New Roanoke Craft Beer Additions To Check Out

At the handful of restaurants in Roanoke which feature craft beer on tap, there always seems to be at least some activity with new beers being shuffled into their draft line ups.  As usual, I attempt to keep up with those changes along the right sidebar here on the blog for quick reference, but I thought a couple of recent additions deserved a bit more of a write up.

Local Roots Restaurant on Grandin Road added Ommegang’s (Cooperstown, New York) Witte Witbier in the last week or so.  For those not familiar, witbiers are an unfiltered Belgian style wheat beer, with varying degrees of spices or herbs added, often coriander, and almost always flavored with orange peel.  They typically are at least a little tart and have lively carbonation that lifts the flavors up and makes them even more present for tasting.  This one went up on draft last week during our little flirt with spring like weather, and fit those two to three days well – good witbiers look and often taste like sunshine in a glass.  This one is a pretty well regarded example.

Blue 5 Restaurant downtown has added a good representative of a brewery that I believe is new to the area – Schlafly Brewing of St. Louis, Missouri.  On tap is their Dry Hopped American Pale Ale, which the brewery promotes right on the label is dry hopped.  Dry hopping is a method used in many American Pales as well as other styles, and basically means that hops are added after the beer is cooled, either during or after fermentation.  This is done to add additional hop aromas to the beer, and adds no additional bitterness, so if you’re a bit unfamiliar with beers that might be a little somewhat bitter, don’t necessarily be put off by the “dry hopped” description.  However, American Pale Ales usually do feature plenty of hop flavor from the American hops craft brewers use, and often these do give these beers some bitter character, along with varying degrees of citrus like, grassy, or pine like flavors.

Last but certainly not least is the addition of Legend Brewing’s (Richmond, VA) Brown Ale to the draft selections at Fork In The Alley.  Technically speaking, this one is an English style Brown Ale, which means a beer with moderate to medium sweetness from the malts used and low levels of hop flavor, character, and certainly bitterness.  Typically, these are described as having a toffee or caramel like aroma and flavors usually follow the smell right down the line.  Legend’s follows this description down the line, and often the enjoyment of a beer like this comes down to how well the brewery gets it right.  Legend’s is very good, rating well on sites like, and has quickly become a personal favorite of mine.  It has a medium nutty roasted character, a fair amount of caramel flavor and sweetness, medium body, with just a small amount of finishing bitterness at the very end.

Things do seem to change around town with craft tap selections pretty often, enough to keep things pretty interesting.  As always, trying well made beer on tap makes for a fun experience for any beer curious person out there.  Thank you to all these restaurants and others around town for including good craft beer on draft and keeping things interesting!


~ by thebeerroad on February 24, 2011.

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