“Thanksgiving is an emotional time. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they see only once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.” – Johnny Carson
Gobble Gobble Bierdos! With Turkey day almost upon us, I’m sure many of us will be anxiously searching for “important errands” to run between multiple trips to the grocery store for Grandma’s famous 36 ingredient stuffing, fruitless holiday shopping sprees and navigating the bustling streets of the city. Yes, November cometh and taketh away our sanity Bierdos, so here’s an extra holiday helping of new local beer ideas to help plan your next great adult beverage escape.
On the bar front, Rebellion (1836 18th St. NW, DC; www.rebelliondc.com) is one of the new beer (and whiskey/cocktail) destinations in the city I love to frequent to cure the holiday burn. These days when owner Brian “Wes” Westlye isn’t cheering for the Mets or winding down the day with a fine cigar he’s thinking about beer. My man! So much so, he has dedicated every Thursday at Rebellion as a local brewery night called “Drink Local” which features $3 off local craft beer. On the third Thursday he features local craft tap takeovers or a limited edition cask ale. This month he collaborated with Evolution Craft Brewing (www.evolutioncraftbrewing.com) on his cask and Port City Brewing in up next in November. Here’s the cask we had this month in between whiskey sips:
Rise Up Stout Cask Cubano Espresso: 6.8%. Inspired by Cigar City’s Cubano stout, basically Wes took a cask of Evolution’s Rise Up Stout and steeped it with his favorite goodies (vanilla bean, cocoa nibs, oak chips and whole leaf Amarillo hops). What came out was delicious. The addition of vanilla was a nice touch and added a very drinkable element to it paired with the additional hops which complemented it perfectly. Rating: Q: How do you take a 91 percent beer advocate beer and make it better. A: Ask Wes!
On the brewery front, Aslin Beer Co (257 Sunset Park Dr., Herndon, VA; 703-787-5766; www.aslinbeer.com) opened recently in September and remains something of a hidden beer gem that most have yet to unearth. Off the route 237 toll road, follow the parking lot maze to find it and you’re sure to be rewarded. Herndon just got cooler when, as the story goes, three dudes married three sisters with the last name Aslin. They were into beer, and started the brewery in tribute—or maybe perhaps to get out of another beer scolding. I spent the Friday afternoon with Matt behind the taps and this is what’s growler worthy:
Rancid Resin IPA: 5.8% Terrible name for a great beer—unless it’s a tribute to the band Rancid, they rule. Starts strong and finishes smooth. Citrus flavors dominate, light and drinkable with a slight hop resin bitterness at the tail end. Rating: “…If I fall back down, you’re going to help me back up again” for this.
Mind the Hop DIPA: 9.5% My favorite beer here and predictably it’s a Double IPA. Solid, bright citrus/grapefruit hops, sweet malt with a medium mouth feel. Right up my alley. Rating: I don’t “mind” if it’s a sneaky little booze bomb. It’s delicious!
Have a beer for the Bierdo to try? Drop him a line at [email protected]