The first thing that struck me about Mad Fox was that it is a spacious place. The restaurant/bar has seating for 225 with a 62 foot bar that seats 40. Although it won’t be ready for opening day, there are plans for outdoor seating with space for 80 people.
The bar has 36 total lines that will pour up to 18 distinct beers. 10-12 lines will be for their year-round beers, 2-3 lines for cider & perry, and a few lines for seasonal and experimental brews.
Bill Madden has long been a proponent of cask ales and Mad Fox will be no different. Their will be six hand-pumps, but only three or four will be pouring at any given time – and for good reason. Madden explained that the nature of cask conditioned ales does not lend itself well to the “Saturday-Night Shuffle” of kicking a keg and quickly changing it out. At Mad Fox they will always have two or three casks hooked up to lines that are not pouring to give them time to settle so when the active cask is emptied the cask next to it is ready to go, pouring smooth from the first glass.
Don’t get too excited just yet. When the brewpub opens they will have five beers ready to pour (good beer takes time). They will start with Kölsch, American Pale Ale, Saison, Porter, and a Wee Heavy Ale. Mad Fox’s Golden IPA will be ready to pour in the near future. They are also hoping that three of their hand-pump offerings will be available on opening day. Specifically their American Pale Ale, 80 Shilling, and their Porter.
Mad Fox will have a wide selection of liquor, 30 wines, and two draft ciders (Crispen and Blackthorn). Although Bill Madden would like nothing better than to serve cider and perry he has produced in-house, Virginia law requires a winemakers (not brewers) license to make ciders and perries. Locally produced cider and perry is widely available, but does not seem to be offered in kegs or casks.
When asked about the food at Mad Fox Bill Madden proudly told me about the “scratch kitchen” with it’s emphasis on fresh and locally-sourced food. The only freezer in the kitchen was described as “reach-in” and only big enough to fit some ice cream. Madden said that the goal of the kitchen is to offer food as fresh as their beer.
The main attraction from the Mad Fox kitchen is their offering of both New York and Neapolitan pizza styles. In addition to salads and paninis, Mad Fox’s kitchen will serve up dishes featuring sea bass, duck and rabbit. This seems like it will give Metro area beer lovers plenty of options to try out new food & beer pairings.
Towards the back of the restaurant will be a barrel room for experimental aging projects. Mad Fox will use barrels from the Catoctin Creek Distilling Company; makers of organic spirits from Loudoun County, VA. The first brew to go into barrels will be a Robust Porter, followed shortly by their Wee Heavy.
Want fresh beer to go? Mad Fox has go you covered. You can buy a growler for $15 (or bring in your own 2 Liter growler) and get it filled / refilled for $10 or $13 for higher ABV brews. $2.50 per pint for fresh, locally-brewed beer is hard to beat.
Mad Fox Brewpub
444 West Broad Street
Falls Church, VA 22046