“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came.”
Sound familiar? I know, some of you young whippernsappers are probably going uh…huh? For you I have two words. Netflix, baby. You sadly missed out on one of the best sitcoms to ever hit TV in the 80’s and 90’s – Cheers. Set in a bar in Boston, Cheers was truly a place where everyone did know your name. It was an establishment where once you entered those hallowed doors, you were considered part of the Cheers family. For those of you with fond memories of the show, I’m sure good ol’ Norm Peterson comes to mind. He’d enter the bar to a rousing display of all patrons shouting his name in unison as he took his rightful spot on his designated bar stool. Cheers provided an experience, a place where you could go grab a beer while feeling special, appreciated and always in good company. It was your home away from home.
Jack’s Run Brewing, set to open this Saturday on August 6th, is destined to become your neighborhood brewery spot in Northern Virginia, your home away from home. Located in Purcellville’s historic district, the microbrewery aims to represent not only the history of the Purcellville area but to also impart the merits and virtues the town was built upon in the heart of Western Loudon County. “Jack’s Run was built upon sticking with what is believed to be the right way and the only way to stay true to high quality and customer satisfaction.” Customers will always come first at Jack’s Run Brewing. I want to thank Dave Trombley, General Manager and part owner, Al Bosco, brewer and part owner, and Eric Mathewson, part owner, for giving me a sneak peek of both the brewery and the beers prior to opening weekend!
From the original tin ceiling to the beautiful light fixtures that date back to the early 1900s, Jack’s Run Brewing is filled with historical, rustic charm. The uneven wooden floors, the exposed brick, the natural light that filters through the storefront windows – these interior and exterior architectural elements all contribute to the character of the brewery. Photographs featuring historic Purcellville adorn the walls, taking you back to simpler times where community and family were the priority. When you step into Jack’s Run, you immediately feel like you’ve come home.
With 3800 square feet of space and spanning two floors, you won’t be at a loss for finding a place to chill out and sit with your beer. On the first floor you’ll find the large main bar, custom made out of cherry wood, with both bar seating and tables and chairs. The second floor offers up additional seating space as well as a place to hold events and host entertainment. In fact, the entire second floor can be sectioned off into multiple event spaces, which can be rented out for use! Future plans within the next six months include ripping the roof off the back part of the top floor and turning it into an outdoor patio complete with fire pit. Sounds like the perfect after work spot for relaxing with a brew, no?
You can bring in your own food from home or take advantage of the restaurants nearby who have provided special menus to Jack’s Run. Bring it in with you or order and have it delivered! Dogs and kids are always welcome because #family. And look for the brewery to start hosting various events throughout the week to include running clubs, biking clubs and are you ready for this…put on your cowboy boots….country line dancing! I mean, when is the last time you did the Boot Scoot Boogie or the Watermelon Crawl?! I can’t wait!
After the tour I picked out my barstool and took a seat as Al poured me a few beers to try and walked me through his beer-brewing journey. Like many brewers across the Northern Virginia area, Al started home brewing in his garage about 15 years ago. Over the years he perfected his recipes, recipes that have been tested and tweaked into his very own creations. Al’s philosophy when it comes to brewing combines a mix of both science and art. Science gives you the technical specs of the beer and is all about following the recipe. But the art behind the brewing is where the magic happens. It’s what will distinguish a run of the mill beer from one executed with creativity, drive and passion for the craft of brewing. I attest you will taste the hard work, the perseverance and the heart put into each of these beers with every sip you take.
Jack’s Run will have six beers on tap opening weekend, and I was able to get a taste of three of those beers during my visit. Before I give you the deets on the beers, I have to tell you, I was thoroughly impressed with everything I tasted. The beers are fragrant, aromatic and on point. What I mean by that is the nose on each of the beers set the stage for how the beer will taste. It’s so disappointing when you smell a beer with a great nose on it only to taste it and have something completely different hit your tongue and in some cases, have a beer with no taste to it at all. You won’t have to worry one bit about this at Jack’s Run.
First up was the Ol’ Porch Rocker American Wheat. Done in a traditional German style, Porch Rocker is light bodied with medium carbonation. Notes of banana and clove hit your tongue immediately, but the use of Cascade and Simcoe hops give the beer a slight hoppy bitterness on the finish. Al talked with me about possibly toning down the hops a bit to stay close to that true, classic wheat beer taste. I actually enjoyed the hoppy twist on the beer as I found it to still be in that easy drinking style Al was going for with a bit of a unique twist. And easy drinking is what Al wants this beer to be – your deck beer, your porch beer, your lawnmower beer. Crisp, refreshing and lighter on the ABVs so you can enjoy more than one!
Next I tried the Berry White Raspberry Wit. Can I tell you with one whiff of this beer, I was transported back to my childhood. All of a sudden it’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m with my dad picking wild raspberries off bushes he discovered while hunting. Who doesn’t love a beer that plays to your senses and brings back all kinds of delicious memories with a juicy and flavorful aroma? The taste of the beer is slightly tart but still refreshing. The raspberry in no way over powers the beer, and in fact, the finish blossoms into this lovely bitter orange/citrus flavor which balances out the raspberry sweetness perfectly. Al did a second fermentation with this beer, using fresh raspberry puree, which is what gives it the amazing berry flavor.
The last beer I tried is going to be the flagship beer at Jack’s Run – the Mornin’ Joe Oatmeal Stout. It will be available on both Nitro and CO2, allowing you to experience the same beer on different lines, which results in different flavor profiles. This is your breakfast beer, and I’m a big fan of the breakfast beer. At the beer bloggers conference I went to last month, breakfast beers were a thing at 0830 in the morning. I want this beer to wake me up vs. my usual mug of coffee. While you’ll find the regular Stout to have dark, roasted coffee notes and dark chocolate flavors, on Nitro, it was a little bit different. When those first notes of milk chocolate hit your nose, you just know this beer is going to be dynamite. Creamy chocolate with a nice, roasted finish, this beer pours down your throat like liquid velvet. I think after that the lights in the bar dim and Barry White starts to sing. I’m sorta getting hot just thinking about it. Try it. You’ll understand.
The other three beers available for drinking will be the Red Headed Step Child Ginger Saison, where the fresh ginger root added to the beer adds a pop of spice to the farmhouse ale, Jacks’ MAGiC IPA with notes of Stone Fruit and Citrus and the Afterburner Mango-Habanero IPA (YES! Pepper beer fans rejoice!), where notes of fresh mango and citrus hit your palate before the mild heat of the Habanero peppers sneak up on the back end. You’ll be able to purchase a flight of four, 5oz pours for tasting, a pint of beer and have your growler filled. Growlers are also available for purchase. It’s going to be one hell of a good beer drinking weekend at Jack’s Run. I hope you’re ready!
Jack’s Run Brewing kicks off Saturday morning with an official ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:30 and opens its doors for drinking at 12:00! So get their early, pick out your barstool and get ready to be welcomed like you’re part of the Jack’s Run family. And don’t worry, they’ll be shouting your name as you walk through the doors to welcome you back in no time! Cheers!
PS. As you can probably tell, we’ve rebranded and revamped the site! With that has come some technical challenges. Working in IT, I pretty much know, it’s usually the case. Sometimes things aren’t 100% ready for prime time, and you just gotta go with it. Please bear with me as I tweak and fix here and there, especially with the speed of the site and the photos. Perfection is the enemy of good, is it not? So yeah, #patience. Thank you!