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Shenandoah Brewing Company, Brew-Your-Own Brewery on South Pickett Street in Alexandria - Closed


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There are the Sweetwaters, the Gordon Biersches, the Capitol Cities, the innumerable bars with the same Dominion ale on tap. And then there is Shenandoah Brewing Company. It’s a small operation located in a strip mall just a few doors down from Nick’s country western nightclub (which WILL kick you out for bringing your beer onto the dance floor) near the Van Dorn metro station. The Post ran an article last week on brewing your own beer here, but I head over more often to pick up a few mixed six packs or fill a growler.

They always have half a dozen or so beers on tap at their small corner bar (sometimes even a cask), they serve decent chili with some nice bottled hot sauces, and they’ve got a foosball table. The place smells like fresh beer in a tangible way that’s the polar opposite of the cleanser and mildew smell of brewpubs. Check the fridge near the end of the bar to see what’s available to go – they’ll have their core range (Big Meadow Pale, Old Rag, White Water Wheat) and some stuff they’re just playing around with. A few weeks ago I picked up a truly disconcerting Chocolate Donut Stout, an elusively sweet rye beer, and some of their very expensive and phenomenally rich Millennium Stout. You can buy a half-gallon growler jug for $6, and get it (or an empty growler from another brewery) filled or refilled for another $6. Overall they tend to shy away from the amped up hops that are so pervasive in American craft brewing today, focusing more on the malts and roasted flavors.

I’ve only seen these beers on tap or in bottles a few places in the area, most notably at Dr. Dremo’s where they supply all the beers under the Dremo’s name (though it’s worth visiting the brewery to taste them from clean lines). While I don’t think their overall quality level is quite as high as Dogfish Head or Allagash, they’re exploring some pretty unique brewing styles and they present a great alternative to many recently maligned area brewers.

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I tried the Chocolate Donut Stout at a beer tasting, what a fascinating beer...they even put sprinkles on the rim of the glass!

I'm going to have to check out the Growlers at Shenandoah...one of my favorite brew places is in Seattle where you can walk into the bar and fill up your growler, but don't step onto the carpeted dining area (literally 5 feet from the bar) because then you will be breaking the law. Silly beer laws.

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A few weeks ago I picked up a truly disconcerting Chocolate Donut Stout, an elusively sweet rye beer, and some of their very expensive and phenomenally rich Millennium Stout.

Is that the same Chocolate Donut Stout that is served at Dr. Dremo's? I popped into Dremo's one night after dinner at Ray's and had a Chocolate Donut Stout, and goddamn if it doesn't taste like a Chocolate Donut! Good for after dinner dessert or breakfast. I just couldn't figure out how to dunk the beer in my coffee.

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Overall they tend to shy away from the amped up hops that are so pervasive in American craft brewing today, focusing more on the malts and roasted flavors.

This alone makes me want to check it out. Too many American microbrewers these days seem to think that the key to making a good beer is to hop it to death. I like my beers malty.

Is there any particular reason they are known as Shenandoah Brewing?

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Brew on Premises is a great alternative/addendum to home brewing and one I used to take advantage of frequently when I lived in New York. Unfortunately, I ditched my 5 cases of 22-ounce bottles when I moved here, so if I did this again I'd be starting from scratch. Usually I'd get together with 4 other guys/girls and we'd each choose a recipe to make, and then evenly swap our cases so we all had 5 different beers.

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Brew on Premises is a great alternative/addendum to home brewing and one I used to take advantage of frequently when I lived in New York. Unfortunately, I ditched my 5 cases of 22-ounce bottles when I moved here, so if I did this again I'd be starting from scratch. Usually I'd get together with 4 other guys/girls and we'd each choose a recipe to make, and then evenly swap our cases so we all had 5 different beers.

I have Brewed a batch there and it was terrific. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is remotely interested in beer and looking for something new and fun to do!

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Would anyone be interested in perhaps doing a joint brewing here? It's enjoyable (although HOT! so winter is the preferred time), and you get to go home with lots of beer (we had almost 6 cases out of the beer we made). I thought it might be fun to either get together a group to brew one batch together (shared costs, shared labor, shared beer) or to get a group together to each brew individual beers (individual costs, labor, beer, but a group of people to entertain each other as we went through the process). What do you all think?

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This place has actually been closed for about 2-3 years. Just if anyone cares.....

Wasn't the space purchased a year ago, or so, for a contract brewer? I haven't heard anything else about it. Maybe that fell through.

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It was purchased for brewing beers for the Farmer's Cabinet, a restaurant in Philadelphia. They had also announced an intention to bottle and distribute the beers. They were definitely brewing there for a while but the whole thing fell apart - some kind of legal issues and contractual issues. Most recent story I could find is here http://philly.eater.com/archives/2012/09/21/the-farmers-cabinet-vs-bella-vista-beer.php

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