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Brewed with a heavy dose of Vienna malts and predominately hopped with the more subtle Noble hops, you’ll have an opportunity to taste a classic, traditional representation of a true marzen style Oktoberfest beer this month. Look for predominately malty nose with a hint of floral hops evident. The sweet maltiness of unfermented sugars comes through quickly in the body of this amber colored, filtered lager. It’s one of the more brilliant beers we’ve had the opportunity to taste. Very clean and bright. It sparkles from within. Note good head retention in this medium-bodied beer and a clean, crisp finish.
Don’t drink more – Drink Better. So goes the slogan of the Old Dominion Brewing Co. The first microbrewery to serve our nation’s Capital was established in 1989. Dedicated to producing fresh, flavorful, full-bodied beers, they offer not only a high quality product but in a variety of styles as well. A privately owned brewery in Loudoun County about three miles north of Dulles Airport, the brewery produces twenty-two beers, many of which are seasonal beers only brewed several months out of the year, and one soft drink. The beers are sold exclusively only in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and in parts of Maryland.Five basic ingredients are used in all of Old Dominion’s beers: barley, malt, hops, yeast and, of course, water. No adjuncts or preservatives are used and the beers are never pasteurized. In 1997, the brewery’s Dominion Lager won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, as did its Tupper's Hop Pocket Ale. In 1993, its Hard Time Select won a bronze medal and the Octoberfest featured this month took the Bronze in 1996.Head Brewer Dean Lake told us that the Octoberfest is brewed in tradition German style. He and his fellow brewers make it in late spring. The beer matures all summer in refrigerators, and is released in late September. "So the result is that you have a beer with a long maturation and conditions at cold temperatures," Lake said. "We sold out of it faster than ever this year," he added. "It's all accounted for." Lake said he enjoys the Octoberfest best with German food -- sausages and hot dogs -- and with meat and potatoes.Although Old Dominion's Octoberfest won the bronze two years ago, the brewery is not smug about its brewing methods. Every year, Lake said, they experiment and change the Octoberfest recipe slightly, looking for novelty, perfection and creativity. This year, they used subtle German and Czechoslovakian Noble hops and added Munich malts. "They do a good job of giving it a nice pronounced maltiness and a subtle hoppiness, just enough to balance the malt," Lake said.
Hot Dominion Octoberfest Potato SaladA hearty side dish, this warm salad combines red and white new potatoes with bacon and beer to create a new twist for an old spud.8 each small new and white potatoes, scrubbed5 strips lean bacon, coarsely chopped1 lg. onion or 5 shallots, coarsely chopped5 scallions, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces2 teaspoons caraway seeds1 cup Old Dominion Octoberfest beer3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar¼ to 1/3 cup oil or bacon drippingspaprika, salt, and pepper to taste¼ cup toasted crushed walnutsLower potatoes into boiling water to cover. Add a teaspoon of salt and boil just until tender. Drain, cool slightly, and quarter but do not peel. Place in a hot covered pan. In a heavy skillet cook bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside on towels to drain. Remove all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings and sauté onion in drippings until golden. Add scallions and caraway seeds, sauté for 1 min. Add beer to onions and simmer over medium-high until reduced by half. Pour in vinegar and oil and simmer briefly. Adjust seasonings. Add warm potatoes to sauce and simmer 2 mins., turning potatoes gently. Remove from heat and place in serving bowl. Sprinkle with paprika and walnuts. Serves 3-4.Source: The Great American Beer Cookbook; Candy Schermerhorn; Brewers Publications, 1993.
SOUTHERN DRAFT BREW NEWS - Beer makes you smart! Researchers at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis have discovered that moderate drinking may improve memory and problem-solving abilities, according to a report in Health magazine.CELEBRATOR BEER NEWS - It was the accepted practice in Babylonia 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month" or what we know today as the "honeymoon".BEER: THE MAGAZINE - Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb or finger into the mix to find the right temperature for adding yeast. Too cold, and the yeast wouldn't grow. Too hot, and the yeast would die. This thumb in the beer is where we get the phrase "rule of thumb".BARLEY CORN - In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's".ALL ABOUT BEER - Beer was the reason the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. It's clear from the Mayflower's log that the crew didn't want to waste beer looking for a better site. The log goes on to state that the passengers "were hastened ashore and made to drink water that the seamen might have the more beer".BEER TRIVIA - After consuming a bucket or two of vibrant brew they called aul, or ale, the Vikings would head fearlessly into battle often without armor or even shirts. In fact, the term "berserk" means "bare shirt" in Norse, and eventually took on the meaning of their wild battles.CELEBRATOR BEER NEWS - In 1740 Admiral Vernon of the British fleet decided to water down the navy's rum. Needless to say, the sailors weren't too pleased and called Admiral Vernon "Old Grog", after the stiff wool grogram coats he wore. The term "grog" soon began to mean the watered down drink itself. When you were drunk on this grog, you were "groggy".BARLEY CORN - Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle", is the phrase inspired by this practice.
Dear Murl,Every time my owner cracks open a brew, my mouth starts to salivate. So to satisfy my slobbery condition, he indulges me by pouring some beer into his cupped palm for me to lap up. My question is this: Is beer OK for us canines?"Kono" & Jim HarrisDenver, CO.Dear Kono,My gut reaction to your question is..." What are you kiddin’ me bro? Does The Pope where a funny hat?! You bet it’s OK for us!" But the legal suits we employ to sit around and tell us what we can’t do have informed me that comments like that might be slightly negligible on my part, so I made a few prank calls to several of my favorite doggie docs. I got comments like, "I can’t say that beer would be any better or any worse for dogs than it is for humans", "I would recommend alternative forms of stress relief such as feline chasing or rawhide chewies", and "Well, it is highly addictive and some canines have very delicate digestive systems."Draw your own conclusions, Kono, but I’d prefer to think that an occasional brew (consumed in moderate quantities of course...especially for burrito dogs like Chihuahuas) would be acceptable for many dogs. I’m sure that there are a few pansies out there whose "delicate digestive systems" might induce adverse reactions generating business for their local carpet cleaning service, but this Big Dawg eats license plates for breakfast and needs a little Oktoberfest to wash it down with! Your best bet would be to consult your personal physician cause he knows your insides a lot better than I do...unless you were in that out of control party in the dog park last weekend. Take Care, Kono.Woof!Murl.
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