It was a gorgeous weekend…followed by the heat of Satan’s unholy sphincter.

Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but we’ve had enough heat the last day or two to put the pleasant weather of this past weekend in perspective. What did I do with the nice weather, you might ask? Well, on Saturday I hiked up to the Weverton cliffs with some good Mid-Atlantic beer and relaxed for a bit while enjoying the view. Later that same day I finally made it out to the Corcoran Brewing Company (on the grounds of the Corcoran Winery in Waterford, VA, nestled between Lovettsville and Purcellville).

If you haven’t made it out there yet, get in your car and go.

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Hell, hike if you have to. Just get there.

There are a couple of reasons to get there – not the least of which is the good beer. Really, there’s nothing being served that isn’t, at the very least, worth sampling. At the very best? There’s some really, really sterling stuff happening.

Brewer Kevin Bills is making a beer for just about every taste, and has some excellent warm weather beers, including both his Commonwealth  Kolsch and the Berlin Turnpike Lager. The lager is crisp and pleasant with a nice fruity note.

Although, as good as those beers are, my favorites were the Slainte Stout, the Jeb Stuart Imperial Stout, and the India Pale Lager. The stouts are what you look for – chock full of coffee and chocolate notes, and the Imperial finishes with just a hint of pleasing sweetness (although be careful with the Jeb Stuart – it’s a high ABV beer and will kick your ass if you’re not careful). But as good as the stouts and Kolsch and lager are, my personal favorite was the IPL.

The IPL, a lager hopped up like an India Pale Ale is tremendously flavorful while coming in at a sessionable 4.7 percent ABV, making it one of a number of session beers that have been popping up in the market lately. This is one of the better session beers that you’re going to have – the body of a lager, the aroma and hop bitterness of an IPA, it’s just a really well made beer with a lot going on.

As I previously noted, there are several reasons to get out to the Corcoran Winery, the host property of the Corcoran Brewery, and beer is just one of those reasons. The other is, get out there while the brewery is still on the winery property – it’s a beautiful, bucolic setting. The brewery itself is a small barn set next to a small hop yard. The barn is split between the brewhouse and a taproom and has patio seating. Out by the patio is a company set up doing some excellent barbecue that you can enjoy with your (2)

But you have to get there soon to enjoy the bucolic setting. The success of the roughly two-year old brewery has created a need for expansion and the Corcoran brain-trust has already identified their new property right down the road in Purcellville, so the clock is ticking on your chance to enjoy a beer at this little farm in Loudoun County.

That said, there are plans in place to convert the existing brewery to a hard cider production facility once the brewery moves into Purcellville.

Raise Your Glass

Given all the recommendations of the Corcoran beers in this week’s column, I am going to forgo my weekly Tapped and Uncapped segment and just toss the following out there;

Today is the twelfth anniversary of a truly terrible day in our nation’s history. If you’re not sure what it is, you haven’t been paying attention. So, today, if you’re at a bar and you know one of your fellow beer-nuts is a first responder, buy that man or woman a round in thanks for their service. Raise a pint in honor of the first responders who gave their lives a dozen years ago in an effort to salvage life and stem the tide of damage amid the smoking rubble. Have a moment of silence…just don’t let the opportunity pass by.

Until next week, be well, and drink good beer.