Number One- To walk their trails. I have to admit I didn’t know where they were going with this at first but after a good look around it was pretty evident. The Rusty Beaver founders own and operate a family farm in Beaverdam, VA where they grow their own hops as well as vegetables. The first thing you notice after walking through the door is the magnificent wood bar that spans the width of the entire place. This, along with multiple bar tops, was all cut from one tree off of their family farm. The tree posts that hold the beer menu up above the bar were also taken from the farm and covered in moss. Okay, 1.) is a big fat CHECK!
Number Two- To smell their hops. Yup, the whole place smells like delicious, earthy hops. 2.) CHECK!
On to number three- Taste their ales. I realize this one is pretty easy for them to get right and it didn’t take any convincing for me to order the sampler which lets you try ALL of their 7 craft beers on tap. The sampler glasses give you more than enough to journey through their trails and tasty ales. My drinking partner for the evening was NOT a big beer drinker and after reading both our notes I concluded hers were much more descriptively interesting and spot on so I’ve decided to share them with you. Here is their complete list along with their alcohol content…
2. Bucktooth I.P.A. 7.5%- “Orangey”
3. Smashed Bastard. 5.2%- “Effervescent”, “Light”
4. Quake Stout. 8.9%- “Guiness-ish”
After our fourth sampler is when things really started to heat up. Off came my coat. It may have only been 16 degree outside with a “Feels Like” temperature of 5 degrees but the unfiltered, unpasteurized ale was starting to snuggle me like only a big, comfy Christmas onesie could. I was really feeling this “Old World” brewery style and couldn’t wait to keep going.
5. Zen. 7.5%- “Best one so far”
6. Fugged Up. 6.4%- “This is for beer lovers”
7. Krampus (Their holiday seasonal). 5.5%- “Oh, it smells good!” Sip. Deep Breath. “Cinnamon.”
With number five they wanted us to ‘feel the country spirit’ which they definitely nailed. A warm, welcoming vibe with a family focus in an atmosphere that is completely unpretentious and a ‘come-as-you-are’ kind of comfortable. Yup, 5.) CHECK! The Rusty Beaver was really hitting it out of the park on what they set out to accomplish. After a brief conversation with the bartender and owner, Austin, I learned even more about their love for what they do and how they strive to stay local even sourcing ingredients and materials for the brewery from their own farm. This type of commitment to the local community and focus on sustainability makes their brews taste even better, which brings me to number six. 6.) Leave with a relaxed calm that brings you back for more. DOUBLE CHECK!
I highly recommend visiting The Rusty Beaver Brewery in Ruther Glen and embarking on their customer experience journey yourself. If you’re lucky you can catch them on a night when they serve up wings and Belgium waffles, which Austin says are the best in the area. I’ll definitely be back for more craft beer, wings, waffles and a couple of growlers to enjoy at home!
Originally published in the Lake Anna Breeze, Issue #26.