Thursday, February 13, 2014

Busting out the Alcohol in a Covert War

Saturday was a freezing cold day with snow threatening and winds whipping around your ankles as soon you left the safe warm haven of indoors. So I had no desire to be outdoors, instead choosing to visit a local brewery who were holding a soft opening and had 2 new beers for folks to sample.
I was meeting Kelly there but I arrived early at the cafe we were going to lunch at first. I was a amazed to see close by an old civil war building renovated with a sign outside proclaiming it was a Cold War Museum.
I went inside and nearly bumped into a guy who was vacuuming the place. John DePerro is a volunteer here who clearly plays a large part in this museum. He was actually a walking encyclopedia on the Cold War and bombarded me with information on the museum itself as well as the war. The Cold War ran from 1947 - 1991 and was basically a state of tension between the United States and the West, predominantly Russia. No large scale battles were started but there was some minor conflicts, it was largely a struggle for dominance. This building is bursting with relics and memorabilia,  there was stuff everywhere. A lot of the artifacts are still out loose because it hasn't all been unpacked yet or is waiting for display cases to be donated. Two were donated the day before and were already filled.
Peter showed me some artifacts while pointing and talking at the same time. I desperately wanted to just walk around and look at the stuff properly, especially as there is also an upstairs which I didn't get a chance to look at. I got a text from Kelly who had arrived and was in the cafe and had to make my escape, but I shall definitely be back here to investigate further once they are more on their feet.
I ran across the road noticing that the wind had picked up and dashed through the door of The Covert Cafe.
What a little gem this turned out to be. Wonderfully friendly staff and the food was amazing. I had the Cyclops Burger, which had a home made patty with bacon, lettuce, tomato, a fried egg and cheese. It was gigantic. But so worth it.
And then around the corner to the brewery. OBH has only 2 beers currently on tap, and we were going to try both. The IPA was very hoppy but after a few mouthfuls I got used to that and enjoyed it. It was bloody freezing inside with only a few folks who'd wanted to be there at the beginning like us, maybe people were put off since the snow had started falling outside.
They were selling apparel and growlers and also had Bad to the Bone BBQ on site, but I was stuffed to the gills from my Covert burger and had no interest in that. In fact the beer was filling me up even more, but that was just too bad since there was another to be sampled.
The next was their English style pale ale which we both really liked. So much so that we purchased a glass growler each and had it filled to take home. This was done in a cool glass vacuum container where the growler was first filled with carbon dioxide and then filled with the beer which in turn pushed out the CO2 and leaving no room for oxygen.
The place was hopping when we left, the afternoon was an obvious success, a pleasure to witness, it's so cool to have a brewery so close to home. They're going to be introducing a chestnut porter in the future so I'll look out for that.
We then felt we had to visit the Flint Hill Winery which was almost next door, so we scuttled in there for a tasting.
We went upstairs to a small area which had a bar and just a couple of tables and chairs. You could look down onto where the wine was made but there wasn't really a lot to see. Not a very atmospheric place. We sipped our wines and I enjoyed several but the most notable was the dessert wine which was surprising for me, I never usually like them because they're so sweet. But this one was sampled with a mouthful of dark chocolate, and I was sold. Apparently nearer Christmas time you can buy little dark chocolate cups in Wegmans which would be heaven to drink this out of, so I bought a bottle of the Chambourcin Virginia Dessert wine, already planning my Thanksgiving dinner ahead of time.
They don't grow any grapes here but buy them from California, Washington or Virginia. The wines were mostly pretty nice but I couldn't imagine wanting to come here and quaff any on a summer's day on their little patch of grass outside looking up at a newly built housing estate. No fireplace inside either so really just a place to come and purchase the wine only.
We trotted back over to Covert Cafe afterwards for a large cup of coffee and a homemade chocolate brownie, catching them just before they closed, and then it was time to head home with my alcoholic beverages for a well needed nap.
I stopped for 2 photos, one of this beautiful white sycamore tree. I plan on photographing a series of these while winter is still here...
...and the crossroads on Rte 55 which Old Bust Head Brewery was named after, an area once noted for it's own local home brews and a sense of humor.
Now where's that sofa...

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