Sunday, July 10, 2011

Devil's Backbone

Before I ever went to Blue Mountain Brewery, there was Devil’s Backbone.  Nestled at the foot of Wintergreen Resort, just a swish and a swoosh away, lies a respite of beer, food, and music.  You can sit indoors in the cabin like interior or enjoy sitting outdoors to enjoy sunsets and mountains.

In terms of beer tastings, $4 gets you the four regular beers, $7 gets you the six seasonal, and $12 buys you a little of everything.  I have hunted and pecked over the beers on several occasions (and had just been through three winery tastings), so I went with a pint of the Eight-Point IPA and a half-pint of the Reilly’s Rye.  I’m not really an IPA person.  I love the first bite of hop, but hate the bitter finish.  What I like about Devil’s Backbone’s Eight-Point is that it has all the hop, but a much smoother and mellower finish.  The Rye was a new one for me because I’ve never had a rye beer--rye liquor, yes, but no beers that I can remember.  This rye was like drinking a field.  I liked it.  That description may not work for you, but the beer worked for me.  My friend Erin had the Nelson Brown, which is a must for fans of brown ales.
Dark and Stormy
If beer isn’t your thing, Devil’s Backbone also makes their own ginger beer and root beer.  One of their specialties is a “Dark and Stormy” which is homemade ginger beer and rum.

For food, my friend, Jen, ordered fried pickles for us to share.  I like a good fried pickle.  Normally, I prefer pickle chips, but the chunky, beer battered spears at Devil’s Backbone, served with cool cucumber cilantro sauce, was a good beginning and I didn’t miss the chips version one bit.  For the main dish, I had Rob’s Bonedipper, which is just as scandalous and dirty as the pun on the name calls for.  It is beef brisket, toasted ciabatta, bacon, provolone, Habanero-horseradish (although it could be even more Habanero heavy for me), and a cup of smokehouse au jus to dunk it in.  Are your lips smacking from the description?. . . they should be.    

 There is a Charlottesville blog, Mas to Millers, who I just discovered has really great Cuisine Cage Matches between similar establishments.  I like reading them and I am a fan of the concept—comparing Christians to Vita Nova and Spudnuts vs. Carpe Donuts.  Having just recently written about Blue Mountain Brewery and, given their proximity, I thought about trying my hand at a brewery smackdown and putting them pint to pint for a frothy head to head.  But, alas, I couldn’t make up my mind to compare them, pro for pro and con for con.  I am a relativist, or maybe just a restaurant polygamist.  I also believe that at the end of the day, I don’t think you can go wrong either way.  As long as you are enjoying both on a regular basis, then that is all the harmony your beer universe needs.  I’ll just say, eat, drink, and be merry at Devil’s Backbone, and then go do it again at Blue Mountain.  Just take a designated driver.  

Fried Pickles; Fish and Chips; Hamburger; and Tuna Sandwich
Devils Backbone Brewing Company on Urbanspoon
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  1. I want a bonedipper right now. Are they open all year round? If so i'll stop by if i'm skiing down that way this winter

  2. I checked and they are open year round, so you should definately drop by during the winter! When you do, tell me all about it!


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