Baying Hound: The Unheralded Local Brewery
Like everyone else in the DC area I’m ecstatic about all of the new local breweries. When Port City’s beers started popping up I couldn’t stop drinking them, especially the Monumental IPA. Being at Meridian Pint for the release of DC Brau’s Public was one of the coolest days of my life, and also the day I met Tonzi and asked if I could help on this blog. Seeing the excitement on Dave Coleman’s face when he released 3 Stars Syndicate at Churchkey continued to reinforce the significance of having local options. When the tweet came up that Chocolate City finally got power and was that much closer to production I couldn’t help but smile. However lost in the shuffle of all these new local breweries is one spot that beat them all to the punch.
That spot is Baying Hound.
While trying to make a decision one day at Connecticut Wine and Liquor I saw a bottle of their pale ale and, once I noticed it was from Rockville, I knew I had to try it out. The flavors were great, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any other beers by them in the area, so I forgot about the brewery.
Fate intervened though and a good friend of mine asked if I could help out with a beer tasting, and of course I did. At this event I got to meet Paul Rinehart, the founder and head brewer of Baying Hound. After chewing his ear off for a bit he invited us up for a tour of his facilities in Rockville.
The first time I went up I was a bit surprised by the place. Upon arrival I was amazed at just how small it is, I suppose that’s why it’s a nanobrewery. When we came in for the “tour” Paul didn’t really need more then a minute to show us around since it is just one relatively small room. I was a bit in awe that such a small spot could produce enough beer to be in the market.
Last week I went back with a friend since Paul had mentioned a few additions to the place. Despite it being small they had put in a six seat bar with three draft lines in place. The door was also open allowing the sun to shine in and let people drink on the comfortable chairs outside.
Before I get to the beers I’m going to talk about Paul Rinehart for a second. Similar to the location of his brewery Paul is quite an unassuming guy. He is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and although he speaks quite softly, you can feel his passion for beer with every word he says. Paul started to try and brew in his early teens, simply using anything he could get his hands on. His family certainly appreciates his work. In my two visits I’ve met his father, who spoke glowingly about him, and his wife, who seemed happy to help him with his passion.
On Friday I was up there to try the 1st of his imperial line, a Double Imperial IPA (yes you’re reading that right) called Sloppy Drunk. This hard-hitting beast has over 150 IBUs and clocks in at 16% ABV although Paul mentioned they were shooting for 17%. The smell was somewhat overpowering but after my initial taste it was not too hoppy and finished with more balance than I expected. The alcohol is pretty well hidden; if I had done this blind I probably would have guessed it around 11ish. Somewhat disturbingly drinkable for the ABV; probably a good thing they were serving it in 10 oz. pours.
While there I also got to try two other of his newer beers on tap. The 1st was the Sarvara Black IPA, which had a very healthy malt backbone and even if I would prefer it to be a bit more aggressively hopped, I thought it was solid for the style. I also got to taste a beer that was a mix of black and white tea. The consensus was that it tasted like iced tea and I agree that had I not been told it was alcoholic, I would have been clueless. The Sarvara is set to be available in bottles soon, while I don’t believe the tea beer is going to be bottled any time soon.
The best day to head up is Friday. From 2-8 all of the drafts are half off making full pints only 2.50 and 10 oz. pours only costing 1.50, as well as bombers being a dollar off. At the moment they are working on creating their own growlers, and are more then happy to fill up any you bring for only 10 bucks.
Baying Hound may not get a ton of publicity, but the beer speaks for itself.