Old Bust Head Brewing Company - Vixen
- ABV: 5.4%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 23
- Serving Temperature: 48-53º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row Brewer’s, 2-Row Caramel 80L, Roasted Barley
- Hops: Willamette, Fuggle
This gold and silver medal winner at the 2018 Best of Craft Beer Awards and 2018 Virginia Craft Beer Cup, respectively, pours a super inviting richly red hue with a robust cap of tan foam. It’s a good looking brew as it sits in the glass, and its invitation continues with the aroma. Look for a deep caramel character, decorated with toasted edges, and a wisp of butter. Hops offer an overlay of prominent woody, tea-like, and spicy notes that draw us in further. That deep-down caramelization forms a central core note on the palate, too, with touches of toffee, nuts, and toasted bread. A light hint of sweetness is easily countered by moderate hop bitterness which brings with it that wood-tea-spice quality, which lingers a bit in the finish. Roasted pork, chicken, and turkey will make excellent pairings with this red ale, as will traditional Irish and British dishes like Bangers & Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, and corned beef sandwiches. A snack of nutty or earthy cheeses sounds good too. 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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