Adroit Theory Legion

Where in Town: Adroit Theory Brewing Company, 404 Browning Court, Unit C, Purcellville, Va.

Price: $12/375 mL

Form Is Function

Husband-and-wife duo Mark and Nina Osborne founded Adroit Theory Brewing in early 2014 with the motto “Consume life. Drink art.” The brewery presents as much information about each beer’s concept, name, and thoughtfully designed packaging as its ingredients and flavors. Head brewer Greg Skotzko crafts three or four small batches a week and made more than 150 distinct brews in Adroit’s first year. Most are high-alcohol, experimental styles with intricate recipes—like a Thai noodle soup beer with Sriracha, lemongrass, and ginger—and many are aged in wine, whiskey, or spirit barrels.

Close But No Cigar

One such brew, Legion, was a collaboration with New Zealand’s 666 Brewing Company. The Belgian-style stout was brewed with Green Bullet hops and horopito pepper leaves from the kiwi isles and then aged in pinot noir barrels. Legion has a woody, spicy nose with notes of dark red wine. Complex chocolate, tart fruit, and bitter coffee flavors are followed by a dry, slightly salty finish with an intense peppery heat. I found Legion surprisingly drinkable for its 10.7 percent alcohol, partially due to a lack of body. The label suggests specific meat, cheese, and cigar pairings, but I didn’t have any Wagyu beef or Alec Bradleys on hand; a few squares of dark chocolate sufficed. Sampling Adroit requires an hour-long drive from D.C. or membership in the brewery’s Black Heart Society, which includes mail delivery in Virginia. However, since Nina Osborne started a distribution company this fall, bottles have started popping up in shops throughout Alexandria and Arlington.

Photo by Tammy Tuck