Weekend Tap Update (Formerly the Mid Week Update, Slightly….Updated) Bitches Brew, Oktoberfest Continues, and Beamer’s 25 Is Ready To Pour Some Beer.
When news of beers going up on tap around town begins to feel like breaking news on CNN, you know the atmosphere surrounding craft and well made beer in Roanoke is a healthy one. Late Friday afternoon, news of two beers reaching the draft lines began circulating, both noteworthy because of their limited or seasonal release status. One, an annual release from Dogfish Head, is this year’s edition of “Bitches Brew”, a beer first brewed to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1970 landmark jazz fusion release of the same name by Miles Davis. The beer is a “thread” (blend of different beers) of three stouts combined with a honey beer with gesho root. Gesho is a small tree or shrub common in Africa, and in Ethiopia, parts of the plant are used along with honey to produce a mead like beverage. It went on draft at Blue 5 Restaurant around 5pm.
Oktoberfest continues in Roanoke with an excellent imported version of the seasonal lager making its way onto the taps at Local Roots Restaurant. Hacker-Pschorr, in Munich, can trace its roots as far back as the 15th century, and their version of the legendary fall lager is an excellent one to try. Medium bodied, the beer is just rich enough, full of deep malty flavor with the slightest touch of hop presence. In today’s beer world, where food pairings are all the rave, Hacker-Pschorr’s Oktoberfest pairs well…with a perfect fall day or evening. Also, don’t forget that the royalty among pumpkin beers, Southern Tier’s Pumking, continues to hold a spot on draft at Local Roots as well.
Not to be left out, a delicious “Harvest Ale” called Scythe & Sickle from Ommegang Brewing in New York can also be found at Blue 5 as of yesterday as well. So called because to brew it, Ommegang used several types of grains to pay homage to the craft of farming, from which brewers “benefit greatly”, as it is perfectly stated on the brewery’s website. Barley, oats, wheat and rye are all used to create a “smooth and creamy mouthfeel with light toastiness and gentle sweetness”. If you can’t make it down to try this one on tap, bottles are currently in limited availability around town. It is definitely a must taste.
This weekend will also see the official opening of “Beamer’s 25”, a restaurant housed inside the Lofts at West Station building in downtown Roanoke. A post on the restaurant’s facebook page around 6pm tonight promised an opening for serving dinner tomorrow (Saturday) night. For months, the rumor was that the draft beer list would be wonderfully lengthy and full of interesting brews. Although I can’t guarantee a few late minute substitutions, the beer list will likely include some of the following: Smuttynose Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale, St. George Brewing’s Porter, North Coast’s Belgian Ale Brother Thelonious, Terrapin Brewing’s far east inspired Samurai Krunkles, Victory’s Donnybrook stout and their tripel Golden Monkey, Stone Brewing’s Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout as well as many others, including several Virginia craft brews, including ones from Blue Mountain, Devils Backbone, Starr Hill, and Roanoke Railhouse. The list will likely also include a lambic, a typically low abv% Belgian style fruit beer in which the fruit flavor is usually quite dominating but incredibly refreshing.
Get out and taste excellent beer all around Roanoke! Cheers!