Nelson County, Virginia
We’ve been telling you about Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford for almost five years now. Back in the very early days! Last November they just celebrated their 3 year anniversary in the permanent home of Wild Wolf that opened in the old schoolhouse on 11.11.11 at 11:11 eastern time.
Part of the excitement at Wild Wolf is their recently hired Executive Chef, Alex Alward, in 2014. “Alex’s culinary expertise and innovative approach to ingredients will help take Wild Wolf’s emphasis on fresh, local ingredients to the next level,” said Mary Wolf, owner and founder. Originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, Alex got his undergraduate degree in Restaurant Management from Colorado State before moving to Napa, California to pursue greater opportunities. While in Napa, Alex attended the Culinary Institute of America in Greystone. He studied under the guidance of Food and Wine Magazine’s Rising Star Chef Curtis Di Fede of Oenotri Restaurant and Iron Chef Masahaur Morimoto of Morimoto. After graduation he participated in an apprenticeship under 3 Michelin-Starred Chef Christopher Kostow of the Restaurant at Meadowood.
Alex has wasted no time in seeking out and securing partnerships with local Nelson County farmers, many of which are already featured on Wild Wolf’s menu. “We are thrilled to have Alex onboard,” said owner Mary Wolf, “he brings a unique blend of experience, passion, and creativity that has revitalized our menu and kitchen staff.” In addition to locally sourced produce, Alex has implemented an on-site bakery where all bread is made fresh in house, including brewer’s grain pizza dough.
Wild Wolf has recently secured a deal to receive beef from nearby Rose Isle Farm where they already send their spent grain – meaning they will serve beef fed on Wild Wolf brewer’s grain. In addition to brewer’s grain, Alex uses beer from the brewery to brine his meats for Wild Wolf’s signature house-smoked BBQ dishes. Beer also appears on the menu in unique marinades, sauces, and desserts. “I’m excited to begin the next chapter of my career at Wild Wolf,” said Alex. “Moving to a new place gives me the opportunity to explore new local cuisine and ingredients. It’s been fun so far. Kind of like a culinary scavenger hunt but instead of treasure at the end there’s a beautiful meal and a satisfied customer.”