Beer Garden in the middle of the Street
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The 17th Annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest- Shirlington Vilage was held on Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 12pm – 7pm with the taps closing at 6pm in the Shirlington area of Campbell Street area. It was presented by the Capitol City Brewing Company.
More than 65 breweries from all over Virginia were lined up and down the streets, to provide their ”spirits offering” to a new audience. These mostly Southern breweries are trying to tap into the Northern Virginia market. While walking down the street, I got to experience distinct hops (and combinations) that make brews that are unique to the participating breweries. While the beer is the mostly the draw, the addition of authentic German food: brezlen –huge German-style pretzels, bratwurst- German-style hot dogs, and my personal favorite: cinnamon nuts combined with Apline Bavarian tunes playing in the middle of the square to create a classic Oktoberfest ambiance.
The ticket price were $30 for 21-year old and over, which included an official waistband, official Capital City Tasting cup, and 10 drink tickets. For an additional fee you can add “Beer Insurance” for $5 which is basically a lanyard so you can be hands-free. For additional $1, a festivalgoer can purchase additional tickets with a 5-ticket maximum, for additional tastings.
With my ten drink tickets, I had the distinct pleasure to taste some of these elixirs myself:
Capital City Brewing has three offerings inside the restaurant – Cursed Gourd – which was brewed with chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Next up, Smoketoberfest – this wheat beer had a smoky character and packed a punch. Lastly, Oktoberfest Lager (which was just 1 ticket) was complex and tangy, and left a sweet flavor pleasantly lingering on our tongues.
Starr Hill which is based in Charlottesville, VA – had two offering – Reviver: Red Indian Pale Ale which is a wheat beer (made exclusively in Virginia) and Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale (with maple syrup from a local vendor in Charlottesville)
Crabbie (Ginger Beer) is based in Richmond, VA – had two offerings – Fruits: Cloudy Alcoholic Lemonade (I personally recommend) which is good for summer days, and not as much for cold, wet, rainy days, and Original Ginger Beer which is good anytime with hints of citrus, ginger, and more refreshing notes much like a wine cooler.
Ardoit Theory is based in Purcellville, VA (Loundon County) and has a heavy Social Media presence through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat; their lines were long, due the heavy branding process which was already in effect. Additionally, their larger was darker, richer, and bolder than most. I personally don’t like dark stouts unless mixed with a lighter brew (Black and Tans are always my go to in a Tavern setting.)
Mad Fox has two locations in Northern Virginia, and offered winter brews. Orange Whip (American Pale Ale) had fruity notes such as pineapple, oranges, and citrus tones along with a smooth caramel finish. Oktoberfest Lagerbier is a classic German beer with all the right touches.
Flying Dog Grout Standard (Pumpkin IPA) helps you get in the Autumn spirit. Raging Bitch is another personal favorite, but I think I like the name almost as much as the beer.
Another cool aspect, was COPA, which is a cup of red or white wine, and has a presence at Total Wine and Whole Foods, but this was a chance to actually taste it before purchasing it elsewhere.
As good as beers are, they do have a habit of sneaking up on you so please drink responsibly.
Your Cheering Buddy,