Editors' pick

Dogfish Head Alehouse

American, Bar/Restaurant
$$$$ ($15-$24)

Editorial Review

New Dogfish Head is Hopping in Falls Church
By Fritz Hahn
Washington Post Weekend Section
Friday, October 19, 2007

After months of delays, the taps are finally flowing at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Falls Church. The restaurant and beer bar was supposed to open in February, but it has been worth the wait.

Dogfish Head favorites on draft include the 60 Minute and 90 Minute pale ales, which fizz with hops, and the dry, spicy Chicory Stout. But what will really draw the bar's fans are the seasonal and oddball beers the company is known for.

Take Chateau Jiahu, a fruity elixir that's closer to mead than to beer, re-created from 9,000-year-old samples of a beverage found in pottery jars in a Neolithic Chinese village. And don't miss the Golden Era, a lively, hoppy pilsner that packs such a wallop that it's served in a brandy snifter instead of a pint glass. (Stop by weekdays from 4 to 7 for happy hour, which knocks $1.50 off the drafts.)

As at the Gaithersburg location, there's a "vintage beer cooler" with bottles mellowing like wine. A four-year-old bottle Worldwide Stout sips as beautifully as a cognac, with chocolate and malt in the nose. This is no ordinary beer, as you might tell from the price tag ($26 for a 12-ounce bottle -- seriously) and its alcohol content, which is about 23 percent by volume.

There's more than beer, of course. The wood-grilled pizzas are tasty -- check out the Chesapeake version, with pesto, crabmeat and asparagus -- and the burgers are filling. No wonder you'll find so many kids in the place, whether you come after work or to watch the Redskins game on one of the many flat-screen TVs. It's an adult crowd when bands perform Saturday nights without a cover charge.

I have just one request for Dogfish: Can you please open a location near a Metro station, so more of us can enjoy the high-octane beers without facing the driving dilemma?