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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Back to the Brewery: Old Ox Brewing Company

I said in the beginning of Corcoran Brewing Company that we also paid attention to another brewery that night and I would be reviewing that brewing establishment. Well, it is time to visit that brewery and I have to say that where Corcoran Brewing Company was a let down, this one was a winner.

The Old Ox Brewing was an outstanding finish to that week on the brewery tour. The brewery concentrates on a few key beers, serves them all is 3 oz glasses, and takes pride in what it does. Tucked away in an industrial park (it does take a little effort to find them), the Old Ox is perfectly situated to make its presence known.

As a matter of fact, one of our local watering holes has started carrying two of the Old Ox brands on its bar tab shortly after I visited it. It is a growing concern in the National Capital area and should be on your short list. Ask for it the next time you are out.

Now for the line up for the evening. The Old Ox does not disappoint. I have taken out the two that I have had before (Alpha Ox and the Black Ox) but the list is still pretty full. I have put their advertising blurb immediately thereafter and then my part of Untappd. Gives a full and well rounded view point. They came with a full two treys of their finest beer and those lined up as follows:

Golden Ox: "A crisp, medium-bodied ale with orchard fruit notes on the nose. Brewing with a blend o Pilsner, Vienna, and Munich Malts, this beer balances sweet, malty body with flowery Saaz, Columbus and Chinook hops. Brewed in a Belgian style, this beer is quaffable at any time of year. Color: Golden. ABV: 6.5%."

My review on Untappd: Nice flavor goes into this beer. The blend of hops really comes through in this batch, balanced with a malty taste. The way beer ought to be.

Old Ox Golden Ox
Oxplorer Batch #2: "Code name "Retro"! Retro because we're using hops that were popular inthe 90's but have lately been ignored. These old-school hops are well worth rediscovering. This batch features Williamette, Mt. Hood, and Cascade hops. Color: Burnt Orange. ABV: 7.5%"

My review on Untappd: Has a nice sweet after bite to it, which really compliments it. Rest of the beer hold up to it. It does not have a big hop bite.

Old Ox Oxplorer Batch #2

Saison d'Ox: "It's back! Our Gold Medal winner form the 2014 Virginia Craft Brewers Cup. An effervescent, straw colored ale brewed in the French Saison style. Crisp and dry with a nuanced flavors or orange peel and spice. This refreshing brew is perfect any time of year. Color: Straw. ABV: 5.7%."

My review on Untappd:  This is what awards are presented for. The orange peel and spice are present without being predominant. It's an easy drinking French saison.
Old Ox Saison d'Ox

B.S.:  "This complex Belgian brew feature lucsious caramel and dark fruit notes. Carefully crafted to provide warms on a cold winter night. Color: Deep Brown. ABV: 7.8%"

My review on Untappd:  This is my favorite, and it is not just the BS. The dark fruit really comes out, though the carmel is more restricted. I like this pour.
Old Ox B.S.
Kristin's Passion: "Brewed with cocoa nibs, cinnamon, vanilla bean, and red chillies, this beer is a liquid representation of Kristin's passionate side. Smooth chocolate give way to cinnamon spice and then finishes with low smoldering heat.  Color: Black with Ruby Highlights. ABV: 6.0%"

My review on Untappd: The flavor articulated in a news paper article. Mexican hot chocolate porter is nothing like the Red Bull. Full, crisp and light.

Old Ox Kristin's Passion
This beer actually was at the heart of a trade mark infringement case launched by Red Bull (can you imagine Red Bull saying that they had a tangle with a relatively local beer?) and it said that Kristin's Passion was so close to a drink that Red Bull had planned that they had violated Red Bull's patent. I think that you can judge by looking at it that Red Bull was clearly full of it, but it is a great example of how large beverage companies can try to steer small companies away from profitable centers of commerce. Fortunately, Old Ox held firm and opposed Red Bull. I still do not know how it came out.

So in summary, Old Ox Brewery Company is on its way to becoming one of the great brewery companies on the National Capital area.  Good quality products and attention to details are going to be its two great selling points. I look forward to their entry on the scene.

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