After nearly a decade in Falls Church, Mad Fox Brewery will pour its last brew on Sunday, July 21.
CEO and exec brewer Bill Madden announced the impending closure in a Facebook post yesterday, prompting nearly 400 comments from followers offering condolences and reminiscing about good times at its Broad Street home.
”As much as we tried to compete, there are an overwhelming number of choices for the local population,” he wrote. “Sales have been on a slow decline over the last several years and, unfortunately, staying open is no longer sustainable.”
Falls Church got two brand new options for beer tasting last year alone. Audacious Aleworks’ new 2,500-square-foot production facility (110 E. Fairfax Street) debuted last spring. A “nano-brewery” dubbed Settle Down Easy Brewing Co. followed at 2822 Fallfax Drive in the fall.
“The Brewpub business model is a tough one to maintain compared to a Brewery Taproom with little overhead, lower rents and outsourced food trucks,” Madden notes in his post. “Our draw from the surrounding areas has dwindled in what has become an extremely competitive craft beer market, which has resulted in this final decision.”
Madden also wrote that Mad Fox was trying to reach a new deal with the landlord and bank, but the numbers wouldn’t have panned out in its favor.
His long-standing brewery (444 W Broad Street), complete with a 60-foot bar, offers around a dozen beers of its own, including seasonally inspired brews, barrel-aged creations, and straight-from-the-cask selections. Its tavern-style menu includes calamari, burgers, pizza, and wings.
Washington Post reporter Fritz Hahn noted on Twitter that Mad Fox was brewing “citrus-forward IPAs” before the New England-style hazy beers became mainstream. Meridian Pint beverage director Jace Gonnerman also bemoaned online that the closure was indicative of a beer scene that rewards “hype over quality.”
A few more thoughts:— Fritz Hahn (@fritzhahn) July 9, 2019
1. Bill's Kolsch and Wee Heavy are legit HOF D.C. area beers. Orange Whip turned a lot of people onto citrus-forward IPAs well before haze was a thing.
2. The Glover Park taproom was a good idea, but a money pit.
3. This won't be an isolated situation.
Hot take: The closure of @MadFoxBrewing is an exclamation point on a beer scene that has been trending this way for awhile: hype over quality. Making really, really good beer in traditional styles is no longer enough.— Jace Gonnerman (@jacewg) July 9, 2019
A previously announced 9th Anniversary Party (Saturday, July 12) is still going ahead as planned, now doubling as an unofficial going away party of sorts ahead of its last day of service about a week later.
Read Madden’s full message below: