For Matt’s birthday he wanted to do a beer tour. For his job he travels a lot around the state and noticed a brewery sign like you see for wineries around Lovettsville and wanted to visit it. The only brewery I know of in that area is Mad Horse Brewpub so we setup that as the first location. Because it was Matt’s birthday I was DD so he could enjoy himself.
When we arrived at the brewery I was surprised to see Michael behind the bar. We have seen him every time we have gone to Creek’s Edge Winery which is just down the road from Mad Horse. We immediately said hello and started chatting. Come to find out Michael bought the brewpub not long ago. He and his partners have completely redone the beer menu and according to Michael, made it much better he said. Nancy visited the placed several years ago and didn’t have much good to say about it. When we ordered our samplers, I had high hopes for the revamped brewpub.
We each ordered a full flight of eight beers and got to work. I must say I was impressed with most all of the beers. They had great flavor and well balanced plus the selection was a wide variety that there should be something for everyone. As DD I paced myself and allowed my cohorts to be a little more liberally. Honestly it was good because it allowed me more time to properly sample the beers and write my reviews of each. Average rating by me was almost 3 so that was good. The IPA and stout where particularly good to me. There is food available, we got the BBQ nachos and they where great. Food is pretty limited but this too is a good selection and everything was great that we tried.
From here we started making our way back to Fairfax and dinner. We headed to Leesburg and stopped at Crooked Run for another glass. Here we meetup with Pat and she started on the journey with us. I also took the time to catch up with an old friend who is working at Leesburg Cigar and Pipe. I love this nano brewery. They always have some small batch weird crazy stuff available. I will admit that it is not for everyone but I love this place. I got the raspberry Wishing Well which was cask conditioned and it was good. Has a nice flavor of raspberry’s and is a very “thick” beer. I even got a bottle of Shadow of Truth to go. I haven’t seen bottles from them so I took the opportunity to snag one for my cellar.
Finally we ended up at Brio Tuscan Grill in Fair Oaks Mall for dinner. This was a combination dinner for Matt and mine since we missed officially celebrating it. The food was good but honestly it was way to much. By the time our main course arrived we had already filled up on apps and salad none of us could finished the main meal. I was so full I didn’t even get dessert which is highly unusual for me.
Another successful weekend of beer stating around the great state of Virginia. As we get older it is no really about presents any longer. I much more enjoy spending time with friends and family instead of having gifts and a giant party. Next up is Nancy and I think for her I would like to do something a little different. We have been to many wineries and breweries but never a distillery. We are all now another year old and another year wiser.
It was a beautiful Saturday so we headed out to the country for a little wine tasting. We have the Virginia Wine Pass and wanted to use it at a new winery so we picked Creek’s Edge Winery in Lovettsville. It was a nice drive out into the country north of Leesburg to this winery. Brand new, opened last year sometime and I must say the facility is pretty impressive.
The main building is styled after an old barn, silo and all. The outside is all stone work and the inside you see the exposed wooden beam structure. Very nice and certainly sturdy. They have plans on opening a new pavilion late this year to be used for special events and possible an expanded tasting room. We did a small flight of wine and grabbed a bottle before heading out to the balcony. When we arrived there was only one other couple so we took the opportunity to get a primo spot on the deck so I could smoke a cigar. We spent the next couple hours talking and relaxing on such a fine spring day.
Afterwards we headed to Ocelot Brewing which just opened. We meet one of the guys helping to start this new brewery at our local Whole Foods the day of the Super Bowl. Nancy and I where sampling beers before filling two growlers with suds. He was great to talk to and we got the inside scoop on the new brewery. We followed their postings on Facebook and saw that it was finally open. We missed the soft opening the week before but made it down the following week.
The place was really nice inside, spacious with lots of new shinny brewing equipment. While sampling their beers we meet one of the owners Eric who was really cool. It was great he took the time to talk to us about his passion for beer. Every now and then he would stop to help a customer but come right back when he finished. We got his whole store on beer, how the whole company got started and their passion for music. Eric loves to travel, smoke cigars, loves music but can’t play an instrument and has a passion for beer. This is my kind of guy. For me the most interesting thing about this new brewery is their choice of beers. Eric mentioned they will have no core brands, they will stick to one off and adventurous stuff. Eric was always searching for the next great beer, much like Nancy and I do. When starting Ocelot, they took that philosophy and turned it into a business model.
They only had three options to start so we did the flight. I must say I was not very impressed with the beers overall. They where not bad, but they didn’t blow my doors off. I in fact rated them all 2.5-2.6, literally middle of the road. What I love about this place is the facility, their passion for beer, a constantly rotating selection and their dedication to music. I can see this place hosting local bands and maybe a festival or two in the company months or years.
It was a great day exploring what Virginia has to offer in terms of beer and wine. The state is really coming into its own in terms of wine and I believe in the next couple of years it will for beer as well. There are a lot of passionate people in this state that love to make alcohol and share it with others. We certainly will visit Creek’s Edge Winery again and will probably make Ocelot a regular hangout for us.