Fall For Darker Beers: 7 Local Brews for the Season, Plus Food Pairings
Posted by Eliana Reyes / Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Swap those light beers for some malty, warm brews this autumn. Here is a list of early fall local beers, with tasting notes and beer pairing recommendations from each brewery.
Rhinofest from Lost Rhino Brewing Company
This Great American Beer Fest gold medal beer is a traditional German Oktoberfest beer. The dark amber lager incorporates hints of a caramel, nutty flavor that ends with a bit of spiciness. As an Oktoberfest beer, Rhinofest tastes best with German foods such as bratwurst and sauerkraut. Due to the popularity of this beer, though, reserves are running low. /Lost Rhino Brewing Company, 21730 Red Rum Dr #142 Ashburn
Heartsong from Crooked Run Brewing
If you didn’t make it to Snallygaster beef festival this past weekend, this Belgian Dubbel has notes of fruit flavor that comes from Belgian dark candi syrup. Sing praise for Heartsong by pairing it with barbecue or at your Thanksgiving dinner. / Crooked Run Brewing, 205 Harrison St SE, Leesburg
Oktoberfest from Port City Brewing Company
Another award winner at GABF, German malts and hops give this marzen harvest ale its flavor. Port City’s Oktoberfest is made in the “keller-style,” meaning its unfiltered and is 100 percent naturally carbonated (not force-carbonated, instead utilizing the CO2 from the fermentation.) Of course, this fall seasonal goes well with German food, but its malty flavor goes well with smoked meats, pork dishes and meats with a lot of fat. / Port City Brewing Company, 3950 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria.
Schwartz Bier from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
With Devils Backbone taking GABF’s award for Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year, Virginia’s full of winners. The schwarzbier—or black lager—takes on a chocolate-y taste from the roasted malts. Enjoy this winning beer with a steak or a sweet dessert to complement the chocolate notes. / Devils Backbone Brewing Company, 200 Mosbys Run, Roseland.
Smoketoberfest from Capitol City Brewing Company
This seasonal smoked marzen has a blend of eight different malts, mostly German. The smokey taste comes from one malt being kilned over a woodfire. That added level of flavor makes this light copper beer a great companion to bacon or meats that are smoked, cured or grilled. With October almost ending, though, this beer’s supply is waning fast. / Capitol City Brewing Company, 4001 Campbell Avenue, Arlington.
Revival Oyster Stout from Port City Brewing Company
Warning: Not for vegetarians. Port City brewed this the old-fashioned way, first by soaking oyster shells for minerals such as calcium and then soaking what is essentially a giant tea bag of 3,000 Chesapeake Bay oysters to give it that velvety mouthfeel. If you haven’t guessed it yet, this beer pairs perfectly with oysters. Not feeling seafood? Pair it with roasted meats or heavy, cold-weather dishes.
Hellfire from Crooked Run Brewing
IPAs aren’t just for summer. This Halloween seasonal features everyone’s favorite hoppy beer with a darker twist. With a jet-black complexion, Hellfire mixes a strong taste with malty warmth. Due to the IPA’s overwhelming nature, Hellfire should be allowed to burn bright on its own without any food accompaniment.
Tags: Beers, Capitol City Brewing Company, Crooked Run, dark, Devil’s Backbone, Eliana Reyes, GABF, Great American Beer Fest, Gut Check, heartsong, hellfire, kilt flasher, lost rhino, mag, malts, Northern Virginia, Northern Virginia Magazine, NoVA, Oktoberfest, oyster, pairings, Port City, porter, Revival Stout, RhinO’fest, schwartz bier, Smoketoberfest, Snallygaster, stout, wee heavy