This Saturday, June 26, the National Landing Market will feature — among others — the unique flavors of Altered Suds beers and Bun’d Up’s Taiwanese gua bao-style buns. The Market rotates through different vendors each week, so even if you’ve been before, it’s worth going again (and again) to see what’s new. So, grab a beer and a bun while you peruse local artwork, body care products and baked goods.
We caught up with Corey Ross from Altered Suds and Scott Chung from Bun’d Up to learn more about their background and involvement with the National Landing Market.
Corey Ross grew up knowing exactly what he wanted to do: open a brewery in his hometown of Warrenton, Virginia. He went to Siebel Institute of Technology in 2009 to build a strong foundation as an aspiring brewer. Continuing to hone his skills, he brewed for a few local places in Virginia until he decided to get serious about starting his own business.
“While looking for locations, Casey Ward from Molly’s Irish Pub overheard me talking,” Ross says. “He showed me an empty space below the pub and I immediately knew this was going to be the perfect location for Altered Suds.”
The space exemplifies Altered Suds’ mission statement: a brewery and tasting room focused on small-batch hop-forward beers, art, music and all things weird. Exposed brick and rock serve as a backdrop for the local artwork, darts, arcade games and more filling the room.
“Being a huge DeadHead myself. I wanted to create a very relaxed yet fun vibe for everyone to listen to music and talk beer.”
Ross also wants to offer a variety of flavors catering to beer enthusiasts’ diverse tastes.
“I knew I wanted to use high-quality ingredients for our beers, in hopes that the beer will speak for itself. Brewing on a three bbl system allows the chance for creativity and a constant rotation of beers.”
The menu includes beers like DK’s Nightmare, a stout with notes of chocolate and bananas; the Shamanistic Wonder, a brown ale that has chicory and sassafras with malty hints; and the Wizard Elixir, simply known as an “IPA with magical powers,” among other sours, lagers and IPAs.
“Life is too short to be normal,” Ross says. “To be a little weird and out there is the Altered Suds way.”
As for participating in the National Landing Market, Ross is happy to be part of a diverse creative community.
“I can’t wait to roam and explore other vendors. I’m just as excited [to explore] as I am to pour our beer there.”
Stop by to get a taste of the weird and fantastic Altered Suds brewery.
Like Ross, Scott Chung of Bun’d Up knew he wanted to work in the food and market world from a young age. Chung went to L’Academie de Cuisine Culinary School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and then worked in restaurants and at farmer’s markets. While at the markets, he was amazed at how quickly food vendors would sell out.
At the time, buns were starting to get big. Having worked an apprenticeship as a breadmaker, Chung learned the process of steamed buns and, combining his two ideas, began selling buns at local markets. Bun’d Up’s rapid success inspired Chung to expand his business and open additional shops in Union Market, Bethesda and Pentagon Row.
“The thing we pride ourselves on is that we make all buns in-house,” Chung says.
Each week, a four-person prep crew makes buns fresh, which is surprisingly not the protocol for most other places in the city.
In choosing the flavors, Bun’d Up puts a modern twist on Taiwanese gua bao.
“The buns are Taiwanese, but if you look at the fillings, a lot of the influences originated from Korean recipes, like Korean barbecue and kimchis.”
The market menu includes Korean BBQ beef, braised pork and mushroom fillings. While all three are enticing choices, Chung does have a favorite among the bun options.
“Definitely the mushroom bun. Anytime I go to a restaurant and the vegetables are done really well, that’s a highlight for me.”
Chung notes vegetables are often an afterthought or a side dish, and so creating delicious dishes based on vegetables is something that excites him.
If wondering whether buns pair well with a beer, Chung encourages the duo.
“Our food is similar to tacos in that it’s really easy to eat, so we do a lot of [collaborations with] breweries for that reason.”
As for how Bun’d Up will pair with Altered Suds, you’ll have to come and find out for yourself.
Altered Suds’ permanent location is in Warrenton. For more on their beer, visit alteredsudsbeer.com or @alteredsuds. Bun’d Up has several locations beyond National Landing Market including Pentagon Row, Bethesda and Union Market. For more on their food and where to find them, visit bundup.com or @bund_up.
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