Last Sunday, I piled the family into the car and we headed up to Bull Run Park in Centreville to attend the 3rd Annual Northern Virginia BrewFest. It was a beautiful day for a drive, and a beer festival. Once we arrived, we saw the evidence that the previous day's weather had not been as appealing. The grounds were covered by ankle-deep mud from the rains the day before. Fortunately, we had been forewarned via the NOVA Brew Fest Twitter feed to wear boots. Still, walking was treacherous at times. However, that didn't stop the beer from flowing.
We stayed just a couple of hours, but we had time to try out a number of beers. I'll mention a few of our favorites. From the Vintage 50 tent, the Oatmeal Stout was quite nice with dark roasted flavors and some sweetness. Capitol City Brewing Fuel was a noteworthy selection. It had a nice espresso flavor to it, along with some bitter chocolate. Also at the Capital City booth, we tried the Organic Trippel which was very nice as well. Colleen was torn between Fuel and Organic Trippel as her favorites of the fest, so maybe there's a trip up to Capitol City in my future!
Moving on to Clipper City, I was pleased to see they had the latest in the Mutiny Fleet series, The Great Pumpkin, an Imperial Pumpkin Ale. I hadn't had the opportunity to try this one previously. Now, typically pumpkin beers I can enjoy only in limited quantities, and grow tired of the flavor rather quickly. However, I did enjoy the Clipper City Great Pumpkin quite a bit. Maybe there's still time to find a bottle or two of this limited release.
I also had a glass of Founders Centennial IPA. Colleen and I are both fans of citrusy IPAs and this one didn't disappoint. Colleen pegged the flavor as being more of an "orange citrus," rather than the typical grapefruit flavor. Another new beer tried this afternoon was Duck Rabbit Wee Heavy. The sweet, caramel, toffee flavors finished off with a bit of hop bitterness made this a good closing beer for our visit.
Despite the muddy grounds, many folks were enjoying the festival on Sunday. Everyone seemed to take the mud in stride. After all, what's a bit of mud when there are good beers to be had? I especially enjoyed the day as it had been awhile since Colleen was able to accompany me to a beer fest. This was my son's first beer festival, and although he's got a few more years before he can enjoy them properly, he got to see what the excitement was all about. Soon we were headed off to find dinner, as I had bribed my son with the promise of dinner at Round Robin. The large burger topped with cheese, bacon, and a fried egg was a fitting feast to cap off the day.
Tom Cizauskas has posted his write up and pictures from the festival at his blog "Yours For Good Fermentables".
Local beer maven Chuck Triplett also has posted pictures here.
The next Northern Virginia Brewfest is scheduled for June 26-27, 2010 in Leesburg, VA