Monday, February 9, 2015

The Next Stop in the #VABreweryChallenge: Manassas with Badwolf Brewing Company and Heritage Brewing

This weekend we continued our #VABreweryChallenge by traveling down Route 66 to the historic Civil War town of Manassas and two very new breweries: Badwolf Brewing Company (#3) and Heritage Brewing (#4). Badwolf is the smaller of the two and opened in July 2013 by Jeremy and Sarah Meyers. Did I mention small? They utilize a one barrel system; yet this nano-size can be a major benefit. There are plenty of unique beers on tap. This weekend featured six beers and I sampled all using their larger than normal sampler (8 ounces? per glass). I started with the Grisette (4.3%), a low alcohol session Saison with a lower spice profile which made it quite enjoyable. Next, was the most interesting, Bad Moon Rising (3.9%), a gose styled beer from Goslar Germany, that is to say, an unfiltered wheat beer brewed with ground coriander seeds and salt. Fails the Reinheitsgebot, but gets an exemption being a regional specialty. And as advertised, it is sweet and salty. Very interesting.  The Chocolate Nutz (6.6%) nut brown ale was spot on as was my favorite, the Simtra Pale (4.4%) - an American pale ale brewed with Simcoe and Citra hops. Surprisingly the highest abv, was their refreshing Hefeweizen, The Wild Rumpus. And we closed out the tasting with the Vanilla Malupa (5.7%),  a full bodied milk stout brewed with vanilla beans. Not bad. The only negative comment I can give the brewery is the cramped quarters on a crowded day; otherwise their beer is solid.

As a more spacious brewery, Heritage Brewing, provides plenty of room along their L-shaped tasting bar.   This veteran owned brewery also opened in 2013 and they claim to use at least 90% organic ingredients. Heritage bases their production around five flagship beers; the Freedom Isn't Free IPA,  Kings Mountain Scotch Ale, Revolution American Amber Ale (brewed with organic oranges), The Teddy East Coast Pale Ale, and the American Expedition - a honey ginger wheat ale. On this visit, I stuck to the Freedom Isn't Free IPA - a solid offering with plenty of IBUs to produce that refreshing hoppy finish. Our tasting neighbor preferred the American Expedition - so that's at least two popular beers. Heritage also has a great deal on their canned beers - $8 a six pack. That's a bargain. Cheers and safe travels with theCompass Mobile App.

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