By Phil Galewitz
Delirium, the internationally known Belgian beer (Delirium Tremens) has opened its first US café in downtown Leesburg, VA; it's a 2-level, indoor-outdoor setting in a region booming with new breweries. The original Delirium Café began in a group of row houses off the Grande Place in Brussels carrying well over 1,000 beers and gaining fame as the world’s greatest beer bar, according to many guidebooks; it expanded to an entire block featuring several different themes including Absinthe and Trappist bars.
Local Delirium owner and manager Curtis Allred is a certified Sommelier and Cicerone (the beer equivalent) who cut his teeth in the Manhattan food scene before working for a mix of fine dining and casual establishments in the DC area. The new restaurant has a large wraparound bar and all the favorite Belgian foods including mussels, frites and waffles.
The bar menu features the full Delirium Tremens lineup along with nearly 300 beers from around the world, including many local brews from Loudoun County. As well as the classic Delirium Tremens triple; other Delirium flavors include Delirium Red – sweet and fruity ale and Delirium Nocturum, a Belgian strong dark ale. The café is at 101 S. King St.
Less than a five-minute walk are two new small but cozy craft breweries trying to carve out their own history – Black Hoof Brewing and Black Walnut Brewery.
Mispillion River Brewing in Milford, DE has released its 2017 edition of Short ‘N Stout, a bourbon barrel aged stout, in honor of Patrolman Chad E. Spicer. Over the past few years, Brewmaster Ryan Maloney has perfected the recipe for the Short ‘N Stout, which was inspired by Spicer’s love of tobacco and whiskey. Brewers began with the base of a 9% Russian Imperial Stout and added molasses to the boil. This created notes of tobacco, oak, vanilla, and toffee, which blend well with the whiskey flavors from the 6-month barreling process. This year, the brewery switched up the type of bourbon barrel, resulting in a smoother beer. Since 2015, Mispillion has been brewing Short ‘N Stout as fundraiser for the National Criminal Enforcement Association’s Officer in Distress Fund. While over 100 bottles are available, bottles numbered one through 10 are put in a live auction. Short ‘N Stout can only be found at the brewery, which makes for a perfect pit stop on the way to the Delaware or Maryland shore.
The “Partner Ships” Series by Heavy Seas Beer in Halethorp, MD welcomed in July its second collaboration of 2017, an India Pale Lager brewed with Tampa-based Cigar City. This 7.8% golden lager with bready malt aromatics has a crisp, dry finish. Late addition kettle hops followed by extensive dry hopping provide full citrus and tropical fruit flavors and aromas balancing a soft bitterness. The Partner Ships series features beers produced in collaboration with other regionally and nationally recognized brewers. For 2017, Heavy Seas is also partnering with Baltimore-based Union Craft and Cincinnati-based MadTree Brewing.
Speaking of partnerships, Lexington, VA-based Devils Backbone Brewing is collaborating with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, a nonprofit that preserves the nearly 2,100-mile path from Georgia to Maine. To build awareness and bring visibility to the ATC’s work, the organization’s logo will appear on the packaging for Trail Angel Weiss, a Bavarian-style, 4.9% hefeweizen that’s part of the Devils Backbone Daypack seasonable series of canned, sessionable beers. The brewery will donate $1 to the ATC for each case sold in support of trail maintenance. The beer will be available through July. Devils Backbone has supported Appalachian Trail hikers for many years as its Basecamp Brewpub is located near Reid’s Gap, a major A.T. mile marker. When thru-hikers pass through Nelson County, they are welcomed at Basecamp and invited to set up camp and enjoy a fresh hiker’s breakfast. “I am honored to have our brewery become a partner of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. It is a natural fit for us as the A.T. travels through one of the oldest mountain ranges, the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is in our brewpub’s playground,” said Devils Backbone Founder Heidi Crandall. The name Trail Angel refers to people A.T. hikers come across providing unexpected acts of kindness to help them such as giving them a lift down the road, sharing food, or helping with trail maintenance.
Devils Backbone has finalized its music and adventure lineup for its second annual Devils Backbone Hoopla camping and music festival scheduled for Sept 29-Oct 1 at its Basecamp Brewpub in Roseland, Va. The headlining musical acts will be RKS, Langhorne Slim, The Hip Abduction, Blitzen Trapper and Larry Keel. A long list of Virginia musicians are set to hit the stage as well including Chamomile & Whiskey (Charlottesville), Lord Nelson (Nelson County) and Disco Risque (Charlottesville). Beer tastings, beer dinner, field trips on the Blue Ridge Parkways, guided hikes, are among the many activities. Tickets are on sale at http://dbbrewingcompany.com/events/event/devils-backbone-hoopla/ and range from $15 for a day-pass to $105 for a four-day, camping and festival pass, and $125 for a reserved RV pass. Children under 12 years old are free. Prices are set to rise August 15.