New Shooting Creek Release Hits The Shelves!

It is a good thing to be so close to Floyd, Va.  I’ve been writing that for months now.  The beautiful rural county whose downtown turns into a mecca of good tunes every Friday night, hosts one of the best music festivals in the country each summer, and boasts a couple of truly amazing restaurants has these and several other reasons for area residents to be thankful for.  But nearby beer lovers will quickly point out another reason, that there is a darn good brewery there too.  For us, it remains a sturdy reason to be proud we live so close by, and has been since Shooting Creek opened in 2004.  But within the last few days there have been a couple of big, brand-spanking new reasons to get excited.  There is a recently overhauled website – but I’m talking bigger.  How so?  Ok, we’re talking about a brewery here, so I’ve got three words for you – New – Beer – Release.

I had begun to get a little excited when the website went live sometime between Thursday night and Friday.  Along with the new design and updated graphics was a curious little block of information on the home page that promoted a Shooting Creek “Blue Ridge Better Bitter”.  Saying not much more than that, I was reluctant to mention anything on the blog officially.  Maybe a release date was weeks or months off, who knew.  That was, of course, until I walked into a store a few hours ago here in Roanoke and actually saw it sitting on the shelf.  (A six pack of it now sits in my fridge, awaiting an evening tasting session.)  I sent an email to the guys at Shooting Creek this morning, looking for a bit more information, but in lieu of that, I’ll take a shot at a style description and hope I’m somewhere in the vicinity of the Shooting Creek interpretation.  In its most traditional definition, “Bitters” are similar to pale ales.  The accompanying history lesson goes something like this.  When beer begun to turn towards a clearer look in late 18th century Britain, the resulting “Pale Ales” were not only clearer, but also were much more noticeably hopped than the darker porters of the time.  Due to the more highly detectable hops, the beers were sometimes described as “Bitters” by the general public.  So “Pale Ale” and “Bitter”, at least in those days, became practically synonymous – one being more of an actual style description, the other an adjective that took hold among the consumer.  Today, a Bitter is a distinct style, or sub style of English Pale Ales, and generally refers to a paler, decently to well hopped ale.  Shooting Creek’s Better Bitter may also actually lean more towards the ESB (Extra Special Bitter) style as well – which, simply put, is a Bitter whose overall flavors may a bit more assertive, although are still expected to be well balanced.  ESBs are typically a bit higher in alcohol content than the typical English Bitter.

Yes, Floyd gives us Friday night Jamboree’s at The Floyd Country Store, the outdoor markets, Sun Music Hall, and Oddfella’s Cantina (which features Shooting Creek beers by the way).  But yet another bright spot for Floyd County, especially for the beer lover, is Shooting Creek Brewery.  Their beers have already garnered a feeling of appreciation among the beer lovers in the area.  With the revamped website, one new beer already showing up in stock in the area that I’m sure won’t disappoint, and appearances at Roanoke’s Microfestivus this August, this promises to be an interesting summer for the brewery – and a time to feel darn good that they’re so nearby.

Shooting Creek Brewery Site

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~ by thebeerroad on June 20, 2010.

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