Short Pump Weekend: Intermission Brewing
Date: May 25, 2019
The Story— Like Short Pump, Glen Allen is exploding with opportunities to spend your money on all sorts of things you suddenly discover you need. Unlike Short Pump though, the former center of action is an indoor mall that’s partly abandoned and looms like a black hole surrounded by businesses that seem to be doing just fine. One of those businesses is Intermission Brewing Company.
We’re looking forward to a return to Intermission. They have a fine range of beer and the place is a hoot. There’s only a three seat bar, but a good range of tables and a really nice beer garden area to the side if the weather’s at all good.
Theirs is a small batch nearly-nano brew house. We think it’s a three barrel system that only turns out good beer when it’s in very skilled hands. We’ve seen a handful of breweries that work magic with the system, but most produce a range of off flavors that you’d have to learn to love. At Intermission, they know what they’re doing. Pick a style you like and you’ll probably like what they do with it.
Actually, pick a style you don’t like and they’ll do it pretty well. I’m no fan of Irish Reds or Brown Ales, but here they do them well and avoid the burned sugar leathery tastes than can ruin the gentle malts in either of those styles. The Irish Red had no offensive flavors, an appropriately sweet though darker than usual malt, and a hint of balancing hops. Nice work. The Brap Brown Brown was remarkable. At only 3% it was beyond session to almost OK for school. But it had lots of flavor, with dark malts showing treacle and molasses with some dark chocolate following. They’ve captured the spirit of the very low alcohol dark beers of England with even a hint of typical UK floral notes to the understated hops.
One of Intermission’s greatest attractions are the film shorts projected on the back wall. More on that tomorrow.
In addition to a good range of beers with no serious mistakes, you can spend the evening watching silent films and shorts projected on the wall at the end of the tasting room. Pink Panther cartoons and Charlie Chaplin films seem to get better with age. They’ve strung together over 100 of them – all in public domain– so you’ll never see the same one twice in a night and even regulars haven’t seen them all.
Intermission a bit tricky to find and doesn’t show up well on some GPS systems. The best way to find it is to program in the Courtyard (Glen Allen) and as you approach the hotel (it’s on the left), you’ll see the beer garden on the right. To get to it, drive a few feet past the hotel, take a right and another right into the Goodyear Tire store’s lot. The brewery occupies the end of the Goodyear building.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
May and early June are some of the best times to take a weekend and go brewery hunting. Most rates haven’t reached their out-of-school peak, and the chances for good weather are … pretty good. So for a few weeks, we’ll give you some Mid Atlantic suggestions for weekend excursions.
Richmond is one of the best cities for beer in the Mid Atlantic, but it requires a good deal of ubering or a designated driver. Today and tomorrow we’ll feature a very interesting brewery with good beers only steps from a Marriott Courtyard where you can sleep it off,
We’re including beers and breweries we’ve found in researching our guide to breweries and inns of the Mid Atlantic. We won’t adhere to the “must be walkable” rule here, though. Once again we present our standard caveat: only a few of the beers we describe will be at the brewery if you go there, but they’ll probably have a beer that’s close to the style and if they do one stout well, they’ll probably do others about as well. We hope the “story” will be at least as valuable as the actual beer review.
We’re often asked to share our tasting notes on over 33,000 beers; this blog is in answer to those requests. Not all our notes, though. The great beer writer Michael Jackson admirably followed the Thumper Rule, and we’ll try to do the same. (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”) All the beers we post are from the top half of our ratings and most are from the top quarter. Of greater value, we think, are the stories behind the beers, and we try to give you enough about the brewery, the style and the places to find great beer to help you on your own beer journeys. At CulturAle Press we try to write books and publish posts that will help you “Drink Well and Travel Safely.”