Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mad Fox!

Mad Fox awning

Happy birthday, Mad Fox Brewing Company! It's difficult to believe, but, Virginia's newest brewpub opened one year ago, today, 12 July 2010. Here's how the brewpub announced the milestone on its Twitter feed:

One year ago today at 11AM Mad Fox opened our doors for business. Thanks for a great year! #dcbrews #vabeerless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Mad Fox lies in Falls Church, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., about eight miles west of the capital ciry. The brewpub's birth seems to have marked a renaissance for the brewing industry in the greater Washington, D.C. area. For example, the Washington Post reported only yesterday that:

The Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which includes Birch & Barley/ChurchKey and two Rustico locations <...> intends to open its own brewery near Nationals Stadium sometime in 2012. <...> “... we will be opening an operational brewery and it will be at at the Boilermaker Shops, part of The Yards development at 4th Street SE in Capital Riverfront,” <...> “We hope that before the end of the year [2011] we will be able to announce the details of our brewery concept and introduce our brewery team.”

'Craft-beer' throughout the United States continues to increase in venue and volume: 11% growth so far this year. Here, in the greater Washington, D.C. area, it's exciting times, indeed, for 'good,' fresh, local beer. Here's more of the roster of growth, experienced in less than a year.

Baying Hound Aleworks, a tiny production-only brewery opened a few months after Mad Fox, in October of 2010. (Some refer to it and others of a similarly small size —less than 1,000 barrels annually— with the unfortunate neologism 'nano-brewery').

Port City Brewing Company —the first production brewery to operate in Alexandria, Virginia since 1916— opened in February of this year. DC Brau (pronounced brow) —Washington D.C.'s first production brewery since 1956— followed in April. And, there are more to come!

Don't forget the northern Virginia 'survivors,' however. Brewpub Vintage 50 is open in Leesburg. Remaining popular and successful are the three locations of brewpub Sweetwater Tavern and the single location of Capitol City Brewing Company, about to undergo a dramatic expansion of capacity. A national brewpub chain has two locations in northern Virginia: Rock Bottom in Arlington and Gordon-Biersch in Tysons Corner.

Mad doughnuts

Since its opening, Mad Fox has become appreciated for its food as well as for its beers. Pictured above are its house-made doughnuts, one of which, yes, is studded with real bacon crumbles. The whispered word on the street is that the brewpub is investigating expansion plans, possibly distributing its kegged beers or having another brewery contract-brew its beers in bottles or cans (i.e., a separate, unconnected brewery would produce and package Mad Fox's beers according to Mad Fox's recipes).

  • Local newspaper Falls Church News Press wrote: Mad Fox Celebrates Successful First Year.
  • Brewmaster/owner Bill Madden released a statement on his pub's milestone, and announced a party:
    Mad Fox invites you to an all-day party Saturday, July 16 to celebrate our first anniversary. As a thank you to our loyal patrons, we are offering a free Anniversary Logo Glass to the first 250 people starting at 3PM. We’ll have live music starting at 9PM.
  • UPDATE: Photos: here.

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