Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lazy Afternoon: Mussels and a Brown Ale

After a morning of yard work, a little dry fire practice and a light lunch, I realized I still had an afternoon ahead of me, and my son and Colleen were both out for the day doing other things. How should I spend my afternoon? Then I remembered I hadn't visited the Blue & Gray brewpub for several months, and it seemed like a pleasant afternoon to head over for a bit. I had hoped there would be folks sitting outside, but alas the patio tables were empty, so I joined a few other folks at the bar and ordered a pint of Garryowen Brown Ale.

This was a new beer for me. Blue & Gray describes this beer as "a hybrid English Brown and American brown ale." I admit I'm not really sure what that means, and interestingly, none of the usual beer rating sites have it listed. Garryowen Brown Ale is transparent reddish-brown color with a faint malt aroma. The taste is a nutty, roasted flavor with a dry finish. There is but a small hint of hoppiness coming through.

As I sipped my beer, I had the urge for a bit of food, and ordered an "appetizer" of Bacon and Gorgonzola Mussels. The generous portion of mussels were covered in bacon pieces and grated cheese, and swimming in a bowl of a red pepper spiced sauce. It's a good thing the dish came with a big chunk of bread too, I used it to sop up the tasty sauce. (And still had plenty left over in the bowl.) I opted for another glass of the brown ale with the mussels, rather than switch beers mid-stream. The roasted profile of the beer did indeed stand up to the spicy mussels and sauce.

After finishing my beer and food, I had an enjoyable conversation with one of the long-time brewers at Blue & Gray, as well as the new brewer, who was learning the ropes from the older hand. We chatted about the Blue & Gray beers and other Virginia breweries for quite some time. It turned out to be quite an enjoyable, and relaxing, Saturday afternoon.


  1. Replies
    1. The mussels were quite tasty. The food at Blue & Gray is usually quite good.


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