Uber-Local “Farm-To-Cask” Craft Beers On Tap in September

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PosterIt’s no secret. Great beers start with great ingredients.

It’s harvest season in the Shenandoah Valley and master brewers along the Beerwerks Trail are feeling inspired by local produce. During the month of September, participating breweries are offering casks of full-flavored beers unique to the Valley’s signature terroir.

The Farm-To-Cask special fall release concept was developed by the breweries as a collaborative initiative designed to add interest along the newly launched beer trail, after Virginia Craft Beer month concluded at the end of August.

The participating brewers along the Beerwerks Trail each selected the ingredients and styles of beer that worked best for them. “Locally available farm-fresh ingredients definitely influenced our master brewers’ decisions,” said Sheryl Wagner, a spokesperson for the Beerwerks Trail.

The Farm-to-Cask releases are only available in September, and feature produce from local farmers, including honey, apples, Asian pears, blackberries, peppers, pumpkins, ginger, and more. Each brewery’s selected special ingredient lends a unique flavor and aroma profile to their cask beer.

“The Shenandoah Valley is nationally-renowned for its beer and its produce, so this is a perfect pairing to showcase the creativity of our breweries,” said Wagner. Listed below are a few of the featured ingredients from the participating breweries.

  • Devils Backbone is infusing some of their Striped Bass Pale Ale with local peaches macerated with local honey, and finishing it off with some locally grown Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers.
  • Three Notch’d will be tapping a cask of special rye IPA featuring local rye and hops.
  • Seven Arrows is brewing an apple lager, and then infusing it with locally grown cascade hops.
  • Brothers Craft Brewing is infusing their Fairgrounds Fall pumpkin ale with local hickory syrup and vanilla beans.
  • Redbeard Brewing is brewing up some Milk Coffee Stout with locally-grown Carolina Reaper Peppers.
  • Blue Lab is offering a Saison cask with brewer-grown hops, Virginia Gold Asian pears, ginger, and blueberries.
  • Queen City Brewing is brewing up a Blackberry IPA with local blackberries.
  • Stable Craft Brewing is adding peaches and cascade hops to their Harvest Ale, sourced with ingredients entirely from their own farm.
  • Pale Fire is offering their Salad Days American Saison, which has been infused with local pineapple sage.

Don’t wait too long to sample these small batches, as the “Farm To Cask” collection of seasonal brews has only a limited availability.  Please see participating brewery websites for more information.

The first releases will debut at Harrisonburg breweries on September 10th. Staunton/Augusta/Waynesboro breweries will start tapping their casks the following weekend on September 17, and on September 24th the breweries in Lexington/Rockbridge will join in the fun.