49°Fog

by Anna Merod February 21, 2018 at 4:50 pm 0

Latitude Apartments (3601 Fairfax Drive) is hosting an event for pets and their owners tomorrow (Thursday) and ARLnow is bringing some dog-friendly freebie frisbees.

The new Virginia Square apartment building is hosting “Pups & Pints” in its lobby, with snacks, drinks and a puppy photo booth.

ARLnow.com is co-hosting the free event, which will be held from 6-8 p.m.

The Latitude is a pet-friendly apartment community, offering studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Features include a dog spa and a rooftop deck with an expansive view.

Latitude Apartments is an ARLnow.com sponsor.

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 21, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

Several signs are up at The Lot, Clarendon’s first outdoor beer garden, but not much else.

Work on The Lot was originally supposed to end last summer, but it is now expected to finish up at some point later this year.

It will replace the now-defunct Prime Auto Group car lot at 3217 10th Street N., which still had signs up earlier Wednesday.

According to a pending Virginia ABC license application, The Lot intends to sell wine and beer and have a seating capacity of over 150. An enclosed deck will be built, as well as a small kitchen.

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 20, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

 Tuesday, Feb. 20

Optimal Physical Therapy Open House*
Optimal Physical Therapy (1700 N. Moore Street)
Time: 4-7 p.m.

Meet with physical therapists, enjoy light refreshments, and tour the new Optimal Physical Therapy location at the Rosslyn Metro Center building.

Pet Dental Care 101
Aurora Hills Library (735 18th Street S.)
Time: 5-6 p.m.

Clarendon Animal Care presents an pet oral health lesson. It’s national pet dental health month, so now is as good as ever to learn how to take care of your cat’s bad breath.

Toastmasters Open House
Asahi Restaraunt (2250 Clarendon Boulevard)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

An evening dedicated to the organization focused on improving public speaking and leadership skills, where interested potential toastmasters can ask questions and learn more over dinner.

Wednesday, Feb. 21

Introduction to Python
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Learn the Python programming language for free with this beginner’s course aimed at introducing debugging and other software programming fundamentals. Registration is required.

Arlington Committee of 100: Opioid Crisis Conversation*
Marymount University – Phelan Hall (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7 p.m.

A dinner conversation focused on addressing the opioid crisis’ causes and effects in Arlington, and what the community and officials can do to stop the epidemic. Dinner is $28 for members, $30 otherwise.

 Thursday, Feb. 22

Pups & Pints*
Latitude Apartments (3601 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Latitude Apartments presents a free happy hour for you and your puppies, with snacks, drinks, and socializing for all. Be sure to check out the puppy photo booth!

Right Proper Beer and Donuts Night at Sugar Shack
Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee (1014 S. Glebe Road)
Time: 4:30-9:30 p.m.

Right Proper Brewing brings several of their beers — including their cherry-aged Cheree Berliner-Weissenborn — to the donut shop for an evening of beer pairings, paninis, and pastries.

Black Music Matters
Aurora Hills Library (735 18th Street S.)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

Celebrate Black History Month with Katea Stitt, the program director at WPFW-FM 89.3, as she examines black music’s evolution and the impact it has had on social justice initiatives.

 Friday, Feb. 23

Creative Coffee: Ink Washes
Connection: Crystal City (2100 Crystal Drive)
Time: 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

A casual weekly creative meet-up for artists to experiment and improve their work in a social setting. Bring your own materials to this adult-friendly gathering.

St. Agnes Soup Supper*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The church will offer meatless soups and a noodle dish, and more every Friday during the Lenten holiday. Guests are invited to stay for confession and the stations of the cross afterwards.

Val Kilmer: Cinema Twain
Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Actor and Director Val Kilmer, of Top Gun and Batman Forever, presents a screening on his one-man show, Citizen Twain. Tickets from $30-$75. Through February 24.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Poetry Reading: Douglass & Waters
One More Page Books (2200 N. Westmoreland Street)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

Two award-winning poets — M. Scott Douglass and Jesse Waters, come to the bookstore to read from their books as well as other collections.

Urban Agriculture: Plan & Prepare Your Vegetable Garden
Westover Library (1644 N. McKinley Road)
Time: 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Learn how to bring some gardening techniques to your balcony, roof deck, or larger urban space with the latest installment in the library’s urban agriculture series. This month’s topic will be planning and preparing a vegetable garden. Reservations requested.

Sunday, Feb. 25

A Diana Peterfreund Conversation: Omega City Trilogy
One More Page Books (2200 N. Westmoreland Street)
Time: 3-4 p.m.

Author Diana Peterfreund discusses the final installment of her tween intergalactic adventure series, Omega City. Peterfreund has penned over ten novels for adults, kids, and everyone in between.

* Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by ARLnow.com January 5, 2018 at 8:00 am 0


Arlington’s New District Brewing is rolling out its second-ever bottled beer this coming Saturday, and you’re invited to the release party.

The Shirlington-area brewery at 2709 S. Oakland Street is introducing Abbey, a spiced, smooth Belgian Dubbel. But it’s a limited edition: just 250 individually-corked and hand-labeled 750ml bottles.

New District expects to sell out of its stock within 2-3 weeks, so the best opportunity to get your hands on one is at the release party on Saturday.

The event is being held from 1-9 p.m. at the brewery. Each $25 ticket will get you:

  • One 2 Year Anniversary Dubbel 750ml limited release bottle (with option to buy a second)
  • One pint of 2 Year Anniversary Dubbel on Tap
  • One beef brisket taco from the famous La Tingeria food truck, braised in a chipotle garlic sauce with NDBC brewed street beer for 12 hours.

Several other events are being planned at New District this week: a live band — No Second Troy — on Friday, and fill specials on Sunday.

The preceding was written by ARLnow.com and promoted by New District Brewing.

by ARLnow.com December 20, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Beyer Blasts GOP Tax Bill — Rep. Don Beyer is, to say the least, not a fan of the Republican tax bill that is expected to pass the House and be sent to the president’s desk later today. “At its core, this bill is an immoral redistribution of wealth towards the richest among us at a cost of trillions of dollars, and I believe that those who voted for this monstrosity will be held accountable,” Beyer said in a statement. [Rep. Don Beyer, Twitter]

Single Vote Swings Va. House — Thanks to a Democratic candidate in Newport News winning her race by a single vote, as determined in a recount, the Virginia House of Delegates is now evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, ending a majority the GOP has maintained since 2000. [Washington Post]

‘Dominion Pint’ Coming to Arlington — The owner of Meridian Pint (also Brookland Pint and Smoke & Barrel) in D.C. is planning to open a new craft beer-centric outpost somewhere in North Arlington. The location has not yet been announced, but it will be called “Dominion Pint.” [PoPville]

DESIGNArlington Winners Announced — The Arlington County Board on Tuesday recognized the ten 2017 DESIGNArlington award winners for “outstanding architectural or landscape design in the County.” Among the winners are the new Marymount University building in Ballston, the Tellus apartment building in Courthouse, “The Quill” public art project in Rosslyn and two private North Arlington residences. [Arlington County, Arlington County]

Gutshall Sworn In — The newest Arlington County Board member, Erik Gutshall, was sworn in at yesterday’s Board meeting, while outgoing County Board Chair Jay Fisette received a standing ovation. [Twitter]

Changes to Historic Preservation Process — The Arlington County Board voted unanimously last night to revise and further codify the process for requesting historic preservation studies. Until now, any single individual could request a “historic preservation overlay district” study, which requires significant county staff time to complete. Before the vote, such a study could even be requested without consulting property owners in the proposed district. [Arlington County]

Arlington Man Dies in Plane Crash — Paul Schuda, a National Transportation Safety Board official and Arlington resident, was among three people killed in the crash of a small plane in Indiana. [NPR, Legacy]

Photo courtesy Peter Golkin

by Chris Teale September 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington will host its second annual “Pints 4 Paws” beer festival next month.

The festival, from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, October 15 at Courthouse Plaza (2040 15th Street N.) will have unlimited craft beer tastings, food trucks and vendors offering animal-related goods and services.

Also included: a costume contest for dogs, with prizes including a stay at the Healthy Hound Playground, dog clothing from Winthrop Clothing Co. and tickets to an Ale & Asana yoga class with Beth Wolfe. Attendees can also play with some adoptable AWLA dogs.

Tickets cost $35 online and $40 on the door, with admission costing $10 for designated drivers and non-drinkers. Children under 12 are admitted for free. An option is also available for those who cannot attend to donate online. All proceeds from the event will benefit AWLA.

“What better way to celebrate the glory of autumn (cool temps, clear skies, hint of wood smoke in the air) AND support homeless animals?” organizers wrote.

by Chris Teale September 26, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

A new street festival this fall will celebrate the Four Mile Run Valley’s businesses and artists.

Valley Fest” is set for Sunday, November 5 from 12-5 p.m. on S. Oakland Street, and will include live music, local art on display and food trucks.

New District Brewing Company (2709 S. Oakland Street) is also offering two packages that include commemorative Valley Fest cups and beer tasting tickets.

Admission is free, and entrance to the festival is available from S. Oakland Street’s intersection with S. Four Mile Run Drive in the north, and from next to the Shirlington Dog Park in the south.

More from a New District press release:

New District Brewing Company is proud to present the inaugural Valley Fest Street Festival! Valley Fest is a collaboration and celebration of the Four Mile Run Valley Arts and Local Businesses.

Valley Fest was conceived from area leaders who wish to foster the growing Four Mile Run Valley as an active arts and community hub. This area is alive with significant cultural and civic groups such as Theatre on the Run, Jane Franklin Dance, and, Arlington Cultural Affairs. Please help us celebrate this momentous occasion on Sunday, November 5, 2017 from 12-5 p.m.

Area musicians and performing artists will set the stage for entertainment, local artists will showcase their pieces and, food trucks will offer tasty delights. A kids zone will keep the family busy while beer will be in abundance for adults.

Information and Tickets: www.arlingtonvalleyfest.com

Map via Valley Fest.

by Chris Teale September 21, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington is preparing to host its 18th annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 30.

The Teutonic, beer-filled festivities last from noon to 7 p.m. at The Village at Shirlington and close Campbell Avenue to traffic for most of the day.

For those imbibing, the cost of admission is $30, which includes a wristband, tasting glass and 10 drink tickets. Additional drink tickets are available for $2 each, with a five-ticket minimum. Admission is free for children and non-drinkers.

More than 65 breweries from around the region and 30 local restaurants will offer German food, more than 100 beers on tap, traditional music and Alpine dancing, according to organizers. And Capitol City will host its “Best Fest” competition, where a panel of judges will crown the best Oktoberfest-style beer.

More from a press release:

Willkommen! Capitol City Brewing Company is gearing up for its 18th annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest celebration. On Saturday, September 30, more than 65 regional breweries and 30 local restaurants will serve up their best fares at this year’s Oktobefest celebration. The eighteenth annual event runs from noon to 7 p.m. at The Village at Shirlington. Ticket sales begin at 11:30 a.m. and beer taps close at 6 p.m. Entrance is free for children and non-drinkers.

Enjoy a “familiennachmittag” or family afternoon like they do in Munich, Germany. Capitol City invites beer-drinkers and festivalgoers alike to dress in traditional German garb and enjoy the tastes of authentic Bavarian brews, bratwurst and brezlen – the German-style pretzel. More than 65 local breweries will set up over 100 taps and share ale and lager samples with the thousands of anticipated guests from the DMV region.  Notable breweries include Fairwinds, DC Brau, Hardywood, Heroic, Port City, 3 Notch’d, James River, Heritage, Atlas and Caboose.

Capitol City will offer samples of its featured fall beers, including the classic Oktoberfest Lager and a new signature brew, the Grumpkins & Snarks Pumpkin Ale. Festivalgoers can enjoy Alpine music while they taste authentic German cuisine and other American fare from various local eateries.

Capitol City Brewing Company will again hold a BEST FEST competition for Oktoberfest-style beers. A panel of judges, all certified by the Beer Judgment Certification Program, BJCP, will taste and vote on the top Oktoberfest brew at the festival. Best Fest awards will be announced at 2 p.m.

The $30 admission ticket for beer drinkers includes an official Oktoberfest wristband, a Capitol City branded tasting glass, and 10 drink tickets. Additional drink tickets are available for purchase for $2 each with a five-ticket minimum. Admission is free for non-drinkers. Beer-drinkers must be 21+ to purchase a ticket. DC 101 is sponsoring the eighteenth annual Capitol City Oktoberfest.

Capitol City’s Oktoberfest Beer Selections:

Grumpkins & Snarks Pumpkin Ale:  6.2% ABV 20 IBU  A malty amber colored ale with Red Crystal Rye and Golden Naked Oats, flavored with over 120 lbs of spiced pumpkin butter made in house from locally grown Jarrahdale Pumpkins from Brookefield Pumpkins.  Gently hopped with Saaz for a true fall treat.

Oktoberfest:  5.5% ABV  25 IBU  An easy drinking fall lager, brewed with Pilsner, Vienna, Munich, and CaraMunich malts then moderately hopped with German noble hops.  Full and rich malt profile, lovely copper hue; perfect for the fall season!

For more information on Capitol City Brewing Company, please visit: www.capcitybrew.com. Find Capitol City Brewing Company on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CapCityBrew and on Twitter: @CapCityBrewers.

Courtesy photos.

by ARLnow.com September 14, 2017 at 8:45 am 0

Arlington No. 6 on Highest-Income List — Arlington County is the No. 6 highest-income county in the country, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. Three other local counties — Loudoun County, Howard County and Fairfax County — were Nos. 1, 2 and 3 respectively. D.C., meanwhile, was one of the only urban centers in the country to see a decline in its median household income. [Washington Post]

Local Oktoberfest List — A Reddit user has created a master list of local Oktoberfest celebrations and German restaurants. Among the events on the list is the annual Capitol City Brewing Oktoberfest in Shirlington, scheduled this year for Saturday, Sept. 30. [Google Docs, Reddit]

Arlington Ladies Auxiliary Van For Sale — For $3,500, you can be the proud owner of a 1967 Dodge van that once was used as the Arlington Professional Firefighters Association Ladies Auxiliary coffee wagon. [Craigslist]

Arlington Combating Opioid Epidemic —  Arlington County is reminding residents that opioid addiction remains a significant problem in the county and around the U.S. “Opioid use and cases of overdosing continue to rise,” the county said, on a webpage that lists resources for those trying to overcome addiction. [Arlington County]

Mobility Lab Director Touts Success — “We calculated that on a typical workday, our services in Arlington County helped shed about 40,000 trips from vehicles into biking, walking, et cetera,” says the Managing Director of Arlington County’s Mobility Lab, in an interview. “That’s equivalent to seven lanes of urban highway.” [Arlington Magazine]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by Chris Teale August 31, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

After months of delays and regulatory hurdles, new Columbia Pike beer garden BrickHaus is set to open on Labor Day.

The 2900 Columbia Pike restaurant will open its doors at 2 p.m. with full service inside and a range of freshly tapped beers and new food. Reservations are not available, and the patio will not be open until October, owner Tony Wagner said in a Facebook post.

It's time to celebrate! BrickHaus is at long last opening our doors on Columbia Pike on Monday, September 4th. Doors…

Posted by BrickHaus on Thursday, August 31, 2017

Most construction on the space has been finished since May.

BrickHaus will be a beer garden on the first floor, with some 20 beers on tap and an approximately 30-seat outdoor patio. The second floor mezzanine will have upstairs dining with a menu including steaks, German food and other entrees.

It will offer mostly regional brews from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, in addition to perhaps a couple of German beers. Wagner said draft wine will also be available.

The aging building has received an extensive renovation after being vacant for years following the departure of Blanca’s Restaurant.

“The oldest building on Columbia Pike will come to life once more, letting it all hang out!” Wagner wrote.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Garrett Cruce, a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server.

Last summer, I wrote about Dogfish Head Brewing Company’s craft beer tourism efforts in Delaware while I was on vacation there. This year, we took a special trip to the island of Maui in Hawaii where I decided to pay a visit to the two commercial craft breweries there — Maui Brewing Company (MBC) and Koholā Brewery.

The former is a brewery that upgraded to a large, new facility in the South Maui town of Kihei and the latter is a brewery that took MBC’s place at their original Lahaina location.

According to the Brewers Association, there are 14 breweries in the state of Hawaii placing it 48th out of 50. But that stat doesn’t tell the whole story. When you’re in Hawaii, each island can feel like it’s own country.

Two craft breweries on Maui means that you have plenty of options as most popular restaurants and hotels offer either or both breweries as choices. Occasionally you’ll even find something from one of the other 12 Hawaiian breweries. Of course, Kona Brewing Company is always represented. But when you can have fresh beer from truly independent craft breweries that are just down the road, do it.

Maui Brewing Company

Maui Brewing Company, established by Garrett Marerro and Melanie Oxley in 2005, is like the older brother of craft brewing on Maui. You can find it in the South Maui town of Kihei, just up the hill from the highway that separates the foothills of Haleakalā and the ocean. The tap room at the brewery reminded me of Ocelot Brewing Co. with plenty of room for tables and even some indoor games. You’ll find a long bar with more than 20 taps featuring mostly Maui beers with several guest takeovers.

If you’re lucky you’ll even run into Garrett Marrero talking to beer lovers by the bar — you’ll see him in the lower right corner of the taproom photo. Sample some of their beers in flights, full pours, or to-go in crowlers, growlers or cans. Both craft breweries on the island have crowler machines to make it easier to enjoy their beers on the beaches where bottles are not allowed.

Specializing in whatever they happen to be brewing at the time, MBC takes inspiration from and regularly uses local ingredients and flavors. For instance, the Pineapple Mana Wheat Ale uses the extremely flavorful Maui Gold pineapple to create juicy, crushable Hawaiian-style hefeweizen. I sampled a few of their less common offerings to give you an idea of how rewarding a visit to their brewery can be.

Grand Wailea 25th Anniversary Gose (5.5% ABV)

It’s important to note that MBC occasionally brews exclusive beers for local businesses, this is one of those. It was only available at the South Maui resort, Grand Wailea. Brewed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the resort, this gose was brewed with the popular salty and sour dried plum, li hing mui, and honey from the Big Island.

I enjoyed mine in a plastic cup by the Grand Wailea’s enormous pool, which was perfect. Definitely smelling of stone fruit, this beer is a mild gose — malty and salty with a light tartness. It turns out that in the tropical heat and humidity, such a beer just hits the spot.

Having this at the beginning of my trip, I had no idea what li hing mui was. I made it my mission to try li hing mui syrup, reduction, or powder on every shave ice that I had, what a treat.

Shave Weisse (3.5% ABV)

Speaking of shave ice — the popular Hawaiian frozen treat made by rotating blocks of ice across a blade to shave it and sweetened with syrups — MBC couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make this beer. Fruity and tongue-curdlingly sour, lemon, banana and unripened plum combine to make a liquid version of the popular treat. Though delicious and refreshing, I imagine this would be even better with a choice house-made syrup to take the edge off the sour. Either way, it’s a must-add to your flight.

Pineapple Mana Wheat (5.5% ABV)

The only MBC flagship beer that I included in my tasting flight — largely because I don’t gravitate toward this style — proved to be one of the most satisfying. As I mentioned above, MBC uses the sweet, aromatic native Maui Gold pineapple in this otherwise traditional wheat beer.

As you lift your glass toward your mouth, the expected banana and clove explode with fresh pineapple and a slight honey sweetness. This is a simple and refreshing beer — perfect at sunset as the temperature begins to drop.

The tourist luau these days is typically just a big dinner theater, often with an open bar and a traditional Hawaiian buffet. After the welcome Mai Tai, I ended up enjoying MBC’s Pineapple Mana Wheat for the whole evening at our luau — it was super tropical and sessionable.

Imperial Coconut Porter (9.4% ABV)

MBC first came to my attention in 2012 when the Coconut Porter won the Washington Post’s Beer Madness 2012. That was just the regular porter, now known as Hiwa Coconut Porter, the darkest MBC flagship beer. Since then, MBC has played with the winning combination of coconut and roasted malt making imperial versions that improve on the original.

One of the brewery’s offerings at this year’s SAVOR in Washington, D.C. was their rum barrel-aged imperial coconut porter called Black Pearl. That’s still my favorite version, but it’s very difficult to come by.

What’s easier to get and readily available at the Kihei brewery is the non-barrel aged imperial porter, winner of the gold medal in Field Beer at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF). It’s like drinking a coconut confection: toasted coconut, vanilla cake and a bit boozy. Being an imperial style, this was the strongest beer I had on the island. It’s a sipper unlike most of the beers that abound. Enjoy it in the light of the ubiquitous gas-fed tiki torches with the crashing of the waves always in the near distance.

Koholā Brewery

Koholā is the definitely the younger brother brewery — they even use sort of handed down equipment. Opened in 2015 by husband and wife, Christine and Ian Elumba in the original home of Maui Brewing Company, Koholā brews low alcohol beers to be enjoyed in the year-round sunshine on Maui.

Currently only available in kegs, Koholā’s various beers can be found around the island at hotels and restaurants and at the industrial-style tasting room inside the brewery in Lahaina. I was reminded of the intimate setting inside Aslin’s garage doors.

Named using the Hawaiian word for “whale” — a common sight off the coast during the winter months — these beers are far from the typical craft beer connotation of the word. Meant to be accessible and drinkable, Koholā’s beers are the opposite of the whales, hard-to-find beers, that cause lines to form and populate Instagram and Untappd.

The smallish 21 and over tasting room was hopping with a combination of locals and curious tourists. Patrons at the bar chimed in with the both Christine and Ian as we chatted about the beers on tap and favorite local businesses.

After consulting with both Ian and Christine, I chose three crowlers of their super fresh beers.

Lokahi Pilsner (5.5% ABV)

Invoking the Hawaiian word for harmony, Lokahi pilsner is truly a balanced and refreshing brew. Winner of the bronze medal in the German Pilsner Beer category at the 2016 GABF, this is a clean and simple lager. The aroma was jam packed with Italian bread, chamomile, green apple and white grape.

Sweet and smooth, Lokahi is a malt balanced lager with a slightly floral edge that cuts the grain. As we relaxed by the pool on our final day, I opted for this crushable pilsner over a tropical mixed drink and was not disappointed. It’s a great beer at cookouts, after yard work or with friends on the beach.

Shaka Island IPA (5.5% ABV)

A true session IPA, Shaka Island is meant to be enjoyed liberally in the very warm climate of Maui, particularly in Lahaina, which is Hawaiian for “cruel sun.” It’s a hop balanced IPA with a slight malt backbone.

I enjoyed the bright herbal flavor that was enhanced by a dry bitterness. This is not a sweet, cloying IPA, but rather it’s one that refreshes with a relatively brief burst of classic hop flavors. Made for day drinking, grab this IPA if you prefer more hops than a traditional pilsner provides. Grab a crowler and enjoy it al fresco.

Mean Bean Coffee Stout (6.4% ABV)

The impression that I got from my brief, but engaging conversation with Ian is that Koholā focuses on simple, approachable flavors in their beers. So, I was a bit surprised when he said I had to try their Mean Bean Coffee stout — coffee stouts are simple enough, but this is still more involved than their other offerings. He assured me that it had a good story to go along with it.

It turns out that there are coffee farms on Maui — you’ve heard of Kona coffee (that’s on the Big Island). The space next to Koholā is occupied by the Maui Grown Coffee Company roaster. Some of the Maui Grown Coffee employees are regular visitors to the brewery and suggested a collaboration.

They could bring the coffee and Koholā could bring the brewing equipment, you get the idea. They ended up using a variety of bean called the Red Catuai, a wine-like coffee bean that is grown up the highway on Maui Grown’s Ka’anapali farm.

The result was my favorite beer that they had to offer. The aroma is rich with espresso, vanilla, cereal and cocoa –pretty expected. What I was not expecting was the sip — a light mouthfeel with healthy amount of bitterness from the coffee and the roasted malts — which was almost reminiscent of a black IPA.

The use of bittering Magnum hops and flavorful classics, East Kent Goldings adds to the complexity of this stout and perhaps allows a drinker to blur the lines between styles. Though Mean Bean is not hop forward, there’s still a dance between all the flavors that makes this a beer for a variety of beer lovers. Incidentally, Ian recommended the coffee at Maui Grown, which was heartily seconded by a couple of the locals at the bar. It’s good stuff, I only wish I had known earlier in the trip!

Though you have to travel to Hawaii to find Koholā beer, you can find Maui Brewing Company’s flagship beers along with some seasonal offerings at Dominion Wine and Beer. Wherever you go, you’re bound to find great beer. Maui is a perfect example of this. As they say in the Aloha State: aloha and mahalo. Cheers!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 11, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Garrett Cruce, a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server.

Two local stories are part of Dominion Wine & Beers expansion of non-beer or wine fermentables: Baltimore’s Charm City Mead Works and Upstate New York’s Graft Cider (more about their local bona fides later).

I thought I would take a break from writing about fermented water, grain and hops to shed some light on recently or soon-to-be available fermented water and honey and water and apple cider. The fact that neither of these companies makes their beverage in the way that I think is typical or expected makes them compelling.

Charm City Mead Works — Baltimore

Fellow mead lovers, James Boicourt and Andrew Geffken, founded Charm City Mead Works in 2014 after meeting at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum where they both worked. Very much like their brothers and sisters in beer, the pair parlayed home brewing enthusiasm and skill into a full-time business.

Mead has a rich history in nearly all ancient and many contemporary cultures. Found in Chinese vessels that date back as far as 7000 BCE, residue of honey and evidence of fermentation show that the fermentable sugar in honey has been known for a very long time.

More recently, sort of, the Norse — Vikings — wrote elaborate stories about the divine properties of mead. Notable is the story of how Odin stole the Mead of Poetry, a tale of murder and deception and a divinely sourced mead that gave the drinker great powers of poetry.

It has been an alternative to foul and filthy water, the drink of gods, the drink of Renaissance Fairs, but Charm City just wants you to enjoy the labor of their love. They offer 12 oz. cans of carbonated meads — albeit lightly carbonated — and larger bottles of still mead. They recommend either enjoying them on their own or as mixers in cocktails.

I tried a few of their offerings.

Wildflower Mead (6.9% ABV)

I’m going to be honest, my experience with mead prior to writing this article was with the treacly sort that purports to be the official drink of the Ren Fair. I was not prepared for the white wine-like experience that I had.

When Charm City claims that this is the Champagne of meads, they’re not far off. I almost couldn’t believe my nose at first, I tried to paint a picture that was not white wine until I had to admit that what I was experiencing was, in fact, very much like wine. It’s even fruity and lightly sweet, but you won’t be disappointed as the finish leaves a distinct honey flavor lingering in your mouth.

At 6.9% ABV, this is certainly not wine and it went down very smoothly. I enjoyed mine chilled and maybe even a tad too quickly. It’s that drinkable.

Mango Comapeño Mead (6.9% ABV)

Billed as “Not too much heat, not too much sweet,” this mead is a limited Summer release that celebrates warm sunshine. Inhaling, I got more white grape mingled with clear mango and red pepper flakes — an intriguing mix to be sure.

I’ll admit that I didn’t know what the Comapeño pepper was — I still don’t know actually. Is it going to be unbearably hot like the habanero Sculpin? The reassuring answer is, no. I found just enough heat to get my attention that started mid sip and continued through the finish. This is a fruity mead that doesn’t necessarily convey the aroma of mango into the flavor, but still manages to create a summery experience in the glass.

Rosemary Mead (12% ABV)

Though Charm City makes a carbonated mead with hops, this still mead uses rosemary as a bittering flavor. They even claim that rosemary works better with mead than do hops. Since I was not able to try the carbonated hopped mead, I can only speak to the experience of drinking their rosemary mead.

White wine in the aroma shouldn’t surprise anyone by now, but I also got a distinctly sweet clove spiciness. In the mouth, the rosemary mead was lightly sweet — like a Riesling — and slightly tart, again avoiding the syrupy sweetness I kept expecting. What rosemary flavor I got came through as a clean, almost pine flavor that stayed in the background.

You’ll notice that this still mead is almost twice as strong as the canned meads above. I’ll confess that it did not seem so strong to me, it was so drinkable. As for how to drink it, I enjoyed mine on its own. But, Charm City reached out to me to recommend using this mead as mixer. I’ll definitely try that next time I get this.

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by Chris Teale August 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

A new wine store and gourmet shop is coming to Pentagon City, according to a Virginia ABC application.

The store, called Pentagon City Wine Merchant in the application, would be located at 1330 S. Fair Street, near The Millennium at Metropolitan Park apartment building and across from Costco.

It may replace the Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt store, which closed in 2015 and had gone unfilled until now. The new store will also be next door to the Epic Smokehouse, an upscale barbecue restaurant that opened in 2012.

As of Tuesday, August 1, no building permit applications had been filed with the county.

Calls to the phone number associated with the ABC application went unreturned.

In addition to facing competition from the Costco across the street, the store will also compete with the Whole Foods store a block away.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor July 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Arash Takafor.

Thanks to Reverie Distribution out of Richmond, Prairie Artisan Ales are now available in Virginia. Reverie, a small boutique distributor that also distributes popular Virginia breweries such as Veil, Ocelot (RVA only), and The Answer specializes in distributing fresh beer to high quality establishments.

Since most of the breweries Reverie distributes release such a limited quantity outside of their taproom, getting these brews are a privilege. Even though Prairie is distributed throughout the U.S, getting their brews has proven difficult for most avid craft beer drinkers, especially in Virginia.

Founded by brothers Chase and Colin Healy in Tulsa, Okla., Prairie set out to brew complex farmhouse and barrel aged beers. Believing that the craft beer industry was getting crowded with common types of brews, Chase worked on brewing expressive beers such as inventive sours, wild ales, and other funky barrel – aged projects.  With his brother Colin in charge of label art and marketing, the Healy brothers have created a niche product for beer geeks.

Due to a large geographic footprint and a limited amount of barrels abled to be brewed, Prairie’s beers are in high demand and low supply. Being able to be one of the first in Virginia to be able to sell these brews to the public is extremely exciting. One of Prairie’s cult like following beers is called Bomb! A 14 percent stout aged with espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans and ancho chilies.  Drinkers go nuts for it’s harmonious flavor.

Right now at Dominion Wine and Beer we have stocked from Prairie:

  • BOMB! – Imperial Stout aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers.
  • Birthday BOMB! – Stout with a complex mix of hops and malt with a healthy dose of the signature coffee and spices.
  • Paradise – Coconut vanilla stout
  • MERICA – Single malt, single hop farmhouse ale
  • Funky Gold Mosaic – Dry hopped sour ale with Mosaic hops.
  • Funky Gold Citra – Dry hopped sour ale with Citra hops
  • Prairie-Vous Francais – Refreshing Farmhouse ale with Brett. Slightly tart  and a touch hoppy.
  • 4th Anniversary – Sour beer aged on ginger.
  • Phantasmagoria – Prairie’s version of a West Coast Style Double IPA. Low in Malt, high in hops.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Garrett Cruce, a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server.

Those three words were the catalyst for two-week old Solace Brewing Company’s name. Co-founder Jon Humerick woke up in the wee hours one night in the months leading up to the opening of his new brewery. Find. Your. Solace. He shared it with his partners immediately, and the rest is history.

Now the Dulles brewery that Jon, and partners Drew Wiles and Mike Arms brought to life is open and bearing the inspiring name. I had an opportunity to visit Solace a week after they opened and sit down with Jon Humerick to sample their brews and learn a bit about Loudoun County’s newest craft brewery.

Jon and Drew met at Beltway Brewing Company, the Sterling contract brewer where Jon was director of operations and Drew was production manager. After years of brewing beers for others, the idea of doing it themselves began to ferment. Then in December of 2016 they broke ground on their own brewery.

Capable of brewing 3,000-4,000 barrels annually, Solace is currently a draft-only brewery, with pours on premises and growler fills. They look forward to offering crowlers soon, as they have the machine, but are waiting for the cans. Even further into the near future, they will use a mobile canning system to can some of their beers.

Once Solace has established itself, it plans on being a force for good — partnering with local charities to brew collaborative beers and donate proceeds. For the time being, the crew at Solace are happy to entertain their neighbors. The space is enormous and designed similar to good friends Ocelot Brewing Company who are just down the road.

There’s a bar on one side and a large seating area that will comfortably accommodate large crowds of both beer geeks and families on the other. In fact, the seating area is separated by a low wall that makes for a nice corral for families with small children.

Speaking of beer geeks, I don’t get the sense that Solace is trying to be the next “line-around-the-corner” brewery. Their aim is to brew beers they like for others to enjoy.

Just look at their opening line up: an India Pale Lager brewed with Ocelot Brewing Company, a brown ale, a watermelon summer ale, a wheat beer, a session IPA, and an IPA. Approachable. Even better, they have, on limited offering, coffee on nitro from Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters for the designated driver. If they’ve run out of the coffee, you can always get a flavored seltzer water — a welcome change from the beer or canned soda choices of other local breweries.

I sampled all of their starting line up. What variety! While each of Solace’s first beers was interesting, three stood out to me as a great sign of where they might go.

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