Greetings my little beer soaked hooligans! It’s time for another edition of beer hunter and this month I shouted at the moon, with C. L. Smooths and copious amounts of fireworks at hand. Luckily I didn’t blast off any of my fingers.
I did, however, make it over to Mad Fox Brewery (444 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA; 703-942-6840; www.madfoxbrewing.com) for an amazing tasting menu and beer pairing event with master brewer Bill Madden and executive chef Andrew Dixon. Mad Fox is an amazing Great American Beer Festival gold and silver medal winning brewery (in our own backyard) with tons of awesome stuff going on for anyone from the beer nerd to the casual drinker: cask nights on Wednesdays, live music on Thursdays and Saturdays, trivia on Sundays and monthly beer dinners. I even heard rumor of an IPA festival in the works so keep your eyes peeled on Facebook! Say whaat?! The place rocks like Barney Rubble!
We tasted everything from delicious mushroom strudel to oysters to beer can chicken, but I came for the beer ladies and gentleman, as I’ve been a fan of Bill’s beer for quite some time. First I tried the Kellerbier Kolsch, 4.4%, or as Bill calls it a “brewer’s beer” because of the yeast and little goodies that remain unfiltered in the beer, so literally you’re having a taste of it right off the line like the brewer would before processing. It’s a GABF gold medal winning German style beer with light carbonation and a hint of sweetness. Rating: The Gold Standard.
Next I had the Saison, 6%, a sweet Belgian farmhouse-style beer with hints of grapefruit, citrus and a little spice. Add in the honeyed malt and this beer is awesome. Rating: Sai-yesss! The Abbaye des Chutes, 8.7%, an abbey ale named with a creative play on words meaning the “The Falls Church Abbey,” will knock your socks off. Sweet and boozey, this Belgian style dubbel has juicy malt flavor with fruit notes (peach and pear) and a peppery finish. It had a certain “whoooo” factor. Rating: Abb-bout another one! Bill also poured me my personal fave, the Molotov Hoptail, 8.6%, a double Imperial IPA with hops so delicious it’s like beergasm in your mouth (wait, can I say that?). Sweet and hop-filled, this pint is the nectar of the beer gods. Super sweet and super strong, Hell yeah! Rating: Explosive hops! Hop on down to the bar and get one! Also beware kiddos, the St. Swithin’s E.S.B., 5.2%, has just been tapped and I’ve heard the elusive Orange Whip IPA, 7.2%, (a citrusy crowd favorite) is making a rare appearanc
e this August, so get it while it’s …errr cold!
Hipster Brixton fedora in hand, I also hit up Room 11 (3234 11th St. NW, DC; 202-332-3234; www.room11dc.com) a great little bohemian spot with a huge patio and tons of tasty eats, craft beers, wines and surprisingly creative and tasty cocktails. I happened to stumble (well, not until later) on a great line of new beers by a Scottish brewery called BrewDog that the bartender Jess introduced me to (Fun Fact: Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco imports these to the US). The Punk IPA, 5.6%, is a tasty American style IPA with a decent biscuit malt, floral grapefruit notes and a dry but slightly bitter finish. Rating: Scott’s what I’m talking about! I moved on to the Hardcore IPA, 9.2%, a mouth-puckering hop and bitter bomb American Imperial Double IPA. I’m not going to lie, my face was a little flushed after drinking this one, but you can taste the caramel earthy malts and a super boozey bitterness at the end for a dry finish. Not for the timid. Rating: Hard to stop drinking this new find, it’s a hardcore hop bomb! Party on my beer-o-maniacs!
Have a beer for the beer hunter to try? Email email@example.com.