Sunday, August 1, 2010

Blue Mountain Brewery

After crossing the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains on I64, we got off the highway and traveled south on I51 to the Blue Mountain Brewery.

The three year old brewery is located in a nondescript building sitting up off of the road on the left as you travel the winding and rolling valley.

Immediately striking is what must be an acre or two of Cascade and Centennial hops growing around the brewery. This is no conversation planting however--there's enough here for three batches according to the bar keep. The Cascade vines are only a year old and are pruned to have only one vine--the base of the plants are bushy and evidence of pinching off of the other vines. It is a constant fight in growing season as trailers come off seeming every day. We usually leave three or four vines and spread them across the trellis to travel vertically. The Centennial hops to the south of the brewery are productive and in their third or fourth growing season. As a matter of fact, the brewery is hosting a hop-picking party Monday August 2. Food and cold beer for of-age volunteers who can give a couple hours picking. Sounds like a party to me! Oh. And you can't beat the aroma of fresh hops too!

There's a wonderful porch and patio outside the brewery to the west and south overlooking the hop fields. The patio was packed when we got there about 7.

Inside, the bar is set to the left side of the front door and is a linear affair along the wall. A beautiful oak bar top and chicago bar rail completes the scene nicely. Behind the bar is a low back bar with windows over it looking out to a row of fermenters or serving tanks in the brewery. The tanks are nice to gaze upon while enjoying a cool beer but a bit boring as they don't talk and tell the happy stories of beers offered to the interesting people who've drank them.

To the right of the front door is a large dining/beer garden are with clusters of small tables and a couple large tables with benches for beer garden drinking German style. On the right end-wall is a nice stone fireplace.

Blue Mountain Brewery's Rockfish Wheat is the 2010 World Beer Cup silver medal winner in the American-Style Wheat Beer category. This category had 16 entries so it wasn't a gimme! The beer's name is an homage to the valley in which this brewery sits--the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and another lower range a few miles off to the east.

The beer was served with a citrus wedge and mighty tasty. One of the best wheat beers we've ever had for certain!

There were a number of their other beers on draught too but we had places to go and things to do and had to cut it short at just one. The brewery bottles six-packs of their beers for sale at the brewery too. That's just great.

N.B. A $4.00 pint costs $4.36 which includes sales tax. :O(

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