Old Bust Head Brewing Company - Graffiti House
- ABV: 7.5%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 75
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row Brewer’s, 2-Row Carapils, 2-Row Caramel 10L, Special Roast
- Hops: Cascade, Mosaic, Mosaic (Incognito)
This bold IPA from Old Bust Head presents a radiant orange hue topped by light beige foam that drops some sheets of lace as we drink it down. In the aroma, expect a big juicy fruit cocktail impression with mango, pineapple, and passion fruit tropical notes melded with some candied citrus tones which tend toward orange, along with hints of berries, stone fruits, melon... it’s very much a bold display of Mosaic’s multi-faceted hop profile. Those incredibly juicy hop aromas come forth in full effect on the palate too, with bold citrus zest merging into a resinous herbal note that plays well off a dash of spicy, fruity alcohol. We found the malt backbone here to be very sturdy, offering a good dose of caramelization and some breadiness, plus a kiss of sweetness to offer a bit of a counterpoint to the cavalcade of hops. This is a strongly formed IPA, approaching double IPA territory with its very firm 75 IBUs and 7.5% ABV, and we dig it. For pairing options, somewhat fatty dishes should be considered, as the hop bitterness and elevated ABV should cut through fats a bit like wine. Sweet honey-glazed ham is a favorite of ours with beers like this, as is pork loin or chops with a fruity sauce. Spicy, cheesy Mexican dishes will stand up well to this IPA too, along with spicy empanadas or pizzas. Cheers!
The idea that would evolve into today’s Old Bust Head Brewing Company started as a brewpub plan developed by brewer Charles Kling, whose previous experience included several years at Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Co. before he took over as brewmaster and general manager of Arkansas’s Diamond Bear Brewing Co. A trained chemical engineer, he had taken a job at the US Patent & Trademark Office, but dreamed of returning to the brewing world by starting up a brewpub. While trying to find an appropriate location, he met Ike Broaddus, who was working for the Vint Hill Economic Development Authority. Though the EDA wasn’t interested in the brewpub idea, Ike was. Around that time, Virginia law was changed to allow breweries to serve beer to patrons directly without having to serve food, so ultimately the brewpub restaurant concept gave way to the idea of a full-fledged production brewery with an on-site tasting room. When Ike’s wife Julie bought into the idea, the partners got started on bringing their brewery to life.
Construction began in 2013, and in mid-2014 Old Bust Head opened to the public. Named after a local Fauquier County crossroads, the brewery put an emphasis on sustainability and community involvement from the get-go. 40% of their energy needs are served by their rooftop solar array, and 18 500-ft geothermal wells with 12 heat pumps provide heating and cooling for their offices and tasting room, using a third less energy than traditional means. Specialized brewing equipment captures and recycles waste heat and water, and the brewery donates their spent grain to feed cattle on local farms. The brewery supports dozens of local non-profits and hosts an annual 5K Benefit Run/Walk which supports Finley's Green Leap Forward, an environmental foundation established by the Broaddus’ late daughter, Finley.
Currently, Old Bust Head produces about a half dozen year-round beers, plus a wide variety of seasonal and limited-run brews in additional to a root beer and several hard seltzers and soda. For more info on the brewery, guest food trucks, and their taproom featuring 48 taps, visit www.oldbusthead.com.
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