Collleen and I stopped by Blue & Gray Brewing on Friday evening while our son was at swim practice. We'd been wanting to get a taste of this year's Virginia Hefeweizen, but hadn't found the time to get over to the brewery. For those wondering, yes, I also had planned to try the Cicada Tacos or Cicada Chile special's planned in the brewpub. Alas, the nanny-state stepped in and put the kibosh on that menu, objecting that the cicadas weren't "from a registered source."
Virginia Hefeweizen is truly "local", using two row grain grown in the Northern Neck of Virginia and malted at Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville. The beer pours a hazy orange color, with a very thin and short-lived head. The aroma had some of the typical spice notes, a hint of citrus. There was some faint bready malt notes as well. The flavor did not have the strong banana or clove flavors of a typical Hefeweizen, trending more towards bready and sweet malts. The finish was dry with a mild bitterness at the end. Overall, this year's Virginia Hefeweizen is a mild drink, perhaps slightly off-style, but one I enjoyed nonetheless.
In fact, I enjoyed it well-enough to order a second round. The smell of spiced "peel & eat" shrimp hung in the air inside Lee's Retreat, so we succumbed and ordered a plateful to share. The shrimp were large sized, plump and tasty. The shellfish and hefeweizen went together quite well. Our brief visit to Blue & Gray was an enjoyable way to wind down the work week, and kick off the long Memorial Day weekend.