Each of our beers pays homage to the legends of Fort Monroe, although sometimes the lines between fact and fiction aren't quite so easily drawn. Consider us a new twist on history class.
* Brewed in collaboration with Charm City Meadworks *
It's Virginia Craft Beer Month, and to celebrate we've teamed up with Charm City Meadworks to bring you this Sour Blueberry Honey Saison. Our ambitious brewing process started with producing a classic saison base and allowing the yeast to run warm and wild. We then kettle soured a second batch with two isolated strains of bacteria and blended the sour wort into our actively fermenting saison. Over 20 pounds of blueberry and almost 5 pounds of honey per barrel round out this sweet and sour offering. Two distinct honeys from our Charm City friends -- blueberry blossom and sweet clover -- complement the saison character with soft floral aromas and help keep this modest ABV beer dry and refreshing. It's saison. It's sour. It's fruited. It's honeyed. It's the perfect beer for hot summers in Virginia. Enjoy!
We are thrilled to present to you our second hazy beer, focusing in on the things we love about the style: low bitterness, smooth mouthfeel, and juicy hop character. We bring this new brew to you in perfect conjunction for when a hot air balloon was first used to spy on the enemy during the Civil War. This historical event undoubtedly encountered a little cloudy haze on the arial reconnaissance mission over Fort Monroe. But with such great success, we can't help but imagine that the troops celebrated their triumph through the clouds with a pint of beer! Our brew is chock full of three hop varieties new to the brewery: spicy, tropical Ella from Australia; zesty, tangerine-like Mandarina Bavaria from Germany; and piney, fruity Azacca from Washington state. A new base malt joined the party as well, imparting a background of honey-like sweetness for the marriage of hop flavors. A blended and warm fermentation enhanced the fruitiness and lent a funky complexity to this easy drinking pint. The hazy IPA is back and here to stay at Oozlefinch.
The name is a nod to the shadowy spirits that haunt the Fort. There are countless accounts by residents & tourists alike that have caught glimpses of ghostly figures around the base. But rest assured, they bring no harm, and are only gentle souls that occasionally let their presence known through abandoned windows, or around the darkest corners in the night.... This wit is our newest love note to dark beer fans, written with specialty malts and a blend of spices you can't miss. Our new Brewmaster continues our emerging trend of blurring style guidelines with this brew, punching up a standard American Wheat base with caramel barley and roasted wheat to transform it nearly black, then infusing it with star anise, grains of paradise, and two kinds of orange peel. This beer is undoubtedly one of our most unique offerings yet. Very low bitterness and a clean grainy malt bill of over 40% wheat lets the spice shine through, while the roast character keeps the finish dry and refreshing. When you find yourself looking at your glass trying to figure out how we come up with these beers, just take another sip, enjoy, and look forward to the next boundary-pushing beer from Oozlefinch.
In the hours leading up to the epic Battle of the Ironclads, heated shot from one of the ships played a significant role in a fearful defeat. Cannonballs were heated to a red hot glow in a furnace, and fired for amplified destruction. While this beer has the complete opposite effect on your pallet, it does have an eye-catching reddish glow. A flavorful ale for lager drinkers and beer nerds alike, Heated Shot is a blend of American and Irish brewing traditions and the first beer release from Assistant Brewer Anthony Merendino. An American Cream Ale base -- hearty 6-row American barley, corn sugar, and a big dose of flaked corn -- marries Irish Red Ale influences of caramel and dark roasted malts. Sweet corn and caramel aromas bely the dry finish, with subtle fruity esters and a touch of rye adding complexity to this malt-forward brew. Ruddy brown and full of flavor, this hybrid brew is not your average lawnmower beer.
The name comes from the 20 pounder Parrott Rifle used during the Civil War. With a long slender barrel it might look a little dainty. But it's 20 pound ammunition could fire over a 2 mile distance and was unquestionably an effective weapon. Likewise, this easy-drinking wheat beer truly hits the spot on a scorching summer day. It has a big fermentation character and a crisp, refreshing finish. We like our award winning hefeweizen so much that we wanted to see what else our German ale yeast could do. Tamed to cooler temperatures for this experimental brew, the yeast generated white pepper and clove phenols that mingle with tart and earthy boysenberries for a depth of flavor and aroma. A light touch of lemon peel and bright carbonation help accentuate the tart finish from the wheat, keeping this pint supremely drinkable. With over 20 pounds of boysenberry per barrel, this beer brings serious fruit flavor without too much sweetness. It's so pretty you almost won't want to drink it... but once you take a sip, that feeling won't last long.
We couldn't be more excited to bring you Snorky Saison, the happy harbinger of our burgeoning sour program! Tart and funky, this red saison pushes style boundaries in the way you can come to expect from our new Brewmaster. Intentionally inoculated with an acid producing bacteria from our friends at Bootleg Biology and nurtured in the kettle for 24 hours, Snorky has a bite equal to its namesake, Al Capone. (It is said that Al Capone, known as "Snorky" only by his closest friends, spent time hiding from the law just outside Fort Monroe in Phoebus.) Saison yeast left to run free in the fermenter at high temperatures did the rest, bringing stone fruit esters and peppery phenols to balance the toasty malt and clean acidity. The color alone will make you fall in love, but the taste of this filling yet refreshing pint will have you asking "When's the next sour beer release?"
Our first Trappist-style ale, Featherless Guardian was brewed with Belgian malt and fermented with a yeast strain straight out of the monastery. With high carbonation and low alcohol, the Belgian single, or "patersbier," was traditionally brewed by monks for their own consumption. Our Oozlefinch most assuredly saw them hard at work brewing their beer on one of his many supersonic flights around the world. (We like to think that perhaps even one of his last remaining feathers floated unknowingly into the brew, giving it the Trappist flavors we love today!) This unfiltered offering retains tons of fruity and spice notes from the yeast, with a subtle floral hop aroma and a background of clean toasty malt that make it an easy drinking but flavorful pint.
If you've sat a while out here at the brewery for any amount of time, you would certainly agree that "spurious" is a good way to describe the peaceful calm by our water. The sky is suddenly dark & crazy (especially during the summer) before you even knew a storm was brewing! With that in mind, say hello to our dark brown beer. Belgian yeast meets chocolate bready malt in this hybrid dark beer offering from your Oozlefinch brew team. Initial notes of Belgian truffles from a distinct specialty grain bill blend with plum and fig flavors from fermentation, while a modest hop bill keeps everything in balance. Light clove and warming alcohol notes emerge by the time you hit the end of the pint, but this beer is all about rich malt through to the end. Dark beer lovers, this one's for you.
Fort Monroe has beautiful trees in abundance, including a nearly-500 year old "Algernourne Oak" tree in the middle of the fort. With all these trees that have witnessed so much of our nation's history, it goes without saying they are things we want to protect. And who comes to mind more than Smokey the Bear when you think of protecting magnificent trees? Made with 100% wheat, this Polish-style ale is the first offering from our new Brewmaster Mike Donovan. He used a triple step mash and two hour boil to keep the beer refreshing but flavorful, then added Bartlett and Bosc pear juice during fermentation to complement the clean smokiness from a special oak-smoked wheat malt. With notes of bready wheat, clean oak smoke, and delicious pome fruit, this beer packs in flavor while remaining a true session ale at less than 4% ABV. Pairs perfectly with smoked/grilled foods and drinking outdoors in the summer heat. We promise even with all the smoke in this beer, Smokey himself would surely approve!
* Recently won 1st Place in Back Bay Brewing Co.'s "Lagerfest" *
While we don't have any elaborate tale behind the name for this beer, it's certainly appropriate that something so cool & refreshing should be named after the water our brewery faces. Mill Creek provides every customer with a beautiful backdrop of scenery by which to enjoy their beer (as well as a lovely location to enjoy the sunset or fresh breeze). The malt in this beer brings us flavors of toasted bread & crackers, and it has a slightly herbal hop characteristic on the back end. It's an easy-drinking classic that is sure to quench your thirst!
* Recently won a state-wide silver medal from the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild *
She might come to you in a dreamlike fog, or you could catch a glimpse of her through an upstairs window at dusk. Repeated sightings of this mysterious "Lady In White" have made her a notorious presence on Fort Monroe. Accounts differ as to her origin—some say she's Jefferson Davis' wife, Varina, who stayed in nearby quarters throughout his imprisonment in the fort. Others claim she's a Civil War soldier's wife who was unfaithful while he was away and subsequently murdered by him upon his return. No one really knows. But this award-winning hazy, German-style Hefe with flavors of wheat, banana, and clove is so good it's sure to give you chills, just like the mysterious apparition haunting Fort Monroe to this day.