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Where in Town: Gilly’s Craft Beer & Fine Wine, 2009 Chapman Ave., Rockville
Price: $4.50/10 oz.
Ball and Grain
The name of this Laurel brewery isn’t a nod to the nearby Maryland state prison. Rather, it refers to the escape its founders Justin Bonner and Kasey Turner made from their dissatisfying 9-to-5 jobs. To date, no inmates have busted out to make a beeline for the beer, but they’d have good reason to. Brewmaster Ryan Harvey has spent the last two-and-a-half years crafting crowd pleasers, many with a culinary twist. Take Welcome to Scoville, an IPA with jalapeno peppers and cilantro, or Q.Cumber, a cucumber saison with gin botanicals, rosewater, and caraway. Jailbreak’s fall seasonal, The Carrot Conspiracy, is no exception. The amber ale is made with roasted carrots and fall spices.
And Eat It Too
The stronger, small-batch version, dubbed Imperial Carrot Cake Conspiracy, is 9 percent alcohol and a delight. Its autumnal flavors reveal themselves with each sip. Notes of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and then carrot, brown sugar, and raisin combine to deliver on the beer’s baked-goods promise. As Imperial Carrot Cake warms, the beer’s initial prickly carbonation calms down and its booziness becomes more apparent. Strong and sweet, the beer is best experienced in small doses with food. At Gilly’s, a glass would work wonders washing down the deli’s bacon berry brie sandwich. Drooling yet? Kegs, so far available in Maryland exclusively, have been kicking fast since last month’s release. But D.C. and Virginia could see a small slice of Imperial Carrot Cake Conspiracy in the coming weeks.