Friday, July 18, 2014

Rocktown Rye

If you know me, you know I love brewery collaborations. When one can taste the artistic influence of both producers, there's something special in there. My personal belief is that true genius occurs at the nexus of partnership. I've said that a lot and will probably continue to do so until I'm proven wrong.

One of my recent favorites has been this Rocktown Rye from Harrisonburg brewers, Adam Shifflett from Three Brothers and Tim Brady from Pale Fire. The collaboration was put together with help from Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, and the sale of every pint benefits in part that organization, which is nice.

The beer is a dark yellow delight with a hint of malty cereally goodness to make you say "Pale Ale?" but with enough hops to make you say "Pale Ale!" Normally, anything with rye is not what I reach for in the summer, but the rye presence in the Rocktown gives it a grip I enjoy and makes me wonder why I don't become a catcher in the rye every summer. . . even the excruciatingly hot ones.

Getting this beer to market was an adventure that included me running down closed streets with kegs between the people who were racing in the annual 10k. There were major misunderstandings about who could get the beer, where they were supposed to order it, when they were allowed to receive it and tap it. It was a Fourth of July mess. Fourth of July messes are par for the course in distribution: it's the busiest day of the year.

For some reason, they're only allowing restaurants in Harrisonburg to buy it. So if you want some, you'll have to come to the Shenandoah Valley. It's worth a trip to try. Most of the restaurants downtown have it, but Three Brothers has it at their brewery, too, and that's always worth a trip.

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