Last weekend we had the privilege of attending the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest at Devil’s Backbone in Nelson County. All of the 50+ breweries that attended the festival are located in Virginia. It’s crazy how many we haven’t visited/didn’t even know about!
Maddy worked the festival for Parkway, and she asked if Allison and I could tag along and pour beer too, which meant we all got in for free. 😉 We had an amazing time moseying around the grounds of Devil’s Backbone, talking to talented Virginia brewers and trying delicious beers, but most of the fun occurred while working at the Parkway tent! Tasters were super complimentary of the two brews that Parkway served: the Get Bent Mountain IPA and a barrel-aged version of their Magella. The latter, a Belgian strong dark ale aged in Jack Daniels and Catoctin Creek barrels, was particularly crowd-pleasing. Many festivalgoers claimed it was the “best beer of the day,” and came back to try it again and again.
Parkway’s selections were definitely some of the best, but we had phenomenal beers outside of our tent too. Two of my favorites were the Capitol City Sommer Hefeweizen and Lickinghole Creek’s rosemary saison. Maddy particularly enjoyed O’Connor’s S-Turns, a honey saison, and Strangeways’ bourbon bock. We all agreed that Hardywood Park’s Gingerbread Stout stole the show though. It’s the perfect balance of creamy, milk stout and just the right amount of gingerbread flavor. We can’t wait to buy a few bottles during the holiday season.
At 5 o’clock as the festival began to wind down, awards were given out for the highest-ranking beer in each style category. Out of 222 beers entered, Parkway’s Raven’s Roost was named the best porter in Virginia, and their Bridge Builder, the second best blonde.
At the brewmaster request, Maddy wore the medals when we went out on the town that night, and we were SO EXCITED to find Raven’s Roost on tap at the Whiskey Jar! There’s nothing like drinking your brewery’s award-winning beer while wearing the medal it earned earlier that day!