Back on Tap: Madridiculous IPA

Madridiculous is exclusively available in six packs in the Stable Craft Brewing tasting room.

By Katherine Hensley

Madridiculous was welcomed back into the Stable Craft Brewing tasting room this November after last being on tap this past summer.

It was a popular beer, and we brought it back because people were asking about it often, Chris Fann, Stable Craft’s head brewer, said.

Madridiculous is the first New England Style IPA Fann has ever brewed, and he said he wanted to experiment with the different techniques of that brewing style.

“In a lot of your New England IPAs, you get a soft mouth feel,” Fann said. “A well that is not filtered is a unique challenge to get close to what you need for a soft IPA.”

Fann altered the recipe in the mash while brewing to create the softer mouthfeel desired in a New England Style IPA. There are also certain malts that can be added to the beer to help soften and give a creamy mouthfeel, Fann said.

In addition to certain malts creating a creamy mouthfeel, flaked oats and flaked wheat also create a silky mouthfeel and were ingredients in Madridiculous. The flaked oats and flaked wheat promote body and create haze as well.

Traditionally, haze, or cloudiness, in beer has been a byproduct of brewing that brewers avoided, but beer drinkers now notably seek haze in IPAs. The phenomenon, which began in late 2016, has been nicknamed the, “Haze Craze,” in the craft brewing industry.

Madridiculous fermented for a week before being transferred to the brite tank and then bottled and kegged. The IPA is currently on tap and available in six packs in the Stable Craft Brewing tasting room.

The pervading taste in Madridiculous is citrus with tangerine, grapefruit and pineapple dominating the senses. Copious amounts of Citra and Amarillo hops were used in Madridiculous in both the whirlpool and the three different dry hop stages.

Tangerine is one of the many citrusy flavors in Madridiculous. Photo Credit: Neil Conway.

The brewery is currently only producing half batches of Madridiculous, according to Fann, and that is for a couple of reasons. Half batches allow the brewers to always keep the beer fresh, and it allows them to tweak the recipe if needed.

The plan for Madridiculous is to now have it on tap in the tasting room year-round and, in the future, to do small bottling runs, Fann said.

As for the name, Fann created the name Madridiculous and was inspired by the road the brewery is located on, Madrid Road.


Counter Service: Allowing Stable Craft Beer Education Since 2016

By Katherine Hensley

For those who have not had the pleasure of walking into Stable Craft Brewing for the first time, take a minute to imagine what it may be like. The breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains are in the distance, the rolling green hills of the Virginia countryside are right there and Clydesdales are grazing happily in their pastures just feet away.

The tasting room itself is a beautiful sight with its finished wood interior and equestrian-themed decorations, such as the colorful prints hanging on the walls and horseshoe chandelier. The enticing aromas of farm fresh beer and burgers are in the air. It’s a positively overwhelming experience for the senses of sight and smell, and this is before taste is even in the picture.

The first-time guest, or even returning guest, is trying to take everything in when they are then asked to choose from 16 different beers on tap, not an easy task. This is where the craft beertender with professional beer tasting experience comes in to save the day, and they are able to do so because of Stable Craft’s style of service.

Craft Beertender John Harman, left, and Taproom Manager Matt Milhit, right, assist guests with craft beer orders. Milhit has years of experience pairing craft beer with food.

 

Just like everything else at Stable Craft Brewing, the counter style service chosen for the tasting room was selected with the utmost care and concern for the guests’ experience. When the guest walks up to the counter, or bar, and asks the beertender about the beers, the beertender is able to talk to them about what the guest likes, what they do not like and what they are looking to drink.

The counter service allows the beertender to take this necessary time to converse with the guest one-on-one about what beer they are looking to experience because, after all, Stable Craft Brewing offers an enticing experience for the senses.

Once the guest has chosen a beer or flight of beers with the beertender’s help, the guest will then provide a card for their tab, take a number from the beertender and choose a spot for enjoying their beer. One of the craft beertenders will serve them their beer, food or both by matching the order with the table number.

 

Craft Beertender Shane Atwood pours a beer during a Steal the Glass night. Atwood has been educating guests about Stable Craft beers since June 2017.

Counter style service is not the style of every restaurant or even brewery, but that is because Stable Craft Brewing is not like any other restaurant or brewery. It is an agri-pub and working farm where educating guests about the beers and agricultural practices are major priorities. Counter service maximizes the beertender’s time spent educating, answering questions while hosting the start to an unparalleled farm brewery experience and minimizes time spent running to and from tables.

For guests planning a visit or for those who are returning, do not hesitate to take the time to ask the beertender behind the bar about Britchin Brown, Throatlatch, Peach Gose or any other beer on tap. Craft beertenders are there to educate and serve, and Stable Craft Brewing’s style of service maximizes their ability to converse one-on-one with guests to find the best beer for them.