It's a brewery at the winery. Pinch me. 1781 Brewing Company is part of the Wilderness Run Vineyard in Locust Grove, Virginia. We first heard about the plans for a brewery at the winery a couple years ago. They've been pouring beer in sort of a soft opening for a couple months now; one beer is typically available on the weekends during winery hours. Colleen and I finally had a chance to visit over the Labor Day holiday.
This weekend the brewery's Kölsch was being offered. Since it was a beautiful, late Summer afternoon, we took our glasses outside to enjoy in the outdoor seating area overlooking the vineyard. The beer was served in a snifter and was unfiltered and cloudy in appearance. Typically a Kölsch is very clear, bright yellow, and filtered. Despite the appearance, the ale was very tasty. There is a faint grain and fruit aroma. The beer has a smooth mouthfeel, with biscuity malt flavor and mild hoppiness. Flavors of bready malt and mild bitterness linger in the finish.
Pictures the brewery has posted to their Facebook page match what we were served, so I don't believe there was a tap mixup. Although the beer being served did not look like any Kölsch-style ale I've seen, the beverage was enjoyable enough. I had a second serving, while Colleen enjoyed a glass of a Wilderness Vineyard red wine.
It was a beautiful, late Summer afternoon and we really enjoyed the time spent sipping and talking. The winery/ brewery is just a few minutes from our home so I'm looking forward to seeing what other beers the 1781 Brewing Company has in store.