Come out to the Cider Garden January 18-20th (All weekend!) to taste our collab with Ardent Craft Ales and Champion Brewing Company, Earl Grey Brown Ale!
Andy Hannas, our head cider maker, created this beer years ago. Below, he talks about how it all got started.
“Before my cider-making days, I liked to brew beer at my apartment in Richmond. The Earl Grey Brown Ale was originally brewed for my wife, Emma. She did not particularly care for the flavor profile of most of the hops I was using at the time. I used one of her favorite teas to create a tannic mouthfeel in this beer while also adding a lovely aroma of bergamot orange. The backbone of this beer is the Maris Otter malt which provides a pleasant nutty undertone.
A few years before the owners of Ardent opened their commercial brewery, they were very ambitious, large-scale homebrewers with a garage space in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood. They used this space and a 15 gallon brewing system to start piloting their recipes while they shopped around for a space for what is now Ardent Craft Ales. Introductions were made over a few late night beers at Commercial Taphouse, and next thing I knew, I was spending every Sunday morning making even more beer with my newly found friends. They helped me fine tune the Earl Grey Brown Ale recipe over the years and I even served it at my wedding and my sister-in-law’s wedding.
Upon moving to Charlottesville in 2013, I had the opportunity to have my beer brewed at Champion Brewing Company and even got to send a keg to Richmond for the Commercial Taphouse anniversary party, the bar where the idea of this beer was born. The next year, Ardent opened their commercial brewery and we have been brewing the beer together every year since. This release will be the 5th time we have brewed Earl Grey Brown Ale. To celebrate this milestone, Ardent will be sending the beer to Charlottesville for the first time since it was brewed at Champion.”
Earl Grey Brown Ale – 6.5% ABV – 20 IBU
Earl Grey Brown Ale starts with classic brown color and white, frothy head. The rich tea and citrus aromatics give way to easy-drinking mouthfeel and flavors of black tea and bergamot on top of a classic, malt-forward English brown ale. A light-bodied, mild brown ale with hints of Earl Grey tea.