After spending a few years in Portland, where brewpubs live on almost every block, Scott Young decided Virginia needed a beer tune-up.
After spending a few years in Portland, where brewpubs live on almost every block, Scott Young decided Virginia needed a beer tune-up. “It’s a completely different culture,” Young says of the West Coast beer city. “Not only do restaurants make the food, but they make the beer.”
Tomorrow Young opens his nanobrewery, Mad Horse Brewery in Lovettsville. Young met his brewmaster Charles Karrick last year at the Lovettsville Oktoberfest celebration and dreamed that in a year, they would be ready to open. Exactly a year later, Young and Karrick (who is involved with Mud Hound Brewing Company) managed to stock two original beers—Dark Horse (“a really dark Kolsh”) and Oktoberfest—with plans for barrel-aged brews in the future. The opening weekend will also include Delirium Tremens and Lost Rhino‘s pilsner on tap.
After renovating the former funeral home space, Young wants to create a kid-friendly atmosphere and plans to brew birch and root beers too. “I have a 1-year-old son,” Young says. “It’s important to me that this is a place families want to come.”
Mad Horse is just three miles from Corcoran Brewing Company, right in the middle of wine country. Young and the LoCo brew crew hope to create a brewery corridor within Northern Virginia wine country and start a beer tasting trail similar to the wine tasting loops in the area. Additionally, he plans on serving beers in a similar fashion to wine tastings: “When you typically go into a brew pub, they give you a flight of six beers and leave you alone at your table. I want to pour one and talk about it.” There will be a large focus on education, and in the coming months, Young hopes to offer brewery tours and classes during their brew sessions.
As for food, Young says, “at this point it’s light enough that our servers can do the kitchen work,” thanks to the Turbo chef convection oven, which is pre-programmable. Opening weekend brings standard beer pairings: a giant Bavarian pretzel (“the size of a steering wheel,” says Young), a Buffalo chicken sandwich, bratwurst and a cheese plate.
The name of the bar honors its location, plus a nod to Young’s wife who board’s horses and rides dressage. Her horses, he says, “all have short tempers.” But this week, “she’ll be the cook.”
Mad Horse Brewery: Opening party Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. with live bluegrass; 34 Broad Way, Lovettsville.
Additional reporting by Melissa J. Lyden