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.