City Paper is not for tourists
Lost Rhino/DC Homebrewers Wandering Belgian
Where In Town: ChurchKey, 1337 14th St. NW
Price: $6/13 oz.
Collaboration With Fermentation
All the cool craft-beer kids are collaborating these days. But lately, local pros have been putting a twist on the phenomenon by teaming up with scrappy minor leaguers: homebrewers. First came DC Brau and Brian Barrows’ Your Favorite Foreign Movie, which was based on Barrows’ recipe for a Belgian-style Patersbier (and won silver at this year’s Great American Beer Festival). Next up: the Wandering Belgian, courtesy of Loudoun County’s Lost Rhino Brewing and Mike Stein and Joshua Hubner of the DC Homebrewers Club. It’s a bold, Belgian-style India pale ale.
Sometimes, “Belgian” riffs on American styles seem messy or tentative, as if the beer can’t decide what it wants to be. This one isn’t. Hubner calls it part Belgian strong ale and part American IPA, but it drinks more like the latter. The aroma is part pine, part tropical fruit, and part earthiness, with some fruity Belgian yeast. The beer tastes like apples, mangos, and herbs, with a lingering mouth-drying bitterness. Drink this limited release if you can find it; thirsty homebrewers downed Smoke & Barrel’s allotment in a single night, but it’s still on cask at ChurchKey.
Photo by Daniel Fromson