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Epic Beer Trip Spring 2015: Day 3

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Sunday, March 22

No breweries on our itinerary today, so we kicked it around Northern VA, enjoying the sunshine and much-warmer-than-Rochester temperatures.

Our quest for a tasty breakfast and inexpensive gas led us to Woodbridge, where we found the latter, but not the former. Signs for Historic Occoquan piqued our curiosity, so we followed them–doing random things like that is half the fun of a roadtrip.

For those not steeped in Northern VA geography, Occoquan is a cute little town nestled on the south (ish) bank of the,  wait for it, Occoquan river. It’s got lots of history and stuff, as indicated by the signs that led us there, but we were mostly interested in whether it had food. It did. We followed our noses to Blue Arbor Cafe, where we found excellent service, and the least expensive crepes you’re likely to find anywhere near D.C.

Naturally, we couldn’t think of any more relaxing way to spend our Sunday afternoon than enjoying a pint or two, and Old Town has quite a few pubs. Green Dragon Pub (apparently no relation to the one in Portland, OR) has an impressive tap list and bottle selection. They even had a Rogue beer on tap, something I haven’t seen in far too long.

The choice was difficult,  but I settled on a Virginia Vanilla Black Bear, a Russian Imperial Stout from Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery. Yes, I spelled their name right. I’ve no idea how they came up with it, and I’m not at all sure that I want to know.


It was a good RIS, roasty but not overly astringent, with a bit of residual sweetness, as expected in the style.

Then Ben ordered a Duchesse de Bourgogne.


It had a bit of vinegar in the nose; the flavor was tart, but not sour. And the finish was fairly sweet. This is a delicious sipping beer; I can see why it’s so highly recommended.

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Pacific Northwest native, travel and craft beverage writer. Exploring the intersections where beer (and coffee and spirits), food, travel and culture meet.

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