Mad Fox Brewing Company, Falls Church, VA

I’d only been to Mad Fox Brewing Company once before, with a large group, and somehow missed the fact that they served some of their beers in cask – it was only recently pointed out to me that they did. On the first visit, sometime in 2010, I wasn’t all that impressed with the beers I had.

So I eagerly went back to give it another try, and I’m glad I did.

They had two beers in cask on this evening: the Fennec Ale ($5.50 4% ABV) and the Defender American Pale Ale ($5.50, 5.2% ABV), and I tried them in succession.

Out of eleven beers Mad Fox was offering, the Fennec was the lowest in alcohol. An English Ordinary, what they call an “extreme session beer,” this was far better than most microbreweries’ entry-level beers (when I say entry-level, I mean “closest in spirit to what the masses might enjoy”). While a bit dilute, it had adequate flavor and was not at all bad. A step up (not just in alcohol content, but also in “stuffing”) was the APA which they describe as being “hop-forward,” but came across to me as well-balanced. I’m anything but a hop-head, and strongly prefer malty beers to hoppy ones – I’d order this again.

I assume Mad Fox rotates their cask selections, and I’m looking forward to going back and trying some more. While I haven’t actually eaten here, the food I’ve seen coming from the kitchen (and on this evening, I was sitting right next to where the runners were coming by) does not interest me visually at all. I know that’s “judging without a fair trial,” and maybe I’m indeed misjudging, so take this comment with a grain of salt.

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