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Franklin’s The Hops Strikes Back

Where In Town: The Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St. NW

Price: $7/12 ounces

A Brewery Far, Far Away

Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store is located just over the District line in Hyattsville, but its limited distribution means many D.C. residents are more likely to taste Tatooine’s blue milk than a Franklin’s beer. That’s a shame, since the brewery has recently been turning out intriguing sour ales and other solid offerings. Still, if you don’t have the force to get yourself to Maryland, or if you think suburbs are wretched hives of scum and villainy, consider yourself lucky: Cantinas that aren’t light years away, such as the Black Squirrel and Meridian Pint, sometimes carry Franklin’s beers. A good one to try is The Hops Strikes Back.

The Dark Side

The Hops Strikes Back is an evil-looking Darth Vader of a beer, an 8-percent-alcohol double black India pale ale. Don’t expect a thick, sweet Imperial Stout Trooper (NB: a real and popular beer made by Connecticut’s New England Brewing). This brew is all about the hops, bitterness, and drinkability. Aromas of citrus, pine, and peaches hit the nose first, along with hints of coffee and chocolate, and the taste is all bitter chocolate and pine, with a mild fruitiness reminiscent of apple juice. Seek this one out—and may the Franklin’s be with you.

Photo by Daniel Fromson