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Chocolate City Mister Mayor Imperial Stout

Where in Town: Chocolate City Beer, 2801 8th St. NE

Price: $12/22 ounces

A Brew Direction

Chocolate City Beer, which opened in August 2011 in Brookland, is the smallest District-based brewery. Its four employees share all responsibilities, even delivering beer. When founding brewer Ben Matz left Chocolate City this summer, Noah Cowles, a local homebrewer and ex-Marine originally from Richmond, took his place. According to co-founder Jay Irizarry, the change of guard led to a burst of creative energy and the decision to release a specialty brew each month. The first came in October: an aggressively hopped, 7 percent alcohol beer called Big Chair IPA. Chocolate City’s next brew is the second in a series of fist bumps to D.C.’s own four-term “Mayor for Life,” Ward 8 D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry.

Marionberry, (D-Ore.)

Brewed with marionberries, a prized variety of blackberry from Marion County, Ore., Mister Mayor is juicy and rich. Last winter’s version—a boozy, port-like concoction—derived its primary character from seven months in Wasmund’s Whisky barrels from Virginia’s Copper Fox Distillery. This year’s “Second Term” batch, not barrel-aged, was made with seven times more berries and has more of the chocolate and roast flavors typical of imperial stouts. Mister Mayor, like the man it honors, is enduring and complex. At 9 percent alcohol and only 12 bucks a bottle, consider it a cheap, but legal, high.

Photo by Tammy Tuck