22 March 2010

(New) Dominion Brewing Company

During my DC days, Dominion was one of my favorite (probably the best, at that time) local breweries - Dominion Ale was just a great beer, and Tupper's Hop Pocket was probably the best DC-area beer, period. A great ale.

Recent years have not been kind – the brewery was sold in 2007 to Coastal Brewing Co. (a mid-major co-owned by Maryland's Fordham [always the poor child of local brews] and Anheuser-Busch) and they discontinued Tupper's Hop Pocket (which, gladly, still appears available on a limited basis).

Moving down to NC has shifted my local-beer consumption and in any event, Dogfish Head long since eclipsed them as the mid-Atlantic's best brewery. But on my last time up to DC I noticed some new brews from Dominion – a Baltic Porter and an Oak Barrel Stout, and it being Maryland they were pretty cheap so I figured I'd give it a go.

Dominion Baltic Porter: in an excellent surprise, it's really quite nice – smooth and not too boozey, understated chocolate tones and a good solid body and pleasant finish. A good beer!

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout: a bad, bad beer. Sickly sweet and over-oaked, over-artificially-vanilla. It turns out it's great for cooking (esp. in my Lazy Man's Mole) but not for drinking.

So, it's a psuedo-brewery imprint now, but at least capable of making a solid beer. Hopefully they haven't screwed up the Ale.

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