Monday, November 16, 2015

Craft beer in Valley Junction, for Fox sake!

Views of the downstairs at Fox Brewing.

Fox Brewing is the latest craft brewery to open in the Metro, located in West Des Moines' Valley Junction neighborhood just south of Railroad Ave., at 103 S. 11th Street. On my first visit to Fox Brewing I was rather smitten with the cozy atmosphere of the tap room, with upholstered seating on opposite ends of the room, a large assortment of board games between the windows on the east end, and a counter-style table perched between two beams bisecting the seating space from the bar. More seating can be found upstairs along with a flat screen television and a commanding view of the brew room. On this occasion a crew of loyal TCU fans were upstairs, cheering their football team along.

Upstairs, a view of the brewroom.

A flight-and-a-half of Fox's range.

Fox offers Foxy Blonde and Fox Tail ales year-round, along "…with a constant rotation of single-batch and barrel-aged beers flavored with locally sourced ingredients when available." The Foxy Blonde, a Belgian blonde ale (6.3% ABV, 27 IBU) is easy drinking, lightly bright, and with just enough hops for character. Fox Tail, an Irish red ale (5.76% ABV, 17 IBU) is malty with a smooth mouth-feel. Slye Rye, a pale ale (4.9% ABV, 28 IBU) has scant aroma and tastes like brown bread. Its very approachable.

From left: Foxy Blonde, Fox Tail, Slye Rye.

Hop-A-Long Fox, an India pale ale (6.88% ABV, 75 IBU) sports a tongue-coating bitterness, and nary a hint of floral notes. The Fox Trots chocolate milk stout (8.28% ABV, 61 IBU) offers a roasty aroma, and deeply so in flavor. A fine marriage of hops and malt, its a keeper! Seasonal Fox-O-Lantern pumpkin ale (6.17% ABV, 21 IBU) has some spice on the aroma and flavor, but it doesn't overpower the Farmers' Market sourced pumpkin used in the batch.

From left: Hop-A-Long Fox, Fox Trots, Fox-O-Lantern.

I appreciate the neighborhood vibe of the brewery, and applaud their choice of location. With the glut of businesses clamoring around developments out on the frontiers of the Metro, its nice to see someone take interest in an old neighborhood, not unlike 515 Brewing on University Blvd. in Clive, and Firetrucker Brewery in Uptown Ankeny.

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