Beers Across Virginia

We had a whirlwind weekend that included many new Virginia brews. On Friday night I was in Woodbridge to see the new Hunger Games movie with my friend, Shiloh. For dinner we went to Bottle Stop, a cozy wine shop/bar/eatery in Occoquan. In addition to an extensive wine selection, they also have a decent craft beer list!

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I started with the Lickinghole Creek Three Chopt Tripel. LC had a version of this with lavender at the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest this summer, and it was amazing. The original is good too; it’s full-bodied with a strong lemon presence and a little bit of hoppiness. Very drinkable.

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Shiloh had the New Holland El Mole Ocho first. It’s described as a “Mexican spiced ale,” and has strong coffee, cocoa, and chili flavors. It’s a complex, but well-balanced, beer; the many flavors blend perfectly.

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Next we both tried Iron Fist Brewing’s Nelson the ImPALEr, and I’m pleased to report that I’ve found a pale ale that I really like! The taste is very Belgian, so much so that I’m surprised it isn’t characterized as a Belgian pale ale. I picked up on a lot of grapefruit in the hops.

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Thanks for discovering this awesome spot, Shiloh! The Bottle Stop is both lively and cozy, and we really enjoyed the music. The performer’s rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You” was incredible; I love to hear a male voice pull off that song.

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We left the Bottle Stop just in time to join the crowd and count down to the lighting of the Occoquan Christmas tree. What a pleasant surprise!

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On Saturday afternoon I met the fam in Charlottesville for the UVA/Miami game. We tailgated at Alumni Hall, where there was a tap takeover featuring $2 brews from the new and improved South Street Brewery.

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Maddy and I tried their new IPA, the Barhopper, and were pleasantly surprised. It isn’t the most balanced IPA (it’s a tad bitter), but it’s easily the best hoppy offering I’ve ever had from South Street.

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My favorite way to tailgate is in the comfort of the warm car. Make sure to leave the window cracked so you can still participate in the conversation.

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And so you can try other people’s beers. 😉

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Once the sun went down, we moved inside Alumni Hall to check out the DJ and get another beer. We had the South Street 365 Shandy (a beer/lemonade mixture) at a few festivals this summer, and were super excited to try a full pint of it. The lemon flavor is noticeable and refreshing, but not overpowering. We only lament that Allison wasn’t there to enjoy it with us!

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So happy (and surprised..) that UVA beat Miami!

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 On Sunday night Maddy brought home a small growler of Parkway’s new winter spiced ale, Puppy Dawg Tails. The spicy smell really hit me as I was pouring the beer, but I didn’t pick up on much spice when drinking it. It has a noticeable apricot flavor- interesting choice for a winter ale.

Make sure to tune in for a very special post this Wednesday! On Tuesday night we’re making an early Thanksgiving dinner for our family, complete with beer pairings for every course! Trust us, you DO NOT want to miss it.

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