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The Mash-In Vol. 1: Grodziskies, PCBC Porter, and a Ton of Brewery Arrivals

Welcome to The Mash-In (name in progress, patent pending)! This semi-monthly (well, for now, unless demand warrants a weekly edition) feature is a hodgepodge of contributions from our staff that we hope you enjoy.

Price Point Quick Check
Each edition of The Mash-In we’ll check in at various beer shops and compare prices on beer. This edition’s beer is Port City Brewing Company Porter.

Six-pack Prices:

  • Rodman’s (5100 Wisconsin Avenue NW): $9.99
  • Whole Foods Market – Clarendon (2700 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington) – $10.99
  • Braddock Road 7-11 (411 East Braddock Road) – $10.99
  • Schneider’s of Capitol Hill (300 Massachusetts Ave NE) – $11.99
  • Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits (5544 Connecticut Avenue NW): $12.99

Not spotted at: Whole Foods Market Foggy Bottom or P Street, A-1 Wine and Liquor (Dupont Circle), Barrel House Liquor (Logan Circle), Best In Liquors (Logan Circle)

Seen Port City Porter around town? Let us know the prices you’re seeing in the comments.

Upcoming Beers/New to the Area

  • Ithaca Brewing Company will arrive in the DC market the week after the Super Bowl. Expect to see Flower Power IPA on a tap tower near you.
  • Rumor mill tells us that Atlas Brew Works will have a new spring beer soon, which will be its second seasonal after Saison de Fetes.
  • Anchor California Lager arrived on shelves in the past two weeks
  • New Belgium Snapshot, the brewery’s first canned sour, launches next month.
  • Brewery Ommegang Hop House, a dry-hopped pale ale that will be available year-round, launches next Wednesday at Fire Works Pizza Courthouse.
  • Boulevard’s Pop-Up IPA will be available marketwide soon.
  • SweetWater launches in DC/VA this month, including a NoVa launch at Rustico Ballston
  • Nebraska Brewing Company has arrived in the DC market with beers like Apricot Au Poivre Saison, Black Betty, and Hop God
  • Local Option out of Chicago is contract brewing at Pub Dog in Westminster, MD, and is now also in the DC market
  • Right Proper recently began pouring an Export Stout
  • New beers at Bluejacket include three beers brewed with local apples, three beers based on doughnuts, and a hoppy hefeweizen called White Album
  • DC Brau has a new double IPA known as Theory and Practice that the rumor mill tells us may give On the Wings of Armageddon a run for its money…

Upcoming Event Spotlight
We’ve picked out an event that caught our eye. To see even more events check out our calendar at bit.ly/dcbeercalendar!

Thursday, January 30 – Mad Fox Brewing Company (444 W. Broad Street, Falls Church) – Kill the Keg / Nick Funnell Roast
Local craft beer fans are invited to join host Mad Fox Brewing Company for a friendly, but spirited, Kill the Keg competition against DC Brau, Devils Backbone, Lost Rhino, and Port City in Falls Church. The evening will also feature a farewell party/roast for Sweetwater Tavern's Nick Funnell.  Beers will be announced at 6:30pm with the official competition kicking off at 7pm. A who's who from the area's brewing community is expected to offer their 'support' with the roast beginning at 8pm.  

Reader Email
No good ones this week. Need to get in touch with us? Email us at editor@dcbeer.com!

Recent Beer We’ve Liked
(Hey, have a clever title for this section? Let us know what it should be, and if we like your choice we’ll send you some brewery swag.)

Stillwater Artisanal Ales – Debauched – Smoked Saison – 6.7%
Where Consumed? Scion Restaurant Dupont Circle (2100 P Street NW)

Part of Stillwater’s “Import Series,” Debauched is a smoked saison with a touch of Brettanomyces yeast, just a wee bit of smoke, and that classic brewing ingredients: whole juniper bushes. Despite all of these ingredients, the notable characteristic of this beer is its balance. Not too much funk, not too much smoke, and certainly not too much herbaceousness from the juniper, this is a tidy package of a saison that ties everything together with some peppery notes, a crisp mouthfeel, and the rewarding feeling of knowing that a whole juniper bush was involved in the brewing process.

"What's Brewing?"
Interesting batches/recipes from local homebrewers with the occasional spotlight on a specific kind of brewing ingredient. Brewing something good and want to see your batch highlighted? Email us at editor@dcbeer.com.

Patrick Coonan, DC Homebrewers Treasurer, recently brewed a gratzer/grodziskie with 100% oak-smoked white wheat malt, Hallertau hops, and German Ale yeast. He bought white willow bark, an arguably traditional ingredient, from Bazaar Spices at Union Market. He plans to split his batch, half with the willow bark and half without. The original gravity of the batch was measured at 1.033.

In typical #DCBrews fashion, the homebrewer takes inspiration from the commercial brewer and the commercial brewer can take recipes from the homebrewer. While craft brewers like Right Proper and DC Brau/Bluejacket have brewed grodziskie, there is always the concern that the finished product is too intense for the public. This can certainly be the case with this historic style that uses a portion of smoked malt. One of the freeing things about homebrewing is that you can make it as close to a campfire in taste as you’d like. Both Jeff Hancock, DC Brau’s Brewmaster, and Nathan Zender, Right Proper’s Brewmaster, are known for having a high tolerance and a love for smokey beers.

In that vein, Right Proper has a gratzer on at the moment (The Lubitsch Touch), that is a quite restrained take on the style in terms of smoke. The former DC Brau/Bluejacket collaboration Embers of the Deceased, a gratzer, also had a restrained smokiness. Commercial versions of these styles may need to rein in the extreme notes a bit in order to still maintain some approachability to the public.

Jukebox Headboppers
You know that moment. That moment when you’re drinking the right beer at the right bar and the right song comes on and you can’t help but bop your head and go, “Oh yeah.” We’re capturing those moments for you right here.

 

Beer: Sly Fox’s Chester County Bitter (cask)
Song: Yo La Tengo’s “Stockholm Syndrome”
Venue: ChurchKey

A mild biscuit and toasted bread married with subtle earthy hops and an ever-so-slight bright citrus on the end. Pairs well with juxtaposed sounds of the song: the mid-tempoed Eagles-inspired easiness of the music with the tension in James McNew’s voice similar to Neil Young’s “After the Goldrush” era. That certainly isn’t to say that the song doesn’t have a certain je ne sais quoi encapsulating the indie sound of the late 90s. YLT walk the line of pop sensibilities while sticking to their eclectic roots, especially on their quintessential album.  However, both beer and song incorporate balance as a goal rather than having either be simply happenstance; this is why they shine while still being understated.

Non-Beer Read of the Week
Because sometimes you want something non-beer while you beer.

Wired – “How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find True Love

For all the single folks out there thinking that the dating website game is broken, this article should provide you some hope. You, too, can find a partner if only you understand complex statistical sampling and computer programming and are willing to go on more than half a dozen dozen (go ahead, parse that, we’ll wait) first dates.

/Facepalm’able Craft Beer Venue Yelp Reviews
Yelpers can’t help it, sometimes they write things in their reviews that are nonsensical. We will keep an eye on Yelp reviews of craft beer venues across the city and report back with anything of note. 

This recent review of Right Proper will definitely get your party started, as long as your party isn’t too awesome:

“The excitement of a new establishment usually translates into good reviews. Unfortunately it also attracts hordes of people who want to have an awesome time and drink awesome brews and soak up each other's awesomeness…I suppose an establishment can't be blamed for the crowd it attracts. But the frenetic atmosphere and the strange layout can be controlled. Maybe I'll return when the dust settles and the trendy masses flock further East to some new concept. Until then, I'll drink my own awesome six-packs and enjoy my own awesome company.”

And on that note, we’ve finished with the inaugural edition of The Mash-In. Let us know what you thought in the comments! Until next time, don’t forget to close your tabs and tip your bartenders. Cheers!

Header modified from Flickr user beerbrewingman, some rights reserved.

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