Falls Church's first brewery, Mad Fox Brewing Company, opened this past July. Although I was eagerly awaiting the opening, it was only this week that I was finally able to visit. Bill Madden and crew have created an inviting and comfortable brewpub and restaurant.
Arriving late Sunday afternoon, we got there before the dinner crowd and were seated promptly. My attention went first to the current beer list, while my dining partners perused the food menu. I opted to start with St. Swithin’s E.S.B.; others in the party selected Festivus Ale, and a Blackthorn Draught cider. Right off the bat I was impressed with our server Nick's knowledge of the beer. One member of our party is a cider fan, and Nick was able to provide advice on those as well as the house beers. We selected Buffalo style wings and the Frickles as appetizers. Both appetizers were very tasty, but the wings were especially a hit with my son. He later told me when we go back he thinks he'll just order the wings as his meal!
My ESB was very well done. There was just the right balance between the caramel malt and bitter, earthy hops. Although I tend to lean towards citrusy, hop-heavy beers, I am also very fond of well-made ESB's and this one from Mad Fox did not disappoint. Colleen ordered the Festivus Ale which she enjoyed as well. This Winter Warmer is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. I tasted a few sips and found it well-balanced, but I'm not a big "spiced" beer fan. (I swore off pumpkin beers this year too.) There was only one universal complaint voiced at our table, that is that the beers were served much too cold. After a short period of time to allow the beers to warm a bit we were all very pleased with our selections.
As the main course, three of our party selected the St. Louis-Cut Ribs, while I opted for the Shrimp & Grits. As with the beer, the food was well done and quite enjoyable. Although I could have easily enjoyed another St. Swithin’s E.S.B., I wanted to try another offering, so I selected the Snapped IPA to go along with my Cajun-style entrée. Snapped IPA is a bold, citrusy hopped beer that did not disappoint this hop head.
And what's a night out without dessert? Our group selected chocolate ice cream, the bread pudding, and the "Beeramisu" made with Mad Fox Wee Heavy. All were excellent endings to the meal, though the diners longed for a wee bit more of the Wee Heavy soaked into the Beeramisu cakes.
Was it worth the wait to finally get to Mad Fox? You bet! Will we be back soon? Yes again! Meanwhile I have the growler of St. Swithin’s E.S.B. I brought home to enjoy.