Red Dragon serves no food, nor can they invite food trucks due to archaic and prohibitive Fredericksburg City regulations. We brought along some chips and guacamole to munch on while we enjoyed the beverages.
I was most interested in the small batch New England IPAs they were offering. The New England IPA seems to be the latest trend in craft beer of late. It's essentially a hazy IPA, with a creamy mouthfeel and tropical fruit flavors and aromas. The mimosa of the beer world perhaps? Some craft beer fans have labeled the style "an abomination," but if it tastes good, who am I to pass it by?
Red Dragon's New England IPA is In the Drink, and in addition to the core beer they were pouring two small batch versions this weekend. I started with the version made with the addition of "Idaho 7" hops. The beer had a full mouthfeel with flavors of pine and fruit. It had an interesting bitterness that might be described as "dank" but pleasant.
|In The Drink w/ Idaho 7, Bard's Love|
Next I tried the version made with "Vic Secret" hops. The one had a much "juicier" flavor, with even more citrus notes. The same rich think mouthfeel was present. The two varieties were similar but at the same time noticeably different. Both were quite enjoyable, though I would have to pick the Vic Secret variety as my favorite of the two.
While I was "testing" the New England IPAs, Colleen enjoyed a Bard's Love hefeweizen. This beer has a prominent banana and clove aroma and the flavor to match, along with a rich wheat background. It was interesting to see the hefeweizen being to more clear beer of the two.
We were enjoying ourselves, and had no other plans, so we opted to stay for another round. I was also very interested in the Rose of Sharon Welsh Ale being served on cask. Colleen chose that one for herself, so for variety I selected the Here Be Dragons Gose. The Welsh Ale, or Bitter Ale, had sweet caramel and toffee notes. It quite good and I stole more than a couple sips from Colleen's glass. The Gose had a moderately intense tartness along with a refreshing tropical fruit flavor. I savored the refreshing drink for some time.
It was a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon. We enjoyed some excellent beers while we chatted and people watched. I get Untappd updates from the brewery frequently, and am often frustrated that scheduling prevents me from visiting as often as I'd like. Already, I'm being tempted by upcoming beer release events that have been posted. We are definitely looking forward to our next visit to enjoy even more new offerings.