Weekend Tap Update, Roanoke – Virginia Craft Beer Invades Blue 5.

Blue 5 RestaurantNeed proof of the evolving craft brewery growth in and around the Charlottesville, Virginia area?  Although travelling there makes for a one heck of a beer themed road trip, there’s no need to jump in the car this weekend if you’re in the Roanoke area.  All that’s needed is a look at the draft selections at Roanoke’s Blue 5 Restaurant.  Yesterday saw the addition of their Starr Hill’s (Crozet) “All Access” Wee Heavy and Blue Mountain Brewery’s (Afton) “Evan Altmighty” Altbier.  Along with Devils Backbone’s (Roseland) Vienna Lager and Starr Hill’s “The Love” Hefeweizen, both already on draft, the total comes to four beers currently at the downtown restaurant, definitely serving as a testament to craft beer from that area.

Both newcomers to Blue 5’s draft list offer some slightly out of the ordinary opportunities for tasting.  The German Altbier is not an commonly found beer to run across, especially on draft.  I’ve always considered it perhaps a good beer for those folks still not sold on ales in general.  Altbiers come in a couple different sub styles, but to simplify, they are an ale that has been put through extended storage, much the same way lagers are, which mellows out those typically “fruity”, or ale like flavors which turn off some people.   Somewhat of a cross between an ale and a lager, this style was supposedly born out of a time in which Germany was well on its way towards becoming arguably the most legendary lager producing nation in the world.  Breweries were being all but forced to produce only cold stored, or “lagered” beers, but a couple localities continued to produce ales, only to then put the ale through a lagering process.  What resulted were a couple of smooth tasting ales – the Kolsch, and the Altbier.

For those who don’t mind an ale but either want to stay well away from a more hop forward flavor, or for those who just love a deep, rich malty beer, Starr Hill’s All Access Wee Heavy may be your ticket.  Scottish Ales are generally malty sweet-ish experiences, and the Wee Heavy is the example of these on the farthest end of that scale.  Deliciously rich, these beers often get tagged as a perfect fit for a chilly evening, but with their smooth but sometimes roasted  flavors and velvety body, they’re just too good to pin them down to any one particular setting.

Get downtown this weekend to taste some regionally produced craft beer pride!

Visit Blue Mountain Brewery’s Website Here, the Starr Hill Site, and Devils Backbone Site and support Virginia craft beer!

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~ by thebeerroad on March 3, 2012.

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