Rocket Frog got its name from the little frog that gained Internet fame for being sent skyward by the launch of the LADEE spacecraft on a Minotaur V rocket at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Wallops Island, VA in 2013 (pictured above). You’ll notice that some of the beer names salute that brave frog and our NASA space program.
Last Saturday I was able to visit the brewery and try eight of their new beers. I had already heard good things about Rocket Frogs beer, but I was taken aback at how refined the beers were for a brand new brewery. They tasted as if the brewery had honed their brewing system and equipment over a few years, not a few months. All the beers were good, but my favorites were Wallops Island Brown Ale with Coffee, Angry Angry Alice Imperial IPA, and the Angry Alice IPA with Blood Orange (unfortunately it ran out while I was there). Here are some quick reviews on the beers:
- Minotaur V (Blonde Ale) – not usually a fan of this style, but the best blonde ale I can recall having. Will be good on hot and humid DC summer days.
- Minotaur V with Passion Fruit – the passion fruit add a nice little sweetness to the blonde. Again, it would be great on a hot summer day.
- Angry Alice (IPA) – very good, crisp, and clear IPA.
- Angry Alice with Blood Orange – I’ve always liked the idea of a blood orange, but many of them disappoint. This one did not and I’ve never described one before as zesty, but this one was amazingly zesty. In talking with one of the brewers, they put a LOT of orange zest in it and it worked!
- Angry, Angry Alice (Imperial IPA) – Very well done standard and clear IIPA. Had a very nice bite.
- Wallops Island (Brown Ale) – I’m a sucker for good brown ales and I loved this one.
- Wallops Island (on Nitro) – and I thought Guinness was smooth on draft! I could drink way too many of these on an autumn afternoon during college football.
- Wallops Island with Coffee – delicious deep, dark coffee flavors that dovetailed perfectly with the brown ale.
There is no food available at the brewery, but there will often be food trucks and there are some good local options within walking distance (Romano’s, Sweet Signatures, etc…). Crooked Run Brewing is located in the same industrial park and has a great taqueria in it too.
Rocket Frog is about a 35-50 minute drive out from DC as it is located just to the North of Dulles Airport.