Friday, February 3, 2012

Falls Church: A Small Hamlet With Big Beer

Just inside Washington DC's beltway, and bordered by interstate 66 is the two-square-mile autonomous city of Falls Church, VA.  Until recently, it was known for its high school, with famous alums like Richard and David Hartogs (from the BBA), and for having a nice little farmer's market.  That is until people got wise and started selling and making craft beer there.

Keep your eyes peeled for this, park in the back.
Red White and Bleu occupies a space next to a bank and small office park.  It isn't the easiest store to find, but well worth the effort.   First, the staff is super friendly and helpful.  Every beer they sell is available to buy via single bottle, and most by 6-pack.  I have never seen any B.M.C. crap there and suspect I never will, which is awesome.  Aside from choice beer, they also have an excellent selection of wine and cheese.  And when it is time to check out, fresh baguettes are piled in a basket, giving off an amazing smell next to the register.  I recommend the Beemster XO aged Gouda.  The small salt crystals and lingering flavor give me goosebumps. There is a nice tasting room on the side; if you are lucky, you can catch a beer or wine tasting.

Older Picture ripped from their website.

Back to the matter at hand, BEER!  With a good local selection (three hour drive or less), Port City, St. George, DuClaw, Heavy Seas, Dogfish Head, Lost Rhino, Flying Dog, and DC Brau, they cover their local bases. For national brands, they don't skimp on selections from Great Divide, Stone, Lagunitas, Left Hand, Founders, New Holland, Sixpoint, Brooklyn, Full Sail, Widmer's, Epic....I can go on and on.  There is also a nice selection of Belgian beers.

I recommend following their newsletter for new releases, tastings and more.  And the staff will help you find the right beer/wine/cheese/charcuterie for you.

Mad Fox is a large brewpub that started off with a lot of hype and hasn't slowed down.  I wanted to write about them a year ago, but I had a lot of issues with their service and I couldn't recommend the place.  However, that has been tidied up and I would happily recommend going.  There is ample parking in a garage next to the restaurant.

selections of the day
Their beer is kind of based from English Pub style.  The Wee Heavy Scotch Ale is very good, as is the Orange Whip IPA and their Barleywine.  In fact, they are  having a Barleywine Festival February 11, which sounds awesome if you are into Barleywines.  If you have not been to Mad Fox before, I recommend getting a beer sampler. They also have beers on cask.

The food is pretty good there as well.  Duck Pizza, Steak and Frittes, Grilled Cheese, wings, and pretzels all stand out.  I love the fact that they make their own ketchup. If you follow them on Facebook, they post mouthwatering pictures of their daily specials.

Next Week's Blog, preparation for a Daytona Craft Beer Spring Break!

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