Best Local Beer

Big Red Norm at Denizens Brewing Company
1115 East West Highway, Silver Spring, (301) 557-9818
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Sour beers, IPAs, and the gose style of beer have dug their claws into the D.C. beer scene and can be found on just about any beer list worth a damn. But what about the elusive American red ale? Big Red Norm from Denizens Brewing Co. straddles the line between a light beer and a hefty beer and it smells like all the finer things in life, including caramel and baking biscuits. The malty beer with 6.8 percent ABV gets its name from Norman Lane, who was both the unofficial mayor of Silver Spring and the town drunk. “His bronze bust is in an alleyway where he used to hang out,” says co-founder Julie Verratti. Big Red Norm is packaged in cans and kegs and is available year-round.