Beer #5: Wrecked Sleigh

Midnight Mayhem (entry no. 5 in the Twelve Beers of Christmas series).

Some descendents of George Washington build a farm in 1832 out in Springfield, West Virginia. Someone recently bought the farm (no really, they bought the farm) and set out to rehab all the historic buildings on site. My friend Mike is caretaking the property and helping with the restorations. We went out there to check out the history and drink some holiday cheer.

Never one to arrive empty-handed, I picked up some growlers at Franklin’s General Store and brewpub in Hyattsville, MD, my favorite brewpub in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The Store is filled with humorous knick-knacks of the sort that reminds me of a place called Spencer’s that was in the mall where I grew up in Pennsylvania, except that in this place half the stuff makes fun of George Bush. The Store also has a deli in the back and one of the best beer and wine selections in the area. 

They expanded from the store and opened the brewpub several years ago, giving new life to a run down strip that must have once been a main street but since became a mere drive-thru on a fast-moving biway. Since Franklin’s opened their restaurant brewery, the area has become a bit of an arts district and a number of new businesses and condo developments have sprung up along the same section of avenue. It’s a case study of how a good brewpub can revitalize a decayed urban area. 

Keeping with the holiday theme of this Twelve Beers of Christmas series of blog posts, I chose a growler of their Wrecked Sleigh, a hop-powered holiday ale that defies style categorization. Perhaps it’s a stretched metaphor but I like how the beer’s name suggests destruction and yet the beer itself invigorates, much like the brewpub has reinvigorated Hyattsville and like Mike is rehabbing the dilapidated historic Washington estate.

In the picture: Seung and I, well fortified after a few runs on the Sleigh, tear down strips of ugly old faux stone from the kitchen wall of the ain manor house of the former plantation.


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