Saturday, January 15, 2011


As it turns out, the Stillwater Ales beers I'd considered using against the cassoulet course for the beer dinner weren't available in time. Why? One hadn't received Virginia ABC label approval (and I didn't realize I had a close enough connection to the ABC board to help the process), and the other hadn't made it on the truck for the week's shipment.

This left me in a bit of a quandary since I'd pinned the dinner around regional beers and needed something rich that could stand up to the chef's plan for the cassoulet. For a while I looked through a wide portfolio of other options, but availability or packaging (we could use bottles, but not a keg) nixed a bunch of options. For a several days, I tried to find a good alternative without turning to another Blue Mountain Brewing beer. In the end, though, their Evil 8 won out. It had just been released (a plus), and as a good, clean dubbel it would make a nice companion for a rich, rustic dish like the cassoulet.

I look forward to the day soon when Virginia has as rich and vital a brewing community as nearby states.