Quick Tap Update, Roanoke. (St. Patrick’s Day Version)

Lately, it seems that each weekend in Roanoke has brought one exciting craft beer tasting opportunity after another.  This one is will be no different, and will not lack for new choices.  But let’s face it, this weekend has more than a little built-in celebratory feel to it.  After all, it is St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday that for many is less about celebrating the patron saint of Ireland than hoisting a few pints.  What luck, then, that this weekend we have new craft beers on tap to toast with whose release are appropriately timed as well as are appropriately “big”, as in big in flavor, for such a holiday.

Thinking a stout might be appropriate for the day, but want to try something different than the traditional pick?  Local brewer Will Landry and Roanoke Railhouse craft brewery teamed up to produce a seasonal, limited release stout which is available currently at various locations around Roanoke, with more adding it over the weekend.  (Take a look at the previous blog entry for details and locations you’re likely to find it.)  At Blue 5 Restaurant downtown, Blue 5 tapped Brooklyn Brewery’s (NY) Irish Stout last night, and from all accounts, is a very good example of the style – directly from the Brooklyn Brewery website:  “Brooklyn Irish Stout is brewed the old-fashioned way…A large portion of the grain is roasted like coffee beans, developing the typical color and flavor of this beer, developing the typical color and flavor of this beer. Aside from British pale malts, the beer includes caramel malts, black patent malt, unmalted black barley and a proportion of flaked raw barley, which helps the beer develop a beautiful, thick natural head. The famous East Kent Golding hop lends to the earthy aroma. The beer is neither filtered, nor fined and has a light, brisk carbonation. The blend of grains gives the beer an espresso-like bite, followed by coffee and chocolate flavors.”

For those feeling a little less Irish but still seeking a beer or two to enjoy the day will find an interesting  number of barleywines have found their way onto taps around town.  At Local Roots Restaurant, Victory Brewing’s Old Horizontal was put on draft a couple days ago, and at Blue 5, Brooklyn Brewing’s “Monster” Ale has also been available for a few days.  For those who lack experience in tasting barleywines, now may be the best chance you have at tasting two of the better craft examples in the nation.  When thinking of barleywines, think “big” in flavor and aroma, as they can be quite fruity and malty sweet, or can feature massive hop flavors and aromas with balancing and substantial malt tastes as well.  They can be varied, yes, but are nearly always complex beers with plenty going on, but hefty mouthfeels and typically high alcohol contents are givens.  They are truly experiences to taste, especially the first time.

There are once again plenty of new choices in craft beer this weekend in Roanoke.  You can go a little traditional with a selection of stouts, or with something a little different in a barleywine.  Either way, there will be plenty of choices to celebrate the holiday with.  Here in Roanoke, we’re starting to get used to great craft beer weekends.  Maybe luck has nothing to do with it after all.  Either way, cheers…. eh…. Slainte!

**On such a weekend, let’s not forget to be safe out there, too.  Take care of yourself and friends, designate a driver or call a cab for a ride home.**

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~ by thebeerroad on March 17, 2012.

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