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Stone Brewing Company Matt’s Burning Rosids Imperial Cherrywood Smoked Saison

Where in Town: Scion Restaurant, 1200 East-West Hwy., Silver Spring, or 2100 P St. NW

Price: $4/12 oz.

Yeastward Expansion

Southern California’s Stone Brewing Company, currently the 10th-largest craft brewery in the U.S., is looking to up its rank. Like Colorado’s New Belgium and Oskar Blues and northern California’s Sierra Nevada, all of which have built (or are building) large facilities in North Carolina, Stone is planning to open a brewery on the East Coast. Projects like these mean millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs, and states are clamoring to attract them. Take South Carolina, where legislators are working to pass a so-called “Stone Bill” that would change brewery laws to make way for larger producers (or one in particular).

The Burn Identity

Some less common Stone beers were on offer recently at a tap takeover at Scion Restaurant in Silver Spring, held in celebration of the location’s first anniversary. Matt’s Burning Rosids stood out from the menu: Who is Matt? What are rosids? What the heck does a strong, smoked saison taste like? The beer honors Matt Courtright, a Stone brewer who died last year in a tragic on-the-job forklift accident. The recipe, one of Courtright’s last to develop, uses cherrywood-smoked malt. (It turns out rosid is a plant classification for cherry trees.) The beer’s nose is musty and mildly smoky with spice and fruit aromas typical of Belgian farmhouse yeasts. White grape and vanilla flavors are followed by a warm finish—thanks to 10.5 percent alcohol content—and a lingering ashy aftertaste. The beer is sweet but not cloying, and works surprisingly well. Sound interesting? Scion’s keg has kicked, but look for bottles at the Dupont location.

Photo by Tammy Tuck