Mad Fox 3rd Annual Barleywine Festival

The award-winning Mad Fox Brewing Company, known for their unique house-crafted brew pub experience, has announced that their 3rd Annual Barleywine Festival will be a two-day fete, on Saturday, February 23 (11 am until midnight) and Sunday, February 24 (10 am until 11 pm). The event will feature Mad Fox’s own Barleywines, as well as some favorites from other breweries selected by CEO and Executive Brewer Bill Madden and his team.

Mad Fox was the first Mid-Atlantic brewer to create such an event, and as celebrations of high gravity beers have increased, the Fall Church destination draws aficionados from across the region, and from as distant as North Carolina and New York.

Many Americans are unfamiliar with barleywines, a term that describes a brewery’s strongest offerings and was coined in Britain in the early 1900’s; however, the brewing technique itself is quite archaic.  Barleywines were typically brewed for special occasions, such as coronations, and seasonally, for holiday celebrations. Without a doubt, barleywines are a Brewer’s pride, big in every way – more alcohol, malt and hops.  They are characterized by big, bold flavors, including tons of complex sugar and fruit notes.  The color can be anywhere from a light amber to a rich gold to a very dark amber or even brown.  American versions tend to be more heavily hopped (as opposed to their far tamer English cousins).  But the barleywine category is fairly broad, allowing for wide interpretation.

Beers will rotate through the two-day festival, on draught and cask, while they last. There is no admission fee, and beers will be served in 4 oz. sample glasses, priced at $3. Mad Fox will offer its usual menu options, including brunch on Sunday.

Mad Fox brewed two additions to the 2012 Barleywine Festival, including their 2011 Oaked Slobberknocker, a big, bold and hoppy American Style barleywine aged in Catoctin Creek Rye Whiskey barrels. According to CEO and Executive Brewer Bill Madden, the very last keg of this brew will be tapped for the Barleywine Festival – so aficionados can enjoy it while it lasts!

The UK’s high excise tax associated with substantial Original Gravities all but wiped out British barleywines, but in recent decades the style has made a comeback on this side of the Atlantic.  Anchor Brewing Company released the first, Old Foghorn, in 1975. Soon other brewers followed suit and today a wide array of barleywines are available, generally as a holiday or winter seasonal offering.

Located in the heart of the City of Falls Church at 444 West Broad Street, Mad Fox brews all its British, Belgian and German style beers in-house on a 15-barrel Premier Stainless brewing system with 180-barrels of fermentation space under the direct supervision of CEO and Executive Brewer Madden.  Two Mad Fox beers won international industry acclaim at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival® (GABF) in Denver, CO.  The Kellerbier Kölsch earned a gold medal while the English Summer Ale captured a bronze. At the 2012 GABF, the Elixir Maibock took home a silver medal.

Mad Fox features a chef-driven, seasonal menu with items house made from scratch and a focus on locally sourced produce, meats, cheeses and other farm fresh ingredients highlighting the quality of regional farms and producers.  Expect creative, comfort foods from Executive Chef Andrew Dixon’s exciting array of frequent specials. The restaurant offers plenty of free garage parking.  Additionally, it is centrally situated between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church Metro Stations, close to both Tysons Corner and Arlington.

For additional information or to make reservations, visit the Mad Fox Brewing Company online at or call 703.942.6840.  Follow Mad Fox on Twitter: @MadFoxBrewing or on Facebook: MadFoxBrewing.
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Mad Fox Brewing Company Barleywine Festival – Beer List

With 30 Barleywines already on hand, including the rare J.W. Lees Harvest Ale Draught 11.5% ABV
More information on sessions and tasting notes, when available, will be posted on the Mad Fox Barleywine Festival 2013 page.
•    Mad Fox Headcracker English-style Barleywine 2012 Draught 8% ABV
•    Mad Fox Slobberknocker American-style Barleywine 2012 Draught 9% ABV
•    Mad Fox Oaked Slobberknocker American-style Barleywine 2011 Draught 9% ABV
•    21st Amendment Lower DeBoom Barleywine 2012 Draught 10.5% ABV
•    Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine 2011 Draught 9.2% ABV
•    Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale 2012 Draught 10.2% ABV
•    Brooklyn Brewing Monster Ale 2011 Draught 10.3% ABV
•    DuClaw Devil’s Milk Barleywine 2012 Draught 10% ABV
•    Duck Rabbit Barleywine 2012 11% ABV
•    Flying Dog Horn Dog Barleywine 10.2% ABV
•    Great Divide Old Ruffian Barleywine 2012 Draught 10.2% ABV
•    Green Flash Barleywine 2011 Draught 10.9% ABV
•    Heavy Seas Below Decks English-style Barleywine 2010 Draught 10% ABV
•    Heavy Seas Below Decks English-style Barleywine Cabernet Barrel-aged 2012 Cask 10% ABV
•    JW Lees Harvest Ale Draught 11.5% ABV
•    Left Hand Widdershins Barleywine Draught 2011 10% ABV
•    Legend Barleywine 2011 15.5% ABV
•    Legend Barleywine 2012 15.5% ABV
•    Old Dominion Millenium Ale 2011 Draught 10.5% ABV
•    Old Dominion Millenium Ale 2012 Draught 10.5% ABV
•    Rogue Old Crusty Barleywine 2011 Draught 11.5% ABV
•    Rogue Old Crusty Barleywine 2012 Draught 11.5% ABV
•    Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2012 Draught 9.6% ABV
•    Southern Tier Back Burner Imperial Barleywine 2012 Draught 9.6% ABV
•    Stone Old Guardian Barleywine 2012 Draught 11% ABV
•    Uinta Anniversary Barleywine 2011 Draught 10.4%
•    Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot Barleywine 2011 Draught 11.1% ABV
•    Weyerbacher Insanity Ale 2011 Draught 11.1% ABV
•    Widmer Galaxy Barleywine 2011 9.6% ABV
•    Williamsburg Alewerks Grand Illumination American Barleywine 2011 Draught 11% ABV

Event Details

Date: February 23, 2013 - February 24, 2013
Event Type: Festival
Contact: Brian Bishop

Event Location

Mad Fox Brewing Company
444 W. Broad Street
Falls Church, VA 22046