Just a few months after the announcement that Baltimore, Maryland's Heavy Seas Alehouse would soon be opening its second location, in Rosslyn, Virginia, now comes the breaking news that Mad Fox Brewing Company —a three-year-old brewpub in Falls Church, Virginia— is also crossing state lines, and opening a second location: a non-brewing draught-house and restaurant in Washington, D.C.
There's an important distinction to keep in mind: the Heavy Seas Alehouse is not owned by the Heavy Seas Brewing Company, even though the beers featured will be those of the brewery (similar to the arrangement at the Dominion Brewhouse and the several locations of the Dogfish Head Alehouse). The new Mad Fox Taproom, however, will be owned by principals of the Mad Fox Brewing Company, if not other investors.
Coming as it does in the midst of the biggest DC Beer Week yet, this (well-kept secret!) announcement is yet another indication of, if not a coming-of-age of the good-beer culture in the greater Washington, D.C.-area, at least heady momentum toward that goal. Congratulations are due to the Mad Fox crew.
Here's a good portion of the press release the brewpub sent out this morning:
12 August 2013 – Following last month’s festive celebration of the third anniversary of its flagship brewpub in Falls Church, Virginia, Mad Fox Brewing Company announced today that it will expand to Washington, D.C., with plans to open a 4,590 square foot taproom at 2218 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, in Glover Park. Mad Fox Taproom, a 127-seat neighborhood establishment, is slated to open by the end of first quarter 2014, depending on the renovations needed and the permitting process.
“Glover Park is a wonderful neighborhood that deserves a great beer bar like the Mad Fox Taproom,” said Mad Fox CEO and Executive Brewer Bill Madden. Mad Fox has been searching for a location in the Nation’s Capital for the past 20 months, scouting out 27 neighborhoods throughout the District. “Glover Park offers an ideal fit for our concept and shares similarities with Falls Church in its demographics and overall environment. And just like in Falls Church, we look forward to becoming an active and positive member of the community, contributing to both the economy and the culinary options of the area.”
The Mad Fox Taproom will showcase its award-winning handcrafted beers with draught and English-style cask service, with up to 24 draught and cask options. Diners can expect a full menu with appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, salads and small plates.
“All of the beers will be brewed in Falls Church in our 15-barrel brewery. We have plenty of capacity in our brewery and we’ll be able to serve all of our Falls Church fans, wholesale clients, and the Glover Park taproom without any compromises.” Madden said. “Though the spotlight will be on our beers, our food is a key part of our concept and will help the taproom evoke a brewpub environment.”
Opening in Washington, D.C., has been part of the business model ever since Madden and business partner Rick Garvin formulated the Mad Fox concept in 2007. Though the pair eventually settled on Falls Church as its home base, Madden has experience expanding brewing concepts in the region. He served as Executive Brewer at Capitol City Brewing Company where he helped grow from one to five locations during his 10-year tenure.
Madden hopes to have the details finalized in time to take possession of the property in September. Assuming permit approvals and renovations go briskly, the Mad Fox Taproom could be open as early as the first quarter of 2014.
The original Falls Church location of Mad Fox Brewing Company is situated between Tysons Corner and Arlington at 444 West Broad Street in Falls Church. Mad Fox has taken home numerous nationwide awards since opening its doors three years ago under Madden’s leadership. This year alone, Mad Fox earned two “Best of 2013” honors by readers of Northern Virginia Magazine: Brewpub and Guy’s Night Out.
Not just a spot for beer connoisseurs, Mad Fox Falls Church has received critical acclaim for its cuisine as well. The brewery features a seasonal menu with many items made in house from scratch. Executive Chef Andrew Dixon prides himself on using locally-sourced produce, meats, cheeses, and other farm fresh ingredients.
UPDATE: DC Beer Week continued on a roll. The day following Mad Fox's announcement, Atlas Brew Works had its own announcement, revealing its opening schedule, making it the 4th production brewery to open in Washington, D.C., since 2011.