Milkhouse Homestead Hefeweizen
Where in Town: Takoma Park Farmers Market, 6900 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park
Price: $8/16.9 oz.
Hoppy Trail-Blazers: On their 47-acre farm in Frederick County, Maryland, Tom Barse and Carolann McConaughy raise horses, sheep, and bees, but their primary business is beer. After Barse successfully pushed for changes to Maryland’s laws, Milkhouse Brewery at Still Point Farm became one of the state’s first licensed farm breweries in 2012. Each of its beers uses hops and other ingredients produced on site or from neaby farms. Barse, a homebrewer with more than 40 years of experience, has been growing his own hops for almost a decade. He also serves as the president of the Northeast Hop Alliance, a group with more than 600 members from North Carolina to Quebec that promotes the growth of hops.
Wise Weizen: Brewed for customers seeking an authentic German-style hefeweizen, Homestead is made with a half-wheat, half-barley malt bill, nugget and crystal hops, and a traditional yeast. Barse uses a lower fermentation temperature to balance out the banana and clove characteristics typical of the style. “We didn’t want a banana bomb hefe,” he says. Homestead starts out tangy, with tongue-tingling carbonation. Notes of circus peanut candy, fresh cut oranges, cloves, and, yes, a touch of banana are followed by a satisfying, dry finish. Light-bodied and only 5.5 percent alcohol, Homestead makes for a quaffable summer seasonal. While Milkhouse beers are not yet available in the District, they’re easy to find at beer spots throughout southern Maryland, as well as at weekly farmers markets in Rockville, Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Takoma Park. Consider making a day trip straight to the source, located northeast of Frederick, about 50 miles from D.C.