Short Pump Weekend: Midnight Head First, American Pale Ale, Rockville, Virginia
Date: May 24, 2019
The Story— Midnight is quite close to the Short Pump area. Midnight is yet another small spot at the end of an industrial/office park. The taproom is small and chilly and basic; the brewhouse, through a doorway, is good-sized,. Live music is worth buying an extra beer and staying, though it does tend to be loud here. They like fruit, but offer a good range of beers and at least a few should serve you well, whatever your tastes.
The Beer— Nice if strong American pale ale with a blend of fruity hops and clean sweet pale-ish caramel malt. Orange gold with a hint of haze. Fruity and crisp hop aroma over a clean malt. Herbs, soft stone, tobacco and breath of beat broadens it. Just a touch grainy as it drinks, but there’s a lot going on — they sell this by the pitcher! The soft tobacco is very moreish.
Value — Good +, the six buck “pint” comes to about $15 a liter, and that’s pretty good for a good craft beer.
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.
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.”