In between brewing batches of our canned flagship beers - Alter Ego Saison, Murphy's Law Amber Ale and Rule G IPA - our crew dreams up recipes for new concoctions. They create 10-20 barrels of each new style, which is available only until the last keg kicks. Scroll through the list to the left to see what's flowing in our tasting room and around town.
There was some dancing, and then a fall, and then a broken elbow...and so we brewed a low-ABV beer, a pilsner. Everything about this lager is delicate. Its faint spicy, herbal aromas; its hint of sweetness; and its gentle breadiness fill your nose and then dance on your tongue in an effervescent spritz. European noble hops keep this glowing straw-colored beer mellow and refreshing. It’s the perfect choice to pair with a lunchtime salad or a dinner of savory smoked salmon or steamed shrimp.
We’re tapping a Bavarian rite of spring. And it’s big time authentic, having been brewed in our German brauhaus with German malts and German hops. In a moment of nostalgia, we employed an old brewing method, decoction, to eek out every last bit of sugar in our malt. This pale amber liquid beer-candy is chock-full of malty sweetness with a subtle hop presence to balance it out. Enjoy with wurst, pig knuckle, roasted potatoes, cucumber salad.
Sommer Fling is as easy and satisfying as a summer love. Clove and bubblegum dominate the aroma of this traditional German-style hefeweizen, which boasts a hint of banana on the tongue. It pours cloudy with the pale golden tone of a setting sun. This effervescent brew, full of no-strings-attached deliciousness, will linger until the carefree summer turns to autumn.
Murphy’s Law Amber Ale acknowledges the relentless and unexpected obstacles that challenged us at every stage of starting Smartmouth Brewing Co. Incidentally, Murphy is also the name of Porter’s pet boxer. This amber is balanced: the malty essence that comes through with a subtle roastiness is countered just so by hops that keep it smooth. Enjoy this good all-around beer with chili, grilled chicken, pizza or burgers. For an interesting cheese pairing, try it with Gruyere.
This brew is a shout-out to the alter ego in each of us, beckoning it out of dormancy. Porter Hardy, IV, brewery president, left his career as an attorney to heed the call of his weekend passion, making beer. Along with some friends who were just as consumed by beer, he established Smartmouth Brewing Company in 2012. Alter Ego, brewed in the farmhouse style of a Belgian Saison, is an effervescent and refreshing beer with fruity notes, a hint of pepper and a dry finish. Try pairing it with seafood, especially oysters or mussels, smoked sausages or cured meats. It complements aged gouda, chevre and ripe soft cheeses.
Featuring one of the hottest hops on the 2015 craft scene, this IPA uses solely El Dorado. Yes, we jumped on the El Dorado bandwagon and we’re loving the ride! With five hop additions plus dry-hopping, El Dorado features a bright Jolly-Rancher aroma full of watermelon and pear with a touch of mint. Hop bitterness balances the fruity sweetness just so. Enjoy this beer with a salad topped with Brie, curried Indian watermelon, or a bahn mi sandwich.
Rule G is the railroad industry’s policy against drinking on the job. With tracks running right into the brewery, we spite Rule G daily. Outrageously dry-hopped, this beer has a big hop nose and a dry clean finish that accentuates its citrus and grapefruit undertones. It is a bold beer that can stand up to bold flavors. Drink it alongside spicy food and it’ll ratchet up the heat. We enjoy it with Mexican, Sichuan and Indian cuisine. A classic cheese pairing is with Stilton Blue Cheese.
Notch 9 gets its unusual name from the 8 notch positions on a locomotive’s throttle, with each one delivering progressively more power. Notch 9 ratchets it even higher. It is a double IPA with a citrusy aroma from a crazy amount of dry hops. As it flows over your palate, you'll sense grapefruit and pine. It washes down with a dry crisp finish. Incredibly smooth and straw in color, it delivers the goods on strength. Sip this beer alongside a plate of cured meats or bacon to boost the umami and saltiness of the dish. Pair it with a funky cheese like Stilton or sharp cheddar.
Our efforts serve a higher purpose when we dance with local partners. Hive Mind, named in tribute of the collective consciousness that inspired this beer, combined the talents a local apiary, a local mural artist and our own hive of crafters at Smartmouth. Chardonnay, soaked from the oak barrels in which this beer was aged for four months, pervades the aroma and flavor. It is complemented by herbal essence, peppercorns and balanced by a prominent honey sweetness. Enjoy with roasted chicken doused in fresh herbs, salad topped with toasted nuts and goat cheese, pork loin with apple sauce, or creme brûlée.
Greg’s dabbled plenty in wit beers, which puts this Belgian style right in his wheelhouse. It’s similar to a German wheat beer, but spiced with bitter and sweet orange peels and coriander. Served in a 23-ounce glass adorned with an orange slice to accentuate is natural flavor, this brew is sure to satisfy your craving for something light and refreshing to temper the summer heat. Pair this beer with a fruit salad or shellfish with a dash of lemon.
A showcase for one of the hottest hops of 2014, this pale ale uses solely Mosaic hops. Yes, we jumped on the Mosaic bandwagon and we’re loving the ride! With five hop additions plus dry-hopping, Mosaic’s refreshing aroma and flavor profile of peach, mango, and red grapefruit come through in a big way. Enjoy this beer with grilled white fish smothered in a tropical fruit salsa, tacos, spicy Vietnamese spring rolls.
A showcase for one of the hottest hops out there right now, this pale ale uses solely Citra hops. Yes, we jumped on the Citra bandwagon and we love it! With five hop additions, Citra’s unique tropical fruit aroma and refreshing grapefruit and citrus flavor profile come through in a big way. Enjoy this beer with Tex Mex, a burger or a fresh salad.
A showcase for one of the most exclusive hops out there right now, this pale ale uses solely Dr. Rudi hops from New Zealand. With five hop additions, Dr. Rudi’s unique flavor profile - citrus peel, pine and lemongrass - comes through in a big way. Enjoy this beer with a spicy Asian dinner.
This one’s dedicated to a smooth operator who sidetracked our quest for a name.(We'd tell you the full story, but we might get sued!) Its frothy beige head gives off a nutty aroma that mixes with earthy notes from the Cluster and Northern Brewer hops. The flavor profile is slightly bready and sweet. Adding oatmeal to the malt bill lends this brown ale a smooth and rich body. It’s a great transition beer from winter to spring with a 5.8% ABV that packs a little punch. This beer pairs deliciously with cashews, grilled salmon or a roast beef sandwich.
Don’t be deceived. This bubbly brew may seem demure, but it packs a solid punch. We put our own twist on this one, a Belgian-style golden ale, packing it full of Sorachi Ace hops, which lend lemon undertones. You’ll also note pepper and a subtle sweetness as this beer washes over your tongue, finishing dry with a light hop flavor. Bedeviled seems unassuming with it’s pale golden tint and smooth taste. But that belies it’s more devilish side, an ABV of 8.4%. We dubbed this beer Bedeviled in honor of HeChris and SheChris’ pet, Duvel, an ornery trickster of a dog who was named for the overlord of this beer style. Drink this beer alongside a dinner of roasted chicken, grilled pork chops, or portobello mushrooms.
Our favorite ex-pat strong-armed us into making a beer reminiscent of his home; we named it in celebration of ours, the emerging neighborhood of Chelsea. This refreshingly bitter brew made with all-British hops, malts and yeast, is true to style. With notes of toffee and stone fruit, it boasts a sessionably low ABV. Enjoy it with fish & chips, a ploughmans platter or cheddar cheese.
Named in tribute to the railroads that surround the brewery, this surprisingly sessionable brew is as black as night. With one deep whiff of its thick tan head, you’ll immediately catch the aromas of cocoa and dark-roasted coffee beans. Swish it around your palate to savor its full-body and smooth mouthfeel. It boasts a warm pumpernickel-bready flavor and finishes with a touch of bittersweet chocolate. Enjoy with dessert - brownies, chocolate chip cookies, or any rich, sweet treat.
Dream Day is an ode to those perfectly productive days in the brewery when spirits are high for having accomplished so much. The shift beers we share taste best on days like this. Amarillo is a trendy hop this year and we used it in abundance. It imparts a citrusy flavor, which we boosted by adding organic sweet orange peels to the whirlpool. With the crisp fresh flavor of an IPA and the mouthfeel of a wheat beer, it’s incredibly satisfying. Enjoy it with jerk chicken, fresh crabs or steamed shrimp doused in Old Bay seasoning.
Irish jargon is as hearty as its stout. So we dubbed this brew Gandy Dancer, a tribute to the rail laborers that keep our community in motion. With ingredients sourced from the motherland, it’s as authentic as you can get this side of the pond. A thick caramel head crowns a silky black body, full of heavily roasted barley and husky malts. Acidulated malts lend a zing that cavorts on the tongue. Enjoy with hearty stews, pub fare or oysters.
RVA’s Cary Street Cafe invited us to brew a celebratory beer for their 20th birthday. A hopped-up brown ale resulted. Our shared fixation with the Grateful Dead made the name GDTRFB (Going Down the Road Feeling Brown) a natural choice. Loaded with Centennial, it has that quintessential hop aroma. It’s full of chocolate roastiness, biscuit essence, grapefruit freshness and a touch of spring grass. Enjoy with BBQ, Asian short ribs, sweet potato fries, or pasta smothered in mushroom ragout.
Few breweries boast a head brewer who played pro rugby. A nod to our Greg Papp and New Zealand, where we sourced a bulk of the hops, we dubbed this one Haka. NZ’s Maori All Blacks rugby team is famous for their menacing pre-game Haka, a war dance of stomps, grunts and grimaces. Dry-hopped to boost the aroma of the apricot, papaya and mango flavors, this bright beer has a bitter finish. Enjoy with sharp cheeses, fish with mango salsa, or smoked ribs.
Hardy, Porter is a dark and delicious creation designed to comfort you through the cold and dreary winter. Uniquely single-hopped, three additions of Palisade lend a pleasant smoothness to the beer. This brew, which is low in bitterness, boasts a variety of malts that add a complex and rounded mouthfeel and also impart hints of sweetness and roastiness. This eponymous brew was created by Porter as a pilot batch. Greg, head brewer, later adapted and refined it for the brew house. Enjoy this beer with Gouda or Emmentaler cheese or a hearty stew.
This ale, copiously dry-hopped, boasts a crisp, sweet, spicy aroma. Its chocolate and caramel malts stand up to New Zealand’s Southern Cross hops’ piney flavor, making this beer dangerously clean and smooth. It finishes assertively as the high IBU’s become apparent. We like it better as it warms and think you should enjoy this burnt garnet colored ale on a cold day with friends, family and a pot of chili or jambalaya.
We challenged our employees to name this beer. While their suggestions were highly entertaining, not a single one was family-friendly. As Porter’s young son would say, gesturing quotation marks with his fingers for emphasis, “They were ‘inappropriate’.” This straw colored brew is a pre-prohibition style cream ale that uses a solid proportion of flaked corn, as was typical of that time period. The malt bill gives off a slight bready aroma and keeps the body light and refreshing for a hot July day. An ale-lager-hybrid yeast strain ferments it to a crisp finish, a real thirst-quencher. One of our few filtered beers, this one is crystal clear. Enjoy it with chicken, Monterey Jack cheese or a salad.
Overwhelmed by name options, it was hard to choose. So, we didn’t. Welcome Indecision Pale Ale, dubbed in recognition of waffling and wavering. This Cascade-dry-hopped beer is ideal for those who can’t decide whether to enjoy another - its low ABV and subtle white grapefruit and grassy notes make it sessionable. A good pick for those venturing into hoppy styles, it emanates a gentle hop presence. Enjoy with jerk chicken or pizza smothered with Italian sausage.
With a name like Porter, a guy’s destiny has to be about beer. Porter’s the fourth good man in his family to carry the name. We’re honoring these gentlemen one-by-one with a uniquely crafted porter, and this year’s nod goes to Porter Hardy, Jr., AKA Grandpop. It features the delicious coffee essence of Marsh Mud, Eastern Shore Coastal Roasting Company’s award-winning cold brew coffee. A mahogany beer with a smooth crema head, Jr. is chock-full of roastiness from highly kilned wheat and two infusions of Marsh Mud. Its nutty undertones complement Waldorf salad, mushroom risotto or pecan pie.
Brewer Jimmy’s brainchild, this offering is based on the English session ales that workers historically enjoyed with their lunches. The low alcohol content allowed them to have several in a session and return to work to be somewhat productive. We’ve put an American spin on it by using our own yeast strain and a copious amount of hops. Dry, refreshing and citrusy, this is a great summer beer to pair with a burger and salad.
It wasn’t brains or brawn that drew them together. It was beer. Greg prepped for his encounter with Chuck Silva, Green Flash brewmaster, like any giddy brewer would - he caught a buzz on West Coast IPA and grew a bushy beard. The result of their union was an outrageously-hopped saison. Rare hops impart an array of citrus aromas and flavors, complemented by a hint of white pepper. Enjoy this brew with fish tacos, salad with fennel or fried green tomatoes topped with goat cheese.
“[Spelt] makes the spirit of man light and cheerful,” wrote St. Hildegard, a 12th century mystic, about this old-world grain that inspired our Mispelt Belgian Golden Ale. This brew is likely to have the same effect on you. Notes of black peppercorn and lemon will dance in your nose as you whiff this clear golden ale. It quenches your palate, clean and biscuity, leaving you with a satisfying herbal and sea-air finish. Enjoy with Bros. Fish Tacos, oysters, clams, or a baked mild fish.
As a liquid ode to his favorite musician, head brewer Greg Papp created this hemp IPA to celebrate Jerry Garcia’s birthday and National IPA Day, both in early August. It’s incredibly heady and full of fresh lime and pine aromas. Toasted hemp seeds tossed into the mash give this brew some backbone. Best enjoyed during a Sunshine Daydream with Doritos, Go-Go Taquitos from 7-Eleven and take-out Chinese.
You’ll go out of your mind when you taste this season’s Outta Yer Gourd Pumpkin Ale. With tweaks to the malt bill, our brewers boosted its caramel nuances and mouthfeel. A fragrant bouquet of spices, all hand-ground, wafts from this warm copper-tinted brew. These autumn flavors will tingle your nose and palate. Bolder, richer, smoother, it’s sure to go down as easy as, well, (pumpkin) pie. Enjoy it with roasted fowl, chili, or a soup chock-full of your favorite gourds.
Intense electrical power courses through the third rail of a train track. Registering 9.2% ABV, our highly charged Third Rail Tripel is aptly named. Up front, you’ll detect tangerine and a hint of clove. It finishes like a dry white wine. About as authentic as you can get this side of the Atlantic, we sourced ingredients from the Old World, even the yeast is a proprietary strain from a Belgian brewery. Enjoy with a cassoulet, roast pork, scallops or fatty cheeses.
How serendipitous that our 300th batch of beer happened to be the one crafted in celebration of our 2nd birthday. Dry-hopped with Galaxy and Kohatu, this IPA showcases trendy, elusive varieties that pump it full of tropical sensations: mango, guava, tangerine. Enjoy II alongside ceviche, grilled scallops, pork loin and pineapple.
Smartmouth Brewing Company 2015. All rights reserved.