As I’ve mentioned, my roommate’s dad opened a brewery in Woodstock, Virginia last summer. This weekend we went down to Woodstock for their annual St. Patrick’s Day bash, and got to hang out at Woodstock Brewhouse on Saturday AND Sunday.
Saturday afternoon we went to Woodstock for pre-party-set-up beers. We drove to the brewhouse because it was snowing, but it’s just a couple minutes walk from Kat’s house (I would never leave!).
The interior of the brewhouse is both spacious and cozy. The building is an old clothing factory–Casey Jones Work Clothes, which explains the size. They retained the original 14-foot beadboard ceilings and uncovered gorgeous wood flooring that was tiled over by a previous occupant. There are a few seats at the bar and then tons of tables and couches to enjoy your beverages and snacks. Huge windows surround the space and drop down lighting provides an additional warm glow.
For our first round I tried the Crow’s Provender, a 10.2% Double IPA that Kat’s dad raved about the previous night. It has a bold, citrusy hop flavor, but is entirely smooth considering the ABV. Kat ordered the Paysan Saison, which ended up being my second beer, and one of my favorites. The initial lemon flavor is nicely balanced by yeast and spice in the finish. Karl (Kat’s dad) mentioned he would like this one to be a bit more effervescent, but I enjoyed the fuller body since it was such a cold day. Allison, who’s really into dark beers lately, tried the vanilla porter, Casey Jones. As we learned on the tour, this one is brewed with bourbon soaked vanilla beans. Two thumbs WAY up.
Beers in hand, we followed Karl on a tour of the brewhouse. One of the coolest accents is a couple rows of seats from baseball stadiums from around the country. As you watch your favorite team on the brewhouse TV, you can recline in a seat from Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. Dad, I knew you’d love that!
Karl walked us through the whole brewing process and showed us Woodstock’s high tech brewing system. The equipment he first used to home brew in his garage is now used by the brewing team for small batch experimentation with new recipes.
After our tour we returned to the tasting room for more beers and delicious pizza prepared by Kat’s sisters (it really is a family affair! ). Usually 1752 Barbecue serves food on Saturdays, but since they couldn’t be there last weekend, Woodstock’s weekday menu was available. They make Bavarian pretzels and a variety of flatbread pizzas; I highly recommend the white and margherita!
Before leaving to catch our train on Sunday we returned to the brewhouse for one more beer. I couldn’t stop myself from ordering the Crow’s Provender again; it’s just so good! Kat and Allison stuck to their favorite too, Casey Jones. Luckily Kat’s mom helped us branch out and brought over a sample of the new honey wheat. It’s crisp and fruity—a great summer beer.
Also, being VIPs and everything, we got to sample a couple of brews that aren’t on the menu yet. Hunter, one of the brewers, brought over tasters of their brand new Black IPA and Belgian-style tripel. The tripel was tasty, but the Black IPA blew us away. As I’ve mentioned, Black IPAs have grown on me recently, but I prefer them to be pretty hop forward. Black Powder has the creamy mouth feel and roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors of a stout, but still has a big, fruity hop presence. Again, we used our connections to score a growler of this baby to take back to NY.
Allison and I were SO impressed with Woodstock Brewhouse, and haven’t stopped raving about it since we left. Virginians—I urge you to make a day trip soon! In addition to the brewhouse (though you really don’t need another reason) there are plenty of other things to do in this charming town!
Thanks so much to the Roulston family for a spectacular weeekend, and to all of the brewhouse employees who showed us such hospitality. We can’t wait to return to Woodstock!