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Many Rivers to Cross: Mad Fox and Franklin’s Come to DC

Well, one river each, to be precise. Mad Fox Brewing Company, on the other side of the Potomac River,  just eight traffic-congested miles from Washington, DC, has been a destination for area beer lovers since it opened, attracted by head brewer Bill Madden’s experience with Capitol City Brewing in DC and Shirlington, VA and Vintage 50 in Leesburg, VA. No longer do we have to crawl along Virginia roads, or take a train to a bus to the brewpub for their delicious Kolsch-style ale and Orange Whip IPA, though trust us, it’s worth it. Instead, Mad Fox is coming to us. The brewery has applied for, and received, a Solicitor’s License from ABRA, DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. This means that Mad Fox can self-distribute to bars and restaurants in Washington, DC. Interestingly, thanks to liquor law discrepancies, Mad Fox cannot self-distribute in their home state of Virginia, and would instead have to choose a distributor. You’ll be able to find Mad Fox’s beer in a few select bars and restaurants in DC. Look for Mad Fox at

The Big Hunt
Birch and Barley/Churchkey
Granville Moore’s
Meridian Pint
Smith Commons
Smoke and Barrel.

District Chophouse was also pouring Mad Fox products during DC Beer Week, and may continue to do so in the future.

Meanwhile, just two miles up US route 1 from the District Line, Hyattsville, MD brewpub Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery, and General Store has begun to bring beer into DC from across the Anacostia River, albeit in more limited quantities than Mad Fox. Since taking over in 2010, Mike Roy has turned  a good thing into a great one, experimenting with barrel-aging, funk, and lots of hops. Be on the lookout for a hip-hop inspired series of double IPAs, including an excellent rye double IPA named “DJ IPA Kool” and a Belgian-style offering called “Belgeastie Boys.” If beer puns make you groan, you’ll be pleased to learn of its “No Sleep ‘Til Brookland!” tagline.

For the time being you can find Franklin’s beer at these DC establishments:

Boundary Stone
Granville Moore’s
Meridian Pint.

Keep in mind that both of these are brewpubs first and foremost, not production breweries, which means that availability will be limited, and perhaps erratic. Check websites, twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and the like if you’re looking for a particular beer, or better yet, visit these brewpubs.

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