What happens at a speed tasting with six breweries at BBC18?

Tickle the Tastebuds - Beers & Breweries


Six Virginia breweries show off to Beer Bloggers and Writers

Beer Bloggers Conference 2018 Speed TastingAs part of the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference 2018, attendees came to Lost Rhino to "speed taste" beers from around Virginia – like speed dating but your favorite beer won't diss you. The following notes demonstrate what happens when 10 brewery reps are trying to fit in pouring and providing an overview of the brewery and the beer in five minutes, tasters are trying to listen, chat, taste, take photos and make notes, everyone's having serious fun, and the noise level goes up in proportion to the alcohol consumed. These notes remind me of a day of research at various breweries – the notes become much more sparse as the day wears on – but this time I'll blame the noise level!


Port City, Alexandria

Optimal Wit

Nice coriander and pepper notes, richness from the wheat, 

1/3 production, top-selling, medal winning

2015, GABF Best Small Brewery

8-year anniversary coming up, first in NOVA



Märzen style

Rich, caramel and spicy-malt forward, carbonation on the palate



Old Bust Head, Fauquier County

4th-year anniversary today

Table Talk Belgian Style Wit

Richness from the wheat and Belgian spices

Started with paw paw, but too expensive to source since not easily accessible so went with passionfruit and guava?

5.3% but powerful flavor from the yeasty esters



Lost Rhino

7 years now

Focus-on-lager brewery from the beginning


First beer - #2 seller (Face Plant IPA is #1)

Clean, showcasing the crackery malts with subtle hops offsetting sweetness. Easy-drinking



Legend Brewing

Started 1993 

Imperial Brown Ale

Sweet, caramel, chocolate pie – smoother than a typical big beer



Well-received by everyone at our table!



Blue Mountain Brewery

Dark Hollow

Bourbon B-A Imperial Stout

Blue Mountain has a dedicated barrel room that changes temps to encourage expansion and contraction of the barrels to impart more flavor to the beers. Taylor Smack brought his Goose Island brewing and barrel-aging experience to Blue Mountain

Chocolate, coffee, barrel beauty! One of my long-time favorites!



Ardent Craft Ales


They like doing lagers

Clean, easy-drinking; showcases the biscuity malt flavors – a lager doesn’t hide anything, and there’s nothing to hide here



AleWerks Brewing

Weekend Lager


Clean (and not enough time for a more in-depth description!)


Spices on the nose make me want to pull out the sweater. Definitely like a pumpkin pie in a glass. Sweet.




Peach IPA

Lactose, ton of local peaches, vanilla, lactose

Full mouthfeel, peaches on the back. Low on hops. Added some kettle soured for a small touch of sour. Nice balance of cinnamon, spice. 






Peppery, flavors I'm not able to articulate



IMG_8768Starr Hill

Last Leaf Maple Brown

Nice blend of maple and caramelly sweetness! Balanced.

Part of the Fall Tour Variety Pack


And the fun continued

On this the final evening of the Beer Bloggers Conference, the speed tasting was but the appetizer. The breweries continued to pour for the attendees, each setting up a station to provide more beer and to provide information. The event was held at Lost Rhino Brewing in Loudoun County.  


And Virginia beer bloggers and writers were well-represented at the event!

Virtual AWT




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