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RATINGS: 8   MEAN: 3.31/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.07/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 32   EST. CALORIES: 114   ABV: 3.8%
American-style Special Bitter.
Brewed to commemorate the signing of Virginia Senate Bill 604 into law following the 2012 legislative session, SB 604 beers will be offered by the brewers (including Devil’s Backbone, Starr Hill, and Hardywood Park) who lobbied to make the bill a reality. Effective July 1, 2012, Senate Bill 604 gives commercial breweries in Virginia the right to sell glasses of beer on-site. For more information on Senate Bill 604 and what it means for Virginia breweries, click here.

In the case of the beers released with this name, the "SB" stands for "session beer" referring to ales or lagers of a milder alcohol content (typically lower than 4.0% ABV). The brewers who spent weeks lobbying on behalf of SB 604 with senators and delegates at Virginia’s General Assembly plan to release different variations of SB 604 beers that will be session beers only available for consumption on site at their respective breweries.

The "Special Bitter" version of this beer offered by Hardywood is very sessionable, at 3.8% ABV. A moderate caramel malt character and some fruity notes provide plenty of complexity and flavor to this beer, which beautifully complements citrusy, high alpha American aroma hops. Dry-hopped with slightly peppery horizon hops, this beer displays the high degree of balance that has become a signature of Hardywood’s beers. A relatively dry finish keeps this beer both refreshing and enticing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheBeerGod (6029) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - SEP 7, 2013
UPDATED: SEP 8, 2013 Draft at Hardywood. This is the Citra hopped version (also called the SBCitra04 on their Facebook page). Aroma is floral hops and citrus with caramel notes and soft malt. Taste is sweet malt, citrus, light caramel and floral notes. Body is medium with a moderate carbonation. Lingering hop bitterness. Ends with more floral hops, citrus, sweet malt notes, light malt and tropical fruit.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Butters (4047) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - SEP 28, 2012
Sampled on draft at the brewery. Pours a near clear golden amber with small offwhite head. Smells faintly of typical american citrusy "C" hops. Flavor adds some grassiness but mainly a toasted, caramel backbone. Semi lingering bitterness. Low abv makes for good sessionability And brewed for a very special occasion. Very cool in my book.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Foxbush (1832) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - SEP 13, 2012
Draft at the Brewery I took my brother-in-law to the Thursday night tasting with food trucks. The beer poured with a small head and gold color. There was a definite grapefruit flavor. The finish had a bitterness that engulfed your whole mouth. This low alcohol beer is well worth the experience. Medium body with average carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Kinz (3737) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - AUG 26, 2012
Sampled both at the brewery and via growler fill. SB604 as a bill has definitely transformed Hardywood, probably in ways they never even realized it would. Light amber, small but lasting head. Aroma is lightly toasty with some citric and grassy hops. Flavor is relatively mild, a lightly caramel and toast malt balanced by some grapefruit and grassy hops on the finish. Decidedly hoppy. A nice, small bitter with a clear American twist. Enjoyable, we need more low ABV brews made locally.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
Velkyal (320) - Gordonsville, Virginia, USA - AUG 12, 2012
Had at the brewery. Pours a yellow straw with very little head. The aroma is classic American hops, citrus, pine resin, you know the story. Taste wise the hops really overpower the beer, making it rather harsh and unpalatable in the long run. Could use some crystal malt and toning down the hops.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RABinCO (1508) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - AUG 6, 2012
On draft at the brewery straight up and through a cascade randall. This is a great example of the style and a slamdunk for Hardywood as far as a great summertime offering. Pours a crisp hay, looking almost like champagne. Slight citrusy aroma, but nothing overpowering and the same goes for taste. There’s a lot of substance in this low-ABV beer. Hits the tongue crisp and clean and settles with a tangy bitter bite.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Drake (11937) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 31, 2012
Served on draft at the brewery. Pours a hazy amber color with a large creamy tan head. Decent head retention. Aroma of floral and herbal hops with toasted malts. The taste is bitter herbal and floral hops with toasted malts. Medium bodied.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
radagast83 (7392) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - JUL 21, 2012
Draft at the brewery. Poured a clear rich copper color with a small white head. Aroma was nutty, caramel malt. Flavor was also nutty with notes of caramel. This was pretty sessionable.

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