Arlington, VA

Your Beermonger: Changes

This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway). Sign up for Nick’s email newsletter and also receive exclusive discounts and offers.

If you’ve been by the shop recently — and I hope you have because otherwise we’re all wasting my time and my boss’ money — you’ve noticed the work being done around Arrowine: The wood paneling going up, the walls being built or rebuilt, and definitely the giant bare section of wall where all of my beer shelves used to be.

I’ve almost gotten used to the space, but we’re coming up on our final push in Arrowine’s great remodeling, so I think it’s a good time to talk about what to expect from the brand-new Beer Department once everything’s in place.

First thing’s first: The biggest new feature of the Beer Department will be that, finally, we’ll have draft beer for crowler and growler fills. Yes, it’s going to be all to-go for now and for the foreseeable future. You may not have a hard time imagining that this is the piece I’m most excited about; I’ve worked beer and wine retail for 16 years and never have been able to access everything available to me because I haven’t had draft lines to play with.

The selections available at the station should, I think, reflect the approach I’ve had to beer buying at Arrowine since I first started on. You’ll find a mix of hot, “gotta have it” beers from all over, along with some hidden gems from all over the world. I’m really hoping to be able to spotlight styles and breweries that may not be what you see everywhere but will work well with what the new Deli Department is going to doing. My importer friends are going to be getting a lot of bothersome texts and emails, is what I’m saying.

The logistics of the new layout will mean a loss in the sheer number of bottles I’ll be able to keep on-hand. My hope is that the rotating features in the draft station will make up for the loss, and of course I’ll continue to find ways to fit ten gallons of beer in the five-gallon space that is our Beer Department. Old habits die hard.

I’d love to be more specific about what I’m going to be running with going forward; it would certainly make answering questions about it easier. The thing is, I’m going into this not expecting any particular thing to happen. The Beer Department here at Arrowine grew as it did the first time because I let my instincts and the response from our clients guide it, and I’m going to do the same this time. We’ll see where it goes.

In the meantime, with my fingers crossed as hard as I can possibly cross them, I’ll hopefully be back up by the end of the first week of December ready to see where this thing takes us, and I look forward to seeing many of you there for the ride.

Upcoming events at Arrowine:

Friday, November 22, 5-7 p.m. — Frankie Quinton of Atlas Brew Works
Saturday, November 23, 1-4 p.m. — Joe Kasper of 3 Stars Brewing Company
Wednesday, November 27, 10-7 p.m. — Thanksgiving Eve
November 28 — Closed for Thanksgiving
November 29-December 4 — Closed for renovations (subject to change for any number of reasons — but I really, really hope not)

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