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Fall For Darker Beers: 7 Local Brews for the Season, Plus Food Pairings

Posted by / Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

MaxyM /

Swap those light beers for some malty, warm brews this autumn. Here is a list of early fall local beers, with tasting notes and beer pairing recommendations from each brewery. 

Rhinofest from Lost Rhino Brewing Company
This Great American Beer Fest gold medal beer is a traditional German Oktoberfest beer. The dark amber lager incorporates hints of a caramel, nutty flavor that ends with a bit of spiciness. As an Oktoberfest beer, Rhinofest tastes best with German foods such as bratwurst and sauerkraut. Due to the popularity of this beer, though, reserves are running low. /Lost Rhino Brewing Company, 21730 Red Rum Dr #142  Ashburn

Heartsong from Crooked Run Brewing
If you didn’t make it to Snallygaster beef festival this past weekend, this Belgian Dubbel has notes of fruit flavor that comes from Belgian dark candi syrup. Sing praise for Heartsong by pairing it with barbecue or at your Thanksgiving dinner. / Crooked Run Brewing, 205 Harrison St SE,  Leesburg

Oktoberfest from Port City Brewing Company
Another award winner at GABF, German malts and hops give this marzen harvest ale its flavor. Port City’s Oktoberfest is made in the “keller-style,” meaning its unfiltered and is 100 percent naturally carbonated (not force-carbonated, instead utilizing the CO2 from the fermentation.) Of course, this fall seasonal goes well with German food, but its malty flavor goes well with smoked meats, pork dishes and meats with a lot of fat. / Port City Brewing Company, 3950 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria.

Schwartz Bier from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
With Devils Backbone taking GABF’s award for Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year, Virginia’s full of winners. The schwarzbier—or black lager—takes on a chocolate-y taste from the roasted malts. Enjoy this winning beer with a steak or a sweet dessert to complement the chocolate notes. / Devils Backbone Brewing Company, 200 Mosbys Run, Roseland.

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Pumpkin Junkie, Part Two: Seven More Places to Find the Squash of the Season in NoVA

Posted by / Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Stargazer /

Pumpkin patch too far for your fall cravings? Don’t feel like making your own treats? We got you covered. 

Though traditional Lebanese kibbeh is made of ground meat, Lebanese Taverna is releasing a vegetarian-friendly version. Pumpkin and spinach replace the meat, bolstered instead by chickpeas and a hint of lemon./ Multiple NoVA Locations  

Buzz Bakery now stocks a pumpkin doughnut, finished with a ginger glaze and sprinkled with candied pepitas. For those who are so-over doughnuts, a pumpkin toffee muffin and pumpkin cupcakes topped with buttercream frosting are also in stock. More thirsty than hungry? The pumpkin latte, like all the other products, is made with real pumpkin. / Multiple NoVA Locations

Toasted pumpkin seeds tossed in chipotle and olive oil star on Open Kitchen‘s “Nibbles” menu. Don’t want them alone? These seasonal treats also taste great atop the restaurant’s roasted monkfish and as stuffing for the chicken quesadillas. / 7115 Leesbufg Pike, Falls Church.

Why should humans have all the fun? Cupcaked Bakery offers pumpkin peanut butter dog treats that are wheat-free for Fido. May we suggest the name “Pupkin?” / 12644 Chapel Road, Clifton.

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Forge Brew Works Opened Over the Weekend; Expect Belgian Styles and the Ubiquitous Galaxy Hop-IPA

Posted by / Monday, October 21st, 2013

The Grist Mill, made by Matt Roses (above) and wife Kerri / Photo Courtesy of Forge Brew Works

Former engineer Matt Rose first started brewing six years ago. “A friend of mine bought me a Mr. Beer Brew kit for Christmas,” he says. “I kind of looked at it and I looked at the ingredients and I said, ‘We can do better than this.’” 

This past Saturday, after the typical months-long wait for clearing inspections, Rose’s Forge Brew Works opened in Lorton. 

Inspired by that first beer kit, Rose began gathering ingredients and brewing at least twice a month for five years determined to create his own better beer. “I started really getting into it, started bugging my friends in the industry, started bothering other brewers that I knew, and then around June of last year, I sat down with my wife and we decided that we should try to open a brewery.” In March, they set up a Kickstarter with a promise to release an e-book of all six Forge beer recipes if they received $17,000 and to shave Rose’s beard at $25,000. The e-book is being put together, while Rose’s beard remains. 

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Hungry for Linkage: Afghan Restaurant Renovation + We, the Pizza in Crystal City + James Beard Awards Open

Posted by / Monday, October 21st, 2013

stevemart /

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop opening in Rosslyn gives workers more places to eat for a fast lunch. [ARLnow]

On Route 1, the Afghan Restaurant gets a two-story makeover and will emerge as Tony’s Corner. [Patch]

Give your favorite chefs and restaurants a hat tip: The James Beard Awards are now accepting nominations. [Eater]

From “Top Chef” contestant Spike Mendelsohn comes another We, the Pizza at 2100 Crystal Crystal Drive in Crystal City. [Patch]

Sniff your way to being a sommelier: Scratch and sniff wine guide comes out. [foodiggity]

Bread is back. [WaPo]


To Do This Weekend: Port City Re-Releases Revival Stout with Party + Restaurant Week in Shirlington + Brewfest in Centreville

Posted by / Friday, October 18th, 2013

The Revival Stout Story / Illustration by Elisa Glass

Port City Brewing Company re-releases the oyster-based Revival Stout with a party at its Alexandria Tasting Room, this Friday from 5-9 p.m. Originally debuting in April 2012, Port City uses the oyster shell (steeped in the brewing water to add minerals) and the oyster meat and liquid (thrown in during the boil) to create this beer with the War Shore Oyster Company.  The party will feature a special of a pint and half-dozen oysters for $17. Five percent of the beer sales will be donated to the Oyster Recovery Partnership. / 3950 Wheeler Avenue Alexandria
More: How Local Can You Go: The Revival Stout Infograph  

Shirlington Restaurant Week
continues through the weekend. And while it’s not in on the deal, Cooperwood Tavern is now open.

Forty of the world’s best breweries come to Centreville for the Northern Virginia Brewfest.

MORE| October Food & Drink Calendar



Hungry for Linkage: NoVA Openings and Closings + Food is Safe + Master Chef Contestant gets a Podcast

Posted by / Friday, October 18th, 2013

Tischenko Irina /

The Torpedo Factory Food Pavillion in Old Town Alexandria is being replaced by the restaurant Blackwall Hitch. [Patch]

Coming Soon: Burger 21 in Ashburn, Bonefish Grill in Potomac Mills and Cyclone Anaya’s in Merrifield. [Eater]

Closing: Baja Fresh and Zpizza in Rosslyn [ARLnow]

Despite the furlough, food supplies should be safe. [NPR]

Remember Krissi Biasiello from the latest season of Master Chef, known for her brazen attitude? She has her own podcast now. [The Braiser]

Warm-up the cool weather with some hot bread from your oven. [food52]


South Block Raw Introduces ‘Autumn’ to its Cold-Pressed Juice Line

Posted by / Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Photos Courtesy of South Block Raw

Fall harvests make a perfect bounty for juicing. This month, South Block Cafe in Arlington released its first seasonal juice: “Autumn.” NoVA-bred owner Amir Mostafavi uses fennel to give the deep orange potion—from  sweet potatoes—a licorice flavor. “Sweet potato,” says Mostavai, “is something that I would say a lot of people don’t juice at home on their own. But it’s something that’s very interesting to juice and has a nice flavor especially when you mix it with cinnamon.” 

South Block Cafe began selling its line of cold-pressed juicesSouth Block Raw—last spring with Mostafavi concocting recipes at his kitchen, or what he refers to as his “juice lab,” at George Washington University. “We’re treating all of our juices like hand-crafted chef-inspired juices,” says Mostafavi, as he lists mint, aloe and cilantro as the more unusual ingredients included. He also favors organic vegetables for the daily made liquids.

For the reservation-only juice cleanse, users spend three days consuming nothing but juice to flush their systems of toxins while supplementing it with nutrition and resting it from digesting fibers. Mostafavi describes it as “kind of resetting your body.”  The juice line will be available in Northern Virginia gyms and studios and currently, is also served at Bracket Room … in a cocktail. / South Block Cafe, 3011 11th St., Arlington


Hungry for Linkage: Virginia Breweries Win at Great American Beer Festival + Starbucks Diplomacy + FDA Shutdown

Posted by / Monday, October 14th, 2013

Port City Beer

Courtesy of Port City

Congratulations, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, this year’s Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. Other local winners: Port City Brewing Company won gold for Optimal Wit (Belgian-style witbier), silver for Oktoberfest (Vienna-style lager) and two bronzes for COLOSSAL ONE (aged beers) and COLOSSAL TWO (smoke beer). Lost Rhino Brewing Company won gold with Rhinofest (German-style marzen) and Great American Restaurants won silver for Oktoberfesk (German-style marzen). [FirstWeFeast]

No food inspections due to the Food and Drug Administration being shutdown. Here are 10 foods to avoid until they start checking again. [DailyFinance]

Call for Submissions: Future print feminist food zine Vag Appetit—from the same people who brought you Rookie Mag—is taking submissions. Last day is tomorrow, though, so get your entries in fast! [tumblr]

Trummer’s on Main, Bangkok Golden Thai and Kogiya are among the NoVA restaurant’s in Tom Sietsema‘s 40 favorites. [WaPo]

Starbucks diplomacy. [Grub Street NY]


Hungry for Linkage: Beer for Breast Cancer + Blue Sea Cajun Seafood and Bar in Shirlington + Groceries that Have Your Vote

Posted by / Thursday, October 10th, 2013

For Breast Cancer Awareness month, women from six regional breweries came together to create the Pretty in Pink Pomegranate Saison. Participants include local favorites Mad Fox Brewing Company, Lost Rhino Brewing, and Capitol City Brewing as well as DC and NC breweries. Twenty percent of the Pretty in Pink proceeds go to charity. 

American Tap Room dances its way into Reagan National Airport. [Eater]

Vegan restaurant rejected in favor of opening Blue Sea Cajun Seafood and Bar in Shirlington. [ARLnow]

Crazy beer flavors: Avocado and honey, key lime pie, and pine-needle. Craziest: Bull testicle. [The Daily Meal]

A rundown of Virginia’s wineries via DC Wine Week. [InTheCapital]

Where you buy food could say something about about your political leanings. [NPR]


Pumpkin Junkie: Six Places to Find the Squash of the Season in NoVA

Posted by / Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Fedor Selivanov/

Sick of pumpkin yet? Good, me neither. 

For “Smashing Pumpkins,” Pizzeria Orso tops pizza with roasted pumpkin, smoked blue cheese, bufala mozzarella and garlic—with cream sauce—for a whole new take on a slice of pumpkin pie—pizza pie. /400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church

Clyde’s has two decadent ways to satisfy your pumpkin-y sweet tooth with pumpkin fritters served with whipped cream, maple syrup and powdered sugar and pumpkin creme brûlée served with a ginger snap cookie on the brunch menu. 11905 Market St., Reston

While pumpkin beer has been stocked on shelves since late summer, Crooked Run Brewing still has it on tap. The Jack o’ Lantern Pumpkin Ale is a sweet, malty, lightly spiced amber ale made with oven-roasted pumpkin and local butternut squash. The Leesburg-based team also posted thoughts on pumpkin beer—and their recipe. / 205 Harrison St. Suite B, Leesburg

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