Sunday, February 13, 2011

Awful Arthur's and Big Daddy's Brewing Company

After visiting the Railhouse, we had some time to kill before catching the movie so we decided to head up to what is perhaps Roanoke's most famous location, the Mill Mountain Star. The reason that Roanoke is called the Star City, the MM Star was constructed in 1949 and serves as the unofficial "Hollywood" sign of Southwest Virginia.

The view from the overlook in front of the Star is remarkable, a perch where you can see the entire city spread out before you. Unfortunately, it was too early in the day for the Star to be lit, but it is still an impressive sight so close up.

After a few minutes of checking out the sights from up on the mountain it was time to get going to catch the movie. 127 Hours was an awesome film, definitely intense, but I was pleasantly surprised how closely it followed Aron Ralston's book Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

Following the film we were getting hungry again, so figured we would hit up another Roanoke landmark for dinner, Awful Arthur's Seafood Company. They are primarily known for their oysters and shellfish, which we took full advantage of!

The other reason we decided to stop at this particular restaurant is their extensive tap list. I was excited to see another local Roanoke brewery on draught, Big Daddy's Brewing Company. This was actually the first time I had heard of them, but we will be making the trip back soon to visit them too! Unfortunately, my camera died shortly after the food came, so I am borrowing the pictures of the beer from shyzaboy, another Virginian and beer lover.

From shyzaboy's Flickr Photostream
The first brew I sampled was the Virginia Creeper American Pale Ale. This 5.5% ABV, copper-colored beer was an easy-drinking, slightly more hoppy than sweet treat that paired well with the salty oysters. The hops were VERY noticeable in the finish. YUM!

From shyzaboy's Flickr Photostream
Next was the Trail Head Nut Brown, a 6% ABV, dark brown ale that is sweet and chocolatey with hints of pecans or hazelnut.This beer was well balanced with some bittering hops, and paired well with the spicier steamed shrimp and cocktail sauce.

From shyzaboy's Flickr Photostream
The last beer I sampled, I guess you could call it dessert, was the Hop Dog India Pale Ale. Definitely my favorite of the bunch as I let my hop head preferences show...This 6.5% ABV, 84 IBU beauty is a hazy amber color as a result of obvious dry-hopping. This single-hopped brew washes over you with dry and crisp hop flavor and left me with the perfect lingering aftertaste for the drive home.

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