Friday, January 1, 2016

#VABreweryChallenge - Four Breweries Along Northern I-95

Ever been stuck in traffic on I-95 between the DC Beltway and Quantico? Of course you have. Well, here's four breweries to soak up the time waiting for traffic to subside. Plus it ticks four more off the #VABreweryChallenge.

Ornery Beer Company, Woodbridge (#27)
If you are hungry or passing Potomac Mills Mall then Ornery is your stop as they are the only brewery of the four to offer a full restaurant. I had the Kielbasa - a very good choice.  As for the beer, they offer a range of styles from a rather tasty Blonde to a deep and velvety Imperial Stout. I sampled Austrian Dreams Vienna Lager, Ornery Blonde, Dubbel Ornery Belgium Dubbel, Black Stuff Dry Irish Stout, and the Lord Vader Imperial Stout. The blonde was lightly salty and very refreshing; the Dubbel spot on the style; and the Russian Imperial Stout providing velvety layers of chocolate without being overly malty and sweet. On the other hand, I thought the Vienna Lager to be too malt forward and the Dry Irish Stout too light - almost felt light drinking air. Nevertheless, I pleasant stop.

Growling Bear Brewing Company, Woodbridge (#28)
Located just a couple miles from Ornery, this brewery has the largest portfolio of the four with twelve beers on tap.  Too many to sample in this sitting I went with the Elder Bear Ale (a fruit ale brewed with organic elderberries with a subtle fruit profile and a tannic finish);  Alt Bear German Altbier (very good with a solid dose of hops); Arrogant Bear American Pale Ale (Grapefruit profile) and the Nutter Butter Bear Porter (heavy on the chocolate, light on the Peanut Butter). I think these were my favorite sampling on this trip.

Forge Brew Works, Lorton (#29)
Heading North into Lorton, Forge is located in a industrial area just off the highway. Their signature beer is the Roggenbier, a rye ale that predated the Hefeweizen. On previous visits the spicy rye flavor was prevalent, but this recent batch is more citrusy. Still a solid, unique beer. Their Farmhouse Ale was once again solid and the Belgium Blonde less salty but more hoppy than most. The icing was the Abbey Ale, tasted like fruit cake. I'd say this was my favorite beer of the outing.

Fair Winds Brewing Company, Lorton (#30)
Just a mile away, Fair Winds had the most dynamic tasting room, full with my chatter and games being played. The beer was vibrant too. The Quayside Kolsch was very refreshing as was the Sessions in the Abyss Session IPA - lighter profile with and citrus throughout . The Following C's Pale Ale was my favorite with it's smooth hop profile. The Blackened Seas Porter was close behind with a noticeable dose of cherries and chocolate.

Update: Many of noticed that I left out two breweries a little further south of Woodbridge, but before Fredericksburg. Wild Run Brewing Company and Adventure Brewing Company will be covered in a future post.

Update II: The new post is available.


pwilly said...

If you're heading south might as well include Wild Run and Adventure breweries in Stafford. Maybe 15 minutes from Ornery, or 2 hours depending on traffic.

WineCompass said...

I'll cover Wild Run and Adventure in my next post. Had to schedule them as a separate trip.