Wilson's Wild Animal Park to visit three downtown Winchester breweries for our #VABreweryChallenge. Our first stop was the nano-est of breweries, Alesatian Brewing Co. (#46), located above the Roma Old Town Wood Fired Pizza on the pedestrian mall. Expect a rapid change in their portfolio as they brew small batches and only sell through the tasting room and the pizzeria. We sampled through their fours beers, as well as the delicious Old Hill Betwixt Cider. The Hop Sneeze IPA is a solid India Pale Ale and the Random Wednesday a fill bodied Belgium Blonde. And the Pizza Bier was a balanced, not overly malty Amber ale. Nicely done. Another nice feature, crowlers are available.
Winchester Brew Works (#47) sits just north of the mall - easy walking though. They are slightly larger than Alesatian with both a larger beer menu and tasting area. In fact a 40th birthday party was in full gear. I had a flight of four as well as a sip of yet another solid IPA - the Cascade Falls IPA. The flight beers were also solid and well made with the Canoe Love Cream Ale and Summer Blonde both very flavor-able paler beers. The Mango Wheat was very unique with the fruit overwhelming the bready character. My favorite was the Fire Road Chipotle Smoked Porter. The spices and smoky character are subtle and integrate nicely with the chocolate flavors. Very nice.
A littler farther north of the downtown mall sits the largest of the three, Escutcheon Brewing (#48). Their production is large enough where they distribute kegs and canned produce to the DC suburbs. It seems like their minerally and nicely hopped John Riggins 4th & 1 Pilsner is widely available. Being a lighthouse guy, I enjoyed viewing their nautical inspired tasting room and themed beer names. The Plimsoll Mark on their logo incorporates the maximum draft or safe limit to which a ship may be loaded - and in our case the maximum draft beer to consume. Thus we sampled lightly - for me the slightly tart Reluctant Splice Gose. Another nice offering I've had previously is their Agonic Line Lager. Your biking or lawnmower beer. Cheers and as always theCompass Winery, Brewery, Distillery Locator Mobile App can guide you to these breweries.