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.