Brew Biz: Werts and All (Our VA Trip)

The Topic: A Brief Mention of 2 Worthy VA Breweries

 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Salt City, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers, who has been writing on beer-related topics and interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast, for over 15 years.

Written by Ken Carman

 This is going to basically be a quick commentary and contrast between two Waynesboro and Charlottesville

Taps at 7 Arrows
breweries. We had to go to a wedding and reviewing breweries wasn’t part of the agenda. But we can’t help ourselves.
 The first one we kind of stumbled into: 7 Arrows in Waynesboro area. When we got off for our exit Millie saw the sign and, after reporting in to the motel, I promised to go back.
 Out in the country, west of Waynesboro, we tried several brews, mostly via sample but also 3 pints between the two of us. The barleywine, to both of us, was way over hopped. We both understand guidelines have been adjusted to increase hopping on barleywines over the years, but we both agree if we wanted that many hops we’d do an IPA our a DIPA. The beer menu said it was Cascade hops, if I remember right, but most of what we got was bitter. In fact, considering the malt profile, maybe Imperial Black IPA might be more like what this was? OK, that doesn’t exist in the guidelines… yet. But it did seem more like a higher abv Black IPA than a barleywine.
 Really? We have so many highly hopped brews these days, why turn barleywine into just another one of those? Sorry: rant over.
 We tasted their Stout: not bad! Their Apple Lager was good, but where was the apple? Oh, that’s where it went, into their… Vienna Lager?! Being the annoying know it alls, well just “annoying” I guess, we had to tell the server had crept into their Vienna. They had a Belgian with coriander etc… sorry, can’t remember which one. The spices were mild; almost absent, but it was still a great beer. The best one we tried. The only Belgian listed was a wheat, but I don’t remember much wheat to it if that was it.
 No, we’re not saying we had a bad experience. In fact we recommend it, just understand it may be a work in progress.
 We had even less time at 3 Notch’d in downtown Charlottesville: we were headed to the actual wedding.
3 Notch’d serving station

 Drool some more.
 We kept drooling.
 If they have it on tap we can’t recommend the Bourbon Biggie enough. This Russian Imperial with some serious chocolate malt sense, and so much more, has just the right amount of barrel and is seriously dangerous when it comes to drinkability. We also tried an Oatmeal Stout that was excellent, though a tad safe.
 Be careful: parking SUCKS. Yes, very much downtown. Where all the lights are bright. Downtown. Where parking is like having the blight.
 We also had some bottled Starr Hill at my brother-in-law’s (Dan). A grapefruit IPA and a White Witte with all the yeast esters one would expect and maybe a tad more. Well balanced. I’ve had Starr Hill before and been impressed. Didn’t realize it was local until this trip.
 When I went on the web I was blown away by all the breweries. Maybe sometime we’ll get back and try more. But for now, here are two to consider.

   Brew Biz : Werts and All,` is a column dedicated to reviewing, discussing, and commenting on, beer-related topics including, but not limited to: marketing, homebrewing and homebrew/beer related events, how society perceives beer. Also: reviews of beer related businesses, opinions about trends in the brew business, and discussions regarding all things beer.
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