I really enjoy my trips to The Capital, but unfortunately, I’m not able to get everywhere I really want to get to in my short allotted time. With the Richmond area booming with craft breweries, I use the opportunities that I have to sample all the new(er) beer that doesn’t get out of the 804. Always on that list is Strangeways Brewing, because in a world of traditional tastings and review, I get to really break down non-traditional beers, and ‘non-traditional’ is modest. This brew was easily found on a Capital Ale House sheet, as the all caps, the exclamation point, and the subtle reference to (I believe) to Tag Team’s big hit ‘Whoomp There It Is”. But marketing aside, this was a more than solid choice, especially this time of year.
BOOM! Choc-O-Lotta, Strangeways Brewing (Richmond, VA)
Chocolate Marzen, ABV: 5.1%, IBU: 18
Presentation: Tap pour into tulep glass. As shown on an ice bar.
Appearance: Medium brown to mahogany, opaque around the edges. medium high off-white/tannish head laced after a short time.
Aroma: Medium caramel malts and medium chocolate, some sweetbread not like a standard lager but more like a….
Taste: Marzen. There’s the sticky wicket. In wondering what would tie chocolate together with a lager, it was quickly observed that this style of ‘lager’ is perfect for this type of brew. You start with a more traditional caramel malted front taste and then towards the middle-back finish with a nice dose of drier dark chocolate.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: Clean, medium-light to medium body, no heavy (or really any) ABV or IBU hindrances. Slightly drier finish than traditional marzen as the dark chocolate gives it that last bite.
Overall: A lot to like in this one and not a bunch of space. The marzen malts really carry the chocolate late into this one. It is a nice change of pace this time of year, as we begin to transition from the stouts to the DIPAs. Maibocks and Marzens have traditionally filled the Spring/Fall role, but this beer can eat up a solid 5 months. The chocolate notes can make this a late winter beer and hold up nicely, but light and clean enough to let it roll into late spring. This is out now and is part of Strangeways ‘seasonals’ so keep your eyes out for it around Central Virginia, as well as some spot places in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.