Ramble On

Monday, August 3, 2015

Returning the Favor @pendruidbrewing

Pen Druid's soft opening on July 31.
 A few weeks back, we had visitors from a couple of breweries out at the hop yards - Pen Druid Brewing, who were on the verge of opening over the mountain in Sperryville, and Tin Cannon, who operate in Gainesville, not too much farther away.  I put up this post - we really had a great day at the farm visiting with these folks and learning that much more about the Virginia Craft Brewing Industry.

Flash forward a few weeks, and here we are with the Pen Druid Brewing soft opening on August 1 - neighbor Dan and I trekked over to have a look around and try some truly crafty beers!  David couldn't join us for the visit, since he and Heather were up in Frederick for a race, but we'll make a plan for a follow-on visit soon.

Enjoying the vibe with the Pen Druid team!

I first learned about this team back in May, during a visit up to Black Hops Farm in Lucketts - somehow I missed posting about that road trip.  I met with Jonathan up there and he showed me around the operation - again, lots of collaboration and creativity going on, and that's an aspect of this whole thing that is really growing on me.

That's really the theme of this brewery, as you can see on the tap board from our visit.  Dan and I sampled all three of the offerings, and got a little tour of the place as well.  We tried the 10 oz. pours of all three beers - doing an "ABV ladder," starting with The Mild Child before progressing through Janis' Southern Wrecker and Suzerain.

Creativity in chalk.  I think Pen Druid is a
good example of what craft brewing is all about.
I'd like to highlight that last one - over the last few years, in my home brewing experience, I'd seen kits that offer combinations of beer and wine, and I had thought I might give one a try over the summer.  That didn't work out for me because of the hop yards schedule, so I was pleased to have a chance to try the one these guys had worked out.

They obtained a chardonnay barrel from one of the nearby wineries and aged this Saison in it.  From the process, this beer picked up some wonderful flavors that are complex and delicious - but still respect the summer's heat - so they are very refreshing.

These barrels are part of the creative process at Pen Druid.
The brothers walked us through their plans to experiment with several beers this way.  There's even a sherry cask in the inventory, and Dan and I agreed we'd look froward to that one!

It's terrific to have this new brewery so close.  I'm looking forward to future visits - and perhaps some collaborations with hops from Hawksbill Hop Yards!

Congrats guys!

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