Name: Vintage 50

Location: Leesburg, VA

Type: Brewpub

Available in DC Market?: If you consider Leesburg, VA “DC Market,” then yes; otherwise, no

What you need to know: I’d like you to come with me on a long and arduous journey, over at least one bridge, probably West on I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road….stay with me now….we’re going…to Leesburg.  Stick around, District-lovers, it’ll be worth it.  While the brewing scene in the district continues to blow up in the most splendiferous of ways, something Virginian this way comes.  From Lost Rhino to Mad Fox, the brewers just across the ‘crick are gaining traction by the second and pumping out tasty brews as they go – Vintage 50 is no exception.  Once controlled by Capitol City Brewing Company alumnus Bill Madden, the kettles at the Vintage 50 brewpub are now warded over by Kristi Mathews Griner who, after 24 years in the restaurant industry and a Siebel Institute degree under her belt, has decided she “likes brewing best.”  As Fritz Hahn wrote in 2oo7, the beer from Vintage 50 is some of the “freshest and best in Loudon County.”  As beer expands across Northern VA, that distinction means more and more.


Beer #1: 50 Cat (IPA / 7.0% ABV)

Notes: In this day and age, every brewery needs to have a respectable IPA under their belt in order to compete – 50 Cat does just that for Vintage 50.  This moderately bitter IPA boasts the ability to seem far more sessionable than it is.  Don’t look for it to knock your socks off and throw you into IBU-induced seizures, but do look to it for balance and finesse.  From the brewery:An American style India Pale Ale. This medium bodied, light bronze hued brew has an aggressive hop character and flavor from the use of American hops in dry hopping. Our interpretation comes in at 13.0 degrees plato with IBU’s in the mid 40’s. The American hop varietals used as Kettle additions were Amarillo and Chinook and this was dry hopped with Chinook as well.”

BeerAdvocate Grade: N/A (3 reviews)
Ratebeer Grade: 78 overall;  44 style

Beer #2: Shiny Happy Pilsner (Imperial Pilsner/Spring Bock / 7.9% ABV)

Notes: I’m always happy to see someone push the boundaries of certain styles, so these category benders are some of the favorite beers to sample.  Look for  spicy hop notes to balance what is sure to be a healthy dose of bread from this Decepti-Pils (“Pilsners in disguise!”)  From the brewery: “An extra strong pilsner at 7.7% abv, but retaining it’s light color and crisp lager character. Generously hopped with Czech Saaz hops, balancing the copius amount of German pilsner malt. This beer could be accurately classified and ‘uber-pils’ or ‘spring bock’, but we just think it’s happy.”
BeerAdvocate Grade: N/A
Ratebeer Grade: N/A

Summary: Though this may not be one of the super-rare out of town breweries that draws you to SAVOR, be honest and think to yourself, “When is the next time I’m going to Leesburg?”  Chances are, that’s not any time soon.  Even if you don’t want to use up any of your precious BAC on some of Vintage 50’s comparatively straightforward offerings, at least stop by the table and raise a glass to the expansion of quality local brews.

This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 SAVOR participants.

Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.