Stall Series Release: Moonlight Rider Aged on Coffee and Hazelnuts

By Katherine Hensley

Stable Craft Brewing will be launching Moonlight Rider aged on Coffee and Hazelnuts this Saturday, as well as the Moonlight Rider aged on Tart Cherries. Both ales are part of the brewery’s Stall Series.

As noted in the previous blog post about Moonlight Rider aged on Tart Cherries, both of the flavors of the barrel-aged brown ale will be available in 22 oz bottles and on tap starting at noon Saturday, Oct. 21 exclusively in Stable Craft Brewing’s tasting room.

The process of making Moonlight Rider aged on Coffee and Hazelnuts is mostly the same as for the tart cherry version of the beer. The coffee and hazelnut version of the brown ale was also aged in rye whiskey barrels from Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. in Purcellville, Va. for about nine months.

The making of the two versions of the ale began to differ around the beginning of September when cherries were added to three of the five barrels of Moonlight Rider. The two barrels that were reserved for the coffee and hazelnut version of the ale remained unchanged until Oct. 18.

On Oct. 18, Chris Fann, Stable Craft’s head brewer, moved the two barrels of Moonlight Rider that have remained unchanged for the past nine months into the brite tank where the beer was carbonated overnight.

The next day, Fann and Issac Peglow, assistant brewer, put coffee beans and hazelnut extract in a muslin bag in the pilot brewing system. The now carbonated Moonlight Rider ran through the pilot brewing system for a half hour where it was exposed to the coffee beans and hazelnut extract. This is where the beer picked up the flavor of the coffee beans that were supplied by Cranberry’s Grocery and Eatery in Staunton and the flavor of the hazelnut extract.

Chris Fann, head brewer, fills a bottle with Moonlight Rider by hand.


After Fann fills the bottle, he hands it off to Issac Peglow, assistant brewer.


The final step for Moonlight Rider aged on Coffee and Hazelnuts was hand-bottling and kegging the beer. There will be about 150 bottles of Moonlight Rider aged on Coffee and Hazelnuts and about 350 bottles of Midnight Rider aged on Tart Cherries available for purchase.

The inspiration to create a coffee-flavored brown ale came from Fann. “I pretty much live off coffee,” Fann said. He also said, since he is a coffee lover, he has always been interested in creating a coffee-flavored brown ale, and this was his first opportunity to do so.

Hopefully, there will be more opportunities in the future to collaborate with the Staunton Coffee Co., where Cranberry’s Grocery and Eatery sourced the coffee beans, in the future, Fann said.

Come out to Stable Craft Brewing Saturday, Oct. 21 beginning at noon to enjoy these first two releases of the Stall Series while they are available.

Peglow manually puts a crown, or cap, on the bottle after Fann hands it off to him.


Once a bottle is filled and capped, it has to dry before a label is placed on it.

Stall Series Release: Moonlight Rider Aged on Tart Cherries

By Katherine Hensley

Stable Craft Brewing will launch its all-new Stall Series collection with Moonlight Rider aged on Tart Cherries.

Moonlight Rider, a barrel-aged brown ale, will be available in bottles and on tap starting at noon Saturday, Oct. 21 in the brewery’s tasting room. Moonlight Rider aged on Tart Cherries will be released, as well as Moonlight Rider aged on Hazelnut Coffee.

Barrel-aged releases are a part of the craft brewing industry that Stable Craft is effectively expanding into as part of its operations, and the brewery has already had great success with a barrel-aged release. Stable Craft had its first barrel-aged release with Julep, an ale aged in bourbon barrels, during the brewery’s Kentucky Derby Day Birthday Bash in May 2017 that was very well accepted.

Rye whiskey barrels hold Moonlight Rider in the brewery. The beer will be released on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Moonlight Rider differs from Julep as it has been aged in rye whiskey barrels made of oak from Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in Purcellville, Va. instead of in bourbon barrels. The beer will adapt both the flavors of the organic rye whiskey that was previously in the barrels, as well as the flavor of the wood, according to Issac Peglow, assistant brewer.

The brown ale was first put into the five oak barrels to age at the end of January 2017 after being brewed and fermented, therefore, they will have aged for about nine months prior to being bottled and kegged.

About a month and a half ago, tart cherries were added to three of the five barrels. The tart cherries are not added any later in order to prevent refermentation, Peglow said, which could happen if the cherries were added right before bottling.

Cherry was chosen as a flavor for Moonlight Rider by both Christopher Fann, Stable Craft’s head brewer, and Peglow. The maltiness of the brown ale and the tart flavor of the cherries sounded like a good combination, Peglow said.

But tart cherries, apparently, do not come without their own set of challenges. Peglow described cherry as an “easily masked flavor and delicate.” He went on to add that there is a sweet spot you have to hit with adding cherries to the beer.

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This is Peglow’s first time being involved in a barrel-aged release from start to finish, and he said he is getting more and more excited to see how the beer has transformed in the barrels over time. The beer will have all new notes when it comes out, and drinkers will detect a greater whiskey flavor since it is the first time these barrels have been used to age beer, he said.

Everyone will be able to taste the tart cherries, whiskey notes and oak flavors of Moonlight Rider aged on Tart Cherries on Saturday, Oct. 21. This is a release exclusive to Stable Craft Brewing’s taproom. Drafts and 22 oz bottles of Moonlight Rider will only be available at this location.

Check back into Stable Craft’s brew blog later this week to learn about the Moonlight Rider aged on Hazelnut Coffee and for photographs of the bottling process.

Stable Craft Brewing honored at Virginia Craft Beer Cup Awards

Christopher Fann, the head brewer at Stable Craft Brewing in Waynesboro, was honored among the best brewmasters in the state in the 2017 Virginia Craft Beer Cup Awards, which were presented Monday in Richmond.

Christopher Fann won second place in the Amber and Brown American Beer category for Stable Craft’s Britchin Brown Ale.
The honor came from the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, which gave out awards in 24 categories, encompassing 356 total entries from Virginia craft brewers.

The Virginia Craft Beer Cup is the largest state competition of its kind in the United States, and the aim of the competition is to give VCBG members the opportunity to obtain critical feedback from certified judges and get noticed statewide.

“The Virginia Craft Beer Cup recognizes brilliant independent craft beer and the creativity of the brewers that make it all happen,” said Brett Vassey, president, and CEO of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. “Congratulations to all the teams that competed in this year’s Cup.”
The Virginia Craft Beer Cup competition was managed by Master Beer Judge Certification Program Judge Tom Cannon and 40 judges.
The judging took place May 13 at Fair Winds Brewing Company in Lorton.

Award winners will be featuring their beers in their tasting rooms, at festivals and through their wholesale and retail partners. The VCBG encourages craft beer enthusiasts to tour these breweries and sample the award-winning craft beers.

To learn more about these breweries and plan your next trip, visit the craft brewery directory at or go to the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s craft beer site to plan your next weekend or vacation
The VCBG also encourages anyone interested in tasting many of these award-winning beers at one place to register for the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest coming up on August 19 in Charlottesville