Brambleton’s inaugural BrewFest is coming up in just a few days on the Brambleton Town Center plaza. We’re excited to feature over 24 local breweries from throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and D.C. So excited in fact, that we’ve been browsing through each brewery’s beer lineup to pick out some of our favorite brews along with some we can’t wait to try atBrambleton BrewFest on May 30 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are available >here<!
With countless beers to choose from, here are our Top 14 picks:
Pilsners are perfect summer sippers.Says the brewery website: “Like an early morning dive into crisp waves, this premium Pilsner packs a quick, hoppy bite to wake up your senses. Topped with a dense creamy head, this golden lager is one you won’t forget.”
We’re excited to give Sterling’s own Ocelot Brewing Company a try. Their dry hopped Kolsch is another great beer to start the summer. The brewery describes it as “an Imperial Kolsch coming in at 7.1% abv, dry hopped with Hull Melon hops to give a slight strawberry nose.”
What’s a beer list without a hoppy IPA? Add the fact that Honor Brewing Co.’s mission is to honor those who’ve served, and we’re sold on this beer. Honor calls the Warrior IPA a bold and flavorful American ale that showcases the intense citrus and pine aromatics of U.S. hop varieties…flavors reminiscent of lemon balm, grapefruit zest, dank herbs, bright citrus fruit and pine forest.”
Saisons are coming out swinging this spring, and we love how light this beer style is without sacrificing a lot of bold flavors. Crooked Run’s Supernatural is especially springy with the addition of hibiscus flowers. Crooked Run says their Supernatural saison is “an imperial saison with a very nice white wine character. Made with 3 lbs of cut hibiscus flowers and dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops.”
For those of you more interested in beer’s dark side, there’s this incredible Chestnut Porter from Old Bust Head. The brewery describes their porter as “rich and full bodied, our Chinquapin Chestnut Porter is sure to please fans of more robust beer styles. Not content with just paying homage to the American Chestnut, or Chinquapin, by name, every batch of Chinquapin Chestnut Porter is made with a heaping portion of real chestnuts. Brewed together with a blend of dark malts, our porter has hints of cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, and, of course, hearty and sweet chestnuts.”
Heritage has us intrigued with this wheat ale with a ginger kick. If it’s a hot day, reach for a nice light wheat ale like the American Expedition. The story for this beer, from Heritage’s website: “Let us remember the Corps of Discovery with the American Expedition, a light bodied American wheat ale. Bathed in farmers honey and spiced with ginger, it will give any traveler the fortitude and perseverance to carry on.”
More summery saison goodness brewing in Ashburn. If you’re more of a wine drinker, you might want to try the Saison D’Ox! Old Ox describes the beer perfectly: “Winner of a gold medal in the 2014 Virginia Craft Brewers Cup competition, our French farmhouse ale is a favorite of wine drinkers. This pale straw colored ale is conditioned with sweet orange peel, rosemary, and coriander to complement the natural spiciness of the yeast. It’s crisp flavor, dry finish, and effervescence are perfect for spring and summer!”
Plenty of hop flavor for an IPA drinker, but brewed with an earthy yeast, this brew is surprisingly different, but in the best way. The 3 Stars website claims it’s for “bright and easy drinking with a citrus hop character that balances with the fruity esters of the Belgian saison yeast and finishes with a subtle hop bitterness.”
Goodbye IPAs, hello IPLs! Home Rule is brewed like your favorite lager, but dry hopped for subtle bitterness. Atlas calls Home Rule a “style-defying India Pale Lager, …as delicious as it is unique. A pilsner malt base and Atlas’ house lager yeast provide a clean and crisp backdrop for late and dry hop additions of New Zealand Waimea hops. Balanced bitterness and playful hop aromas of citrus fruit will have you reaching for sip after sip.”
For the cider lovers, Bold Rock will be on site serving up their crisp Virginia hard ciders. The Virginia Draft sounds like biting into an apple fresh off the tree. Bold Rock says: “Our expert cider makers craft a broad blend of apples from local Virginia orchards to create this distinctive hard cider with rich complexity and superb drinkability.”
Lagers aren’t the easiest beers to brew, but Sunken City has it down. The easy-drinker Dam Lager should give your taste buds a break from some of the crazy hop varieties and yeast strains. The brewery describes the Dam Lager as “a low hopped American style amber lager that boasts a sweet caramel malt backbone…[the malts and hops] form a delicate, malt-driven beer with a subtle herbal aroma and a slightly sweet and clean finish.”
Get the best of both worlds with a summer shandy. If it’s a hot day and one half of you wants to reach for a lemonade, but the other half could really go for a cold beer, South Street’s 365 Shandy is the perfect compromise. Part beer, part lemonade, this is perhaps the ultimate summer refresher!
Another great Charlottesville mainstay, Star Hill’s German hefeweizen is light and cloudy for a clear, hot day. Plus, the LOVEworks art installation will be on-site during the BrewFest, so grab a taste of “The Love,” and head to the LOVE works for the perfect photo opportunity. Star Hill calls The Love their “unfiltered wheat beer, also known as a hefeweizen. It is distinguished by its extremely light body and fruity aroma, finished with spicy notes.”
Rounding out the list with one last seasonal IPA from Devils Backbone. Catty Wompus will give you a funky yeast strain with plenty of hops. The brewery describes it as “a blend of old & new world techniques, ingredients, and flavors. Brewed both like an IPA & Belgian ale, it blends pine and citrus hop flavors with hints of apple and pear from a special Belgian yeast strain to create unrivaled synergy.”
That’s just a sample of what you might see on May 30, along with local beers from Apocalypse Ale Works, Chaos Mountain, Forge Brewworks, Legend, Mad Fox, O’Connors, 3 Brothers, Roanoke Railhouse, Fair Winds and Adroit Theory. Enjoy live music from local acts Hypnotic Willie and Crowded Streets, grab some lunch at a food truck and enjoy other beer-related activities!
All of this and more is presented by our newest neighbor, Lost Rhino Retreat, whose Sales Manager, Chris Drummond says, “We are very excited for the very first Brambleton Brew Fest! We are looking forward to enjoying some great beer, food, and music with our new friends and neighbors in Brambleton. We’ll see you there!”