Thursday, November 13, 2014

Aluminium Session!

So, I've been drinking beer. A good deal of beer. I'm sure anyone who finds themselves at this blog, looking at beer writing focused on Virginia, is also doing a lot of beer drinking. I recently hit my local grocery store and bought a few brews in cans. I drink these beers in a sitting, and I call it an aluminium session.

I think beer from a can is tasty and refreshing. I don't drink the beer directly from the can. I find that doing so adds a metallic taste to the beer. I pour the beer into a beer glass, and enjoy my beer with my olfactory organs as well as taste buds.

In this session I drank three beautiful Virginia beers. I have pics!!! Pardon the filters on some of the pictures, I got a little crazy on my phone after a few beers.

Hardywood's CREAM Ale ya'll! Beer Advocate
This beer tastes pretty good out of the can! Hardywood tells a good story with this cream ale in a can. Apparently, the first can beer sold came out of Richmond, VA! It was brewed and canned by Krueger brewing with technology from American Can Co. in 1935. Link to cool blip about it on Wired: CLICKY!

I like the smoothness of this ale. It's light and has a fairly light body. The malts and hops are mellow, and it's overall refreshing. The elements are there, but there's something I can't put my finger on that is missing.

Lost Rhino is a very surprising brewery. The brewery is in a weird office park area in Ashburn, VA, but they are crazy about brewing great beer. The Rhin O' fest is a great tasting Märzen (it has a gold medal from the Great American Beer fest!), and their Face Plant IPA is a home staple at this point.

Rhino Chasers is now one of my favorite pilsners. Actually, I've been a little down on the style for the last few years. This beer changes the pilsner game for me. On Untappd I wrote, "Deliciously crisp and bitter. Light body and golden color with thin micro bubble head. One of the most surprising pilsners I've had." I would take further about it, but I'd had a few at this point, and I don't remember it so well... I better go get some more...for science!

The Dam Lager is Sunken City's flagship beer, and it shows. I have to be honest and say I haven't had Sunken City beer before. Fans will be screaming at the screen right now, but I didn't eschew this brewery! I'm glad I finally noticed what's happening up on Smith Mountain Lake!

It's a great easy drinking lager. A good balance of malt and bitterness feels great in my mouth! This lager has light body and pours to a beautiful gold with light head.

Well there's my aluminium session. I had a lot of fun picking out three canned beers, and I hope to get a good variety next time. I like to roller coaster between flavors when drinking beer. I know a lot of people like to start light and build up to heavier, darker beers. I enjoy the contrast between the two, and I usually like to drink them back to back. I like to bookend my sessions with drastically different beers or the same one, to see where I've started and to where I've ended up. How do you select which beer you drink first and last? Do you like canned beer?

P.S. I drank a bottle of Highland Oatmeal Porter while I wrote this. So good! Beer Advocate

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lars and the Real Beer Enthusiast

When you visit Strangeways, you might find yourself wondering if you've already met this guy and just forgot his name. That's how welcome he makes you feel. The moment I realized that, no, I don't know Lars, is when it hit me - this is the first time I've ever been treated like a beer enthusiast instead of just someone's wife. To my partner and close friends who run Virginia Beer Blog, it's apparent that I know what I'm talking about and truly enjoy the craft. Frequently, however, I'm the object of disbelieving stares during tasting discussions and the receiver of mixed-up drink orders at restaurants (because surely I ordered the lighter, more "feminine" beer). Bartenders have even gone so far as to recommend less intense brews to me. So I've been a novelty in the beer world for a while and never really noticed it until Lars, Strangeway's ambassador, engaged me in serious conversation about their work. I won't forget the regard or my favorite taps that day: Caramel Woodbooger Belgian-Style Brown Ale, Delightfully Immoral Grisette, and Wild Wallonian Dawn Honey Saison. If the first one (a Curiosities offering) ever comes back, I've got plans for it. Lars, I hope you like bread pudding.

Credit: Jess Owen Day