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Monday, April 27, 2015

Getting Out of Town: Devil's Backbone Brewery Company

Sometimes you just need to get out of town. Just pick up and go. But its a spur of the moment gig and you need to return just as fast as you left.  I had one of these conundrums not to long ago and the perfect solution just fell into my lap.

The Devil’s Backbone Brewery is perfectly situated for these little escape plans. It is only listed at 2 3/4 hours on US Route 29 through Charlottesville, before connecting with I-64, and finally finishing out on VA-151 near Roseland in Nelson County. It really feels like a total escape. Heavy urban area that trails off into countryside, it is a perfect retreat. So, I set off for the brewery, taking my camera and laptop, all set for a whirlwind adventure.

Whirlwind was an understatement. Somewhere, out on the planes of Virginia, I hit traffic, but not in any familiar spot. So I sat and waited for this knot in the traffic line to unsnarl itself. When it finally did, I got a gander at what could tie up traffic for nearly 15 miles - hay. A hay truck had gotten involved in the traffic and lost its load. Once I got passed that, it was smooth sailing until I got to Route 151 and almost to Roseland.

Now I have been to Devil’s Backbone Brewery twice before, once with Skye Marthaler and once before on my own, both times for the Virginia Craft Brewer's Festival. (Yes, I am going again this year.) But this was the first time on my own, and the place had a different look. Buildings were going up and ground was torn asunder, so it will look completely different when I go for a third time. Its moving from a rustic rural homestead to a community.

The brewery is a pretty sizable building because it houses the original brewery and the restaurant. It was dinner time, but the restaurant was not too full. I got a table and proceeded to order.  The list of beer is extensive and much more involved than in an ordinary restaurant.  The restaurant has approximately 15 types that you can order including a couple that are restaurants specific.

Devil's Backbone Brew Pub

One of these is Morning Bear brewed by Devil's Backbone Brewing. It is good and strong. How do I know it is strong? It only comes in a half size; its carries that much punch. Now that is a definite "good morning" cup of coffee. Ugh, I mean beer. It sits up. smacks you to the left and then smack you to the right and says "OK, time to get up." It smooth like morning coffee, kind of blended but a little bit rough. Like a cup of black coffee you run through a strainer and there you have it. I like my coffee and my beer this way. I rate this one 4 1/2 stars.   

Morning Bear by Devil's Backbone Brewing Company

The food had come. I selected a country roast half chicken to go as my meal and plunged in. I finished the Morning Bear and the next choice came up. The beer choice I selected was a completely different flavor. The Low Hanging Fruit, also by Devil's Backbone, was a fruity and aromatic cue with a surprising cherry taste. Different taste from the coffee in every way but still delivered a wonderful beer drinking experience. It was like a saison or a farmland ale. Wonderful beer considering that its weight was fairly light. It also came in at 4 1/2 stars.

Low Hanging Fruit by Devil's Backbone Brewery Company

So after a delicious a meal, two very different beers, and a short discussion about the Oakland A's with a half lit fellow bar patron (I was wearing my A's hat), it was time to drive back up to Washington. Devil's Backbone Brewing, however, proved that it is just the right distance from DC to be a a nice run for an evening out with dinner and drinks as the reward. The Devil's Backbone Brewery has earned a place in this writers notebook as a place to disappeared to, sample the beer and still be able to race home. Kudos and I will be visiting again.

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