There’s been one brewery on my mind ever since I checked out their new taproom two weeks ago: Aslin Beer Company. Many people in the Boston area may not be familiar with these guys; I certainly wasn’t when I first moved to the DC area. Once I did move, I kept hearing the name Aslin again and again when trying to find the best brewery around.
Lucky for me, they just opened up a new taproom 15 minutes away from my apartment not even a month ago, and I was quite impressed. They make NEIPA’s as good as anyone actually in New England, mouth-puckering sours that leave you making faces well into the fourth and fifth sips (a sign of a great sour in my opinion) and some downright killer stouts. When it comes to what grabs your attention in the beer world these days, those three boxes are all you really need to check to stand out.
The top rated beers from Aslin are almost exclusively IPA’s and stouts, no surprise there. If you can get your hands on them, Single, Double and Triple Orange Starfish, Master of Oranges, Master of Karate and Mind the Hop are some of their highest rated beers on Untappd, but it seems like every IPA they make has above a 4 rating on the app. For stouts, they have a bunch of amazing styles featuring all sorts of flavor additives, while their line of sours beers does the same.
So what do I actually recommend? Here’s a quick run down:
–Glamping Imperial Stout– Probably the best stout I’ve ever had. Made to mimic a s’more, this beer features marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate, and the added bonus of…peanut butter! This is the first beer with peanut butter I had where I could really smell and taste the PB. Incredible. Oh yeah, it’s 15% alcohol and drinks like it’s less than half that, so watch out.
–Pisghetti Western Stout– Another 15% imperial stout that doesn’t taste like it, this is conditioned on chocolate, hazelnuts, coffee, vanilla and cinnamon. I thought this had a touch too much cinnamon, which accentuated the heat from the alcohol just a bit more than I preferred. However, all the other flavors are delicious, and it’s still a great beer.
–Master of Oranges DIPA– It’s pretty hard for me to be impressed by IPA’s these days. NEIPA’s can easily disguise off-flavors or a weak malt base by adding more dry-hops, more citrusy hops, more more more. On top of that, most people use the same four or five hops, so the difference from beer to beer is minute. That being said, this beer was fantastic, easily the best IPA I’ve had in DC. This beer is a combo of Double Orange Starfish and Master of Karate, and it blew me away.
–El Frutero Sour Ale- A light, easy going sour at first taste, every sip seems to pack more flavor. Brewed with watermelon, lime, habanero peppers and salt, this beer is a perfect pairing for fish tacos. As a matter of fact, I would actually prefer this beer with food because the habaneros really punch you in the tongue.
I really only have one beef with Aslin to this point, and it has nothing to do with the beer. The new spot is tinkering with the food menu, and we found out the hard way that it is overpriced. Much to our chagrin, the $8 deviled eggs we ordered was actually one egg, cut in half, with a sliver of jalapeno and a fried oyster on top. Considering all over Boston you can find $1 oysters and I can go to the grocery store and buy an 18-pack of Nellie’s Free Range Eggs for $5.69, that price is a rip off. I was assured they would be changing that, so I now have nothing more to complain about.
Although they don’t make it up to Boston, I highly recommend anyone traveling down to DC or Virginia stop by their locations and drink up. You won’t be disappointed.