May 22, 2017

Visiting the Farm Brewery at Broad Run

This past weekend, the wife and I finally found some time to stop by one of the area’s newest breweries, The Farm Brewery at Broad Run. Situated on 52 acres just west of Haymarket, VA, Broad Run has long been a farm and garden center providing a varied selection of plants, trees, livestock and landscaping services. In fact, we’ve been visiting them on and off for the last 10 years for plants and shrubs.

And it was on a visit roughly three years ago, that one of the employees let slip that the owner of the farm was in California at that time visiting Stone Brewing with the idea of opening a brewery on the premises. Well, a few years later and here we are on a cool, cloudy Saturday afternoon.

Farm Brewery at Broad Run exterior

We arrived shortly after the brewery opened as we had several errands to take care of the remainder of the day. There were a handful of staff still getting ready for the day, going about cleaning and setting up — all with a smile and welcoming chatter. The primary building is pretty darn large with seating capacity for a couple hundred people, as well as an exterior beer garden and lawn seating for probably another hundred or so craft beer fans. The layout is nicely designed and flows quite well with views of the brewing equipment, outdoor gardens and pavilion where musical entertainment was also setting up.

Farm Brewery at Broad Run brewery equipment

We decided to get a couple of flights with the intention of sampling eight of the ten beers on tap. We grabbed our 5 oz samples and headed to a table with a good view of the tanks as well as garden views out the open bay doors that allowed for a nice breeze blowing through. It was still early so we had no issue finding a good table, but in all honesty, I’m not sure that you’ll have trouble even on the busiest visit to find a comfortable spot to relax with a pint or two.

Farm Brewery at Broad Run brewery equipment

And speaking of the beer, each is crafted by a team lead by head brewery Bobby Burris, who recently served in the same role at Tin Cannon Brewing, just down the road in Gainesville. I’m not going to compare the products between the two breweries, but I will say that the beers we had this past Saturday were pretty darn good — it was hard to find fault with many of them. Each sample was varied in terms of flavor and yet still approachable and well crafted.

Starting from the left in the set in the back of the flight photo above, the company’s Three Amigos (Hoppy) was the first to impress. This 5.8% ABV pale ale was probably my favorite of the bunch as it is a well-rounded, easy drinking beer with a solid hop flavor and moderate bite. It’s a solid beer that I wouldn’t mind getting a growler fill of often — lucky for me, the brewery is on my commute home. Next up was MEC Double IPA. Brewed with Mosaic, El Dorado and Citra hops, this 7.8% ABV beer packed an herbal, catty flavor that wasn’t overly potent and fairly subdued, but still darn tasty. The spicy version of Three Amigos (6.3% ABV) includes a healthy dose of guajillo peppers to provide a moderate fiery tingle and flavor within its hazy appearance. This was the one beer that I would love to down with a few tacos.

Farm Brewery at Broad Run brewery equipment

CNC Amber Ale was one of the more interesting beers in our flights as the 5.2% ABV brew not only had a good hop profile and bitterness, but also an interesting touch of roasty malt that set it apart from many ambers I’ve sampled through the years. The wife’s favorite was the 9% ABV MAC Imperial Red IPA. This big IPA is brewed with Magnum, Azacca and Citra hops to create a peppery, citrusy hop profile and an overall surprisingly well-rounded experience. Cole Albert Porter is, you guessed it, a porter that carried a good roast coffee and hint of cocoa on a fairly light body. The porter was darn tasty with a lightly drying finish.

MOM Raspberry Kolsch (5.3% ABV) was an interesting curveball to the flight. It’s not as crisp as I personally like my kolsch and provided a fairly jammy fruit flavor. I could see this brew serving quite well in an ice cream float. The last beer of our samples was the standard BRB Blonde Ale. This 5.1% ABV brew is a simple, straightforward example of the style that should make for a wonderful Summer quencher.

Farm Brewery at Broad Run brewery equipment

I’ve visited several new breweries over the past couple of years and while each has presented themselves fairly well so early in their foray into the beer business, most of the beers encountered were inoffensive, often opting for lowest common denominator visitors in terms of flavor. I understand the thought process behind this, but serving run of the mill beers upon opening doesn’t really make the best first impression. Mr. Burris and The Farm Brewery at Broad Run, however, have introduced a varied array of beers that are all unique in terms of their flavor profile, but still approachable for the range of beer drinkers they may serve.

Each beer we sampled impressed, not necessarily as the best beer we’ve ever had, but as a capable product that we wouldn’t mind having frequently on future visits. The team at this new company have done a great job not just with the beer, but also providing an outstanding environment in which to enjoy those brews. We will be back. Soon.