Those of you seeking great beer in Fairfax County have a new option – the Whole Food grocery store in Fair Lakes (4501 Market Commons Drive, Fairfax, VA 22033) not only has ten taps flowing with fine American micros, but they’re selling growlers.
On a recent Saturday, they were pouring a black ale from Left Hand, a Belgian-style wheat from Avery, Yards IPA, and several beers from Founders (including a porter, a rye IPA, and Centennial IPA). You do have to stroll a little inside the store find out what’s what in the draft beer department – two taps are at the seafood bar (the “Seafood Shak”), two taps are at the barbeque bar (“Smoke Haus”), and six are at the cheese/sandwich counter (“Cheez Town”). But if you’re Facebooked, the beer manager updates the draft list on his Facebook page – search for “Whole Foods Beer Market” on Facebook.
There is no central listing in the store of what’s being poured, but the cheese/sandwich counter generally has a chalkboard of their six selections. Clearly, the latter area is Beer Central at Whole Foods, because it’s right next to the also-excellent selection of bottled and canned beers, and it’s where you’re more likely to find a little beer expertise from the staff. A growler fill (and they’ll fill growlers from other locations besides their own) generally ranges from $9.00 to $19.00, depending on the preciousness of the brew – recently, they were pouring Oskar Blues GUBNA Imperial IPA, which was both sublime, and short-lived. It’s my experience that the kegs empty fast – last Saturday night, both the Founders IPA and the Left Hand bit the dust while we were there, but at least you can be sure that the beer is fresh.
If you’re stopping by for dinner and a brew, try the oyster po’-boy at the seafood bar, or the fried shrimp. Delicious.
Whole Foods Fairfax
4501 Market Commons Drive
Fairfax, VA 22033