Monday, December 6, 2010

Shenandoah Brewing Company - Brew Your Own

Friday I got the chance to watch my friend and his Dad make their own beer at the Shenandoah Brewing Company in Alexandria, VA. It was a pretty cool experience.

When you first arrive, you sample a few different beer styles that they have on tap, to see if you'd like to brew any of those. They also have a large variety of recipes to choose from. My friends decided to brew a clone of Fat Tire IPA.

After choosing your recipe, and weighing all your ingredients, you head over to the beautiful copper-shrouded stainless steel kettles. They have about 8 of these on hand, and there were several groups of people in the space that were brewing along side us. After steeping a pile of grains for 15 minutes, we dumped in the liquid malt extracts and the first set of hops. After a schedule of dumping hops in for an hour, the delicious beer was pumped into a large plastic fermentation container, and we pitched some yeast in there.

Hopefully in 3-4 weeks we'll have some delicious brew.

During the whole process, I got to drink on of their beers on tap. Old Rag Mountain Ale is a dark scottish-style ale. It has a slightly malty aroma, very light body, and a slightly alcohol-like aftertaste that isn't necessarily pleasant. People at the pub were mentioning how it is their best beer on tap. I would probably drink more of this, being the only dark beer in the joint, but there certainly was not anything special about it.

I'd give it a C+.


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