From Rob Fink. Follow him on TwitterÂ @RobDFinkÂ or email him at rob[AT]borderstan.com.
Obligatory for this time of year, people with resolutions abound.Â For craft beer-minded folk, it might be exploring authentic and delightfully crisp German lagers or a venturing out to try a refreshingly acidic gueuze from Belgium.Â For you beer-minded folk in Borderstan, may I suggest adding an item to your list of resolutions â€“ getting out of the District and heading to Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church.
Located prominently on 444 Broad Street in Falls Church, Mad Fox Brewing Company is a Great American Beer Festival (GABF) winning brewpub that boasts a collection of anywhere from 8 to 10 beers on draft and half a dozen or so beers served via the traditional English beer engine.Â One step through the door and youâ€™re greeted with glossy, beaming beer tanks flanked on either side with rich tones of mahogany and brass; a warming atmosphere, to be sure.Â Unfortunately, the service in the dining area is wildly inconsistent and too spotty to be relied upon.Â However, donâ€™t let that deter you from making the trek â€“ Mad Foxâ€™s beer portfolio is well worth the effort.
If you can swing it, grab a seat at the bar and enjoy the following standouts: (as a brewpub, these beers are subject to a shorter window of availability)
Orange Whip IPA – 7.2% ABV â€“ Arguably the darling of the entire Mad Fox portfolio and with remarkable ease, I can say this is my favorite from them.Â Orange Whip IPA bludgeons the senses with bright orange, ripe honeydew melon and earthy pine, all emanating from a judicious yet deft use of 100% Citra hops.Â In other words, if you see this beer on the draft list, please order a pint immediately.
Wee Heavy â€“ 9% ABV â€“ A style nearly indistinguishable from English Barleywine, Mad Foxâ€™s Wee Heavy contains layers upon layers of toffee and deep caramel with the slightest kiss of dark fruit.Â At 9% ABV, itâ€™s a warming beer meant for the fireside.Â If youâ€™re lucky, you may run into an iteration of this beer aged in Loudoun Countyâ€™s own Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whiskey barrels; it is an undeniable treat.
Big Chimney Porter â€“ 6% ABV â€“ Robust and deceptively hefty, Big Chimney Porter carries with it the entire range of traditional Porter flavors.Â Bittersweet chocolate rests comfortably against notes of biscuit and sweet caramel, resulting in a pleasingly dry finish.Â If this beer is on when you visit, please order the truffled mac & cheese pizza to accompany it â€“ the beerâ€™s flavors effortlessly latch onto the bacon and the slightly charred crust, with just enough carbonation to cut through the creaminess of the mac & cheese.
For those Borderstan residents too scared to venture into Virginia (itâ€™s really not that bad!), Mad Fox occasionally sends their beers to Borderstan beer spots such as Churchkey and The Big Hunt, so be on the lookout if youâ€™re out and about in the neighborhood.Â Cheers.