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2013 Winter Stout Fest

kegMy fourth annual Winter Stout Fest was held on December 7th (yes, I am a little late with this write up). As you will see below it was a beer tasting that will live in infamy, though in this case “infamy” is a good thing.

Wanting to take a step up from last year I contacted Adroit Theory Brewing Company in my home town, Purcellville, VA, about hosting the event. While construction won’t be completed for approximately a month, they accepted, and it was perfect. The brewery is hoping for a soft opening by New Year’s with a full opening in the spring.

We had approximately 27 people attend this year’s event, the counting got a bit dicey as the beer started to flow, including a few who drove from outside of the DC/MD/VA region. I’m still waiting for the chartered plan that was supposed to bring the rest of our friends into town, maybe next year?

Beer Lineup

The amount and quality of the beers listed below are a giant step up from previous stout fests. The lineup sets the bar high for future Fests. But it is a challenge that I look forward to.

before

Adroit Theory – B/A/Y/S (Ghost 1 & a Keg of Ghost 9) Great Divide – Yeti
Anderson Valley – Bourbon Barrel Stout Hoppin’ Frog – Barrel Aged Boris – 2011
Avery – Hog Heaven Hoppin’ Frog – Barrel Aged Naked Evil – 2012
Baying Hound – Long Snout Mad Fox – growler of barrel aged Wee Heavy
Blue Point – Old Howling Bastard Maine – Mean Old Tom
Brooklyn – Black Ops – 2011 Middle Ages – Dragon Slayer
Bruery – White Chocolate Night Shift – Taza Stout
Central Waters – Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout Ommegang – Take the Black
Central Waters – Peruvian Morning Perennial – Mint Chocolate Stout
Cigar City – Marshall Zhukov – 2011 Rock Art – Vermonster
Clown Shoes – Sam Crunkles Rogue – XS Old Crustacean
Deschutes – Class of 88 Barleywine Schlafly – Barleywine – 2008
Epic – Big Bad Baptist Sierra Nevada – Bigfoot – 2010
Founders – Kentucky Breakfast Stout – 2013 Southern Tier – Creme Brulee
Goose Island – Bourbon County Stout – 2009 Stone – Oaked Arrogant Bastard – 2010
Goose Island – Bourbon County Stout – 2012 Sprecher – Russail Imperial Stout
Goose Island – Cherry Rye BCS Three Floyds – Dark Lord – 2013
Goose Island – Coffee BCS Weyerbacher – Tiny

 

There were some last minute additions to the list include Southern Tier‘s 2XSTOUT and East End‘s Flatitude.

I did not provide tasting notes this year but I did organize the beers by style and strength. Except for the White Chocolate (14.5% ABV), which was in the middle of the order, the highest ABV beers were the Russian Imperial Stouts and were served at the end. Much water was provided both as a palette cleanser and to slow down the beer intake. Food included mild & spicy chili, soft steak tacos, beer brauts from a local butcher, wings, and various chips & vegetables. For those with a sweet tooth, Chocolate Bourbon cupcakes satisfied that urge.

opening wcWe kicked things off around 12:30 with Ommegang‘s Take the Black and, just like last year, I took a lot of grief if I wasn’t loud enough presenting the beers. We took our time moving through the beer list, but if I took a break to get some food I was temporarily relieved of my announcing duties. The half time show was the attempt at opening the bottle of White Chocolate.

My favorite beer this year was one that I wasn’t expecting to be so good: the Bourbon barrel aged Wee Heavy from Mad Fox Brewing in Falls Church, Virginia, which was just tapped at the brewery earlier in the week. The Wee Heavy was very fruity with flavors of dark berry, orange, and figs. The time spent in the barrels add the oaken & molasses aspects that one expects from a Bourbon barrel aged beer. The aging also served to meld all the different flavors and aroma together. Other highlights included the 2013 Dark Lord from Three Floyds and the 2012 Coffee Bourbon County Stout from Goose Island. On the flip side I was most disappointed in the Cherry Rye Bourbon County Stout. To me it tasted like cherry cough syrup.

Just like previous years, the success or failure of any beer sharing event really isn’t the beer. Sharing beer with good friends that you’ve known for a while and meeting new friends in person for the first time made this Stout Fest another great event. This year was the fourth stout fest and two of the people today have been to all four!

I have already begun planning for Winter Stout Fest 2014! Keep Saturday, December 6th, open on your calendar. Also, be on the lookout for information for the first Virginia Winter Stout Fest on the following weekend. We hope to bring in many Virginia and perhaps DC & Maryland based breweries to share their favorite winter brews.

I would like to thank Adroit Theory’s owner, Mark Osborne, for allowing me to hold the event at the brewery, Head brewer, Greg Skotzko, for showing up early to help me set up, and Heather Dougherty for all the pictures below!

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Written by Bob Pack

Simply put, Bob is a beer lover. He goes out of his way to try new beers whenever he can find them. The love of trying new beers had resulted in a beer label collection of over 1400. When it comes down to it, Bob is a hop head. He loves IPAs (including double and black). Stouts are a close second. His tweet reviews on @nova_beer are simple and approachable. Let him know what you think. Find Bob Pack on Google Plus

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