Brewing On The Neck

We’d stopped by for Mother’s Day last year—the perfect outing for a fun-loving, taste-full mom—so it made sense on a Sunday visit to drop by the Montross Brewery on the Northern Neck in Virginia to see what new treats they had to try. 

The taproom’s been open for a couple of years now, and as we pulled into the parking lot, we happily took the last space. Plenty of folks clearly had the same idea. The decor has filled out a bit, and they have plans to expand the tap room into the adjoining space, keeping the “cozy” feel. 

While we saw Mom’s favorite, the Trailblazer Belgian Dubbel on the board, the rest of the offerings were new to us. The Townie is an Irish Red Ale, a bit roasty and toasty on top of mild coffee flavros. The Angry SOB smells sweet in a good way, like burnt caramel, with an even bitterness on the palate and a bit of cherry fruit. 

My favorite of the lineup, Comrades, is a Sour “Albariño” Ale, was brewed as a straight blonde ale, fermented, then had mashed albariño wine grapes stirred in for additional flavor and a bit of acidity. The touch adds pear and apple flavors to the mix, and keeps the brew from being a strongly soured as others.

The last of the new ones, the Berserker, is a deep brown coffee stout—and it runs true to its name. If you ever wished your morning cup of coffee was a beer (or vice versa), this is your brew. It has just a touch of chocolate sweetnesss to break the strong taste of coffee.

Along with the Trailblazer, which shows a lot of clove aromas and flavors, the tasting tray included a shandy made of the house-brewed ginger ale (non-alcoholic) and the Dubbel. We both found the mix intriguing, but strong. You must like both—and the ginger and clove together make for an intensely spicy blend. 

Since we last checked in, two other breweries have openend up in this region between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers, in Colonial Beach and Kilmarnock. For now, we’re happy with our local in Montross.