Theory of a Beer Man

“We always start with food, and look to make beers that might compliment a given dish.” -Mark Osborne

Adroit Theory CorkFirst off, we need to thank Carolyn at Tavour for her wonderful beer suggestions.  It’s always great when we have the experience to try something new and unique, and not from our neck of the woods.  In this post we will be sharing our experience with a brewery about 430 miles from us, located in Purcellville, VA. From their creatively masterful bottle artwork, to their ingeniously original brews, you will marvel and the savory bounty when you have the opportunity to indulge.  Sadly we have not been able to visit this beer haven, but we were able to try two different versions of one of their brews and were able to interview CEO of Adroit Theory Brewing Company.

To paint a picture of what you are getting yourself into when you spy upon an intensely illustrated bottle of an Adroit Theory beer, their website states it properly:

Adroit Theory Brewing Company is a nano-brewery located in Purcellville, Loudoun County, Virginia. We make esoteric beers with an emphasis on barrel aging.

We are an extremely small brewery that makes beer one keg at a time. Even though we are small, we typically have 24 beers on draft at any time, plus a dedicated Cask line. We also bottle some, but not all, of our beers. We routinely have 16 to 20 different styles bottled for either on or off site consumption. Be sure to check our constantly changing Tap List from the menu above. “image1(1)

I don’t know about you, our dear readers, but having constant access to a “Cask line” just whets my palate. I can’t wait to make this my next “side trip” while visiting my Virginian family.  ‘Wouldn’t you do that anyway?’ you might ask?  Well, yes and no.  The Barley Men also have Barley families, so sometimes traveling a bit out of the way to visit a brewery doesn’t make it to the top of the agenda.  However, with a smaller, local brewery, the incentive to visit raises the stakes slightly thus fulfilling our goal to support local, and enjoy great beer!

Besides beer, and location, what else makes a brewery great?  The brewers!  We get super pumped when a master brewer, CEO, owner, etc., takes the time to let us get to know them better. We get even more excited when we get to share that experience with the world. So let’s meet Mark Osborne the founder of Adroit Theory and get some of his views on on brewing and what makes Adroit an experience to be had.

TBM– First Mark, thank you again for taking your time to talk with us, especially with how busy running a brewery is. There are a few interviews out there, but a question we’d really like to know is, what is your philosophy on brewing/beer? And where do you draw your inspiration?

Mark Osborne – We always want to push both ourselves and the proverbial envelope with our beers. We don’t make session or to style basic beers, instead opting to use ingredients and techniques that are unconventional. Nothing against more approachable beers, but we figure other brewers can focus on them. We’ll focus on more interesting flavor profiles.

TBM– Wonderful! It’s nice to see a fresh perspective on brewing. Recently Chris and I were able to try Lux and the Aquavit version of Lux. The unique choice in aging, and the particular nuances in the flavor were truly an experience. I saw your YouTube videos, “Taproom Tales.” and boy we could see the excitement in your preparation for the brewery, but tell us what made you want to start brewing?

Mark Osborne– My brewer Greg is world traveled and has lived in exotic parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. As a result, he has a unique exposure to food that most Americans have never heard of, let alone, tasted. We always start with food, and look to make beers that might compliment a given dish.

TBM– To be honest, lately that’s the way my mind has been working. I constantly think of what would pair well with a meal.  In fact, we just hosted a pairing recently which we will be writing about. We also love that you give pairing suggestions on your website. Of course, brewing for fun and brewing professionally can be complimentary (which it seems you have gained the mastery of), do you have any words of advice for aspiring brewers?

Mark Osborne–  Focus on WHO you want to be as a brewer, and don’t deviate. Too many breweries try to make everyone happy, instead of staying focused on what they are either good at or want to be as a brand. You do NOT have to make a Pale Ale if you don’t want too!

TBM– Great words of advice. When it comes to beer, most of us have a “go to” beer, if you had to choose a style of beer what would be your favorite?

Mark Osborne– We’re big fans of big Imperial Stouts. We make tons of styles, but I could drink a big stout any day/time.

TBM– A man after my own heart. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate Quads and Barleywines in the same manor.  As you are well aware, we are in a “beer revolution.” With all the new and booming breweries what do you think makes your brewery unique to Virginia?

Mark Osborne– When we started (and even at this given time) there are very few breweries in Virginia or even the East Coast, who want to experiment with their beers. Most of them have the same portfolio: Pale Ale, IPA, Brown Ale, Blonde Ale, etc. It’s hard to tell one from the other. Our beers are more polarizing. People usually love or hate them. And we’re OK with that.

TBM– I respect that. In fact, one of my favorite breweries here in MA experiments often, and a lot of times I don’t like their brews, but I love how adventurous and and artistic they are with their beers. Kudos to you! Now if someone were to see your beer in a store, or on Tavour, or even pass by your brewery, which one of your beers would you recommend as an introduction to Adroit Theory, for someone who has not had the experience?

Mark OsborneImagination Atrophy – Caramel Macchiato Milk Stout would be a great choice. It is basically dessert in a glass, yet still complex and interesting.

TBM– Move over Skydiving, Imagination Atrophy has been added to the bucket list! By the way, do you know we do beer reviews? Feel free to send us a “sample.”  Wink wink.   Lastly, we love humor or interesting facts on beer origins. Do you have any funny stories, or interesting origins to your brews? Every beer tells a tale.

Mark OsborneOur Bloody Roots – Bloody Mary inspired Imperial Brown is inspired by the way I make Bloody Mary’s. I make a super spicy Bloody Mary, and then add a bottle of Dog Fish Head Indian Brown to create some sweetness and carbonation. It’s delicious, and I wanted to create a beer to mimic it. Therefore, a brown ale with crushed tomatoes, celery salt, honey, and habaneros.

“You do NOT have to make a Pale Ale if you don’t want too!”

TBM– Now that sounds saucy! I think my new goal is to move into your brewery, for we have found beer heaven. Thanks so much Mark, again we can’t thank you enough for your time. We hope to visit sometime in the near future and are so glad that you are willing to push the limits of brewing to give us something special.

That about wraps up our post on Adroit Theory Brewing. For details on their brewery or for times and pricing, please visit http://www.adroit-theory.com/taproom or contact Adroit theory at info@adroit-theory.com. If you cannot find their beer locally, visit Tavour.com and have it delivered to your door!

For more articles about Adroit Theory Brewing, check out the following links – beergraphs.com and www.washingtonpost.com

As always, leave a comment or contact us at thebarleymen@gmail.com and @thebarleymen

Lux Wheat wine
LUX Wheatwine and LUX wheatwine aged in Aquavit Barrels
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