Arlington, VA

This sponsored column is written by Steve Quartell, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway). Sign up for the email newsletter and receive exclusive discounts and offers. Order from Arrowine’s expanding online store for curbside pickup.

My last Beer Newsletter for the shop was titled “Beer for you — Here for you” it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot. Frankly it’s on all our minds here at Arrowine and other small businesses working to make adjustments for community safety while still serving that same community.

And yeah, we all remember the phrases we heard ad nauseam at the start this — “Now more than ever” or “We’re all in this together.” Let me tell you, as much as I grew tired of hearing it from multinational corporations, it really hits home for a small business. We really are in this together — and our commitment to service, quality and safety is important — now more than ever.

So we are very much “Here for you” more over, I’ve come to appreciate my go-to beers that beckon “Here for you” from the cooler more and more these dog days of summer (or is that beer for you — sometimes can’t hear over the phones).

“New” is so integral to craft beer culture, but for a lot of my professional drinking career, I’ve stuck with some of the same standbys and go-to beers more often than not. We talked 312 last time and that beer honestly took me all the way through 2011. I really didn’t need another one, until the flavor profile changed and left me coming up short.

Thankfully, this coincided with the start of new breweries right at home — and I quickly settled into some new go-tos from the brewers that were just opening in the D.C. area — Port City, DC Brau and oh so many now that came to follow.

I still go back to a lot of those beers that helped establish the area’s first breweries since Christian Heurich shut down operations. There’s just that comfort in cracking open a beer and knowing what road it’s gonna take you down. Like re-watching your favorite tv show, putting your favorite song on repeat, or putting on that ten part basketball documentary series you dig as background noise while finishing work on something.

My go-to beers don’t take me back anywhere in particular — really they put me right where I am. They give me a little reminder that you’re alright just where you are, just take a breath for a minute, and then keep pushing on.

So call them what ya like, “Go-to beer” “Lawnmower Beer” “Background Beer” below are the beers that are “here for you” at least for me — you’ll find them all online at shoparrowine.com and at 10% off with code HereForYou. I’ve even included some glassware recommendations.

Optimal Wit — Can’t even guess how many times I’ve ordered an Optimal Wit simply because I knew I would never be disappointed. It’s an undeniable beer, of such quality and brewed with such integrity that it’s one of the few beers I’d ever say to enjoy out of a shaker pint, it needs no glassware enhancements — just give it that proper roused pour they recommend on their Instagram.

Sparkling Lime Lager — This beer? This beer right here? This one has a hold of me right now. When it’s too hot to enjoy even a helles lager or pils. This beer manages to hit somewhere between hard seltzer and radler in terms of heft, but still brings some nice malt flavors and a super zesty pop of lime. Best vessel is a coozie, but it cuts a mean figure in a Budvar mug too.

Howling Gale IPA — Howling Gale hits all the best West Coast IPA notes with an assertive bitterness, but brings Simcoe, Mosaic and Citra to the Double Dry Hop party, creating a refreshing burst of tropical fruit flavors and aromas — drink out of any darn glass ya want, this beer will taste great out of a dang sippy cup from the last concert you went to in the “before times.”

Old Pro Gose — For those who drink tart. Another undeniable beer. Just the perfect balance of mild acidity amplified by coriander and salt. Best serving vessel is an inflatable coozie — at least 3 times the size of your body, filled with water… just drink it in that kiddie pool you bought for this summer folks — you’re welcome.

Wallops Island — Just about the perfect amount of sweet, cocoa and roasted flavors while going down extremely smooth. Great slightly sweet finish after coming in from working the grill. I like it in a willi becher — or hey, throw it in your coffee mug and get on that 3rd zoom meeting of the day.

Try out some of my personal go-to’s and let me know what you think or tell me about your own go-to beers, who knows maybe I’m not listening to one that’s been talking to me from the cooler.

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