Corcoran Brewing Company | Purcellville, VA | Beers | BeerAdvocate


One mile up the road from Adroit Theory in a red brick medical center lies CORCORAN BREWING COMPANY,  a modest retreat with a turf-floored picnic area and pristine tap room serviced by brewmaster Kevin Bills’ well-rounded brews. Opened for business, 2011, and operating out of its current space since March 2014, Corcoran was Purcellville’s first microbrewery (but closed down a few years hence).

Oak barreled tables surround the lacquered wood bar while the cement floor, exposed aluminum ceiling and pendulum lights offer a cold industrial ambience during my September ’15 visit. As two TV’s entertain a few solo drinkers, tasting room manager Trevor Dodge turns his attention to me and serves up seven heavenly nectars.

Pleasant Wheatland hefeweizen brought lemony banana-bubblegum-clove tartness to crystal-malted wheat sweetness, leaving recessive honeydew, peach and melon illusions. A fruitier version, Weatland Peach, regaled tart peach tones with floral perfumed hops and banana bubblegum sugaring.

Worthy light-bodied autumn seasonal, Corktoberfest, countered its leafy hop astringency and tangy lemon spritz with toasted caramel malts.

“Hopped like an IPA” and aged like a lager, IPL moderated its juicy orange-grapefruit tang with yellow wood dryness and resinous hop bittering.

Things really get exciting now as Dodge breaks out the Big Beers starting with Raiders Ghost Imperial IPA aged with Ghost Peppers. Though the ghost pepper heat increases at the citric finish, it’s not at the expense of the perfumed yellow grapefruit, orange rind and pineapple tang. Sticky sweet maple syruping, rum-spiced brandy wining and latent orange bruise bring sugary surety.

Smooth Irish-styled dry stout, Slainte, pleated its dark-roasted black malts with smoky charcoal overtones, soy-sauced dried fruiting, charred nuttiness and black chocolate-y cocoa powdering.

Best bet: Jeb Stuart Stout - a soft-toned bourbon-aged Imperial accumulating bittersweet dark chocolate and roasted coffee tones to offset its whiskey-nipped dried fruiting. Dry black cherry, fig and orange illusions play backup at the light black-malted chocolate bourbon finish.

Bottled versions of Corcoran’s military-themed Three-Nine Kolsch, Blue Ghost IPA, Haze Gray Imperial IPA and Heroes Stout are listed in Beer Index.




While Purcellville’s Adroit Theory specializes in boozy barrel-aged elixirs and strong hybridized ales, BELLY LOVE BREWING COMPANY relies more on approachable moderate-to-medium body fare. Inside the red-bricked Shoppes at Main Street mall next to Coney Island Diner and a pizza parlor, Belly Love brewer, Tolga Baki, crafts a diverse range of familiar ale styles in his rear brew tanks. Open for business since November 2014, its latticed front deck leads patrons to the centralized bar.

A comfy lounge area near the entrance adds a vintage homey atmosphere with its sofas, easy chairs and cocktail table while exposed ducts and pipes fill the high ceiling. Several buddha-bellied statues and insignias serve as mascots for the serene family-owned alehouse.

The limited menu on this sunny September ’15 afternoon featured honey mustard-spiced pretzels, Scotch eggs, artichoke dips, flatbread sandwiches and burgers. My wife and I shared the sour-creamed, bacon-cheesed, potato-fried Tot Nachos while consuming seven fine tapped offerings.

Easygoing Weisse Weisse Baby crossed hefeweizen-like banana and clove sweetness with lemony orange-fruited American wheat ale traits above biscuit-y wheat malts. Lightly grain-charred Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em seared oak-smoked wheat malts into lemony herbal Saaz hops.

Light pilsner-malted Narcissist Munich Helles Lager brought sugary orange and peach spicing to its raw barley musk. In contrast, rich amber-toned Vienna lager, Marz Attacks, draped toasted pilsner malts atop leafy Hallertau hops and tangy orange-pineapple-grapefruit zest.

Mildly fruit-spiced (despite its provocatively harsh moniker), Shut The Fook Up Pale Ale saddled orange-candied tartness with floral-perfumed hops. Better still, Belgian-styled strong ale, 50 Shades Of Gold, placed citric-spiced Saaz hops against rum-sugared coriander sweetness.

For dessert, creamy oatmeal stout, Eye Of Jupiter, loaded mocha nuttiness all over black patent malts, leaving roasted coffee bean, black chocolate, dark cocoa, cola nut and hazelnut illusions in its wake.



Adroit Theory Brewing Company 


One of the most interesting and bold nanobrewery gone wild!

Specializing in experimental barrel-aged elixirs and a few solid hybridized regulars, ‘esoteric’ Purcellville-based ADROIT THEORY BREWING COMPANY crafts some of Virginia’s finest Big Beers in small batches at its rustic light industrial warehouse. Wood-barreled tables and a large L-shaped bar furnish the cavernous interior and heavy metal music plays loudly during tasting hours. Head brewer Greg Skotzko’s rangy ales usually top out above 9% ABV, though a few equally fine fruitier choices were deviously sessionable.

Serving at least twenty different brews at any given time, I sit at the wood-and-metal stooled bar on a Friday evening, September ’15, to enjoy ten varied selections going from moderate India Pale Ale to rum-soaked porter during a most intriguing two-hour session. The crowd heightens by 7PM, as young and old alike buy growlers, 4-ounce servings or pints. Some visitors grab a seat on the deck to enjoy sundown beneath blue umbrellas at green plastic tables.

Open since January 2014, Adroit Theory has already crafted over 150 different small batch beers in less than twenty months. Liberated old rockers screaming along to Metallica and Judas Priest settle next to younger folks more concerned with the headier-than-usual liquid fare this clean and friendly hotspot offers in spades. A destination for any serious beer connoisseur traveling thru the Old Dominion State, Adroit Theory’s ever-changing recipes just keep-a coming.

For starters, I reached for sumptuous perfume-brandied mainstay, Angels Trumpet IPA, a sharply spice-hopped medium body with tantalizing lemony grapefruit-mango-pineapple tropicalia and brisk orange peel bittering receiving astringent ethanol boozing. Interestingly, its mezcal-barreled version added light agave hints to cotton-candied malt sweetness and juicy mango-grapefruit-orange-tangerine tang for a soft-toned delight.

A few more fruity concoctions really caught my attention as well. Easygoing Mango Fook Yourself (7% ABV) placed syrupy mango above its lemony IPA-styled pineapple-tangerine-peach tang and sugared wheat backbone. Cult 010 Blue’s Berry, a nifty Belgian dubbel, brought blueberry ripeness to raisin-dried cranberry, blackberry, boysenberry and gooseberry souring. Lightly creamed Belgian-spiced dessert treat, Lemon Tripel, brought candied lemondrop tartness to peachy vanilla sweetness.

Ambitious Cult 013 Nova Initia Quad benefited from whiskey-nipped dried fruiting and brown chocolate sweetness as black cherry, fig and raisin tones carried the load. 

Truly rewarding Death March Imperial IPA loaded floral fruitiness and piney hop resin atop richly caramelized chocolate malting. Its candied red cherry sweetness and zesty grapefruit-orange tang really zing the senses.

On the dark side were four alcohol-fueled faves. Cult 008 Evil Grace Imperial Stout  proved worthy gathering stylish coffee-roasted black chocolate richness for ancillary milk-creamed espresso, cacao nibs and toffee illusions as well as dried raisin nuances and a hint of whiskey. Its more complex companion, B/A/Y/S V20 Imperial Stout, lined its smoked mocha mass with hop-charred dried fruiting and a bourbon wisp, gaining coffee-roasted chocolate prominence and subtle cocoa remnant along the way.

Before heading out, dazzlingly hybridized Black Celebration Imperial Porter offered black lava-salted brine to rum-soaked chocolate roast and molasses-sapped sugaring, picking up light oak tannins at the chewy caramelized mocha finish.