All posts by BrianSmith@AllThatsBrewed.com

The Editor and Chief of All That's Brewed, I have been involved with the creation and running of websites since 1994. This website looks at the retail and wholesale information involved with running a party, notably that has beer, mead and cider at its heart and soul. Red and white wine and hard alcohol will receive coverage as well. So, what is brew with you?

The Corridor

Craft Beer Makes Its Entrance into the Mainstream

Lately, I have been taking the train (or driving) down and back up on a section of I-95 that I have been referring to as “The Corridor.” From Washington, DC down to Richmond, VA and finally down to Fayetteville, NC, it is pretty much a straight shot. As you can imagine, there are some pretty boring sections and there are parts that make you sit up and say “hmm.” Remind me to tell you that part about three big Confederate flags sometime…

So, one Monday morning, I got out my electronic beer map and decided to see what breweries had been developed along with the interstate. Surprise! Outside of the section from Washington to Richmond, there was not much developed at all. (Raleigh, NC will be covered separately because I do go that way on occasion) So, with that in mind, I am going to lay out all of the breweries along the Corridor and give a brief glimpse of those that I have been able to visit on my journeys. Some are pretty interesting, and some I have a hard time qualify as breweries.

The Oracle of Beer!

Where she likes to be when she not on the front lines!

“That boysenberry tastes like it is a kid’s drink!” “Whips! That is what they should use because they are not using cutting blades!” “Happy wenches!” This is just some of the referring comments I work with at All That’s Brewed.com, courtesy of one person and one person only – my girlfriend Candy Scott. So, in true to form fashion, Candy has earned herself an honored place in All That’s Brewed.com lore – she is getting a name.

So, Candy Scott, you shall be officially annointed the “Oracle of Beer.” Long may you reign. Oh, you may contact the Oracle of Beer at OracleofBeer@allthatsbrewed.com. 🙂

High Side is the New Pub in Fairfax City

Fairfax City is undergoing a rapid change in its craft beer bars. The turn over has been fast and furious. That is why when we saw the latest announcement of a bar coming to town, there was a collective sigh among the established store fronts. But this one is different and it represents a new look and feel to having a drink after work.

High Side is the name of this new pub, moving into the area occupied by Villa Mozart, at 4009 Chain Bridge Road, (Voice: 703-304-0674; www.highsideva.com) and it specializes in high end craft beers. The soft opening is closing this Wednesday and the grand opening is Friday, 9 February 2018. Expect that this cozy little corner lot will be full for the opening, but it should relax a bit on the days that following. The brewers will be known to those who follow craft beer:  Epic Brewing, Hardywood Park Brewing, Aslin Brewing, Solace Brewing, Ocelot Brewing, Crooked Run Brewing, Port City Brewing. A host of other breweries that will be making appearances over the coming months.

The co-owner and general manager is Jinson Chan (jinson@highsideva.com), who is Malaysian Chinese and his wife is Taiwanese, got the idea for High Side when they could not wrap their heads around why there was so little Taiwanese street food. So rather than lament, they did something about it, and now there is a place to feed your inner Asian! They also brought in a local expert on the beer by hiring one of the young go-getters from Craft Works who knows a thing or two about serving beer. (Hey there, Chevy!)

I had an Master of Karate by Aslin Brewery (Herndon, VA). An 8.4% ABV IPA – Imperial, this brew brings three dry hop heavily (Mosaic, Galaxy and Amarillo) together and produce a gentle blend of what could be best described as a mango flavor. It was intense and mixed beautifully with the food.

I also ordered a small plate of six pot stickers, which were freshly made by hand and put out with an excellent sauce. The food is freshly made Taiwanese inspired street food and it has a decidedly nice taste when compared to the usual bar food. It was light and inviting and it held up while I was engaged in conversation The only thing I noticed is that on the small plates, they had only one vegetarian option, the house salad. If they had a constant vegetarian option, they would match their competition.

So on your way home or when you are out, swing by High Side and indulge yourself. You will be glad that you did.

On the Road Again – You’re in the Jungle Baby! by Evil Twin Brewing

Ever had a hot beer? No, I don’t mean a beer at room temperature, I mean the kind of beer where you take small sips of the frothy beverage because it stands up and says “Hah! You can’t take a full taste of me! Go ahead, I dare you!”? Yeah, I said the same thing, “Why would I want such a beer?”

Well, leave it to Evil Twin Brewing (446 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, NY, 11249, www.eviltwin.dk) to introduce a beer that is all that and more – and you get and leave the bar and say to yourself “I liked it!” It is called You’re In the Jungle Baby! and it is scintillatingly good.

You’re in the Jungle Baby! by Evil Twin Brewery

The beer itself is not so common among the bars in Northern Virginia and I discovered it in the fridge at the Spacebar (709 W. Broad Street, Fall Church, VA 22046 V: 703-992-0777; www.spcbr.com). Spacebar is a post-industrial themed bar owned by the same people who own Galaxy Hut. Their drafts move pretty quickly (they have 24 drafts) and they have few in a fridge immediately to the right. That is where You’re In the Jungle Baby! lurks.

Spacebar, 409 W. Broad Street, Fall Church, VA

Now for the information: 12% ABV (this beer brings its own strength), the color is dark, and the aroma is hot and spicy (you can feel the heat in the glass even though it is cooled down). The taste kind of sneaks up on you and when you think it is safe to make a pronouncement, it stings you. Like wild fire. There is a strong pepper flavor that just leaps up and takes a hold of your mouth by the tongue. But the sensation is actually pleasant. Its hot but not in the way that reminded me a Mexicali pepper. It is deeper and richer. The crazy part is that you would like to have more of it even though you know what happens.

It takes a few minutes to calm down, but by then you are confident you are going to tear up. It took about 2 hours for the reaction to finally settle itself out. But it still creates an interesting question: Would I do it again?

Answer: Hell yeah!

On the Road Again – Abolistionist Ale House

However, if you thought that this was all the evenings activities was completed, you were wrong.  The evening in Maryland and the Smoketown Brewing Station was far from over. I could turn for home or I could venture out a little further into the hinterlands and reach Charles Town, WV. I opted for a visit to a state that sided with the Union in the Civil War and found the Abolitionist Ale House.

Wedged into row of small mixed used store fronts, the Abolitionist Ale House (129 W Washington Street, Charles Town, WV 25414 v: 681-252-1548 www.abolitionistaleworks.com) is nicely modern on the inside. The brewery consists of two gutted two buildings (at a minimum) and then connects them together to give a nice large floor plan. They support about sixteen high end brews on a continuous basis and have the ability to handle a large number of folks. After I scooted over there (it was a 15-20 minute drive on some fairly twisty roads in Maryland) and got parked on Washington Street, I received a nice bar brief and made a selection – a West by Quad.

West by Quad by Abolitionist Ale House

The West by Quad is one of their better beers and their is a reason for the care: It is really good! It is a Belgian Quad that is fermented in Breaux wine barrels and West Virginia honey combs. Rich malty flavors dominate with hints of dark fruit and honey sweetness, finishing with hints of oak. Color is dark and the aroma leaves you with red wine and honey. The beer has a feeling of envelopment and you really lose yourself in the oak and nicely placed bits of honey comb. It has a 9.5% ABV.

It gave this 4 1/4 stars on Untappd.

The next beer I tried was the Rye Pale Ale.  Now as pale ale goes, this is pretty standard stuff, but what I was really interested in was the rye. Rye is used as a flavoring agent, but it is usually in such large amounts that it overwhelms the rest of the beverage.

Rye Pale Ale by Abolitionist Ale House

The rye in the Rye Pale Ale is part of a nice blend that goes along with the hops. It adds a slightly nutty flavor, but not an overwhelming sort. It has an ABV of 5.3%, a color more akin to dark copper and an aroma with a high hop count.

The marketing information give a nice summary: “An copper amber beer hopped with Mosaic and Citra hops, it has fruity hop flavors balanced by a malt backbone with subtle hints of caramel and spice.”

The combination of the hops and the rye really gave the drink the kick that it needed. Smooth to the touch, the Rye Pale Ale was a nice complement to the West by Quad, though I don’t think I could made it a recommendation.

I gave this beverage 4 stars on Untappd.

Skal!

Beer Culture – Sensing Opportunity, Vietnam’s Pasteur Street Brewng Expands

News by Jonathan Shikes – www.beeradvocate.com

There’s a street for selling just about every kind of product or service in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. On Hang Bac, you’ll find silver jewelry, while Hang Duong is for desserts. There’s also coffin street, noddle stret, and beer street. That last one isnt surprising: vietnam’s largest brewery, Sabeco, estimates that the country’s 90 million citizens will drink more than 4 billion liters (about 34.2 million barrels) of beer in 2017.

As of yet, there isn’t a Craft Beer Street in Hanoi, but Pasteur Street Brewing, a pioneer in Vietnamese craft brewing when it opened in early 2015 in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), can change that. The company just debuted a second taproom and restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City and opened a third spot in Hanoi in July. Although it won’t brew there, Pasteur Street will serve least 12 draft beers, including Jasmine IPA, Passion Fruit Wheet, Dragon Fruit Gose, and Cyclo Imperial Chocolate Stout, which won gold at the World Beer Cup in 2016.

“Hanoi is craving craft beer right now. They have a few breweries, but none with restuarants and that pub-like atmosphere,” says general manager Brandon Watts, who moved from Colorado to Vietnam last spring to work for American founders John Reid and Alex Violette, former of Colorado’s Upslope Brewing. As the capital city, Hanoi was a no-brainer for expansion, Watts says. Pasteur Street already has 35 accounts there is still growing.

So far, the majority of the brewery’s customers are expats from the United States, Australia and Europe, but that’s changing. “The locals are coming around,” Watts explains. “It’s a status thing. If you are going out drinking with your buddies, you go for bia hoi [the local lager]. If you are taking a date out for dinner, you go for craft beer.” a few weeks ago, while comparing notes with one of the other dozen or so craft breweries in the country, Watts pointed out that “with the amount that the locals drink, if we can get just a tiny percentage of that, we will all be okay.”

In August, Pasteur Street will begin exporting cans of Passion Fruit Wheat to the US with Shelton Brothers. The brewery will start with Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and California, but hopes to add others states and other beers by the end of the year.