During the Christmas holiday, my wife and I took a couple of hikes near Harpers Ferry WV. We usually like to plan a First-Day Hike on New Years Day and have been doing this for the past three years. After the Holiday bustle and too many cookies, we need to get out for some intentional moving. Taking-in nature and working our legs is always good therapy. As usual, it often includes a good meal and a beer or two.
Adroit Theory Brewing has been on my beer-travels list for a few months after experiencing some of their beer at Savor 2016, in Washington DC. I later listened to Mark Osborne (owner) and Greg Skotzko's SAVOR 2016 Seminars talk on Advanced Beer and Cheese Pairings. SAVOR is an excellent evening of tasting beer from around the country but nearly as valuable are the salons where experts talk and even demonstrate (see Cooper's Dance: Wood and Beer) topics on beer. If you've missed the event, you can go to the SAVOR website and listen to any of these salon presentations.
Adroit Theory is tucked away in a small northern Virginia town of Purcellville VA. The ride from Harpers Ferry WV to Purcellville is a beautiful experience. Two lane country roads, large spreading wineries — one after another — small towns and incredible views.
After becoming initially aware of them at SAVOR, they had my attention. I later discovered some of their beer at the Midtowne bottle shop in Harrisonburg VA.
Time at the Taproom
After listening to their seminar and seeing the art work on the bottle labeling, a couple of things become clear — these guys come from the dark side. Their entire brand has an intentional occult flare. To be honest, that bothers me a bit. Beer names include: Black Celebration, Black As Your Soul and Love of the Damned. So, I had to get past the branding to enjoy their incredible beers. I've talked with some beer-geek friends who can't get past the gargoyles on Stone Brewing packaging to try their beer. He will have a real difficult time with Adroit Theory. And the beer is the second point. They really take their beer seriously. All of them are just a bit different. As they say out loud, "We make esoteric beers with an emphasis on barrel aging."
They offer 3 ounce tasters and 10 ounce tulips of all their beers on tap, plus they can fill growlers (yours or theirs — nice touch). While there, I had a taster of Love of the Damned, an old ale brewed with port must and Lux Bourbon, a wheat wine aged in bourbon barrels (I still had a two-hour drive home), plus I purchased a couple 750 ml bottles to take home. Any of their beers I've tasted have been exceptional.
If Dogfish Head is off-centered, I'm not sure how you would describe Adroit Theory. They are a small brewery, doing big beers with a unique touch. They are a bit out-of-the-way but worth the detour (or intentional journey) if you're in the area. I will be on the look out for their beer when I get back to Harrisburg or near Purcellville.
Adroit Theory Brewing Company is a new nano brewery specializing in esoteric brews with an emphasis on Barrel Aging. Located in Purcellville Virginia in Loudoun County. Industrial-chic taproom (open Thursday-Sunday) with craft beers at the bar & growlers for takeout.