Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).
Before I get to this week’s topic, a quick aside: the biggest story in beer over the past week has been the purchase of Boulevard Brewing Company by Duvel Moortgat. My feelings on the matter are reflected in this previous column I wrote about the relationship between Duvel and its other American holding, Brewery Ommegang in New York. In short: I’m excited to see what great beers Boulevard produces within the hands-off style of ownership that Duvel has provided to Ommegang over the past decade.
What I really wanted to write about this week was some of the breweries who we’ll be seeing in our area over the next few months. It’s always a treat when new distribution deals are announced and our choices expand, but the ones coming in now and through the beginning of 2014 include some long-awaited and exciting arrivals.
Hitting retail shelves and bar taps this week is Sly Fox Brewing Company, which has grown from a brewpub opened in 1995 in Phoenixville, Pa., to include a full production brewery in Pottstown that came online early in 2012. While you’re likely to see a lot of Sly Fox’s year-round beers in cans here (especially the great Route 113 IPA), don’t overlook the cork-and-cage Belgian offerings they’re sending down — especially the Saison Vos and Ichor Quadrupel. Sly Fox’s Belgian yeast strain is distinctly spicy and earthy; making for very interesting takes on the classic Belgian styles.
Also making a Virginia debut this week was Mother Earth Brewing of Kinston, N.C. Availability was limited mostly to three special events this week, but some of Mother Earth’s core line is hitting shelves now; look for their Endless River Kolsch, Weeping Willow Wit, Dark Cloud Dunkel, Sisters of the Moon IPA, and Old Neighborhood Oatmeal Porter. I’m hoping with time, we’ll see some of Mother Earth’s amazing limited-run beers here as well — beers like the Windowpane Series Ales and their bourbon barrel-aged Tripel Overhead.
It seems odd to be trumpeting the arrival of a Virginia brewery up here, but when that brewery is the long-requested Hardywood Park Craft Brewery of Richmond, it’s worth announcing. As things stand currently, the plan is for Hardywood to being distributing beers to Northern Virginia for the first time during the second week of November. I’ve been lucky enough to try Hardywood’s Bourbon Cru and was very impressed; there will be a clamor for beers like it and their famous Gingerbread Stout, but look for their Belgian-style Singel along with cans of their Cream Ale and The Great Return IPA to hit the NoVA market first.
Late 2013 should also see Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing Company finally making its Virginia debut after years of asking and waiting. Look for Sweetwater’s 420 Extra Pale Ale to flood retail shelves upon its arrival, as it’s the most requested beer of their lineup here. With any luck, though, we’ll soon see an expanded selection of Sweetwater brews, including their one-off Dank Tank experimental series.
Which beers are you most looking forward to seeing in Virginia? Which would you most like to see sold here? Let me know in the comments—maybe we can get the attention of some of these brewers and get them here. Until next time.
Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
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