With all due respect to Uncle Walt, Disney is not, in fact, the happiest place on Earth. Sure, look at the smiling, laughing faces of the children…until they’re in that two-hour wait for the “It’s A Small World Ride.” Then look at the faces of the parents of the screaming children as they engage in the Pirates of the Caribbean Death March – the ashen, “kill me now” faces that are staring off into the ether.

1013747_10202830909029903_1900292121_nThen tell me how happy Disney is.

No. The happiest place on earth is a brewery tasting room.

Don’t get me wrong. I love me a good pub with a great beer selection. But pubs are hotbeds of controversy. People descend on pubs and chat about things that cause strife – sports (your team sucks, no, YOUR TEAM SUCKS), politics (idiot liberal, moron conservative), even beer (OH…you drink that?!).

With the right company, a good pub is a great place to hang out and relax, but it also has the potential to be a little bit of a minefield.

But a brewery tasting room? People are there because they love THAT beer, and you know that they love that beer. There’s no debate, no discord about it. What do people talk about? Generally, beer. Few of those other subjects come up among the visitors to a brewery tasting room. It’s all about the beer.

I’m not saying that things can’t get tense there. They can. People can certainly bring in those outside interests that can sometimes result in a little bit of strife, but it’s not something you typically see. It’s a place for the beer, about the beer, and everything else tends to be left at the door.

Yup. The brewery tasting room. The happiest place on Earth.

Tapped and Uncapped

So, rather than run with a specific beer this week, I’m going to chat up one of the relatively new breweries that has popped up in 1902014_10202830796067079_199230617_nNorthern Virginia – Adroit Theory in Purcellville.

Purcellville itself is a nice little day out from Frederick – you can lunch at Magnolia’s at the Mill, which has very good food and a hell of a craft beer selection. Then you can spend some time sitting on a bar stool in the tasting room of Adroit Theory.

AT’s beers are quite good, but don’t look for anything sessionable, or anything that’s going to be a textbook example of a style. The beers are big, inventive, and tasty…oh, and the beers I had this past weekend (an IPA made with agave, a very well made cascadian dark, and a stout made with hazelnuts and cherries) were worth the trip, but they’re also not likely to be the beers you find there in, say, two weeks.

Brewed on a tiny system, Adroit Theory is constantly providing something new and different for their patrons to drink. And if big, experimental brews aren’t your cup of tea, Corcoran Brewing just moved into town and brewer Kevin Bills is also making some pretty drinkable ales and lagers (if you do find yourself at Corcoran, definitely try the India Pale Lager).

Until next week, be well and drink good beer.