Darrow Montgomery
Darrow Montgomery

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Founders Red’s Rye

Where Spotted: Cairo Wine and Liquor, 1618 17th St.

Price: $10.99/six-pack

Mallowed Ground: The Beerspotter Twitter feed (twitter.com/beerspotter) lit up when Michigan’s Founders Brewing Company hit the D.C. market in April. The company is known best for its creamy stouts and porters, but Red’s Rye is a deep, ruby ale that combines a base of roasty grain with sweet hints of vanilla and marshmallow. With a dry maltiness akin to graham crackers, you’re a chocolate bar away from S’moresville.

It’s not easy being grain: The standard grain in good beer is barley; when boiled, the resulting liquid (called “wort”) is the base for your brew. Adding rye to this grain mixture brings some bold, spicy flavors to the party (think of the difference between rye and the much-sweeter bourbon). It’s like the MSG in your Chinese food, only you have to provide your own nausea and remorse.

Seen an interesting quaff? E-mail beerspotter@washcp.com.