This St. Patrick’s Day, There’s Another Stout In Town. (Updated with new locations to find it)

Saturday is coming, and you can see the cascading foam from here, can’t you.  St. Patrick’s Day is almost here, and even if you’re not really “into” beer at all, you already know what you’ll likely have.  You’ll do so because it just seems like the correct thing to do, or at least more so than dressing up like a leprechaun.  Even those beer geeks who have resigned themselves to a life of hoppy ipas are only slightly resistant to the idea, and are becoming less so as we inch towards the weekend.  It’s practically synonymous with the holiday, after all.  A Guinness just seems like the logical choice, doesn’t it, on a day when many folks will make less than logical decisions.  (That reminds me, will you hand me my beer mug shaped sunglasses?)

Now, hang on to your green plastic hat and shamrock beads, but there are alternatives.  And keep in mind, I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers here.  Personally, I seek out Guinness Foreign Extra myself from time to time.  But there will be more than enough folks sitting at pubs and bars all over town, watching their foam cascade down, or up, and discussing with various degrees of accuracy just how one is supposed to be poured.  So as the days tick down to each year’s St. Patrick’s Day, I usually think of those revelers who might be considering something different.  I try to give a nod to a few worthy Virginia based stouts to support craft beer in my own state.  This year however, if you live in my city of Roanoke, you’ll be able to narrow it down even further, because we happen to have one very special St. Patrick’s Day alternative.  Let your neighbor on the barstool beside you watch their foam all afternoon, you just might be able to enjoy a stout produced in the last few weeks, right here within the city limits.

It’s due to a home grown collaboration between William Landry, member of the Star City Brewer’s Club – the same Landry who hopes to open a brewpub in town soon – and the folks down at Roanoke Railhouse Brewing.  Both Landry and Railhouse Brewmaster Ryan Worthington, who had become friends while Landry was working on his American Brewers Guild accreditation, had been working on recipes for stouts independently when they decided to merge the two.  A first batch was produced at the brewery in the last few weeks, and debuted there for tasting this past Saturday.  While perhaps not exactly adhering to the classic Dry Irish Stout flavor profile that beers like Guinness have written the book on, Landry and Worthington’s brew nevertheless sounds delicious.  Worthington described the first batch as having “a dry roasty finish that dances on a dark bittersweet chocolate and a French roast coffee flavor”, and both mentioned the brew was well received during the initial tasting at the brewery.  Both brewers noted a nice mouthfeel (or body), and a creamy head that simply would not go away that topped the brew.  Another batch was recently produced, and should show up, fittingly, this week at Irish style pubs here in town like Annie Moore’s in Roanoke County and Flannery’s in downtown Roanoke, as well as The Brambleton Deli, The Quarter, Montano’s, Blues BBQ, Metro, and in Blacksburg at Castle’s Kettle and Pub.

To be sure, the “chosen” beer has you in its sights.  And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this of course.  Just remember that there are alternatives, and I’m not talking about re-thinking your plan to dress the dog up in a green sweater for the midday parade.  I’m talking about your beer.  On a day which is going to be full of celebratory reminders, from shamrock shaped, light up necklaces to green bow ties, there are plenty of choices which can make this St. Patricks’ Day just a little different, and one to finally remember, at least beer wise.  For one, there are plenty of fine, well crafted stouts all around you.  But here in Roanoke, amid the other would be Irish, many folks will only see as far as their pitch black beer will let them.  Remember, you can have a stout which has been locally produced, of all things, to toast the day with.  Just thinking about it is already transporting me to greener place, and I’m sure will make the day seem so much more remarkable.  I think I’ll be leaving the beer mug shaped sunglasses at home, after all.


~ by thebeerroad on March 14, 2012.

3 Responses to “This St. Patrick’s Day, There’s Another Stout In Town. (Updated with new locations to find it)”

  1. Don’t forget, you can buy growlers of this wonderful stout at Roanoke Railhouse Brewery, fittingly enough, on McClanahan St in Roanoke. I got a growler of it last Saturday.
    They fill growlers Friday nights and Saturday afternoon.

  2. Tried the new Railhouse stout at Flannary’s last night. This is an excellent beer with a thick, creamy head and lots of notes of cocoa powder and espresso. It’s labeled on the tap only as “seasonal” and the bartender wasn’t sure what the style was. He thought it was a dark lager but the body immediately identified it as a stout.

    In other beer news, if you’re reading this before Saturday, March 17th (2012) – Local beer distributor, P.A. Short will have one of its usual travelling tap beer trucks downtown (near Flannary’s) to serve up beers to all the St. Patrick’s Day revelers. – What’s different is that, in addition to the line-up of ordinary non-craft beers, they will have two casks of real ale to tap. Both ales are barrel-fermented and gravity-fed and both also carry an extra-flavor punch from the influence of barrel staves from casks of Jameson whiskey. – The two stars of this rare show/opportunity are a Heavy Seas Loose Canon IPA (that has an additional dry-hopping) and a Dark Starr Dry Irish Stout from Starr Hill.
    (Oh! how I regret that I’ll be out-of-town.) Thanks Aden Short! and keep the craft beer faith!

  3. Brought home a growler of RR’s Irish Stout last Saturday but had not the time to try it until tonight. Paired with a healthy portion of All Sports Cafe’s Tennessee Bourbon Wings and celery sticks dipped in bleu cheese dressing, this made a meal to rave about. The stout is creamy, smooth, very thirst quenching with finishing notes of chocolate and roast. Out of the growler it was excellent; can’t imagine how good it would be pushed from a keg with nitrogen!

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