Beer: Solace Brewing’s Super Dope IPA
Person: Bridgette Turner, Lead Brewer
Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
Price: $8 per draft
Taste: This well balanced beer has an aroma of tangerine, pungent pine, and overripe fruits. A candied orange sweetness accompanies bitter tastes of pith. A substantive mouthfeel and medium body give way to a dry finish. It’s deceptively smooth at 7% ABV. It’s a Goldilocks beer: far from thin, far from thick, just right.
Story: When brewers at DC Brau, 3 Stars, and Atlas tell you they’re impressed with Solace’s IPA, you keep an eye out for Super Dope. The ale is brewed by Bridgette Turner, a rockstar in the D.C. region despite being in the brewing world for only five years.
Turner got her start at Beltway Brewing Company in Sterling, Virginia. Beltway specializes in brewing other breweries’ beers, like Grimm Artisanal Ales. Some weeks, Turner would brew five different recipes in as many days. “Not only do you have one shot to get the beer the customer wants, but it has to be perfect in quality and perfect in flavor so you have to impress the very first time if you want them back.”
She moved from Beltway to the Tampa Bay Brewing Company before moving back to the D.C. area to help launch Solace. She’s still cleaning kegs but she’s also filling kegs, brewing, cellaring, and running operations. Turner has her hands in literally every aspect of the process. “I make the wert and I pitch the yeast and I do all the regular brew-day things.”
Where to buy: Belga Cafe, 514 8th St. SE; (202) 544-0100; belgacafe.com