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Where Spotted: Dixie Liquor, 3429 M St. NW
Price: $9.99 per six-pack
Northwest Passage: When a reader challenged me to find a good beer store in Georgetown, I should have known it was a set up. I was all the way to the Key Bridge, sweaty and parched and prepared to succumb to frozen yogurt, when I stumbled into Dixie Liquor. Borderline delirious, I mumbled “IPA” over and over like a rosary. Fortunately, in this modest shop that advertises Corona specials, owner Jody Kurash also stocks microbrew stand-bys such as Flying Dog and Victory. Snatching a six-pack, I barely restrained myself from downing a cold one right there in the store.
Chip Off the Old Hop: With its butterscotch-colored body and scant cap of froth, Lancaster’s Hop Hog doesn’t feel like an IPA. Maple-butter aromas take center stage, as they drift up from the glass, with the rich and orangey hops playing a more supporting role. Despite its pronounced booziness, a head-knocking 7.9 percent abv, the beer tastes like an overweight version of a restrained English IPA, thanks to its British-style Fuggles hops. Meanwhile, the citrus notes are courtesy of Cascade, the signature American hop that’s actually a Fuggles descendant. It’s father-son bonding in a glass.