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Where In Town: Meridian Pint, 3400 11th St NW
Price: $7/12 ounces
The Maine Attraction
Mention Oxbow Brewing to people who live anywhere other than Maine and they’re likely to scratch their heads. The tiny Pine Tree State-based brewery, which opened several months ago in a backwoods barn that’s hard to find even with GPS, serves its riffs on the farmhouse ales of Belgium and France only in some of the state’s best bars and restaurants. And, oddly, a few places here in the District, too. Head brewer Tim Adams used to be the D.C.-area sales rep for Portland’s Peak Organic Brewing, and now—with a little help from the capital’s uniquely permissive alcohol distribution laws—he’s been kind enough to send a handful of kegs to Meridian Pint and Smoke & Barrel. Lovers of saisons and other farmhouse styles are in luck. This stuff is like manna from Maine.
The typical drinker might do best to start off with Oxbow’s crowd-pleasing Farmhouse Pale Ale, but card-carrying farmhouse fiends—and anyone up for an explosion of flavor—should try the Sasuga Saison. Brewed with rice and Brettanomyces yeast, it’s got a big, complex aroma: slightly sour, funky, maybe even sweaty, with some hints of grass, lemon, and tropical fruit. It’s only 4.5 percent alcohol by volume, but it’s smooth, spicy, and amazingly full-flavored. Probably goes well with lobster, too.