This summer, Sweetwater Tavern in Centreville celebrates its 25th anniversary. With two other outposts in Sterling and Merrifield, Sweetwater Tavern opened in 1996 and was one of the first microbreweries to come to an area now obsessed with American craft beer. Independently owned by Northern Virginia-based Great American Restaurants (GAR beers received some of the top industry accolades in recent years, medaling at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.), Sweetwater Tavern offers some seasonal releases this summer in honor of its quarter century in the community.
Sweetwater lead brewer, Joe Schineller, has accumulated more than 20 years of experience since he completed brewing studies and classwork at UC Davis’ Continuing and Professional Education program, as well as The Institute of Brewing and Distilling and the Siebel Institute. He began brewing professionally in Vermont in 1992 and branched out from ale brewing to running brewpubs in New York. He’s travelled throughout Europe and across the United States to learn about beer and came to Virginia in 2008. A descendant of the Eppig brewing family, it seems beer is practically in his blood.
This summer, Schineller recommends the S’more Stout, available at the Sterling location. Back by popular demand, it’s perfect for camping season. Incorporating real chocolate into the brewing process gives this brew its decadent taste. It’s served in a pint with a powdered cocoa rim.
He also recommends Wit’s End Ale as another great summer drinking beer. The brew has won numerous Great American Beer Festival awards and is available at Sweetwater’s Centreville location. He says this classic Belgian Wit, brewed with orange and coriander, has a smooth and refreshing finish that’s perfect for the hot and humid months to come.
Peacemaker Pale Ale is Sweetwater’s newest release that’s perfect for lovers of lighter beer who still want to drink something with flavor. It’s served unfiltered and has a reddish-pink hue and notes of sweet cherry. The rich aroma balanced with cascade hops to complement the classic pale ale flavor.
There’s also no shortage of award-winning classics like the GAR Pale Ale. A more recent release is the Crazy Jackass Ale, a German-style beer made from rye and barley instead of wheat, that won a gold medalist for best rye beer at the 2020 Great American Beer Festival. If you can’t decide, sample a flight of several or take your favorite home in a two-liter growler.
Made to drink fresh, GAR beers are drawn directly to the bar from serving tanks after being brewed on site from natural ingredients. We’ll raise a glass to that. 14250 Sweetwater Ln., Centreville
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