People take beer extremely seriously.
Way too seriously, sometimes, as it turns out.
One of those times involves the Aslin Beer Company owners this week. In an article for Brightest Young Things, Phil Runco dropped the details on the new Alexandria spot, which is now open, and he got plenty of choice quotes that rankled many fans of other Virginia breweries. The one that stood out the most was this one:
“People know us as an IPA and stout brewery, and I know it’s probably a bold statement but I think we could make the best beer of every style on the East Coast,” he says. “It doesn’t scare me to say that. Once we are able to focus on our lagers, we’re going to produce top 3 lagers in the country. That’s what excites me the most: Being able to focus not just on IPAs and stouts and kettle sours but all of the other styles and sub-styles, and executing them at the high standard that people associate with Aslin.”Andrew Kelley, Aslin co-founder
It’s a bold statement and one that started a feedback loop on social media with “how asinine they are to think such a thing,” versus the notion that this is what competition brings out and if you don’t think you can make the best, don’t make it. I sort of fall into the latter category, though I am also willing to admit that perhaps some thoughts are best kept to yourself (I say as I write a social media roundup). I guess we’re all hypocrites in some way. Anyway, I’m sure they’ll be fine, it’ll be fine, this will all blow over, and people will keep drinking their beers by the gallon.
Another thing that stood out about Runco’s article was the Herndon situation and the difficulty they’ve faced opening a spot there – a location that should’ve been open by now but may open later this year. Every location is different, as said here.
They may be open in Alexandria but, as Jake Berg writes, they are not brewing there just yet.
While one Northern Virginia brewery expands, another stalwart of the DC Beer scene closes. Mad Fox Brewing is closing for good in Falls Church on Sunday, July 20, citing declining sales and the proliferation of brewery taprooms across the region. People in the industry, who were inspired by owner Bill Madden, sounded off on what he meant over the past two decades-plus in the business, nine of which at Mad Fox, an anniversary which, in a bitter irony, they celebrated last Saturday as they prepared to close.
The Heights, which for a time was a Korean fried chicken restaurant with serve-yourself beer and an amazing happy hour, then was The Heights again, has closed for good.
I don’t even know what to say about this brewery review, but bravo for the brewery’s reaction. Huge content warning: racial slurs in this post.
The conversation surrounding hazy/milkshake/turbid/fruited IPAs and other beers that are beers in name only is nothing new. You might say its yelling at a cloud. Or, perhaps it’s screaming into the, uh, blank space. But, it’s important to maintain perspective. Bryan Roth says the top 5 IPAs sold in the US are still of the west coast variety. But, he also says it might not be that way forever.
If you’re not into hazies – and judging from you reading this beer blog there’s a chance you might not be – read about the diverse world of dark lagers.
Finally, the Veil brewing in Richmond is doing a good thing and making a beer to commemorate the swimmer who accidentally drowned during the Robious Landing Triathlon.
That’s it for this week. It’s a hot one out there. Don’t forget to stay hydrated.