Archive | February, 2009

Newsflash: A Small Victory!

27 Feb

I just received word that The Wine Specialist at 2115 M Street has received its exemption from the ban on the single sales of beer.  Trey, one of their associates, tells me that they’re getting beers back in stock but that it might take a little while for The Wine Specialist to get back to its former beery glory.

One note: the days of the “mix and match” six pack are over.  DC won’t allow mixed-producer packs, though it will allow singles of specialty beers (e.g. Belgian and German beers).

That being said, head on over to The Wine Specialist and receive a special 15% discount on singles of specialty beer until March 7.  I wonder if there are any other stores that have received an exemption…


Jumping Junipero Gin!

10 Feb

After I am done being a lawyer, I would like open up a coffee shop where I could help people wake up to hot cups of artisanal coffee.  I would also like to open restaurants, a jazz club, bookstore, a bar or two, and, if my other money-draining schemes have not bankrupted me by that point, open a winery, brewery, or distillery.

If I chose to open either a brewery or distillery, I would do well to take as an example the esteemed Anchor Brewing Company, the world-renowned San Francisco establishment that started the craftbrew movement (with the help of Maytag heir Fritz Maytag, apparently!).  Not only are they great at brewing delicious, delicious beers such as my personal favorite, Liberty Ale, but they are great at distilling quality, small-production spirits like whiskey and gin.

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Reminiscences on the Bay, Part I: Books and Brunch

7 Feb

Today I woke to gorgeous weather: the bright sun shining unhindered by cloud, smog, or fog, the temperature reading at a relatively warm 55 degrees.  I then had the good fortune of scheduling a Sunday brunch with my friends Dre and Mia from California (Dre works in California, and Mia works for the State Department), and, feeling warm and good and content I decided to postpone work by calling Megan for a cappuccino at Illy.

Based on Alex’s early-morning observation that a jacket was unnecessary, I decided to dress in a shirt and light sweater, and instead of wearing shoes decided on my much-neglected pair of Rainbows.  Thus clad, I went outside and was greeted by the most beautiful weather I had experienced in a while.  It was so wonderful, in fact, that Megan and I decided to take our drinks outside, where we talked at the little patch of grass between 22nd, M, and New Hampshire.

There are certain moments that seem archetypal, aren’t there, where sipping a coffee in the sun isn’t just a contemporaneous event but a continuance from your past.  It’s like having two mirrors facing each other: you look at one mirror and see your reflection repeated endlessly and endlessly behind you.  This moment with Megan drinking coffee on the bench transported me back to memories of Berkeley, where you could find me on any number of their infinite perfect days reading a novel with an iced Americano underneath shady trees.

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No More Singles in DC?!?!

6 Feb

After a light day at school, I am at home relaxing with a tuna-and-olive oil sandwich and a glass of Brasserie Dupont’s Foret, a delicious organic Belgian Saison ale that clocks in at a very moderate 7.5% ABV.  It is a darker amber color, with a nice head and a taste evocative of pine and apples (maybe even a touch of pineapple).  It’s a good combination with the (canned) tuna, which I mixed with olive oil, a bit of mayo, dried dill, pepper, and a bit of Hungarian paprika.  The beer even goes well with the song I’m listening to: Dylan’s “Goin’ to Acapulco” as covered by Calexico and vocals by Jim James of My Morning Jacket.  (Thanks to my roomate Alex for this musical recommendation.)

Unfortunately, the reason I am drinking Foret at 2:15 in the afternoon is that I bought a bunch of single bottles of great Belgian, German, and American craftbrews at the Wine Specialist at a markdown of 20%.  A markdown of 20% is awesome for anyone, but that markdown was caused by a recent DC council resolution that bans single sales of beer, including 40s of malt liquor but including things like singles of Coors or 750 mL bottles of Brasserie Dupont’s Foret.

Apparently such a ban had been in effect in various DC wards for over a year, but is now being implemented on a larger scale.  Local liquor stores such as the Wine Specialist and Riverside Liquors are applying for exemptions, but the exemption process may take up to two or three months.

The ban takes effect on Monday, February 9, which means that you won’t be able to buy singles of any beer or malt liquor at most places until at least April or May.  You will, however, be able to purchase single bottles at Whole Foods, which was able to get an exemption.

This ban implicates issues of public safety, littering, alcoholism, crime, etc., etc.  I can see the logic behind it, but the method certainly seems draconian.  I am tempted to say that only certain types of alcohol should be subject to the ban, such as malt liquor, but then socioeconomic factors and equal protection concerns come into play.  Some suggestions are that beers below 70 ounces but above 40 ounces should be allowed, or beers above $4.00, but the same issues arise.  On the other hand, the Wine Specialist estimates that beer sales make up about 11-12% of their total sales, which could mean the difference between profitability and bankruptcy in these tough economic times.

In the short term: go to your local liquor/beer/wine shop and buy beers!  The Wine Specialist, as I mentioned above, is liquidating its singles stock at 20% until Monday, February 9.  Other shops probably have similar deals going on.  In the long term–tighten your belts around your livers.