Last week we visited a friend in Centreville and stopped in for a quick lunch at the Sweetwater Tavern there. I was looking forward to having a Great American Restaurants Pale Ale. The GAR Pale Ale won a Gold medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
The restaurant was quite busy with the holiday week lunch crowd. When we pulled into the parking lot I was concerned as we had limited time for lunch. But, we had no reason to worry, there is plenty of seating and indeed we were seated right away. The server was prompt and attentive. I ordered my beer as we perused the menu, quickly settling on the Cheddar Cheeseburger. The GAR Pale Ale was quite enjoyable. The aroma was bready malts with a slight citrus aroma. I immediately noticed the distinct grassiness flavor of dry hopping; and indeed the Sweetwater web site mentions dry hop in the description. The beer left behind a pleasing bitter aftertaste. Since I was just having one beer, I had to nurse my drink to last through the meal. My burger was cooked to perfection with a hint of smokiness.
While I regret not being able to stay longer and try out the other four house beers on tap, I am glad we made the trip. I caught a glimpse of brewer Nick Funnell in the brewery. Just like seeing the chef in the kitchen, knowing the brewer is there hard at work makes the beer all the more appreciated. I do think I'll get back soon for a more extensive dining and drinking experience at Sweetwater Tavern.