Local beer fans gathered at the new Fredericksburg Capital Ale House Friday evening as a keg of Smoke Out was tapped. Smoke Out is the GABF Pro-Am Silver medal beer brewed by local homebrewer Lyle Brown and Starr Hill Brewing of Crozet, Virginia. Members of The Fredericksburg Brewing and Tasting Society, the Fredericksburg Brewing Insiders, along with other friends and family came out to celebrate with Lyle.
The evening also marked the first Friday of business for this new Capital Ale House location. By the time the keg was officially tapped at 5:00PM there was already a large crowd on hand. While many patrons where likely unaware of the significance of the event, Lyle proudly carried a tray of samples through the bar offering them to the gathered crowd. I am sure many of the folks on hand learned something and found a new beer to enjoy that evening.
Smoke Out is a full-bodied, bright golden hued beer. The smokey bacon-like flavor hits just the right balance with the malt backbone. Smoke Out has limited availability at all four Capital Ale Houses, just one keg at each folks. It's listed on the beer menu as Starr Hill Smoke Out. Lyle is talking with Mark Thompson at Starr Hill about the possibility of brewing the beer again, but I suggest getting by closest Capital Ale House before the beer is gone. Incidentally, in a testament to brewing skill, Lyle says that the large batch he brewed at Starr Hill for the GABF Pro-Am, is identical in taste to the homebrew he developed. This recipe also won first place in the Smoke beer division of the 2008 Sam Adams Longshot Competition.
The staff at Capital Ale House handled their first Friday evening crowd with aplomb. Service at the bar where I spent the evening was quick and cheerful. I also enjoyed a Brat & Knack Plate for dinner, consisting of a Usinger's knackwurst and bratwurst served with kraut, sweet & sour red cabbage and warm German potato salad. It was the ideal compliment to the Smoke Out beer.
Yours For Good Fermentables blogger Thomas Cizauskas drove down from Fairfax, VA to enjoy and record the events. We deemed the evening the first official gathering of the Chesapeake Region Alliance of Beer Bloggers (C.R.A.B.B.). See Tom's post on the event here.
More pictures from the evening are here.