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Until recently, Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery‘s beers were only available in Tennessee and the Carolinas. Last Tuesday, the Lagerheads trekked down to Rustico in Alexandria for Duck-Rabbit’s northern Virginia launch party. We were joined by Smoky Mountain natives sporting the mind-bending logo, who have clearly been fans of Duck-Rabbit for years, as well as the regular crowd of Alexandria locals taking advantage of another opportunity to horde pint glasses at a Rustico glassware event.

Out of the five specialty dark beers available, we tried three. Duck-Rabbit’s top-selling beer, the Milk Stout went down like a glass of milk that had been used for dipping Oreos, sweet and smooth. On the Porter, the Lagerheads lived up to our name; while Bruce thought it was the sudsy equivalent of a Starbucks Mocha, Tammy thought the beer’s highly roasted grains produced coffee and dark chocolate flavors that were too bitter for the beer, throwing it a bit off balance. (Guess which one of us is the coffee drinker.) The star of the evening was easily the Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout, a high-ABV seasonal that was dark and creamy like the other Duck-Rabbits. But this one had a nice kick, a hint of smoke, and a bitter aftertaste—qualities that reassured us that we were drinking beer, not iced lattes.

We couldn’t leave Rustico without inquiring about how their long-awaited DC beer bar, Churchkey, is coming along. According to General Manager Jason Asher, the Logan Circle beer mecca is on track to open in late summer or early fall of this year.  We know you’ve heard it all before—the deck, the loans, and all the other reasons DC beeries have been waiting so long for Churchkey to open its doors (or at least take that Dakota Cowgirl sign down). But as far as we are concerned, great things come to those who wait and we trust that Churchkey will be worth it.

The Lagerheads are not sure how we missed trying Duck-Rabbit the last time we were deep in the heart of Duck-Rabbit country for the World Beer Fest in Durham, but we are glad to have finally discovered these dark delights. We know many of you will appreciate having some darker beer options amidst the variety of pale ales that fill most shelves and taps these days. Look for Duck-Rabbit at the following places and let us know what you think: Whole Foods, Norm’s Beer and  Wine, Westover Market, Magruder’s DC, Cleveland Park Liquors, Rustico, Lost Dog, and RFD.