Those beer mariners over at Fair Winds have been steaming along for some time now with all their nautical puns. They may have just tacked through their third lap, but they’ve been firing well across the bow since the beginning. If you haven’t paid attention to us, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, or the Great American Beer Festival, what will it take to get you on board with these guys? They barged onto the scene with one of the largest production facilities in the Commonwealth, and now have strong berths not just in NoVA but also RVA and the 757.
Ok, we’re done for now, we promise. Let’s talk about this Double Decker, and no we don’t mean a burger or a bus. You know what…forget it, suns out puns out!
Double Decker, Fair Winds Brewing Co. (Lorton, VA)
Double IPA, 8% ABV, 45 IBU
Presentation: Growler pour into tuliped pint glass.
Appearance: Surprisingly clear on some pours, cloudy on others. A slight swish if you take this home may help to even out the keel. Nominally, it’s more golden straw with a robust head.
Taste: Citra oranges but also the Mosaic esters are hyper prominent across the nose – superb balance. The result as you sip it is more stone than tropical fruit, but you may be able to tease some lime out of it. This is none too surprising with Mosaic hops, which are becoming quite the rage precisely because of how it alters (but augments) certain fruit profiles. Honestly, this beer is dangerously refreshing, even as it ends up super dank on the finish with some citrus bittering elements. The bittering effect is more resinous than biting, though. This is a flavorful beer even if it doesn’t drop anchor on your palate.
Mouth Feel: A surprising acidic zest across the tongue eventually settles onto the bitter receptors. Light-bodied overall, you won’t be scraping barnacles before your next sip.
Overall: Hopheads will enjoy this one most, but let me repeat how dangerously refreshing Double Decker is. I was waiting on a food truck order when I first sat down with it, and then promptly realized that I needed a fresh pour by the time the food was ready. It just goes down that easily, that smoothly, so balance yourself on the plank lest you teeter off. Honestly, all puns aside, the last few months have been exciting at Fair Winds as they’ve teased a number of “experimental beers,” such as their Quarterdeck Series, that have gradually made their way onto the menu. Double Decker is one such brew, and while it doesn’t rock the boat in terms of exotic flavors you’ll be glad this port of call is more than just a weekend shore pass.