Where Spotted: Cristina’s Cafe, 219 W. King St., Strasburg, Va.
Price: $3.25/12 oz.
Mountain High: I love getting out to the mountains: the crisp, clean air, the endless treetop vistas—and the reminder that great beer can be so, so cheap. Perusing the local brews at the homey Cristina’s Cafe, my waitress was surprised when I ordered a Full Nelson. Most of her customers opt for yellow fizz, “but there’s one lady who always comes in here and has five or six of them.” Somewhere in these mountains I have a kindred spirit.
Garden Variety: Full Nelson is a cross between American pale ales and those of the English tradition, built on a base of pungent, herbaceous English hops that are diametric of citrusy stateside varietals. But Blue Mountain finishes the beer with a whisper of homegrown Cascade hops from their farm-brewery, piling on a floral layer to make for a wholly enveloping glass of beer.