halloween breweries

Boos, Brews and Haunted Breweries

Jess Hurd of Badwolf Brewing Company

On Tap: The brewery’s name certainly lends itself to Halloween, how did the owners come up with it?
Jess Hurd: Oh, yea it definitely does! It’s a Doctor Who reference. The owners, Jeremy and Sarah are big Doctor Who fans.

OT: Does the brewery have any Halloween events planned?
JH: We are going to be doing a haunted brewery. We are still working out the details, but we are having it here at the big Badwolf location. We kind of want to keep people guessing as to what they are going to come into when they are here. I think that’s the best part of a haunted house, not knowing what to expect.

OT: What are the fall brews on tap at Badwolf?
JH: We will be doing a couple of Fall Furkins, cask ales, by adding pumpkin spices and apple cider from Rinker Orchards in Stephens City, VA into our Jesse’s girl brew and possibly into our ESB.

OT: What is your personal favorite Halloween costume?
JH: A couple of years ago, when the NHL lockout was going on, I was that for Halloween. I wore a Bruin’s jersey, shorts, hockey socks and my Birkenstocks, just because I thought it was funny and threw plastic chains all around myself. And the people who got it loved it! So, this year, I’m trying to think of a way to sort of poke fun at myself and be deflategate, without being obvious…

OT: Any creepy brewery stories?
JH: There were rumors when we first purchased the property that there was writing on the wall. And that there was some sort of warning written on it. But the interesting thing is, the people who said they saw it can’t find it, it’s gone. But, we didn’t paint, so we don’t know what happened.

Badwolf Brewing Company: 8420 Kao Circle, Manassas, VA; 703-479-2305;www.badwolfbrewingcompany.com

LT Goodluck of Hellbender Brewing Company

On Tap: What’s the story behind the name Hellbender?
LT Goodluck: It is the name of a salamander that used to be indigenous to the area and reflects the brewer’s focus on being as environmentally friendly to the area as possible. Our brewing system actually uses a lot less water than normal brewery setups and if you look around all the furniture has been either reclaimed or built by the people that work here. We’ve also teamed up with the Anacostia Watershed Association. They’ve actually held meetings here and they had a screening of a documentary they did about local salamanders. So, it’s all definitely a big focus of the owners.

OT: Where can people find Hellbender’s beer?
LT: We are on 65 different taps in the DC area and that tap certainly stands out. These guys designed the taps based on the salamander. We just recently started distributing in Virginia and Maryland. We have a map on our website that shows exact spots where everyone can pick up our beers, and we are adding new spots each week.

OT: What seasonal beers you are currently offering?
LT: As we move into fall we will introduce more rich flavorful beers, such as the new Grampus smoked nut brown. We actually use Applewood Cherrywood smoked malts from Copper Fox Distillery to make that beer and you get a lot of the smokiness from that and smell the malts.

OT: What is your favorite Halloween candy?
LT: Probably beer. Not your traditional Halloween candy, but if anybody showed up at my door and gave me a beer that would be kind of cool.

OT: Any events planned for Halloween or October?
LT: We opened up November of last year, so we haven’t celebrated Halloween here yet, but we are having an Oktoberfest to celebrate our one year anniversary, so we are hoping to have a huge party, with tons of collaborative beers with other local breweries, a block party outside, food trucks and music.

Hellbender Brewing Company: 5788 2nd St. NE, DC; 202-827-8768;www.hellbenderbeer.com

Liz Shear of Jailbreak Brewing Company

On Tap: How did Jailbreak Brewing Company come about?
Liz Shear: The owners of the company, Kasey and Justin, originally worked in the government sector. Both of them hated their jobs. Every day they woke up and just weren’t passionate about what they were doing anymore. They had a plan to start this brewery and thought one day “we are going to get out of this and do it.”

OT: So what happened?
LS: Justin went into work one day and gave his two week notice and told Kasey, who said, ‘ok we’ll start the brewery in a year or two.’ Justin said no, I just put in my two weeks; we have to start the brewery now. So, they both just up and quit their jobs and started the brewery. This was their jailbreak out of life, so they look at this as a freedom of expression. And then it just so happens we are down the street from a jail…

OT: What do you all brew for the fall?
LS: We don’t want to do a pumpkin beer. We just think a lot of people do it well enough, so we leave it alone. We do have a beer called Carrot Cake Conspiracy, amber ale with spices and roasted carrots. And then we have the Imperial Carrot Cake and that is carrot cake that will get you drunk.

OT: Any Halloween plans for the brewery?
LZ: We are doing a party in the brew house on Halloween called Brewoween. We’ll have three bars in the back, food trucks, photo booth and DJ Tiz will be playing in between band sets. He’s Biz Markie’s front man. And then Here’s to the Night is headlining. We saw them play at the Fillmore two months ago and they were really good, so they will be doing a concert here on the brew house floor.

OT: Any taste treats you’ve whipped up with your beer?
LZ: Definitely Scoville Chili with our Welcome to Scoville Jalapeno IPA. A lot of people have made cupcakes with Desserted, our chocolate coconut porter. We had a woman that actually made us a cake for our one year anniversary and each tier was made with one of our beers. It was an amazing cake – all Big Lebowski and Jailbreak themed.

Jailbreak Brewing Company: 9445 Washington Blvd. N, STE F, Laurel, MD; 443-345-9699; www.jailbreakbrewing.com

Alex Thompson

Alex is a fan of all things food and sports, as well as a writer. By day she is a nonprofit communications manager, and by night she is searching the District for the best cocktails, whiskey selection and cuisine. Check out her blog at hellofoodgirl.com and follow her on twitter at @sportsfoodalex.