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Hof Ten Dormaal White Gold
Where In Town: Granville Moore’s, 1238 H St. NE
Price: $6.50/12 ounces (during happy hour)
The Great Ale Robbery
Going to a Belgian-themed beer bar is a good way to give your wallet the fiscal equivalent of a clobbering by Jean-Claude Van Damme. If, however, you would like to avoid E.U.-style austerity measures and instead pick the pockets of your Leffe-pouring overlords, consider checking out Granville Moore’s on weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Since June, this H Street NE outpost of mussels and Trappist ales has quietly been offering one of the best craft-beer happy hours in town, pouring half-off drafts outstripped only by the Tuesday/Wednesday deals at Pizzeria Paradiso. Suddenly, those otherwise kneecap-breaking $8-13 draft beers seem a whole lot more reasonable—even the most expensive of them all, Hof Ten Dormaal White Gold.
Located about 15 miles outside Brussels, Hof Ten Dormaal is a true “farmhouse brewery,” a rarity in the now heavily commercialized Belgian brewing industry. The tiny operation grows all of its own grain and hops, plus White Gold’s secret ingredient: chicory, the bitter green for which Hof Ten Dormaal’s region is famous. The beer smells spicy, earthy, and piney, and it tastes like a rustic saison with hints of licorice, banana, and a peppery bitterness. For $6.50, it’s a steal.
Photo by Daniel Fromson