Bear Chase Brewing Company is a 2,000-barrel limited brewery located in Bluemont. But its small size and relatively remote location aren’t stopping it from scoring national awards. For the second time in three years, the brewery earned a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition, presented by the Brewers Association earlier this month. Bear Chase won a gold medal in the German-style Maerzen beer category for its Oktoberfest, a traditional, malt-forward lager that uses Pilsen and light caramel grains with Herschbucker hops.
What’s the secret to the brewery’s success? Part of it is the hops grown onsite. But hops aren’t the only thing sprouting up at Bear Chase’s farm. There are fruits and veggies that find their ways into both suds and the newly robust food program. This past spring, chef Anthony Walker joined Bear Chase and continues to revitalize the menu at the brewery. That encompasses two food trucks, most notably one called Grill on the Hill, which allows the former Marriott executive sous-chef to flex his culinary muscles.
“The biggest seller there is the fried green tomato crab cake stack–I can’t keep that in stock,” says Walker of the remoulade-topped dish pictured above. Other hits include a wagyu burger blanketed with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and roasted garlic aioli.
There are also dishes that incorporate the brewery’s alcoholic output. The Bear Chase Burger, which also uses wagyu beef, is flavored with aged white cheddar and bacon-onion jam made with Black Bear Porter. “We’ve had a number of events where I used the beer in many dishes,” says Walker. “I brined a pig with it. We did a whole pig roast. I brined it with beer, sugar, and salt and let it sit there for a couple of weeks.”
Walker will soon unveil a fall menu, but he’s not ready to share what the new season will bring. However, it’s safe to say it will be best paired with an award-winning brew.
Photo by Andrew Sample
33665 Bear Chase Ln., Bluemont
For more stories like this, subscribe to our Food newsletter.