My family and I just got back from a tasty and wonderfully relaxing visit with J.P. and his family at their home. My wife had a kayaking meet-up on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg and that was enough excuse to arrange a beer meet-up of my own at J.P.'s place. It was also an opportunity to help

After dropping my wife off at the river, I headed to Kybecca, a beer/wine store that J.P. has been talking up ever since I met him. It did not disappoint. It has the best selection of beer that I've ever seen. (Note that I said best, not largest.) I ended up spending about $60 on 7 bottles (only three of which were the 12oz. size).

Here are the three bottles we shared.

We started with the Old Guardian. It qualified as a comfort-zone breaker for J.P., but it wasn't exactly up his alley. I found it completely enjoyable with it's strong, sweet, malty goodness. After I picked my wife up from the river, we broke out the other two beers pictured above. J.P. and I shared the stout, which is imported from Scotland. It was incredible. Picture a wonderfully rich imperial stout (that would be good on its own), infused with the smoky peaty aroma of a good scotch. Fantastic! This was J.P.'s favorite.

I started my wife off with the 120-minute IPA. I had a taste of this beer (if you can even call it that) at a festival a couple years ago and was entranced by it. It's so strong in both flavor and alcohol that it borders on beer liqueur. It's like beer concentrate. You could probably cut it with water in a 10 to 1 ratio and it would still have a strong flavor. J.P.'s wife tasted it and she got bitter-face instantly. \:\) If you do have a chance to try it, don't think of it as beer and it will be more approachable.

I brought home four more bottles from Kybecca that I'm excited to taste as well. All four of these will be new to me.

These two are from Het Anker / Gouden Carolus, one of my favorite Belgian-style breweries. The one on the left is a new version of their Cuvee van de Keizer with a red label. It's supposed to be a bit fruitier than the blue label I'm used to. The one on the right is a Belgian brown ale style based on a 14th century recipe from the region.

Stone is another of my favorite breweries. The Vertical Epic 07 on the right is a Belgian style ale and the Levitation Ale on the left is a full-flavored, hoppy/malty/citrusy ale.
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.