Kilmarnock Brewhaus, Virginia

What to do on a Sunday afternoon on the Northern Neck? Why, make a foray out to its far reaches, and walk around the charming towns that sit near the water, the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers as they reach out into the sea.

One of these towns, Kilmarnock, features one of the Northern Neck’s new craft breweries, the Kilmarnock Brewhaus. The brewery celebrates the Scottish heritage of the town by design, and the local Belgian and German heritage in its beers.

The hostess poured me several tastes so that she could gauge her recommendations for my flight–this was a really nice touch, and I wound up appreciating her selections. Amongst those that I tried but didn’t have a larger taste: the Brut IPA, with lots of florals and more interest than most of the style for me; the Blackberry Pilsner, which didn’t have as much fruit as I’d hoped; the Kolsch, a red ale interpretation of the classic style; and the Eidelweiss IPA, which was nice a smooth.

For a flight, I started with the Summer Ale, which was deep golden in color with warm apple cider on the nose, and golden apples on the palate.

Next was the Grier’s Gaire Pilsner, which was a light golden color, with honeyed flowers, and custard apple, with a bit of breadiness on the palate. A hint of baking spice too.

Third, I had the Apple Porter, which was a deep brown, with apple cobbler aromas and a bit of cocoa. More cocoa filled the palate. Yum.

Finally, my favorite, the Belgian Double, with its warm amber color and aromas of baked cherries. Mellow dark cherry pie flavors came through on the palate, with none of the bubble-gum sweetness that I sometimes get from the style–it was more developed.

For snacks, they have hot dogs and pizza–honestly, just bar food, but we missed the pretzels that were on the menu but not available. They would have matched perfectly with the flight I enjoyed. But the lovely service more than made up for it–as well as the hospitality they showed for our canine companions on the patio.

44 West Church Street, Kilmarnock, Virginia; 804/436-5174

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