Vespa Your Way Through Vietnam's Budding Craft Beer Scene
Vienna’s Caboose Brewing Co. merits first mention because gourmand beer guzzlers are met with small plates that skew fine dining: braised Virginian pork belly (pictured); line-caught Atlantic salmon with vanilla-infused parsnip puree; gulf shrimp and Anson Mills grits with spicy Pennsylvanian pork sausage; and sweet potato doughnut holes that take Dunkin’ to the cleaners. The menu is a bible of Virginia’s bounty thanks to Chef Brandon McDermott’s chumminess with local farmers and a pension for foraging (so hot right now). Oh, and just for kicks they have a nutritionist on staff.
Meet the Rolls-Royce of Reubens. Why? That’s wagyu in there, along with radicchio kraut, whole-grain ale mustard, Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese on rye. This decadent sandwich is just one example of what Travis Weiss brings between the bread at Glover Park’s new taproom. You want to visit for his insane burger specials on Wednesdays, too. A December iteration was more Louisiana than the Superdome: blackened 8oz patty, dark roux mayo, gumbo gravy, charred Andouille sausage, bleu cheese, and grilled shrimp. You knew the beer would be good, but damn, try Travis’ food before Food Network scoops him up.
Gone are the days of scarfing BBQ at Denizens Brewing Company. This fall, the brewery cleaned house and launched a brand new menu with Josh Warner wearing the (chef) pants. You know Warner from his mad skills at CapMac -- DC’s roving mac and cheese truck. The gig at Denizens lets him flex his culinary muscles in the form of fries that make you say WOAH. His “Freedom Fries” are dusted with Manchego cheese, smoked duck salt, and fall herbs. Other can’t-misses introduce ingredients from the brewing process like pork belly served on toast made from spent grain or pretzels that are boiled in wort and served with a cheese dip flavored with the brewery’s Mildy Soba Brown Mild.
Bet you were expecting hush puppies and tots, but surprise! Look at this watermelon Jolly Rancher-colored salmon. Don’t worry -- it gets its dramatic hue from being brined with beets, not rejected Halloween candy. This looker is just one example of how Bluejacket has stepped up its food game to match its unparalleled brews. That’s not to say the smothered tots dressed in cheddar and Tasso ham gravy have vacated -- you can still get those bad boys. But then move on to pan-fried cheddar pierogies, diablo mussels, and an epic sandwich containing currywurst, knockwurst, bacon-liverwurst, Swiss, lettuce, red onion, and curry ketchup.
Raves about Right Proper’s fried chicken sandwich go like this: “it tastes like Chick-fil-A.” If you thought that you’re wrong. Right Proper’s “Southern Fried Chick-Filet” is far superior based on flavor, not on politics. Its crunch could wake a sleeping bear (note: do not eat it around bears) and the toppings don’t take away from the chicken (just Boursin cheese, pickles, lettuce, and tomato co-star). Once you add those hand-cut fries (ask for the horseradish dipper) your meal will be complete.
Watch how your favorite brews are made and then chow down on seasonal, locally-sourced new American eats at this quaint brewery-cafe only sixteen miles outside of D.C.
Newest member of the Mad Fox family, this Glover Park location boasts a mean brew selection and an even meaner (meatier) menu.
Denizens Brewing Co is quite the set up in Silver Spring, complete with a beer garden and barbecue -- since you know there are few things better in life than chowing down on a pulled pork sandwich while drinking craft beer and playing cornhole outside. Head brewer Jeff Ramirez makes super-innovative brews, and if you grab a seat inside you can hear, see and smell the brewing process. The real pro move here is to just ask the bartender what bottles they have available... sometimes, you’ll seriously luck out.
With 20 beers on draught and another five cask beers, Bluejacket ought to be able to satisfy even the pickiest of your beer-drinking friends. Enjoy some snacks at the bar or save some room and wait until 5:30pm for short ribs or sweet potato gnocchi from Arsenal -- Bluejacket's in-house restaurant.
Right Proper Brewing Company brews an eclectic range of house-made ales alongside American comfort food. Beers are inexpensive, so you can save that extra cash to fill your stomach with dishes like home-style cornbread with whipped citrus butter or wood-grilled bratwurst, with honey mustard, pretzel bread, peppers, and onions. Eccentric art on the exposed brick wall, like taxidermy and spray-painted murals, will occupy you as your tummy grumbles before the plates arrive.