Sunday, September 27, 2015

Old Busthead Bleu & Brew Beer & Cheese Festival

    Last weekend was the first ever Bleu & Brew beer and cheese festival  at Old Bust Head. With the help from Culpeper Cheese Company, 14 NOVA breweries and several food trucks, this event was a great success. Each brewery provided two beers on tap and Culpeper Cheese Company provided two cheeses to pair with the beers. The breweries on hand were: Adroit Theory (Purcelville), Badwolf (Manassas), Corcoran (Purcelville), Crooked Run (Leesburg), Escutcheon (Winchester), Fair Winds (Lorton), Forge Brew Works (Lorton), Handsome Brewing (Washington DC), Heritage Brewing (Manassas), Lost Rhino (Ashburn), Ocelot (Dulles), Old Ox (Ashburn), Port City (Alexandria)and Tin Cannon (Gainesville).
      The first placed I stopped was at the Tin Cannon tent. I met up with John Hilkert(owner/brewer) and Jason(brewer) and had of their Single Cannon IPA, which was a VIP beer. This nice brew has an ABV(Alchol By Volume) of 6.6% and IBU's(International Bitter Unit) of 65, which I feel is just the right amount for an IPA. It's just enough bitterness without making your tongue feel weird. I tried the Goat Gouda, the caramel and butter flavors went perfectly with the IPA bitterness.
     Next stop was Crooked Run Brewing.  Where I met up with Leland Rogan(owner/brewer),he served me some of their Grapefruit Saison. I have had a couple Grapefruit beers before, this has to be the best one I've had to date. It was not over powering in any sense, the taste was great, it also had a nice 7% ABV. I have only had Crooked Run once before, and they have yet to disappoint me.
    Escutcheon Brewing was next on the list. Brewer John Hovermale was there serving up their Kolsch and Vienna Lager. I'm a big Kolsch fan so I decided to go with that. This beer was nice and light with a ABV of 4.5% and only 22 IBU's, which was perfect as the day was getting warmer. While there I tried the Beemster Gouda XO, which is a hard cheese with a sweet toffee flavor.
    Next was Heritage Brewing. I did not really get a chance to talk to these guys. I did get to have their Kings Mountain Brown Ale, which was a nice malty scottish ale. It also had a good kick at 7.4% ABV and super low 15 IBU as it should.
    Port City was where I ventured next. Here I was served there Double IPA which was 9% ABV and 85 IBU's. Normally I stay away from these, but I wanted to live on the edge and I paired it with some Havarti chipotle cheese and they worked great together.
     Next was Handsome Brewing. I had a very good conversation with Owner/Brewer Graham MacDonald. While they do not have an open brewery you can find their beers in Maryland and DC. Hopefully soon to be in Virginia. I had was able to try their Galaxy Saison which was wonderfully tropical flavoured. It was only 5.9% ABV. I look forward to meeting up with these guys again soon and trying some of their other beers. 
     One of the last tents I visited was Fair Winds where I met head brewer Charlie Beuttner. He served me some of their Oktoberfestbier which was only 5.5% ABV and 20 IBU's. This was a perfectly clean rounded full flavoured beer. I need to get out their brewery soon and try some of their other brews.
     The last Place I went to was Bad Wolf Brewing Tent. I got to meet Sarah Meyers Co-founder. She explained to me their offering of Cody's Crew IPA a session IPA with grapefruit notes where 30% of proceeds are donated to Cody's Crew Foundation fighting childhood cancer - with an ABV of 5.5%. This is a great cause and a very nice beer.

      All in all this was a great event and I hope Julie and Ike at Old Bust Head keep this going every year.  Next stop for me will be The NOVA Craft Brew Fest.

     I hope to see some of you there! Drink up and eat well.

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