On Saturday May 25th, we stopped by Adroit Theory's brewery in Purcellville for one of their pre-lauch taste testing events. It was great getting to talk to Mark and Nina Osborne, the founders, and discuss their plans for the future of the company. They're hoping to have the brewery finished this year, complete with a tasting room. The mockups for the place look fantastic, and given their amazing beers, I'm sure we'll be stopping by quite frequently for any events they have.
It's clear that Mark is making Adroit Theory not just another nanobrewery, but his evolving expression of fine brew art. This can be seen not only in the limited distribution of Adroit Theory's fine beers but also in every detail of the packaging and labeling as well as the plans for the brewery itself. Like all good art, it provokes and moves you, and how you're moved depends as much on what you bring with you as it does on the art itself.
Adroit Theory plans to continue creating series of three beers (Trifectas), each based around a common theme. Their first Trifecta was inspired by Nine Inch Nails songs and included B/A/Y/S (Black As Your Soul), an Imperial Stout, G/I/A/A (God Is An American), an Imperial India Pale Ale aged on Vodka infused Ash Spirals, and T/P/D (The Perfect Drug), a Saison with Absinthe Spices. B/A/Y/S was produced in four different versions, labeled Ghost 001 - Ghost004. NIN fans will pick up on the Ghosts as a reference to their sixth studio album released in 2008, Ghosts I-IV, which, per the group's founder and frontman, was made over a 10 week period and was the result of visual inspiration (source: Nine Inch Nails). One can easily see the parallel between NIN's inspiration for music and Adroit Theory's inspiration for great beer and the artistic packaging that embodies and delivers it.
Their second Trifecta is based around a serial killer theme and includes Cannibalism, a Milk Stout with No Water, The Devil Made Me, a Smoked Porter, and Harbinger, an Imperial Red Ale. For those who consider this dark side of human nature taboo, don't let their packaging stop you from tasting these beers. If you do, you're passing up a great experience: tasting not just great brew craftsmanship but true brew art. With this series they truly live up to their motto, "Consume Life - Drink Art."
As life inspires all art, Adroit Theory produced a one shot brew called Sacrificial Ram. This Pale Ale was inspired by Mark's own life misfortune of his truck catching on fire. This, as with all of Adroit Theory's brews, is symbolized in the label art.
I'm a really big fan of full-bodied beers, and Adroit Theory's second Trifecta is right up my alley. Cannibalism was a beautifully dark and fantastic Milk Stout that had the nice full body I crave. The Devil Made Me was absolutely superb; it was a nice full-bodied, gorgeously and richly dark Porter with a smooth smokey taste and a kick of spicy peppery goodness. For those that really like spice in their life - and their culinary experiences - this brew would be the perfect match for Carne Asada. The pepper accents in The Devil Made Me would act to enhance the typical peppery marinades found in Carne Asada, and if it were to get a little too hot for you, a good dip into a pool of guacamole would cool the palate. Likewise, the Harbinger was a great Imperial Red Ale. While the hops were clearly present in the taste, their characteristic citrusy, herbal flavor did not over power the great taste behind this ale that seemed to glow amber-red throughout.
We look forward to Adroit Theory's next Trifecta. Staying away from the typical IPAs, their esoteric brews are sure to impress.