A Night of Great Beer with Fordham & Dominion Brewing Co.

Dominion Brewing Co Talking PintsMany of you are probably familiar with the myriad of awesome restaurant, goods, and event deals offered by LivingSocial. We’re fortunate to work near their 918 F Street building where they host events and were stoked to hear about their Talking Pint event series, which boasted beer tastings and Q&A sessions by representatives from brewing companies around the Mid-Atlantic region.

Last week, Jess and I joined Fordham & Dominion Brewing Co. for their Talking Pints event. Casey, the VP of sales & marketing at the brewery was our easygoing and energetic host for the evening. He gave us in-depth explanations and extremely generous samples of six of the company’s best brews. He even gave us the ultimate tease by letting us try Dominion’s Oak-Aged Millennium, an experimental brew that will never be for sale.

He sent us home with grownup “goody bags” including Dominion Pint glasses, a couple of their more interesting beer labels, stickers, and matches. Best of all was a coupon for a free brewery tour for two, which we’ll definitely use.

Although I tried to blend in and let the other guests answer Casey’s beer questions, my enthusiasm eventually got the best of me. By the middle of our tasting I was giving advanced answers to his prompts and, since our table only had three people to it, we got extra beer! I guess I managed to hit it off with Casey a bit because by the end of the night he invited me to join the brewers at Dominion for a day of brewing. If everything works out and I get a chance to do that, you can bet I’ll tell you fine folks all about it!

Below are Jess’ and my impressions of the beers we tasted, going in order of Casey’s pours. Italics are the brewing company’s description. These were all very good beers, and we intend on finding more from this great brewery when we can.

Dominion Beach House Pilsner: Crips, refreshing Bohemian style Pilsner with an Assertive hop character; 5.2% abv. Very dry, crisp flavor. A bit of hoppiness on the palate, with good back-end bitterness.

Fordham Wisteria Wheat: A medium bodied, unfiltered Hefeweizen with a soft, velvety carbonation and a wheaty finish; 5.1% abv. Strong wheatiness to it. A bit of yeast in the beer did wonder in enhancing the flavor. Would be great with spicy foods.

Fordham Rams Head IPA: An aggressively hopped, West Coast style IPA. Brewed with Munich and rye malts, as well as Bravo, Chinook, and Motueka hops. Rams Head IPA represents a departure from Fordham’s characteristic sessionability, challenging drinkers to “Defy the ordinary. Take life by the horns.” 7.5% abv.75 IBU’s. Excellent IPA. Very hoppy but it has a great balance between the malts and hops. More hops on the palate than the aroma.

Dominion Double D IPA: This full bodied Imperial IPA flaunts sultry guava, mango, and other tropical fruit notes; 9% abv.90 IBU’s. An Imperial Citra IPA. This is one seriously delicious and hoppy IPA. The Citra hops explode on the palate in an amazing array of tropical fruits, crystal malts and alcohol.

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout: “Best Beer in DE” says the Delaware News Journal. Intricate stout with a malt foundation. Dry hopped with vanilla bean and oak chips; 6.1% abv. Very smooth stout with hints of vanilla and chocolate. This beer is deliciou, and would be great reduced and put over a vanilla ice cream sundae. It is apparently very good with oysters.

Dominion Oak-Aged Millennium: The last experimental batch brewed in Ashburn, VA, this beer started as barley wine and was aged in bourbon barrels from Bowman’s Distillery. We pitched Brettanomyces(a wild yeast that creates a sour flavor in beer) in the bourbon barrels and dry hopped the beer as well. This beer was packaged in April 2009 and the flavor continues to evolve and change as time goes by; 10.5% abv.100 IBU’s. Wow… just wow! This is amazingly tasty. The Brettanomyces in the barrels has turned this into an absolutely delicious brew. I would have this every day if it wasn’t a one-off brew.

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