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Rhino Goes Dark, Blonde with Belgians

When a brewery is still under a year old it’s a lot like a baby: it is somewhere between a newborn and an infant.

With the whirlwind of brewing keeping a timeline is tough but Lost Rhino is approaching its half-year birthday. Many were first introduced to the brewery at the NoVA Brewfest in June and even more introduced during DC Beer Week back in August. As Matt Hagerman and Favio Garcia trek towards making dreams reality, they have already brewed five beers at their brewery: Pacific Pilsner, New River Pale Ale, Faceplant IPA, RhinO’fest Marzen and Navigator Lager.

While special iterations like a dry-hopped cask of Faceplant have been served at the brewery, these seldom see the light of day beyond the brewery’s doors. The first Wednesday of every month (unless noted otherwise on their facebook page) Lost Rhino hosts a block-party where guests are invited to the brewery for tastings, tours and growler fills. In the past musical accompaniment and some seriously tasty foodstuffs have been served (past events have included a pig roast and wood fired pizzas). With only 90 kegs per week leaving Lost Rhino, heading to the brewery (even if only for a growler fill) is your best chance to get their beer at its freshest.

Wednesday September 23rd was the debut of their (IMHO) most sessionable beer to date: Aviator Lager. Wednesday October 5th was the release of their Oktoberfest, RhinO’fest. The Marzen has been in low supply and high demand in the District and Virginia and at $4 a bomber from the brewery and $4.99 at most good beer stores it’s hard to find a better, local deal. If all goes according to schedule Lost Rhino should have their first Belgian on draft in the tasting room Wednesday, November 2nd.

When I found out the latest Rhino creations would be Belgians, needless to say I was excited. While the brewery is comfortable covering almost all styles, these Belgian ales are a departure from the German-style and American beers that preceded them.

The first one out of the tank will be a blonde. “A lighter version of a blonde ale” Garcia writes, noting that the expected alcohol by volume is around 5.5%. This ale is fermented with a Belgian strain that comes from a local brewery that brews a fantastic wit.

The next beer in their lineup will be a dark Holiday ale, specialty beer brewed for the winter months. This style is known for its robust flavor profile, rich texture and mouthfeel. It will be brewed with Belgian candi sugar and should be fairly high in alcohol by volume.

As mentioned earlier, Lost Rhino hopes to serve the blonde on November 2nd. Make sure you check their facebook page and are following them on twitter, @rhinobrew, to be fully updated on all this local favorite has to offer.

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