Virginia Brewery Snapshot: Wild Wolf Brewing

By design or not, the timing couldn’t have been much better for a new beer release.  With just a few days left in Virginia’s first official craft beer month, Nelson County’s Wild Wolf Brewing introduced an Imperial IPA over the weekend, joining the brewery’s stable of beers as a seasonal release.  While this one was targeted towards hop lovers, (aren’t all IPAs?) it only helps round out what is already a wide variety of brews from the member of Virginia’s Brew Ridge Trail (a tight concentration of breweries in and around Charlottesville). Although a Double IPA usually has a specific audience, this otherwise well rounded slate of beers is finding a wide fan base among both experienced and new craft beer fans in the state.  Brewery owner Mary Wolf explains, “[the] Blonde Hunny, Pilsner, Alpha Ale and Wee Heavy are definitely our top sellers.  We find a lot of long time craft beer drinkers like the Blonde Hunny and Wee Heavy but they are both also great beers for folks who are newly into craft especially those switching from wine.”

Located in an old schoolhouse along picturesque Route 151, the brewery celebrates their naturally beautiful geographic location by serving up their beers in a beer garden with a nearly pastoral, relaxing quality made so by the bountiful overhead shade of several grand, old elm trees.  Inside, brewer Danny Wolf celebrates their location among the other local breweries by not only brewing his own beers, but by teaming up with them on the occasional collaboration release.  Earlier this year, Wild Wolf traded notes with Blue Mountain and Devils Backbone breweries to produce a Honey-Pear Witbier in recognition of American Craft Beer Week.  Recently, those and other local breweries got together to start making the next collaboration, a dark Belgian style Tripel.  “We collaborate on many things throughout the year”, Mary continues. “We also all work together on developing and expanding the value and strength of the BRT [Brew Ridge Trail].  We communicate regularly on small needs/questions.  Pretty cool.”  Wolf continues, “We are honored to be surrounded by World Class Breweries and we are proud to be a part of it”.

Mary and Danny have begun to make a name for Wild Wolf both off of their expanding assortment of core beers as well as being a part of the Brew Ridge Trail.  But as any good brewery will do, is not satisfied to rest on any current success.  The brewery continues to reach out to even more potential fans, often inviting regional restaurant and bar managers and bartenders for a visit to the brewery to introduce them to their product, and to get a feel for the overall operation.  Head brewer Danny also continues to push his own boundaries, and has begun experimenting with aging some of his beers in casks, adding layers of flavor and complexity.

Whatever specifically comes from Danny and Mary’s enthusiasm for their brewery, located under the decades old elm trees in beautiful Nelson County, it seems certain is that their passion will continuously notch points of interest along the timeline of Virginia craft beer, and hopefully beyond.  It’s easy to hear it in her words.  “What’s not to love about getting up in the morning to go brew beer – it’s fun, and we make people happy!”

As I sip on one of the brewery’s Alpha Ales, and a smile grows across my face, I find it impossible to disagree.

Visit the brewery website here!

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~ by thebeerroad on August 27, 2012.

2 Responses to “Virginia Brewery Snapshot: Wild Wolf Brewing”

  1. I’ve been eating here the last few weekends. The food is amazing, though a friend who works there let me know they have a new chef and the lineup is going to change a bit.

    While I don’t share your enthusiasm for hoppy beers, I will note that they have a seasonal Strawberry Schwarzbier that was out of this world, delicious. It tasted like a chocolate covered strawberry wrapped dipped in a delicious stout.

    Of the three locations on 151, Wild Wolf is my favorite for the food. However I would like to see some more diversity in styles of beer along the BRT. It definitely skews toward IPAs. We need more Malt up here!

    • Scott, thanks for the comment and input! I have know of the Strawberry Schwarzbier but have yet to try it. Your suggestion is a ringing endorsement, though, I’ll have to give it a shot. At Wild Wolf, true, I am a big fan of their Alpha, and a couple of the other more “popular” beers like the Blonde Hunny… as far as along 151 for maltier beers, have you tried some of the stouts at DBB, like their Dead Bear? I believe it comes and goes rather intermittently, but had it once and it blew me away – rich, chocolately, great body to it.

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