Matt and I enjoyed a visit out to the NOVA Brewfest in Centreville this past weekend and were treated to some of the top vendors’ craft brews. When we arrived, Mike Graham, event manager, greeted us and set us up with charming sample glasses and tickets. The weather was a divine seventy-eight degrees with a pleasant breeze while the atmosphere radiated warmth and friendliness.
Folks visited at stands and strangers were a foreign concept. Kids played on the open grounds with hula-hoops and balls and musicians entertained the guests with lively music. The Woodshedders, an Americana rock band, had folks dancing and acting like children.
…Or was it all those lush beer samples?
It was difficult to choose which stand to visit first but being a local girl we headed straight for Adroit Theory’s tent. It turned out their Mojito Gose was causing quite the buzz at the festival. This was understandable since the beer was more like a temporary transport to an upscale bar than a simple tasting. I was quite certain I was sipping a sublime summer mimosa in a cocktail dress. Striking just the right balance, I almost misplaced my fall euphoria.
Adroit Theory and Solace Brewing
Photograph by Matt Leonard
Over at Old Ox Brewery’s tent I was hunting for their Oxorcist but forgot to feel disappointed when I sampled Brother Lees G&T Saison. Full disclosure I am not a Saison gal but the sour lime zest and cocktail inspired dry infusion made it a total win with me. Matt enjoyed the Black Ox Rye Porter Ale, incredibly smooth yet still complex. Ryan Dotterer, the brewery’s brand ambassador, along with fun and helpful volunteers, made for an all around positive experience.
Neighbors to Loudoun County and highly recommended as a place to visit, is 6 Bears & a Goat Brewery. We were lucky to have Chuck Arnold, Head Brewer of the establishment, manning the stand. Their pumpkin porter was the buzz of the day. While Matt sampled the porter, I enjoyed their American Pale Ale. It was a perfect repeat offender with nice hops, not too over the top. Chuck Arnold shared how he gave up his career in IT for a more rewarding pursuit in brewing beer. Matt and I decided he’s in the right industry. The next time you’re in Fredericksburg, stop by 6 Bears and enjoy their full menu as well.
Photograph by Matt Leonard
There were other fantastic vendors at the festival such as CDH Creations. Their wall mounted bottle openers featured witty phrases such as In Dog beers I’ve only had one or I drink and I know things. The hand crafted openers also featured the added benefit of a magnetic backboard to catch your bottle caps.
CrafTshirts was also basking in the sunshine modeling ideal beer swag. With several appealing tees and tanks in various colors and designs, one can show off their support for local beer while looking frickin’ amazing at the same time.
Olde Smoke Barbecue filled the air with mouth-watering scents and Matt and I were compelled to order their nachos covered in melted cheese, spicy jalapeños, and BBQ pork. This helped us make room for more beer…
Brass Cannon Brewing Company shared their Muzzle Flash American Amber with me and I enjoyed the mild bitterness with pleasant hop aroma. Matt tasted their Angry Scot Scottish Style Wee Heavy Ale and loved the rich malty flavor. Based in Williamsburg, the beer reflects the quality one would expect from a location created by avid home brewers. Flying Dog Brewery featured their Snake Dog IPA and Idaho DIPA, both of which I was tempted to steal and take home with me. Luckily they distribute and I’m able to purchase bottles of my favorites any time.
With friendly and helpful vendors along with talented brewers, it really was the perfect afternoon. Sorry if you missed it. Brewdoun certainly hopes you can make it next year!