We didn’t plan on stopping at Quattro Goomba’s Brewery over the weekend, but sometimes #spontaneoussunday kicks in and you go for it. On our way back from a wine date out at Stone Tower Winery, there she sat on Route 15 just begging us to pull off the road and stop in for a tasting. When it comes to beer, it doesn’t take much to twist our arms. Quattro Goomba opened their brewery early 2015, so it’s still relatively new. You may be thinking their name sounds familiar when it comes to Virginia wine, and you’d be right. The winery and brewery are located on the same property next to one another. An employee working at the winery was a home brewer and turned the owners onto beer. We happen to be very glad he did! Make note, in case you’re going with a group that wants both wine and beer, you’ll have to split up. You cannot take beer to the winery or wine over to the brewery due to state laws.
The brewery is pretty small, with all production being done on-site. There’s a tasting bar along with a few tables for relaxing with your beer, your friends and some food. You can order pizza at the winery and bring it over, and while I haven’t tried their crispy, Sicilian-style pizza yet, I’ve only heard wonderful things about it. Quattro Goomba is also looking to add their own food truck at the brewery to have food on-site, coming up with “high-end” bar food at a reasonable price.
For just opening up early this year, the line-up of beers is quite impressive. They have eight beers on tap, with the Milk Stout also on Nitro. They range from easy drinkers to a few that are fuller bodied with higher ABVs. Quattro Goomba doesn’t do tasting flights; you can choose to taste in 6oz, 10oz or 16oz pours . Being the overachievers we are, we chose to split 6oz tasters of all eight beers. If there’s a few of you visiting for tastings, I definitely recommend you split the tasters. You don’t realize just how large a 6oz pour is until you’re half way in with a lot more beer to drink. Which isn’t a bad thing, of course. Too much beer? Never a bad thing! Those beers with higher ABVs will sneak up on you though. Virginia breweries…the best at producing dangerously drinkable beers!
Let’s talk about what’s on tap. First up we had Cake Eater, the American style wheat ale. It was the lightest of all the beers and what I’d call your “easy-drinker.” It had great honey notes, giving the beer a hint of sweetness on the palate which I enjoyed very much. I can see a lot of non-beer drinkers really liking this Honey Wheat. The Farmhouse Saison was light with quite a bit of spice on both the nose and palate. Cody and I both felt this drank more like a German Heffe than a Saison. It was missing that Saison “funk” if you will, with more of a clove and banana taste to it that you look for in your Heffe. Cody isn’t a fan of malts, but I really enjoyed the Fanny’s Your Aunt, an English Pale Ale. It was toasty with medium malt characteristics and a very smooth mouthfeel.
Our favorite hands down was Sammy’s, the Session IPA. Tropical fruits and mango hit you on the nose, and the overall taste was crisp and clean. Though it’s very hop forward (Centennial, American and Cascade), it’s still very approachable with a light, bitter finish and faint pine and resin notes on the end. The Rye Not, the Imperial IPA, pleasantly surprised both of us. A flavor very similar to Bubbalicious Bubble Gum hits you immediately on the nose. It was a bit more bitter than the Session IPA, with both Simcoe and Centennial hops being used. It also had a slight sugary taste, not sweet but more like sugar cube flavors.
The Belgian Dubbel, Friar Nuts was very tasty, with your typical Belgian nose of banana and yeasty/bread. Flavors of clove and vanilla hit your palate, with a nice balance of hops and malts in this beer. I’m a big Brown Ale fan, so Brown Chicken Brown Cow was right up my alley. It wasn’t heavy at all with a nice, light body and nutty characteristics paired with this delicious brown sugar flavor. Our final beer, the Torque Milk Stout was full-bodied with those roasted and toasted malt flavors. We didn’t get a chance to try it on Nitro, but I can only imagine those flavors coming forward a bit more, in addition to the smoothness the Nitro would add to the beer’s mouthfeel.
If you’re out and about in Loudoun County, forgo the toll road, skip over taking Route 7 and instead hop on Route 15. It may be a little slower going, and you’ll have to have a little bit of patience. But you’ll find it offers you a lot more chances to have an adventure and be spontaneous, finding gems like Quattro Goomba on the side of the road. We’ll be back!