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Devils Backbone Vienna Lager

Where in Town: Yes! Organic Market, 4100 Georgia Ave. NW

Price: $10.99/six-pack

Deal With the Devil

June was a good month for beer in the District. Not only did Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company ink a deal with distributors to bring its world-class Belgian-influenced ales to the area, but we also tasted the fruits of a Faustian bargain with Devils Backbone Brewing, which DCBeer.com calls “the best Mid-Atlantic brewery you’ve never heard of.” Beers from the brewery, which is perched on the edge of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, have been streaming into D.C. for several weeks. The brewery’s Eight Point IPA is a solid bet, but my favorite is the crowd-pleasing Vienna Lager. It’s a no-nonsense brew for both beer geeks and beer-phobes that can cool you off as you enter the inner circles of summer hell.

Amber Waves of Grain

This beer is all barley, all the time. It’s a malt soda that smells like bread and caramel with just the faintest hint of earthy hops and tastes like, well, a really good, toasty lager. It doesn’t shock; it seduces. The experts seem to concur: Devils Backbone Vienna Lager won gold and silver, respectively, at the 2012 World Beer Cup and the 2009 Great American Beer Festival. Talk about giving the devil his due.

Photo by Daniel Fromson