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Lost Rhino Bone Dusters Paleo Amber Ale
Where in Town: Lost Rhino Brewing Company, 21730 Red Rum Dr., Suite. 147, Ashburn, Va.
Price: $8.50/14 oz.
You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard about Lost Rhino’s newest beer. Which happens to be where some of its ingredients came from. Named Bone Dusters, the beer was fermented with yeast swabbed from a 35-million-year-old whale fossil found in southeastern Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp. The project is a partnership between Lost Rhino’s resident brewing scientist Jasper Akerboom and Paleo Quest co-founder Jason Osborne, who used to work together doing biomedical research. Osborne’s goal, and the mission of his nonprofit organization, is to generate interest in paleontological sciences. The idea of drinking pre-historic whale beer is fun, but the yeast is most likely not ancient. (It’s probably a modern strain from the swamp.)
Dry as a Bone
Luckily, the wild yeast has created a tasty amber ale. Bone Dusters has faint aromas of peach, apricot, and caramel. Its unripe fruit flavors and mild malt sweetness are followed by an earthy, dry finish. Well-carbonated and only 5 percent alcohol, the refreshing beer is a good match for D.C.’s swamplike summer weather. Bone Dusters is available at Lost Rhino’s tasting room and will find its way to taps around the area soon. Pours are pricey, but it should be easier to swallow knowing a portion of the proceeds will go to Paleo Quest for school science programs. In the meantime, prepare for Akerboom’s next lab project: swiping yeast from a pre-Prohibition-era barrel at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.
Photo by Tammy Tuck