By Phil Galewitz
Ardent Craft Ales and Resevoir Distillery, both of Richmond, have combined to make a limited quantity of 375-ml bottles of whiskey distilled from Ardent’s IPA. Bottles will retail for $65 each. Ardent and Reservoir are located in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood, and the collaboration began as a simple conversation between owners Tom Sullivan, Jay Carpenter and David Cuttino, and their brewing teams. The two teams thought it would be interesting to create a whiskey using barley, an ingredient not currently featured in any of Reservoir’s whiskies. Ardent shipped their IPA to Reservoir Distillery, and their team distilled it into a spirit. Reservoir then aged the spirit in a variety of barrels, new and used, for a year. The IPA base comes through with hop notes in the finished spirit.
Its back to school time and at Frederick, Maryland-based Flying Dog Brewing that means beer school. Some upcoming Flying Dog University courses include:
Beer and Hot Sauce – Saturday, Sept. 16 – The brewery teams up with VooDoo Chili of Leesburg, VA to flaunt the parallels that world class beer and premium hot sauce share. The course includes a flight of beers paired with four different hot sauces.
All About Malts – Friday, Sept. 22 – The brewery partners with Briess Malt & Ingredients to explain why brewers call malt the soul of beer. During the class, teachers detail on growing and harvesting grains, malting, roasting malts, adjuncts, a milling and mashing demo, amylase and how malts contribute to the flavor in beer. The course will include a guided tasting of malt forward beers.
Real Ale – Friday, Oct. 27 – Flying Dog University’s Real Ale teach the fundamentals of unfiltered, naturally carbonated beer. The class will get to make their own firkin and enjoy in the tasting room.
Cooking with Bee – The class includes five brand-new seasonal dishes made with and then paired with beer and will conclude with a family-style dinner so you can reap what you sow. Friday, Oct. 13, and/or Friday, Nov. 10.
Speaking of school, Flying Dog is working with the University of Maryland to help identify the best hops. The college is studying 24 varieties of hops at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center in Keedysville, MD. The trials will collect critical information on how Maryland’s unique climate affects harvest date, levels of acids and oil in the hops.
“I am thrilled to be part of a partnership with a business leader in the state that has the foresight to help an entire industry grow using research-based information,” said Bryan Butler, extension agent for UMD. The first 12 varieties – planted in 2016 – were selected from discussions with academic and industry experts on what might perform well in this area and what was being used by brewers. The second 12 varieties were selected based on an informal survey of Maryland growers and brewers to establish what might be most marketable in this region.
The University of Maryland aims to provide information to producers on the viability and marketability of these hop varieties.
To complement the program, Flying Dog will help fund hop processing equipment for the university and provide resources to analyze and evaluate each test crop the program harvests. Flying Dog will also develop beers using those hops, eliciting feedback from and exposing craft beer fans to the full potential of Maryland hops.
“Harvesting must be done consistently, and within a narrow window of time, to ensure maximum production, quality, and comparison of varieties,” Butler said. “Flying Dog’s partnership will allow us to invest in a harvester, which will ensure that hops are harvested properly, and that data on each yield is realistic and relevant to growers.”
At Devils Backbone Brewing in Nelson County, VA the annual 75-mile fun bike ride from their Outpost Brewery & Tap Room through the Virginia Heartland to the Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows is scheduled for Sept. 9. A post ride party waiting for the finishers.
Individual day passes, two-day passes, and three-day passes for Hoopla 2017 are being sold online now. The full lineup of music, games and camping activities to be held at Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows Sept. 29- Oct. 1. is now set.
Heavy Seas Brewing in Halethorpe, MD is expanding & redesigning its Tap Room. The newly renovated Tap Room will be 10 times larger than the current space. There will also be larger private events space, a larger deck outside, and twice as many beers on tap. The new 5,000 square foot space should be done by March 2018. Heavy Seas will also install a new small-batch brew house for experimental beers, the majority of which will stay in the taproom. The project, which includes building a bridge between the current building and the new space — will cost between $1 million and $2 million.
Founded in 1995 as Clipper City Brewing Co. and then rebranded as Heavy Seas 15 years later, the brand is one of the most prolific craft-beer brands on the East Coast, producing between 4,000 and 6,000 cases of beer per day. Dan Kopman, co-founder of St. Louis’ Schlafly Beer, was recently named the CEO of Heavy Seas. Founder Hugh Sisson has shifted to a managing partner — still active and full-time.
For September, Heavy Seas’ Great’er Pumpkin Imperial Pumpkin Ale aged in bourbon barrels will hit store shelves. The 10% abv. has flavors of oak, vanilla and bourbon. The annual The Loose Cannon 5k is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, 10:00am at the brewery. More info: http://hsbeer.com/happenings/eventDetail/lc5k-2017.
The Heavy Seas Sausage Festival will be Sept. 30.
Snallygaster, Washington D.C’s top outdoor beer festival, will be Sept. 23. The 6th annual event is sponsored by DC’s Bluejacket brewery, Church Key and Sovereign, all top craft beer places owned by Neighborhood Restaurant Group. Expect 350 craft beers and ciders amid food trucks, live music and fun and games on the DC waterfront known as Yards Park, next to Nationals Stadium.
Snallygaster serves as the largest annual fundraiser for Arcadia, a nonprofit demonstration farm dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system in our region. The Alexandria, Va. farm has two mobile farmer’s markets that make weekly stops to underserved & low-income neighborhoods and make the food both accessible and affordable.
And new to the line-up this year – a stellar wine garden.. Tickets start at $35, which includes entry to festival and 30 beer and food tickets, which will pay for taster sizes and full pours.
Atlas Brew Works in DC will be holding its 4th anniversary party Sept. 9 with live music and food trucks and special beers.
Starr Hill Brewing in Crozet, VA is opening its Roanoke Pilot Brewery & Side Stage on Sept. 16.
Old Bust Head Brewing Co. recently celebrated its third year anniversary on August 12th with a party that featured live music, food trucks and baby goats. In the new year, Old Bust Head plans to continue canning its Double IPA series, a string of assertive, hop-centric brews with malty depths named after local racehorses. Sold in 16oz cans, and on draft in the Old Bust Head taproom, these beers are elevated by a generous addition of dry hops that leads to nothing but bold flavors and aromas. In addition to the Double IPA series, Old Bust Head continues to expand its barrel aged program this year, with barrels ranging from bourbon, rye, whiskey and rum. A favorite from this series is the Gold Cup Russian Imperial Stout aged on bourbon barrels, which helps to accentuate chocolate notes in the beer as well as add a velvety mouthfeel with a slightly boozy finish.