Roanoke, So Far, So Good: Parkway Get Bent Mountain IPA, Salem, Virginia
Date: May 14 , 2019
The Story— Salem is just a few minutes drive out of town from Roanoke. It has a cute old town (more on that tomorrow) but lots of it is off ramp interstate and industrial complexes. Parkway is down a road with numerous small unromantic business, but it’s found a spot with some grass and views and enough space at the end of the industrial row to have a fire pit and space for the kids to play. There’s plenty of space inside for the grown up s to play as well with areas of couches and easy chairs and a long taproom that serves well as a concert hall for their regular — and very good–music.
A big range of the brewery’s beers are on tap, though if you’ve aggressively hunted Parkway beers you’ll only find a few you haven’t seen elsewhere. Beers run about five bucks for a genuine pint and that’s a good deal. You can, with a good GPS and some initiative walk back to the hotels near the interstate, but in truth, although we’ll include Salem in our upcoming Brews Snooze and a Good Pair of Snooze, it’s one of the least walkable walkable brewery & inns in the book. But the back roads are easy to find with a GPS. If you can stay awake for a few minutes you probably won’t have to blow up balloons.
We’ve chosen the Get Bent because it’s a close to a flagship has you can find from small craft brewers, but Parkway excels in producing rich strong dark beers. They distribute fairly widely, so if you’re in the DC area you might find their best one off winter Incredibles at a Mad Fox tasting or a very good beer bar such as Spacebar not far up the street from Mad Fox.
The Beer— Caramel malt and some chalky yeast make you think this very hoppy IPA might not be too much in your face, but the hops grow and then grow some more. Fruity, spicy and eventually grassy hops with some citrus and old fashioned bitter do, with effort balance. The result is a bit sticky but very flavorful.
Value —Very good at the brewery. We’ve paid half again as much in good beer restaurants and not regretted the price.
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.