I had the chance to hang out in Fayetteville, West “by God” Virginia this week, just as summer decided to give way to fall.
The day I showed up, ready to raft the New River, the temperature dropped into the low 60s and the sun decided to take the day off. It’s hard to complain about being cold when you spend the day rafting and hiking one of the most incredible gorges in the country, but I’ll go ahead and say it—I was a little chilly. And I wanted a beer that reflected the nip in the air as I walked into Pies and Pints after my day on the river.
Luckily, the tiny town of Fayetteville has its own tiny brewery, Bridge Brew Works. When I say tiny, think: two people, one building with no tasting room, and no bottling or canning. It’s about as small as a commercial brewery can get. But you can find Bridge Brew Works beer in a dozen or so locations in southern West Virginia.
Pies and Pints had four different styles of their beer on tap, including the newly released Oktoberfest. Bridge Brew Works takes a traditional approach to their Oktoberfest, producing a dark, amber colored beer that’s heavy on biscuit-like malts. It’s rich, with a good body, but not much sweetness. In short, this is the beer you want when leaves are just starting to turn. There’s no pumpkin in here, no chocolate. Those kind of decadences will come later in the season. For now, you just want a beer with a little bit more meat on its bones than the Pales and Session IPAs you’ve been living off of for the last three months.
Because I’m a journalist who takes his job seriously, I also had a pint of Bridge Brew Works’ Session IPA. You know, so I could get a better sense of what this brewery is laying down across a broad spectrum of styles. It didn’t disappoint either—light and crisp with a wallop of hop bitterness—it almost made me wish there was another month of summer left on the calendar. Almost. Bring on the fall color, the chilly nights and campfires. Bring on fall and the beers with meat on their bones. I’m ready.