Let me tell you, I love smoky flavors in food. I keep a stock of several different smoking woods for anytime I’m grilling out; right now I have apple, cherry, orange, peach, oak, hickory and mesquite wood chips. Anytime I see a new type of wood, I have to pick it up even if I have no clue how or when I will use it.
So it should come to no surprise that I was very excited when I heard about Copper Fox Brewfest & Mesquite Challenge happening this Saturday May 16th at Capital Ale House Midlothian starting at noon. Yes, my love of smoke extends to beers. While I’ve never had a traditional rauchbier (I need to get around to that), I have had some favorite interpretations over the years:
- Allagash Smoke & Beards — a smoky tripel, who knew?
- Fullsteam Hogwash — Fullsteam smokes their own malt over hickory for this porter. People loved this beer so much that when their smoker was stolen the community rallied together to raise money for a replacement and a security system.
- Brothers Craft (fka 3 Bros) Rocktown Smoked Brown — I had this beer on one of my first trips out to this Harrisonburg, VA brewery. Every so often I’ll see Adam and ask when it’s coming back. I hear other people have been ask for it recently as well!
Now I’m ready to try ten new smoked beers created using Copper Fox’s Mesquite Malt by ten of Virginia’s finest breweries. The key to the successful use of smoked malt in different beer styles will be finding the proper usage level for the malt. You don’t want to use too much and overpower the more delicate flavors in a particular style. By the same token, you want to be able to tell that the smoke is there.
The event will be held from 12 pm – 5 pm in the spacious parking lot at Capital Ale House Midlothian. Live music will be provided by Notch 9, a Richmond based bluegrass and folk band. There will also be homemade BBQ and other fare to pair with the smoky ales.
For guests 21 and over, tickets are $20 and include the following:
– Entrance into the event
– A commemorative Copper Fox glass
– 9 taster tickets to sample every brew
– Opportunity to try some of Copper Fox’s whiskies and gins
– Live entertainment
– Opportunity to vote for your favorite brew with the chance to win a Barrel Kit from Copper Fox that you can use to age your own whisky
For guests under 21, non-taster tickets will be available for $5 and include entrance and live entertainment. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult and entrance is free.
Here are the different beers you will be able to try with tasting notes by the breweries and smoked malt percentages as detailed by Annie Tobey:
- Adroit Theory Smoked Roggenbier (10% CF malt; 8.3% ABV) A slightly hazy beer with a nice smoke note and smooth rye spiciness to go along with the hop bill, which consisted of Galena and New Zealand Green Bullet hops.
- AleWerks Mesquite Smoked Brown (21.5% CF malt; 6.4% ABV)
- Center of the Universe PlayHator Smoked Doppelbock, (15% CF malt; 7.7% ABV) Fermented with a classic Munich lager yeast and conditioned after fermentation for 4 weeks, this light amber dopplebock was then filtered for a clean and crisp taste and appearance.
- Hardywood Mesquite Scotch Ale (14% CF malt; 8.5% ABV) smoke-filled vortex of nutty malt flavors, caramel, and dark fruit undertones with a warming alcohol note in the finish.
- Isley Jah’s Fire Smoked Marleywine (20% CF malt; 10% ABV) This English Barleywine combines bready and rich English Maris Otter as its base malt. Jah’s Fire has a complex balance of bitter, sweet, and smoky flavors add an incredible aroma.
- Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Fire Pit Smoked Porter (7% CF malt; 6.3% ABV) Named for the fire pit at Lickinghole Creek where cold winter nights are made to feel just right. Fire Pit Smoked Porter is a delicious, full flavored smoked porter that embodies the style and tastes just right.
- Midnight Midnight Smoke Brown Ale (28% CF malt; 6.7% ABV) Light bodied and smoke forward, this smoked brown ale is the perfect companion to sticky, sweet barbeque!
- O’Connor South by SouthWit (16% CF malt; 5% ABV) Coriander, lime zest, agave nectar, and white sage paired with the smokiness of Copper Fox’s Mesquite smoked malt makes this a unique witbier. We are certain you will agree!
- St. George Stumbling Peasant Smoked Vienna Lager (10% CF malt; 10% applewood/cherrywood-smoked malt; 6% ABV) Brewed using European Malts to provide a beautiful amber color, rich malt character and balanced hop presence. This Vienna style lager has a smokey nose and a sweet smoked finish that are sure to please any palate.
- Three Notch’d Cobre Zorro (7% CF malt; 6.9% ABV) amber ale with hearty body. The sweetness of the beer is balanced by the use of First Gold hops and rye malt which provides a hint of spiciness.
You don’t want to miss this. You can get your tickets online here or at the door.