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Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Kickstarter Hop Farm

Cascade hops at Beaver Run Brewery.
Back in March I made a small contribution to a hop farm project on Kickstarter.  Having watched Dan's hopyard come of age over the last three or four years, observed the emergence of the craft brewery trend here in Virginia, and finally planting my own rhizomes, I just wanted to be a part of something bigger.  That's when I found the Condzella project up in Long Island and decided to support it.












If you follow that link, you'll arrive at an excellent video that was produced for the project.  It highlights the farm and all the effort that goes into farming this crop, not to mention touching on the cultural history that hops are part of.  The star of the show is the new hop harvesting machine, which according to the latest project update is up and running - and doing everything it promised to do, reducing hours of picking time to mere minutes!

For my support, I will receive a little premium that includes one pound of Cascade hops produced with the new equipment.  Considering most of my brews to date have required two oz. of hops, this will be plenty to get me through the winter.

I'll make a post when I get more information about how the harvest at Condzella went, or when my premium arrives - those will probably be combined into one post.  In the meantime, here's a link to my original post on the topic:

http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-kickstarter-hop-farm-project.html

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More August Hops


After I checked on my own little hopyard in Alexandria, I hit the road for Hawksbill Cabin.  I'd planned a stop by Beaver Run Brewery that afternoon for a little sampling of Dan's latest, plus a Saison I had brewed and the Starr Hill Pumpkin Porter that I had picked up at Bethesda Market.  Of course, stopping by to see Dan and Sally often means a visit to the hopyard and then a cruise through the brewery to check out what's new - and so we did.

I opened this post with a photo of some of this years Fuggles hops.  These are new bines, started from rhizomes one of the other valley brewers gave Dan.  They have a distinct round cone, as opposed to the Cascades, which are shown in the second photo and are more conical.  There are a couple of other varieties in the hopyard - Centennial, which didn't even come out of the ground for me and has rarely produced anything for Dan, Willamette, and Goldings...he may also have Hallertauer in the yard but I can't remember and would have to check past posts.

Dan has been keeping busy with the harvest.  He told me he is getting about one pound of dried hop flowers from each plant, which seems like a good yield for his operation.  He said he has four pounds already put away in the freezer, so he's stocked for his brewing requirements for a while.

We talked about all the pumpkin beers that have been showing up in stores this month.  I wanted to try the porter I'd brought, but also wanted to see what he knew about pumpkin ale.  I am going to get some local Page County pumpkins as soon as they are available, and brew a pale ale with them.

Before I close the post, I guess I should list out all the beers we tasted together sitting out on his flagstone porch, where Mary and Sally also joined us in the sun:


  • Starr Hill Boxcar (Pumpkin Porter)
  • Jim's Cynical Saison
  • Beaver Run Pilsner
  • Beaver Run IPA
  • Beaver Run Imperial Whiskey Barrell Stout


Not bad considering most of that was homebrewed, eh?


Monday, August 26, 2013

I Grew a Hop

On Saturday morning, as I was preparing to drive out to Hawksbill Cabin, I decided to make a quick check of Mary's truck patch in the backyard - mainly to have a look at the two hops bines I started in pots this spring.

Aside from the fact that the bines have had something of a second wind lately, I didn't expect much from either of them - it's their first year, after all, and I understand it can take up to three years for them to mature into full yield. Compare that to Dan's hops out in Stanley, where he has nearly a freezer full of home grown hops, which should empower his brewing for the next year!

I'll have a post about my Saturday afternoon visit to Dan's hopyard later this week, but here are a couple of pictures of the plants in our backyard.  First, there is the little Goldings cone that I spotted out there, up high on the trellis.  This may be a sign for me that next year, I need to ensure they have plenty of space to climb - in actual hop farms, the trellis can reach up to 18 feet.

The Goldings bine is planted near the fence, amongst the tomatoes.  It gets full sun there, pretty much all day long.  It finally made it to the top of the trellis in July, and then sort of rested a few weeks.  Then in August, it took off again, with a lot of shoots provided renewed growth up near the top - and then we got the little flower.

The Willamette bine is nestled under the apricot tree, where it receives full sun for part of the day and dappled light for about the same amount of time.  I'm sure it needs full sun like the Goldings bine, so I'll keep that in mind for where I place it next year.

Once everything really begins to fade out there I will have to decide what I am going to do with them next year.  I have an idea to put them in whiskey barrel planters out at Hawksbill Cabin, where I have more options for giving them an appropriate location with full sun, and a trellis of appropriate height.

I'll have a post or two on that topic as fall and winter comes on.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Lynchburg's Jefferson Street Brewery

As a quick follow-up to yesterday's post about Alexandria's Port City Brewery, I thought I might put something up about another brewery we had the chance to check out recently - Jefferson Street Brewery in Lynchburg.

Now, even though I have applied the label "brewery tours" to this post, we didn't officially get the tour.  This brewery occupies some space in the Craddock Terry Hotel, upstairs in the Waterstone pizza restaurant.  As I understand it, the 7-barrel brewery sells all it makes in the two restaurants at the hotel.

It's a nice arrangement that ensures that the brewery prospers at that scale.  I suppose it is natural that in the lifecycle of any business, once profitability has been reached at full capacity you would consider expanding - and that is probably going through everyone's mind at the moment.

The Jefferson Street homepage is unique because among other things, it offers a virtual tour of the brewery.  I'm thinking there is about 200 SF committed to the operation, and likely a bit more for storage and other activities.

The photos I have included are the boiler and mash kettles (copper colored) and the fermentation tanks. In that second photo, you can see the bucket on the floor in the bottom right corner - a sign that primary fermentation is underway on a new batch.

Between our 2010 and 2013 trips to Lynchburg, I've been able to enjoy a couple of brews from here - and the restaurant is good, so we'll look forward to another trip sometime.  Meanwhile, I have a growler from there now as a souvenir.

The web page is here:  http://www.jeffersonstreetbrewery.com/about.php

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Alexandria's Port City Brewery

Here are some kegs waiting to be filled in the bottling area.
Our second outing of the day last Saturday was a brewery tour at Port City Brewing in Alexandria.  (It occurs to me that I took some photos at Jefferson Street Brewery in Lynchburg earlier this month – I’ll go back to see if I posted on that, and put up an update if I didn’t.) 

Port City is a comparatively large brewery for a craft operation, with six regular brews and several seasonal brews.  I noted that their boiler capacity was 30 barrels, and their fermentation tanks are 120 barrels – so they can put out some beer!  They started in 2011 and are already distributed throughout the mid-Atlantic.

Thirty barrel mash and boiling tuns - or kettles, if you prefer.
On the tour we learned about the history of brewing in Alexandria – the following is a quote from their web site:

The historic port city of Alexandria, VA has a proud tradition of brewing beer for the region that dates back to the 19th Centure.  Founded in 1866, the Robert Portner Brewing Company operated in Alexandria for almost 50 years.  It grew to become the largest brewery in the southern United States, and was Alexandria’s largest employer.  The company thrived until 1915, when Prohibition came to Virginia, and the brewery went out of business.

Port City says their mission “is to be a reliable and innovative regional brewer of top quality beers that are delicious and well balanced, made from the finest ingredients available, and which celebrate their raw materials.”
Speaking of raw materials, this silo holds 100,000 pounds
of pilsener malt for the craft brews.

We enjoyed a little tasting of the Witbier before our tour began.  The tour included sampling for other beers too, but we passed since it was early.  We saved the tickets they gave us for a rain check, though, so we’ll definitely go back!

Here’s a link to the web site:


This is the hop-infuser.  I believe it is used for adding hops
during secondary, and may be similar to the torpedo
process used by Sierra Nevada.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Del Ray Farmers Market

We stayed back in Alexandria last weekend because I had some work deadlines – I’ve got that bi-annual trip to Las Vegas coming up and I needed to finish my presentation.  Despite missing out on all the Triathlon fun in Luray, we did manage to take in a couple of sites in Alexandria, including the Del Ray Farmers Market and Port City Brewery.  I figured I’d put up a couple of posts on these locations over the next couple of days.

The Del Ray Farmers Market takes place in a little lot over on Mount Vernon Avenue.  Seriously, the space allocated here is less than where we have the market set up in Luray.  It’s still a pretty charming thing to visit, with all the families walking up to it and the crowded stalls – though they are not as crowded as the stalls were in Mountain View, California. 

As I began writing this post, I realized that I have probably posted about Del Ray before.  But more than that, I think I have written about Farmers Markets in Mountain View, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Arlington, and DC – in addition to the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction in Dayton, VA and the Luray-Page Market.  So I’m going back through to put on a new label – “Farmers Markets” – which you’ll see at the end of this post and which will take you to the others.

At the market we picked up some of our typical summer fare, some sweet corn for grilling (I was making ribs on Sunday), eggplant, and two melons.  One of the melons was a sprite, which we used to see a lot of in Luray and I don’t remember seeing last year…we also took home a four pound cantaloupe, and we chose a focaccia with spinach, tomatoes, and leeks for lunch. 
   
I have the sense that the farms that attend this one are all larger than what we see at the market in Luray.  I say this because I’ve seen the same farms at the Clarendon Market in Arlington, which means they are making it into town a couple of times per week with adequate production to satisfy some densely populated neighborhoods. 


Still, it’s always a nice outing to get outside and check out what’s in season.  Someday I fancy we’ll get an old-fashioned green grocer in town somewhere, complete with seasonal produce displays right on the sidewalk.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The 2013 Farm-to-Table Dinner

(Note:  I scheduled this post for Monday morning, and the one about the wine and farmers at the dinner was supposed to go up on Tuesday.  Unfortunately I fat-fingered the scheduling thingee and gotten the cart before the horse.  Maybe it's better to close out with this one after all - that dinner was great, as you'll read below!)

I’ll close out the posts about the 2013 Page County Grown Farm Tour with a couple of posts about the farm dinner that was held at the Mimslyn Inn on Saturday night, August 10, 2013.  Chef Harris surprises us with his creations every time – this one being the third annual, and all of the featured ingredients in each course come from the local farms. 

So today’s post will cover the menu and courses, and tomorrow’s will make a note about the farms that grew the ingredients and the featured wines, which were all Wisteria selections. 

The occasion began with cocktails in the hotel lobby, but as soon as 7:00 rolled around everyone made their way into the party room – a new venue this year – for the feast.  We began with a little welcome from Page County Grown, and then a speech by Chef Harris.  As each course appeared, Moussa from Wisteria introduced the wine selection, and that was how the evening rolled out.

The first course was gorgonzola-sweet corn polenta, garnished with a mixed pepper ratatouille.  A mixed green salad accompanied the dish.  The dish set the playing field for the evening, and afterwards, there were a few people who told me this was their favorite course.

The second course was introduced on the menu as “eggplant parmesan salad,” but I’ve shortcut that every time I talked about the dinner, just calling it eggplant parmesan.  The eggplant was panko encrusted and grilled, and plated with slices of mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes.

My table mates especially enjoyed the third course, mixed vegetable ravioli.  One of them even said, “That’s the first time I could taste and identify everything that was in the dish.”  Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, caramelized onion and fresh basil were all part of the filling.


We had a palate cleanser at this stage of the game – cantaloupe sorbet.  It was matched with Pinot Gris, which you can see in the photo.

In 2011, the first year, the meat course was beef brisket, and in 2012 it was short ribs.  Since the beef comes from my friends at Skyline Premium Meats I always look forward to it (and I often purchase these same cuts at the market to grill at home).  

Before dinner, Jared told me that he had brought over sirloin steaks for this evening’s dinner – and when the beef wellington came out, everyone was once again surprised and delighted at the unusual dish.  It was paired with potatoes au gratin – these were locally grown, too – as was the Japanese eggplant, although I don’t know which farms provided them.

Needless to say, everybody was having a good time and enjoying the delicious meal, but these things always come to an end.  The desert was a surprise:  a terrine of watermelon sherbet and vanilla custard.  Look up "terrine" sometime, and you’ll understand the bit of whimsy that made this a fun conclusion to the evening.


So:  six courses, and every one of them unexpected and delicious.  Our chef at the Mimslyn has really hit his stride.  They are serving farm dinners every Saturday during the season this year – it’s well worth the stop; I think Mary and I will have to get by there again before the season is over!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Farm-to-Table Dinner - Wine and Farms

Today will be my second to last post about the 2013 Page County Grown Farm Tour.  Tomorrow’s post will be about the Farm-to-Table dinner, and today's will have information about the Wisteria wines that were served, and a note about all the farms that provided ingredients that were part of such a delicious meal.  I have photos of the menu and the acknowledgement to accompany this post.

Six wines were paired with the six courses.  I am writing these descriptions from memory – based on talking with Sue and Moussa or the introduction he gave for each course, or I’ve simply Googled and summarized what I found.

  • Ashtaroot – This is a light white wine that is named after a Phoenician goddess.  It is a very pleasant blend of grapes and apple juice.  It was paired with the polenta dish that was served as an appetizer.
  • Oak Vigonier – The grape is “Virginia’s official grape” and Wisteria offers two main versions of the wine, one fermented in oak and the other in steel.  I’ve heard many of our neighbors describe this one as their favorite Wisteria offering.
  • Chardonnay – Here’s one that needs no description; it’s an obligatory offering.  It was delightfully paired with the pasta course at our dinner.
  • Pinot Gris – The lighter taste of pinot gris was an element of the cantaloupe sorbet that was served as a palate cleanser.  So we didn’t actually drink it, although plenty was consumed.
  • Carmine – This is a red wine that Wisteria introduced in the last couple of years.  It features an intense red color, great aromas and ample tannins.  At past dinners, I’ve gone back for more, but there was never enough for another pour.  This time it was served with the meat course.
  • Velvet – This is another red, a blend that is a little sweeter.  So it was served with the dessert course.


By the time the dinner had progressed to the third course, the crowd was pretty rowdy and cheered Moussa and Sue on for each new introduction.  Good times – and they were made better by the full pours at dinner!

For a complete description of the farmers – not just those who were part of the Farm-to-Table dinner, but all of the members of Page County Grown, check out the web page here: 
http://pagecountygrown.com/

Here’s the list of contributors to the Farm-to-Table Dinner:
  • Wisteria Farm and Vineyard
  • Skyline Premium Meat
  • Public House Produce
  • Survivor Farm
  • Moyers Farm


All in all, another great tour, and a fantastic dinner.  I’m looking forward to next weekend at the farmer’s market after all of that.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Farm Tour Stop 2: Wisteria Farm and Vineyard

(Note:  I read on Facebook that Wisteria is celebrating the fourth anniversary of its opening this weekend.  I'm pleased about the coincidence that I was going to write a post about them today - but even happier to say "congratulations" to Sue and Moussa, and to say how much Mary and I appreciate and enjoy the wonderful place they have created in Page County!)

After our group finished up at Public House Produce, we took a circuitous route back to Luray, hoping to take in one of the other farms on the Page County Grown Farm Tour.  That wasn't to be, so we stopped in at the hopping West Main Market for some sandwiches, with the intent of making a little picnic out of the stop we had planned at Wisteria Farm and Vineyard.  That worked out nicely, I might add!

I write about Wisteria frequently - they're neighbors to Hawksbill Cabin, so it's very convenient to stop by there on a weekend afternoon.  We often take visitors there, especially if we can schedule around one of the musical events under the arbor.  We've even visited the vineyard with our friends Kathy and Brendan, who were out for the farm tour and dinner.

Between all of that chilling, we enjoyed volunteering during the harvest last year, and there have been some times when I was out on brewing research and stopped by to chat with Moussa on technical points about fermentation and equipment.  I had been in the Wisteria cellar before - but never on an official tour - so when Sue offered us one we were quick to take her up on it.

She showed us around the areas where the white wine is made and the casks where barrel aging takes place, mostly with the red wines.  I hadn't seen the bottling machine before, and it was pretty fascinating to see how the whole operation comes together in there. And of course, we were in the cellar, so it was cool and a refreshing break from the summer heat!

When we first arrived, we had strolled out to one of the picnic tables near the pasture.  We'd chosen the Traminette to match up with the two or three different kinds of sandwiches everybody had brought with them.

After the visit and tour, we headed back to Hawksbill Cabin for a little while.  The Farm-to-Table Dinner was fast approaching, so we needed to rest up in preparation for that event - which will be the topic of my next post!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Farm Tour Stop 1: Public House Produce


After the rain stopped, Mary, Kathy, Brendan and I made our way to our first stop on the PCG Farm Tour - we went to Public House Produce.  We ran into a couple of the other farm touristas there when we first arrived.

David and Heather had set up their annual tomato tasting (I have a photo of a few of the varieties from under the barn).  I'd make a confession that until I became familiar with some of the heirlooms I was never a big fan of tomatoes, but they're growing on me nowadays.

This stop also featured the flower garden, where they were offering "cut your own" sunflowers.  The flowers were pretty wonderful.  I used a photo of them in my post yesterday.

I also got to meet the new pigs, or as I have been calling them, this winter's hogs.  I'll make a few stops by there as they grow between now and January, and Chris and I have already had a quick email exchange about the news.  More on them to follow.

While I was checking out the pigs, Delilah and Butterscotch, the goats, came over for a little visit.  Butterscotch in particular wanted some attention, so I scratched her noggin.  She's quite the social bird.

During the spring, David had told me he got a new tractor to help manage things over at the "river patch" he's been working this year.  The machine adds a lot of capability - it's really been an eye opener learning everything that a tractor is used for on the farm.

This one has an extra low gear that is perfect for setting onions, green beans and sweet corn.  Here's a video of him standing next to the tractor as it inches along at a speed approaching 1/4 mile per hour.  He tells me it's hard to keep it moving in a straight line at this speed!



Our late start had put us behind schedule, so after a great visit there at Public House Produce, we decided to see if we could catch Long Acres on the recommendation of John and Nina, who we'd run into when we first arrived.  Alas, the rain had made us too late for that, so we decided to make our second and last stop at Wisteria Farm and Vineyard - that will be the topic of my post tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2013 Page County Grown Farm Tour

Last weekend was the third annual Farm Tour put on by Page County Grown.  We had our friends Kathy and Brendan out for the event, but as the morning broke I have to admit I wasn't optimistic that the whole thing was going to come off due to some rather heavy rain.

In the end, the day turned out pretty grand, but we got a little bit of a late start and didn't make it to all four farms:

  • Long Acres
  • Survivor Farm
  • Public House Produce
  • Wisteria Farm and Vineyard

As usual, the event concluded with an excellent Farm-to-Table dinner event at the Mimslyn Inn.  My plan is to put up some posts about the two farms we managed to visit on Saturday and the dinner, and today I'll note the two we weren't able to get to - that's a regret, because I really enjoyed the visit to Survivor Farm last year, and other folks out on the tour told me they were really impressed with what they saw at Long Acres!

First there is Long Acres, linked here on the Page County Grown page:  http://pagecountygrown.com/jennings-farm/

They produce a variety of produce, but also have a meat and poultry operation on the 500 acre spread.  We almost made it by there during the tour hours but were just a bit late - but enjoyed a drive-by, taking note of what is probably the largest painting of a Hokie I've ever seen on the side of the barn.

Survivor Farm is linked here:  http://pagecountygrown.com/survivor-farm-darrell-hulver/

Survivor Farm is a small farm, located near Lake Arrowhead in Luray.  They grow tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, asparagus, blackberries, and raspberries.  Their products are available in the CSA shares at Public House Produce, and at the Luray-Page Farmers Market.

I also posted about this farm during last year's tour, linked here:  http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2012/08/2012-page-county-grown-farm-tour.html

We had a great time on the tour and regretted not getting to all four of the farms.  But each was represented at the Farm-to-Table event, so we did get to celebrate their farm heritage with them.  More to follow in posts this week!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Les Nouveaux Porcine Ont Arrivé

The title of today's post, a la français, is "the new swine have arrived."  On Thursday afternoon, I received a note via Facebook that David was on the way to pick up this year's bunch of pigs, and that they would be arriving at the farm in time for the Page County Grown tour on Saturday.

So we could see them and check them out.  I told Mary, who reacted with a squeamish, "oh no, no, no, no - I don't want to see them."  It's all about the fact that the food has a face, I guess.

Now, this is a joyous time on the farm.  The new arrivals are getting to know their whereabouts and the routines.  There's a lot of exploration to be done, and they'll get to know the goats and chickens that are going to share the barnyard.

I have a video here about the first few days with the pigs, just after the 2011 batch arrived:

This reminds me - I guess I need to check the freezer.

L'aventure commence!

Friday, August 9, 2013

More Lynchburg


So, we've been to Lynchburg twice, for a total of maybe 3 days, but we already have haunts.  The old mill in the first photograph is an example - it stands one lot over from the Craddock Terry Hotel and you can see it from the catwalk that bridges over to the second building.

When we visited before with Mary's University of Maryland trip, we took a developer's tour of this building.  At the time they were planning to transition it into lofts - I'm sure somebody would still like to do that, but the work has apparently stopped for now.  The building looks like it has been stabilized, with the project idled until the economy gets better.

There are a lot of photographs of the interior of the mill under the Lynchburg label at the end of this post - I remember the tour was very interesting.

As we walked around the town, we ranged a couple of blocks to the north from the hotel.  We checked out the vintage deco Allied Arts Building (it has its own Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_Arts_Building).  It's fascinating to me to think that this little town was once the most prosperous in Virginia, and in 1929 someone could afford the investment in this "skyscraper."




The final shot I collected on this trip is this Gothic church.  The steeple is probably 100 feet tall, and it has some lovely features in the archways and masonry.  It sits at the top of the ridge that separates downtown Lynchburg from the Federal Hill Historic District - one of seven historic districts in Lynchburg, by the way!

Our walk continued around, and since it was Sunday night, the sidewalks were all pretty much rolled up. We checked out the plaza where they have their farmers market and the terraced walk where they have war memorials.

We also found time to stroll along their river walk, and we stopped in for a nice ale at the Depot - a watering hole down there along the railroad tracks.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Revisiting the Craddock Terry Hotel

Our drive to Charlotte last weekend ended up taking more than 8 hours - although Google Maps had estimated less than 6.  We decided that we'd make a break halfway on the way back with an overnight stop at a favorite landmark, the Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg.

A few years ago we visited the hotel with a group of Mary's students and fellow teachers from the University of Maryland.  That weekend included a seminar on adaptive reuse of historic buildings - the Craddock Terry is a good example of that process, and it is one of several in downtown Lynchburg that have been restored and reused.

You can check out the label "Lynchburg" at the end of this post for the photos and posts about that earlier trip.  But to recap, the main building of the hotel, shown in the exterior shot above, was built as a shoe factory.  After years of productive use, the company closed, and the building lapsed into disuse.

Lynchburg went through a process to define a new master plan and sought investment in downtown properties, which attracted new owners to the building.  They also bought the old tobacco warehouse that neighbors it, combining the two into a single boutique hotel with restaurants and conference facilities.

The interior was redesigned to highlight the amazing old structure, including wooden columns, beams, and joists, which you can see in the interior shot here.  There are plenty of additional photos in the earlier Lynchburg photos too.

Also decorating the interior are whimsical nods to the legacy of the factory, including parts of old shoe boxes that have been worked into the art in the lobby and framed illustrations that were the basis of advertising copy.

Then there is the hotel mascot, Buster Brown.  He's named after a line of children's shoes, and he rules the roost down in the lobby.  They tell us he has some favorite seats in the room, and he moves to different ones on a schedule throughout the day.

I have a post or two more to put up about the Lynchburg stop over the next couple of days.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Just Back

We're just back from a road trip to Charlotte, NC, where we attended a birthday celebration for my dad.  We had a nice couple of days down there for this family event, which was held by a lake in a local park down there.  My brother, sisters, and step family came into town from all directions.

Mary and I drove down overlapping with some of our usual drive to Luray, and I just happened to catch this unusual view - for me, at least - of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park.  It was taken as we drove by in Etlan, VA.  Looking at this, it's kind of fun for me to think that Hawksbill Cabin is only 10 miles west of here, as the crow flies.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Beaver Run Brewery's Whisky Stout

I checked in with Dan after my post on his hopyard last week.  He sent me the update that follows:

This is actually my 4th picking and after tallying the total production to date: 4 pounds dried hops packed away in the freezer.  I'd say 96% of those were picked from the eight Cascade plants...Off to Wolf Trap to a SOJA concert.  Also, the Imperial Stout went into the Woodenville Whiskey oak whiskey barrel last night.  Check out the pictures.

I can't wait til this one is tapped!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Green Canoe visits Luray in Page County

Last night I was watching MSNBC and along about 7:30 there were two ads in quick succession - one for Luray Caverns, and the second, also by the Caverns, about Luray and Page County in general.  There was a little traffic early in the month over on Facebook about that second ad, called "Green Canoe," and I've embedded in the blog header for this month.

It features a couple of our locals as actors, so it was a real treat to check it out.  For reference, I'm also embedding it in this post:


Now, there is a poll going on in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine, and Luray is in the running for Best Trail Town.  If you've made it this far in the post, you might as well click over there and vote for us...thanks!