San Diego was baller, obviously, but before we get into that, I want to talk about another awesome HB brewery!
On Saturday evening Nikki and I went to Four Sons, a microbrewery that’s also located about a mile from her apartment (lucky duck). As we pulled into the nearly-full parking lot, we passed a group of friends playing cornhole in front of the open doors, and spotted the colorful Falasophy food truck serving up vegetarian delights. Inside the brewery patrons watched football on large, mounted TVs and sat at the bar chatting with friends. We were pleased to see cobwebs and spiders hanging from the ceiling, and a witch figurine sticking out from the top of one of the brew tanks. As our friends from college undoubtedly remember, Halloween is very important to us. 😉
We were immediately intrigued by all the interesting brews that Four Sons had on tap. Nikki ordered The Grape One, a double IPA infused with Concord grapes, and the Not So Dum, a raspberry blond that poured a pretty, deep pink color. I chose the Land of Hopportunity (an IPA) and the Great One (the double IPA base of the Grape One), and we both tried the Family Harvest Saison and the hefeweizen.
We drank a lot of delicious beers this week, but our selections at Four Sons might have been our favorites. The Family Harvest Saison, brewed with pumpkin spice, yam, pecans, and cranberries, is one of the best fall seasonals I’ve ever had. Pumpkin spice is very present on the first sip, bringing to mind a traditional pumpkin ale, but then notes of cranberry and yam rush in, creating a medley of fall flavors that would make the Pilgrims proud. It actually reminded us of the Spicy Rivanna, a hot mulled wine by one of our favorite wineries in Charlottesville, Burnley Vineyards. The Family Harvest would be absolutely perfect to serve with Thanksgiving dinner, so if you live in the HB area I highly recommend adding it to your holiday menu.
The hefeweizen is the epitome of an easy-drinking, Saturday afternoon beer. Its citrus/lemon presence is noticeable without being overpowering, resulting in a light, flavorful brew that’s an utter pleasure to drink.
Nikki was a little nervous before trying The Grape One because she’s not a huge IPA fan, but she ended up loving it. The addition of Concord grapes softens the hops, resulting in a sweeter and even more complex flavor than that of your typical DIPA. I’ve never even heard of another grape-flavored beer, so I’m impressed with Four Sons’ willingness to experiment, and was really pleased with their final product.
I also want to mention Four Sons’ hospitality and story. The bartender who served us was friendly and helpful; he offered to carry our flights to a table for us, and then came by a few minutes later with a dish of pretzels. We were too squirrelly to borrow stools from a nearby table, so he moved some over for us. As you’ve probably gathered from the name, Four Sons is owned and operated by a family with four sons! I recognized many of those in the family photo on their website as the very same people working behind the bar during our visit to the brewery. They even have a policy to close every Tuesday for “family time.” As a member of a family-run, beer-focused operation myself, I love that Four Sons is an opportunity for this family to cultivate their craft and spend time together.