Just off Interstate I-81 is the historic little town of Staunton, VA. Brick sidewalks line the rolling hills of the downtown area, and old buildings appear to be restored into useful locations for the locals. And tucked off on the north-west side of town is a great little spot called Queen City Brewing, which is Staunton’s first brewery since Prohibition. We found it on Wednesday afternoon, and it’s taken me this long to post about it.
This place has a fabulous set-up for both brew-your-own and vint-your-own. One wall was lined with the large glass bottles of wine in the making…it was so pretty to see all of the different colors with gentle back-lighting, and reminded me of the days when my father used to create his own homemade wines.
The brewing area was most fascinating – set-up like one of those supper kitchens (where busy working people can pay to create meals for the family that are easy to heat and eat). Just like finding all of the ingredients chopped and ready, this place has multiple barrels of malt, multiple brew kettles ready with mash paddles all lined up, water lines…pretty much anything a person would need at each workstation. On our visit, there were two parties bottling, and the process appeared to be going very smoothly. One couple was working together – this was her Christmas present to him.
Wade, the head brewer (and one would assume owner and creator, although we never confirmed that information) offered us each three samples in little plastic cups. There were twelve styles, and we tried the following:
+ Bavarian Bock
+ Scotch Ale
+ King Rabbit (an IPA/Tripple hybrid at 9% ABV)
+ Brass Rabbit IPA (very Brittish in style – made with Fuggles and East Kent Goldings, and dry-hopped with Cascade)
+ Queen’s Milk Stout (this was a thin…)
+ Imperial Stout (increased malt and hop flavor)
We made a mixed six-pack of 12 oz bottles containing Brass Rabbit IPA, Imperial Stout, King Rabbit, Scotch Ale and White Rabbit Apricot Wheat, then headed out of town.