An empty firkin (10.8 gallon cask) waits to be filled with Holy Sheet Uber Abbey Ale (9% abv) that had been maturing in wooden brandy barrels, at Heavy Seas Brewery.
On 22 May 2013, employees and managers of Rustico Restaurant of Alexandria and Arlington (Ballston), Virginia, had driven north to tour the brewery, located just south of Baltimore, Maryland. There, teams from both restaurants filled a firkin apiece, primed each, and added a small measure of herbs (without knowing what the other had chosen). When the firkins reach 'condition,' each restaurant will tap its own as a challenge to the other.
The beer is an abbey-style dubbel, fermented 25% alcoholically-stronger than 'traditional' practise:' 9% alcohol-by-volume rather than 7%. The team from Alexandria infused its firkin with orange peels, dried chamomile leaves, grains of paradise, and vanilla beans. Arlington went simpler, with strips of cherry wood and dried chipotle peppers.
The tapping dates are Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at Rustico Alexandria, and 26 June at Rustico Ballston. More details at DCBeer.com.