blend of lambics of different ages. We carefully select a number of oak barrels from our warehouse that have been aging our sour blonde ale for anywhere from several months to several years and blend the beers together to what we find to be the ideal flavor. This is one complex beer. Notes of hay, barnyard funk, apricots and olives play wonderfully with the balanced acidity.”
The beer comes in a non-descript light golden color, but I immediately recognize that the beer is a little more opaque than usual. The smell is a nice beautiful blend of sour flavor and the better side of blond ales, but it is also impenetrable. It is not giving up its secrets. So, it is time for a taste.
I know it is going to be a good beer from the second I taste it. The sour elements immediately make their presence known and slowly the really good taste of blond ale comes to back them up. Sour apple-like taste is nicely presented and then extended by the blond ale. It is really nice to sit back and take swig after swig of their wonderful elixir. The Rueuze made me really glad that I had ordered it and I was sad when it was finished.
Last week I was on the road again visiting a friend (Hey, Steve!) in Dayton, Ohio. The purpose of the trip was simple – see the location where the Wright Brother’s worked on the discovery of flight (yes, I know, Kitty Hawk, NC is the place where they flew) by visiting their bicycle parts business. (Really interesting link between bicycles and airplanes.)
Visiting the Wright Brothers also meant going to see the public viewing space of the US Air Force base at Wright-Patterson. (Spoiler alert: They have a B-2 Spirit!) Finally, you have to wrap up visiting the breweries that have popped up around town and as a bonus, cover the Packard car museum. Its a lot to cover in just a couple of days, so lets get started!
Out of the wide range of beers, I am going to focus on the Pirogue Black Tripel by Warped Wing Brewery. (26 Wyandot Street, Dayton, OH, 45402 – www.warpedwing.com) The night I walked into Warped Wing Brewery, the staff was rolling out the first night of Pirogue Black Tripel. The brewery is in a large building (large by brewery standards) in an industrial/commercial area and has parking across the street. The bar is against the right side (the brewery is behind the wall but out of site) of the building and it has a large set of wooden tables and chairs going out to the left. It is pretty impressive and has wide range of male and female drinkers. There is room for even the kids and there are plenty of them!
Pirogue Black Tripel comes in draft with an ABV of 9.0% and IBU of 24. This beer is tightly put together so that it drinks smooth and with a lot of flavor. The aroma has a few hops in it, but not too many that you will walk away from it. The taste is what really sells this as a black tripel. The hops and the other flavors in the beer really work well together and with a barley malt, they just sing out with black tripel flavor. Overall, it is a really solid beer.
I gave it an Untapped rating of 4 stars.
Just when I thought that we had received gold from Rich and Carol Kitchens (I am considering making them our traveling reporters), I received another missive from the pair coming from the Chilean side of Patagonia.
This one concerned Yagan Dark (https://www.cervezaaustral.cl/producto/#yagan-dark) by Cerveza Austral (www.cervezaaustral.cl) which has a “with very subtle hints of chocolate, eminently drinkable, with the vicious weather of Chilean Patagonia bristling in the chilly background.” With an ABV of 6.1% and a serving temperature of about 44 degrees (approximate), this is a beer has you chortling at the rough weather in Patagonia.
So, we will be kept abreast of the Kitchens travel plans by the next beer they send back for us to take a gander at and marvel.
Nothing says winter like a nice warm stout. The basic stout is a great remedy to everything that is wrong with winter. The blistering cold, wind whipping, storm intensity…you have the idea.
Stouts have a way of saving the day on so many occasions, and a really good stout is always a fine treat. So, when I walked into the Dogfish Head Brewing Company to face the mob and decided to check out their World Wide Stout, I thought I would have a nice warm brew on a chilly night. Wrong. But not for the reasons you think.
World Wide Stout by Dogfish Head Brewing Company (www.dogfish.com/front) seeks to become the firm’s numero uno stout. Though the keep it refrigerated, you hardly notice the cold when you pick it up. When I looked to find its ABV, it listed it as between 15-20%. That’s right, even they don’t know what it is supposed to be – they have a range! It has to be one of the only profession brews to do that! Its aroma is of a really strong stout, but it has alcohol bubbling up through the center of it. Make no bones about it, it is alcohol friendly. This beer is close to sizzling. In terms of taste, it is really simple – alcohol with strong stout – in that order. The alcohol is only for the first few minutes. As you get to drinking it, it simmers down and you can taste a bit of the stout, tempered by some of the additional flavors. A tempest of dark fruit comes to mind.
So, when the weather turns cold and its getting bitter, turn to World Wide Stout. It could be the last thing you will do, but it will be memorable.