Sunday, October 25, 2015

Battle of the Pumpkin- NOVA Brewfest

  Last weekend I ventured to the fall edition of the NOVA Brewfest, which is sponsored by Mad Fox Brewing  out Falls Church. The brewfest is held twice a year at Bull Run Park in Manassas. It was a chilly and blustery day, but the beer was flowing and it kept you warm enough.

      Since it was the fall NOVA brewfest several breweries brought out their pumpkin beers. I tried three of them.

   First was from Capital City Brewing, it is their Dr. Punkinstein. This a very robust porter with a lot of flavors.  They have added chocolate, honey, crystal malts, oats, pumpkin, butternut squash, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. This is everything I love about fall. Wonderfully flavored, smooth and not too strong at 6.6 ABV%.

    Next was Hardywood's Farm House Pumpkin. This is their Wallonian-style Farmhouse Ale pumpkin beer. They use ripe, flame roasted Virginia sugar pumpkins and brown sugar, freshly ground Ceylon cinnamon, whole Grenada nutmeg, whole Madagascar clove and whole allspice and pounds of freshly sliced organic ginger root. This is much different than their Rum Pumpkin. This has the traditional pumpkin beer flavor but not over powering at all. At 8.5% this another to help you survive Thanksgiving dinner.

    The last pumpkin beer I had was from Tin Cannon. They had their Pun'ktin Ale. They used about 10 pounds of pumpkin for this malty, amber ale. Wonderfully spiced with pumpkin spice and other fall spices. This beer comes in at 7.5% ABV and will go perfect with pumpkin pie and that one aunt that still pinches your cheeks even though you are almost 40. You can only get this at the brewery so I suggest heading there asap and grab a couple pints, and maybe closer to Thanksgiving for a growler if its still available.

   Now I didn't just have pumpkin beers while I was here. I tried several other beers that I have not had before.  Some of the notable beers were Leesburg's Crooked Run's Shadow of Truth, which is a Black Belgian Tripel at 8% ABV and 30 IBU's was perfect for the cool fall day. Next was from Fair Winds out of Lorton. They had their Nautifest which is their Oktoberfest. Delightfully smooth and nicely flavored, with a 5.5% ABV and only 20 IBU's. Lastly was O'Connor Brewing's Great Dismal Black IPA, which is a wonderfully dark, full flavored beer and comes in at 7.5% ABV and 65 IBU's. 

    This was my first time being at the NOVA Brewfest and I had a great time seeing all the different breweries out there braving the cold and wind. Got to meet some new people and talk to some old friends. I heard from some people that the fall one was better than the spring. I don't know if that is true, but I will go next spring and see for myself. As should you.