A movement is afoot at local bars, and many establishments are moving their draft beer selections past the typical cheap triumvirate of Coors, Miller and Budweiser. Nowadays, restaurants stock their bars with kegs of craft brews coming from California to Colorado.
But what if you want something with a decidedly local twist, something that’s brewed right here in the D.C. Metropolitan area and something that can hold its own with the finest drafts from across the country?
Well then, you are in luck, because a place like that just opened up this past summer in Falls Church.
Mad Fox Brewery sits on the ground floor of a new condominium development on Broad Street, five blocks west of the intersection of Broad and Lee Highway.
The brewery is massive, taking the shape of a giant “L.” In the far left corner there is a cluster of tables for dining, but the bar dominates the rest of the space. The bar area is split into three sections. Running along the inside wall is the actual bar. Along the outside wall, wood booths are nudged up against floor to ceiling windows. And in the middle are long family-style tables for eating and drinking.
While it sounds like a lot, the area is well spaced, with ample room to sit and move about. The interior of the brewery is tastefully done, with walls painted a dark hunter green in the dining area and a soft yellow at the bar. The whole space is trimmed with dark mahogany.
The brewery puts its work right out in the open. Upon entering, visitors are greeted by five giant stainless steel storage tanks, filled with suds ready to imbibe. The metal containers are massive with each holding the equivalent of 30 kegs of beer.
The selection of beer at Mad Fox is wide-ranging. At any given time, the brewery has ten beers on tap, and they run the gamut of international flavors. On a recent visit, German style-kölsches were listed next to English extra special bitter ales and Belgian hefeweizens.
With so many unique brews on the menu, it may seem like too much for a small local brewery to do well, but Mad Fox handles its hops deftly. India Pale Ales ring with hoppy flavor and stouts taste deep and rich. And there is almost always a specialty beer on tap, something you’ve probably never experienced.
This month the brewery features “Jack the Ryepper,” which is brewed using three different kinds of malt (rye, crystal and barley) instead of just plain barley. The combination gives the beer a great depth.
If you want to investigate the numerous different flavors on tap, the best way to go about that is by ordering the sampler. At Mad Fox, that consists of four very generous pours of any of the beers on the menu. The glasses are much more than a taste and let drinkers fully experience each beer.
Even better, the sampler comes in at an easy to please $6, which is right in line with the brewery’s pricing for all its pints. In fact, every pint at Mad Fox costs the same amount. From the German Altbier to the American Pale Ale, every single glass is just $5.50, very reasonable for top-quality beer.
And if you ever feel guilty about indulging in a round of drinks, just know that Mad Fox also helps with a good cause. All the leftover and spent grain from the brewing process is donated to local farms to use as feed. So drink local and enjoy!
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