We got a late start to the Nova BrewFest summer edition in Manassas. For a while this festival alternated between Leesburg and Manassas but recently they have given up on Leesburg. All week we watched as the weather forecast turned for the worst and the likelihood of a summer thunderstorm growing with each passing day. When we finally got out there on Saturday we hoped for the rain in fact. It was so freaking hot it was unbelievable. It was the last day of spring so hopefully this was not a prelude to what summer would be in the area.
We didn’t arrive till just after noon and meet up with a few friends already at the festival. This time I remembered to bring cigars to immediately lite one up before getting to the beer. The lines this early were short so we walked right up for our first beer. In fact all afternoon the lines were non-existent. I think the high heat and humidity along with the almost certain chance of a summer afternoon thunderstorm kept most people at home.
Bad for everyone else but good for us. Occasionally the breeze would blow and later in the afternoon the clouds started to role in providing some much needed relief from the heat. The 89 degree temp wasn’t that bad in the shade but with the sun beating down and the 60% humidity it made it tough. Thankfully I brought my CamelBak and between Nancy and I we emptied it with a few hours left to go in the festival. Without that water I don’t know how I would have made it.
We spent the next few hours sampling some decent beers. Many of the brewers at the Brambleton beer festival a few weeks before were at the NovaBrew festival. Unfortunately this meant many of the same beers. I found and stopped by Crooked Run and they had the same beers as before. Not to be disappointed I did get a sample of the Summer Nights to enjoy.
This festival winner was the Tin Cannon Double IPA which I gave a 4 stars. A great double IPA that had a good amount of hops and bitterness but not really a dry flavor to it. With almost 8% alcohol it didn’t have that typical alcohol taste to it either. More of a citrus taste from the hops, skipping the floral notes.
We have attended this festival a few times in the past. The bowl where the stage sits in is great with all the beer and food vendors at the top. Being on a large hill you get some spectacular views of the mountains in the distance. You can also tell when the storms are rolling in. This years festival had a much better choice of local brews with roughly 60% being from Virginia or Washington DC. The weather could have been better and by better I mean cooler. So far this year, two beer festivals. Wonder if I can make it three in a single year?