Pitch Black – richmondmagazine.com

Stouts aged in cognac, whiskey and brandy barrels. Foam with coffee and chocolate milk. Beer that has been cold conditioned in total darkness. Celebrating the dark and mysterious side of beers, with their traditionally high ABV, all The Veil Brewing Co. locations, including their Norfolk taproom, will host the annual Dark Daze event on November 25. ) ode to bold and silky pints began 18 months ago, and beer drinkers can expect to enjoy flavors of everything from sticky dates and spice cake to boozy holiday cocktails and Banana Foster. Bonus: The Veil promises the reveal of super rare treats, a magnum tent of old favorites, and a cellar sale. We caught up with owner and head brewer Matt Tarpey ahead of the event to discuss bottles, cookies, and more.

Richmond Magazine: What sparked the creation of Dark Daze?

Matt Tarpey: Dark Daze has been an annual event we host here at The Veil since 2017. The event was created to celebrate dark beers. Each year, we release more than 13 barrel-aged imperial stouts and barleywines, with the main release being different variants of Whangdoodle (our barrel-aged imperial milk and chocolate stout). Limited to-go bottles, as well as drafts of these special offers, are available for Dark Daze each year on Black Friday.

RM: What is it about dark beers that makes them so boldly unique, and why is now the perfect time to break out those stouts and barleywines?

Tarpey: Imperial stouts and barleywines tend to have more body and more alcohol. People love these beers this time of year because of the warm quality they can provide, as they are high in alcohol. They are delicious to sip slowly by the fire on a cold night or to share after a hearty meal.

RM: With the Whangdoodle series, is there a particular selection you’re most excited to release? If drinkers only chose one option to drink (perhaps for a gift), where would you direct them?

Tarpey: I’m very excited about how they all turned out, but one variant I’m particularly excited about would be Whangdoodle Grand Cru Reserve, a blend of Whangdoodle aged in 1, 2 and 3 year old bourbon casks (our Whangdoodle cask). aged imperial stout with chocolate and milk). We draw samples from over 50 different bourbon barrels filled with Whangdoodle and select less than 10% of those samples to make a uniform blend of 1, 2 and 3 Year Whangdoodle. It’s super complex, with a ton of barrel/spirit character: refined, but also very drinkable considering the ABV clocks in at 13.5%.

RM: Where do Cookie Creature cookies come from?

Tarpey: All over! We wanted to use some specific cookies, so we had to get them from a bunch of different locations. Local grocery stores and online retailers were the main sources. We buy many adjuncts for imperial stouts at Nuts.com. We have worked with some local growers, but sometimes the quantities we need are too large for smaller operations to handle. Some of our beers may contain thousands of pounds of ingredients.

RM: There’s always a lot of excitement around Dark Daze, and last year there was a slightly creepy video that previewed the event. How do you keep up that momentum, and why do you think the event has established itself as an annual tradition?

Tarpey: Dark Daze is very close to our hearts, so we always love to get more creative with the marketing behind it. It’s hard to top some of our videos from years past, but we do our best to keep things fun and mysterious. We went a little more stripped down this year, but we have plans to work on making some great promo videos again in the future. Dark Daze was also designed to give people a different and more fun Black Friday experience than traditional shopping sprees. The limited nature of some of the offerings has definitely made Dark Daze a coveted event for lovers of dark beers.

RM: How long ago were these beers conceptualized before they were actually tested and bottled?

Tarpey: Typically, around six months before Dark Daze, we will sample approximately 100 oak barrels filled with Imperial Stout and Barleywine. We’ll spend a day or two testing and brainstorming for all the different variants that will eventually become each year’s Dark Daze releases.

Zorch, SmashedRVA and First Stop Donuts will be at the Scott’s Addition location, while Funnel Cake Recess will join in-house concept Y Tu Mama at the Forest Hill outpost. In Norfolk, Prosperity Kitchen will be at the event from noon to 5 pm or until sold out, with in-house concept Lil’ Za Pizzeria available all day.

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