Tag Archives: Lost Rhino Brewing Co.


BeltwayLand and beyond beer: Oktoberfest!

It’s late-September — school is open, the Washington Nationals have won the NL East, football is back and daylight is becoming scarce as it is officially autumn at 10:29 p.m. tonight. Gin and tonic season has gracefully yielded to Oktoberfests and ales made with last year’s pumpkin crop. The same will happen with this year’s apples too.

As much as I like Oktoberfest beers, mid-August is TOO SOON for them to be released. The trouble can be they sell out before the swimming pools all close. Now, though, it’s definitely time to start drinking them. Actually, a few weeks ago…

So far, I have purchased three local Oktoberfests:

Corcoran Brewing Company Corktoberfest (Purcellville, Va.)
Port City – Oktoberfest (Alexandria, Va.)
Lost Rhino – Rhinofest (Ashburn, Va.)

The first two I bought at the breweries, while the third was found at Westover Market in Arlington. They are all really good, though Rhinofest available in 1 pint, 6 oz. bottles is pretty pricey.

DC Brau is releasing their first Oktoberfest:

“It’s a very traditional Oktoberfest,” explains Jeff Hancock, President & Head Brewer of DC Brau. “In recent years, Oktoberfests from Germany have started getting lighter in color and are closer to resembling Helles lagers than Oktoberfests or Märzens. We think our version will stand out amongst the myriad pumpkin beers and Oktoberfests on the market this season.”

They are only making 60 barrels though, all for draft distribution or growler fills, but including Nationals Park.

Outside of BeltwayLand, Flying Dog of Frederick, Md. makes Dogtoberfest. It’s not my favorite, but it tends to stick around longer than some of the other ones. At least in Northern Virginia. Former Ashburn-based Old Dominion also brews one from Delaware.

I really like the Shiner Oktoberfest as well as Leingkugel’s and Great Lakes. Yuengling’s was disappointing and Samuel Adams is okay and probably the most-heavily distributed.

Just going going to throw this out there for the Ombudsman — how about brewing a märzen next year around this time? No wedding to plan and the house is moved into, so how about it?

Also, I owe you a half-smoke.

Drink up: A guide to local fall beer festivalsThe Post
There are several beer festivals, mostly celebrating Oktoberfest in the D.C. area plus Annapolis and Baltimore. Snallygaster is already in the past, but there are still others to come. I might check out the Shirlington one hosted by Capital City Brewing Co. since it’s nearby, but we’ll see. Or maybe I’ll stop by my hometown for Vienna Oktoberfest. That one is a bit on the family friendly side which may be a feature, not a bug. #dadlife

DC Beer Festival is at Nationals Park on November 8.

Flying Dog keeps a pretty busy events schedule too.

Of course there is a downside to all of these festivals — undesirables from out of state sometimes come down for these things:

Just days after the last BeltwayLand and beyond beer update, Old Bust Head opened it’s doors.

Old Bust Head Brewing Co. puts Fauquier beer on mapFauquier Now

By the way, gentleman farmer and the respectable half of Slow States, @thefolkist, grew hops for Old Bust Head’s Harvest Ale.

Here’s one I missed from the summer — DC Brau and New Columbia Distillers (makers of Green Hat gin) are collaborating:

When the seasons change, explains DC Brau co-founder Brandon Skall, his brewery’s canning line acts up. In the last week, roughly 65 cases of canned beer were sealed while only half or two-thirds full. “It’s perfect beer, but the cans are just too shallow to go to the market,” Skall says. The brewery staff prepared to get rid of the beer, but “it breaks my heart to just dump it down the drain,” Skall says.

Then he had a brainstorm. “I’d heard about people who distilled with beer, so I called John [Uselton, the owner of New Columbia Distillers] and asked him if we could do something with it.”

New Columbia Distillers is turning DC Brau into … somethingThe Post

Virginia Craft Brewers Cup 2014 Winners Announced
Devil’s Backbone, host of the Brewer’s Cup, did very well in the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup, as reported by Virginia Beer Trail.

The Washington Nationals have one homestand left, so make sure you visit the Nationals Review beer guide one more time before heading to Nationals Park.

The Virginia is for Lovers site, virginia.org, has an extensive section on Virginia Craft Beer & Breweries.

Keeping on the tourism theme, Crooked Run Brewing tweeted out this GitHub map of breweries and brewpubs along the W&OD Trail. No love for the Vienna Inn though? They sell some craft beer now.

Cycling to a brewery sounds fun. Cycling back from one though, that could be another story. Discipline, food, time and a lot of water are probably required for this to work out. Be responsible.

Craft beer costs more than macro beer and Huffington Post is on it.

Meet the Beer Bottle DictatorThe Daily Beast
Somewhere in the DC area, Kevin “Battle” Martin approves every beer label for the Tax and Trade Bureau.

Pabst Brewing Co. sold to Russian firm Oasis Beverages Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
The Ruskies bought PBR!

Then, news broke late Thursday that Pabst Brewing is being sold to Russian company Oasis Beverages for an undisclosed sum. Oasis is partnering with TSG, an investment firm, to buy Pabst. TSG Consumer Partners will take a minority stake in Pabst.

Oasis describes itself as a “leading independent brewer in Russia with growing soft drink operations.” The company was founded in 2008. It has facilities in Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine.

So, in addition to Pabst, Old Style, Schlitz, Natty Boh, Old Milwaukee, Stroh’s and others are now all Russian owned…

Well played, sir.

I’ve already spent 10 days writing this post, so enough is enough.


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Port City Brewing Co., Lost Rhino, Devil’s Backbone medal at Great American Beer Fest

Breweries from the Commonwealth of Virginia did very well at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. My hometown brewer, Port City Brewing Co. here in Alexandria, took home gold for its Optimal Wit. I really enjoy it in late spring and early fall when there is just a sligtht coolness in the air.

Lost Rhino Brewing Co. in Ashburn won for Rhinofest, a märzen beer. I have not tried that yet and probably blew it for this year. It’s a shame, I was out that way twice in the last month or so.

Outside of Northern Virginia, Lexington’s Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company won in the American-Style Dark Lager and Belgian- and French-Style Ale categories with Old Virginia Dark and Azreal, respectively. Additionally:

I suppose it is my good fortune that my favorite styles of beer, märzen and Vienna style lager, is brewed so well locally/regionally because Port City took the silver for it’s Oktoberfest, though in the Vienna style. Sadly, they were out of it at the brewery yesterday, next year I’ll get a whole case. Or two. Great American Restaurants (Carlye, Coastal Flats, Mike’s American, among others) earned the silver for Octoberfest in the German-Style Märzen category.

Maryland’s one medal also came in German-Style Märzen with Dogtober by Flying Dog (Frederick, Md.) claiming the bronze. It isn’t my favorite, but I love the Ralph Stedman labels.

Though it did not medal, the Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager is also very good and at last check, on tap at the Vienna Inn. That’s also available year round.

Here are all the beers, sorted by medal:

Rhinofest Lost Rhino Brewing Co. German-Style Märzen
Old Virginia Dark Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Basecamp American-Style Dark Lager
Optimal Wit Port City Brewing Co. Belgian-Style Witbier
Azreal Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost Belgian- and French-Style Ale
Gold Leaf Lager Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Basecamp American-Style or International-Style Pilsener
Oktoberfest Port City Brewing Co. Vienna-Style Lager
Optimal Wit Great American Restaurants German-Style Märzen
Berliner Metro Weiss Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost German-Style Sour Ale
Rum Barrel Belgian Dubbel Style Ale Three Brothers Brewing Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer
COLOSSAL ONE Port City Brewing Co. Aged Beer
COLOSSAL TWO Port City Brewing Co. Smoke Beer
Danzig Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Basecamp Baltic-Style Porter
Notch 9 Double IPA Smartmouth Brewing Co. Imperial India Pale Ale
Ale of Fergus Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost English-Style Mild Ale


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6 microbreweries coming to D.C. area in 2011

Beer: Six microbreweries race to openThe Post
I’ve already mentioned that Port City Brewing will be opening in my city, Alexandria, soon. They are going to start with a Belgian-style witbier with pale ale, Indian Pale Ale (IPA) and porter coming later. Port City will joined by 5 other microbreweries in BeltwayLand:

Fort Washington’s Washingtonian’s Brewing Co. will begin selling Monumental Triple, a Belgian style triple with a citrus finish.

DC Brau Brewing wants aspires to be the D.C. brand. Located in Northeast D.C., DC Brau will roll over The Public (pale ale), Citizen (a Belgian-style pale ale) and Corruption IPA.

Chocolate City Beer is planning on an American-style, pre-prohibition Pilsner beer, Extra Special Bitter (ESB) and IPA as well as part of the celebration of the non-Federal neighborhoods and culture of the District.

Lost Rhino Brewing Co. doesn’t have a Web site yet, just a twitter account. Based out in Old Dominion’s Loudon County stomping grounds, they plan to produce “Lost Rhino Pilsner, a peppery golden lager dry-hopped with Hallertauer and Saaz hops. That will be followed by New River Pale Ale (a brand that Old Dominion used to make under contract) and possibly a seasonal Maibock.” Calling Loudon County local is a bit of a stretch, because if they are local, than so is Flying Dog Brewery of Frederick, Md.

3 Stars Brewing merely has a “Coming Soon” Web site, but hopes to be open in August with an American-style IPA called District IPA.

Also of note, an Alexandria brewery may be returning a century of being closed. Catherine Portner, is planning on resurrecting her great-great grandfather’s Robert Portner Brewing Co. by 2016. She is tweeting at @cport31 with the bio: “Re-launching my family’s pre-Prohibition brewing company. Please join my efforts by sending craft beer industry contacts my way. ”

So, good news if you like pale ales and D.C. flag based imagery. I am curious to sample these beers, even though pale ales are not my favorite, because you have to support your local businesses. Hopefully, we are looking at a renaissance in brewing that so many other cities have seen.

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