Roanoke, So Far, So Good: Soaring Ridge Rebellious Monk, Roanoke, Virginia
Date: May 10, 2019
The Story— Continuing our Roanoke quest, we walk back across the track from Big Lick for less than ten minutes (less if you catch the lights) to Soaring Ridge. If you stand outside and lean, you can see the soaring ridge of the Blue Ridge that hovers beyond the town; form inside the soaring ridge might refer to the length of the bar. But what it lacks in scenery, it makes up in ambiance. A brew kettle looks eerily like one we saw decommissioned in Scotland 35 years ago, but it’s a anachronistic nostalgic treasure in this new brewery. There’s space for big events– enough that we’re not sure it every achieves intimacy– but the staff is welcoming and it’s an enjoyable place to explore beers.
We chose this beers among many of their food ones because for all the beer in Roanoke, we didn’t see a whole lot of Belgians. Belgian IPAs have been brewed on both sides of the Atlantic — and even in countries that aren’t American or Belgian, but we’ve always felt that the American gut understanding of the role of hops in IPAs have made the US versions better. The question for the Belgians has been: “that much hop? Really? What do we do with it??” The question for the Americans is “Well, what is ‘Belgian’ anyway?” Soaring Ridge has answered the last question by creating a beer with some funk that edges to fecal more than most Belgians would choose, but handle the hops well and create a beer than may or may not be moreish, but is surely interesting.
The Beer—A bit of slightly fecal funk that’s more in the aroma than in the taste, but much more candied malt and herbal hops. Echoes more of a farmhouse than a monastery. Very creamy with a bit of citrus. Flavorful and both of us found this compellingly interesting.
Value —good. You get what you pay for. Go there, drink it.
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.