Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). This column is written by Dominion owner Arash Tafakor.
This week, Dave and I sat down with the founders of Aslin Beer Company right in Herndon, Va. near Reston Town Center.
Aslin is one of Virginia’s newest breweries and they’re already on the national map by brewing world class New England style IPAs and a bunch of other tasty brews.
This week we tasted their brand new IPA called Orange Starfish that will be released today at 3 p.m. Dominion will also be getting Aslin’s next round of releases in the next few weeks. So watch the video and stay tuned.
To start, the local watering hole at 2854 Wilson Blvd will hold a release party for a new signature beer tonight.
Created as a collaboration with Devil’s Backbone Brewing near Lexington, Va., the beer is being called the “Whitlow’s Good Time IPA.” It’s a moderately hoppy beer that’s 4.7 percent alcohol by volume, according to Whitlow’s manager Jon Williams.
Locals can get their first taste of the beer for a big toast at 7 p.m. The beer will be offered for $3 from 7-9 p.m. Then, starting at 10 p.m. tonight, local party band For the Win will play a
free show (correction: there will be a $5 cover after 10 p.m.).
On Saturday, the band Virginia Coalition will play a free show at Whitlow’s. “VaCo” used to play at the bar every Tuesday night during the early 2000s before getting big.
“We’re looking forward seeing some old faces,” said Williams.
“The neighborhood has changed,” he said. “The condos got built and the demographics have gotten younger. And obviously there’s a lot more competition now.”
Despite the competition, Whitlow’s has managed to stay busy, attracting both younger bar-goers and long-time “neighborhood folks.” Williams chalked that up to Whitlow’s not straying far from its roots.
“We don’t try to be something we’re not,” he said. “We’re not pretentious at all and we just stay true to what we started out as — a neighborhood gathering spot — and I think people appreciate that. It’s a gathering place people who have lived here a long time know they’re pretty much guaranteed to run into someone they know.”
The most recent major change: the opening of a new rooftop bar, Wilson’s on Whitlow’s, a few years back.
Asked what the future holds, Williams wasn’t sure.
“We’re going to keep chugging along and keep coming up with silly ideas,” he said. “You have to keep doing stuff to stay fresh and current in people’s minds. That’s the biggest challenge. We’re going to get through this weekend and put on the thinking caps again.”
Taste of Arlington will feature a mammoth “street pub” this year.
The 400-foot long portable bar travels the country, offering draft beer from Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery at various large events. Proceeds from the beer sales will be donated to charity, said a rep for the Ballston BID, which organizes the annual event.
“This partnership will not only take the beer garden to a whole new level, but will greatly increase Taste’s fundraising clout,” said Mollie Wagoner.” As a signature event of the Ballston BID’s new charitable arm, BallstonGives, they hope to outdo all past fundraising. The BID has already guaranteed a minimum $25,000 donation to Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) with a goal of raising much more.”
The event, held along Wilson Blvd in Ballston, features food from more than 50 restaurants and attracts some 40,000 people each year. The beer and wine sales area is consistently one of the most crowded sections of the festival.
This year’s Taste of Arlington is scheduled for May 15 from noon to 6 p.m.
It’s February — Today is the first day of February. As happens every four years, this year February will have an extra leap day — Monday, Feb. 29.
Top Colleges for Class of 2015 — In terms of applications sent, the top three colleges to which Arlington’s high school class of 2015 applied are: 3. University of Virginia, 2. Virginia Commonwealth University and 1. James Madison University. Arlington students sent a total of 321 applications to JMU. [Arlington Magazine]
Tomorrow: Celebrating Stratford’s Integration — On Tuesday evening Arlington County will hold a special event honoring the four African American seventh-graders who integrated Stratford Junior High — the current home of H-B Woodlawn — in 1959. [Twitter, Arlington County]
There Are Still Snow Boulders in Arlington — A number of Arlington residents are frustrated that some sidewalks, streets and parking lots are still obstructed by large piles of snow. [WJLA]
Scott Walker Owes Shirlington Company $60K — The campaign of former GOP presidential candidate (and Wisconsin governor) Scott Walker owes Shirlington-based Lukens Company $59,140 for direct mail, printing and postage services. It’s the fourth-largest debt listed by the campaign in public documents. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
Win: District Taco Makes ‘Cheap Eats’ List — District Taco has made a BuzzFeed list of “21 Delicious D.C. Eats That Won’t Break The Bank.” Amsterdam Falafel, which has a location in Clarendon, is also on the list. [BuzzFeed]
Fireball Spotted Saturday Night — A very bright meteor that streaked across the sky in the Northeastern U.S. Saturday night was captured on a dash cam in the Skyline section of Fairfax County. [Capital Weather Gang]
Photo by Bruce Majors
A Total Wine store is coming to Ballston.
The chain booze outlet, to be located at 800 N. Glebe Road near Mussel Bar, has applied for a Virginia ABC license to offer wine and beer for sale along with beer keg sales and delivery.
Though the Bethesda-based national retailer has locations in surrounding Alexandria, McLean, Fairfax and Springfield, this will be the first Total Wine location to open in Arlington.
A representative from the company — known as “America’s Wine Superstore” — confirmed the Glebe storefront is in the early stages of opening.
There appears to be no activity yet inside the space, and the representative could not provide an approximate date of when they hope to open the store.
Hat tip to ARLnow commenter Dean
After first announcing its plans to open late last summer, a new brewery near Shirlington is ready to open its doors this weekend.
New District Brewing Co. (2709 S. Oakland Street) is scheduled to open to the public this Saturday, Jan. 9 at noon, according to co-owner Steve Katrivanos. The 5,200 square foot space is off S. Four Mile Run Drive near the Shirlington dog park and the W&OD Trail.
Though Katrivanos and his brother Mike — who built the brewery’s brewhouse system — had hoped to open before the end of 2015, inspection processes delayed the opening.
This Saturday’s grand opening will feature nine beers on tap, accompanied by food trucks to be on location all afternoon. There will also be t-shirts and hoodies for sale and growlers available for purchase.
After it opens, New District Brewing Co. will boast the title of the first production brewery to open in Arlington in nearly 100 years.
New District will have full brewing operations on site and will distribute its beer to restaurants and bars. The brewery also has its own bar, with up to a dozen beers on tap at once, a tasting room with tables and a small retail space.
According to Katrivanos, more details about Saturday’s opening will be announced later this week via the company’s Facebook page.
With the local craft beer trend on the rise in Arlington, another homegrown brewery is working to open its doors before the new year.
New District Brewing Co. — formerly known as Metropole Brewing Company — is on track to open its 2709 S. Oakland Street location by the end of the month. The brewery is off S. Four Mile Run Drive near the Shirlington dog park and the W&OD Trail.
The 5,200 square foot space was formerly home to a moving and storage company. The garage-style building is now in the final stages of being repurposed into a fully-operational brewery with short- and long-term cold storage, a bar with 12 taps, a tasting room with tables and seating, as well as a small retail space.
Though he couldn’t give an exact opening date, co-owner Steve Katrivanos said the small company is now working on the final touches.
“We have a clear vision for what we want to do,” he said. “We’re still developing our brand as we finish up packaging and labeling. Still, we’re pretty confident in a late-December open date.”
Katrivano’s brother, Mike, first had the idea to start a brewery, and rumors of its opening started in March. The company is owned and operated by the two brothers, their father and one of Mike’s college friends. Katrivanos said they’ve also been fortunate to have the help of other family and friends to have their vision realized.
“We’re very much a DIY organization that’s been building up for quite some time,” he said. “My brother’s an electrical engineer by school, and he can build about just about anything. I’m sure he’s saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars and he’s done such a good job.”
Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church).
This week the Weekend Wine and Beer Guide is doing something a bit different: rather than reading about beer late on a Friday — now you can watch.
We set up a GoPro in the shop and interviewed Nick “Beermonger” Anderson of Alexandria’s Port City Brewing. You might know Nick better as the former beer columnist on ARLnow.com. Enjoy!
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 Certified Beer Server in the Cicerone Certification Program.
One year ago, the owners of Green Flash Brewing Co. and Alpine Beer Company announced that their breweries were merging. Around this time, Green Flash ranked 48th among craft breweries in the U.S. in brewing volume according to the Brewer’s Association. They weren’t huge, but they were a good sight larger than Alpine who employed 20 people.
Their business relationship had begun a year earlier when they entered into a “handshake agreement” to have Green Flash brew and package some of Alpine’s beers. This agreement doubled Alpine’s production from 1,500 bbl to 3,000 bbl. So successful was 2013-14 for both breweries that they decided to take their relationship one step further.
Joining forces, while allowing each company to continue operating independently, supports an environment in which two world-class breweries can co-exist and thrive. Their excellence is evident on beeradvocate.com — each brewery routinely earns a score of 90 or greater. What’s better, is that Alpine — a brewery that was previously only local to San Diego — can now share it’s coveted beers with the same markets that enjoy Green Flash.
It can be fun getting your hands on a beer than can only be found in the Russian River Valley or in rural Vermont. What I prefer is enjoying a superb beer that I bought in my own back yard. Alpine and Green Flash have proven that they can scale up their winning formulas. Now, we can all benefit.
Check out these three Alpine beers and more at Dominion Wine & Beer.
Alpine Beer Company Hoppy Birthday IPA (5.25% ABV)
Brewed to celebrate hoppiness and to keep the party going, Alpine’s Hoppy Birthday is a session IPA. The relatively low ABV of this beer allows the huge hop flavor to shine without all the alcohol of a standard IPA. For those who like the way that hops can bring the bitterness, this beer will be a welcome assault on the tongue.
Duet is Alpine’s own West Coast IPA — a modern classic with a blend of Simcoe and Amarillo hops. The combination of hops lends this beer a nice balance of piney aroma and hop flavor. This is a finely crafted, hop-forward IPA that has just the right amount of sweetness from the alcohol. It’s full of flavor and immensely drinkable.
Alpine Beer Company Nelson golden rye IPA (7% ABV)
Made primarily with generous amounts of the New Zealand hop, Nelson Sauvin, in both the brewing and dry-hopping this IPA packs quite a hop punch. The rye in the name refers to European rye, which is used as part of the grain bill — it brings both a smooth maltiness and a peppery spice that complements the bitterness of the hops. Nelson’s reputation preceded it’s availability in this area when The Washington Post made Nelson it’s Beer of the Week earlier this summer.
The license, if approved, would allow the Starbucks at 2690 Clarendon Blvd to serve beer and wine.
The company had earlier applied for Virginia ABC permits at two South Arlington locations, as part of the “Starbucks Evenings” program it’s rolling out. All three permit applications are still pending.
Starbucks Evenings stores will serve beer, wine and a selection of small plates at night, in addition to the usual coffee, tea, pastries and breakfast foods.
Starbucks customers may be able to order a glass of wine with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes at two Arlington locations in the next few months.
Starbucks has filed liquor license applications for its new Penrose Square (2413 Columbia Pike) and Arlington Ridge Shopping Center (2925 S. Glebe Road) locations. If approved, the stores will be able to serve beer and wine, in addition to the coffee and tea drinks the company sells.
Starbucks is offering beer and wine at select stores as part of its new “Starbucks Evenings” service, which also includes small plates.
According to a sample menu, the coffee chain will sell various red, white and sparkling wines by the bottle and glass, as well as craft beers. Small plates include truffle mac and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, chicken skewers and truffle popcorn. Menus vary by region.
License applications for the two stores are currently pending, according to the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.
Wine and beer will come to the Long Branch Creek location in “probably a few months,” said a supervisor at the store but she could not provide any additional information. USA Today reported in August that Starbucks is launching Starbucks Evenings at more than 2,000 of its 12,000+ U.S. stores, with many opening by the end of the year.
A Starbucks spokesman stopped short of confirming that the two South Arlington stores will in fact be serving beer and wine in the near future.
“Just as each customer is unique, so are our stores and we consider a broad range of products and experiences for each neighborhood,” said the spokeswoman. “And, as you’ve probably seen, we’re in the very early stages of considering our stores at 2413 Columbia Pike and 2925 S. Glebe Road for the Evenings menu. It’s a long and thoughtful process and the permit filing is just one of many steps we take.”
The annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest in Shirlington has been postponed due to inclement weather.
Event organizer Capitol City Brewing Company announced this morning that the Oktoberfest, originally scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon, will instead be held next Sunday, Oct. 11.
“This rescheduled event will be [halved] in size, comparable to Capitol City’s Springfest event,” a PR rep said in an email. “Thank you for your understanding!”
Springfest consisted of beer samples from 45 breweries, mostly from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.
Capitol City Brewing will be hosting the 16th Annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest in Shirlington on Saturday, October 3 from 12-7 p.m.
The event will feature more than 60 local breweries, food from local vendors and authentic German music and food. As usual, Oktoberfest will be held along Campbell Avenue at The Village at Shirlington.
“We have about 90 vendors, 65 breweries, thousands of people come out, it’s just a whole lot of fun,” said Sean Carney, a manager at the brewery’s Shirlington location. Carney says he expects two to three thousand people to come to the event, “Maybe even more… it’s one of the bigger festivals in the fall around here, that’s what gets people so excited.”
Tickets are $30 for the the beer tasting, which includes 10 four-ounce pours, wristband and tasting glass. For non-drinkers, the event is free to attend.
Arlington County has made a video publicizing ways to get there without using a car, both as part of Arlington’s Car-Free Diet, as well as to encourage responsible drinking.
The Arlington County Police Department is planning a some road closures for the Rosslyn Backyard Beer Festival on Saturday.
The event is being held at Rosslyn’s Gateway Park in two sessions, one from 1-4 p.m. and the other from 7-10 p.m. Organized in part by Project DC Events, best known for their Clarendon bar crawls, the festival will feature more than 60 craft brews and live music.
More than 30 breweries are expected to participate, including Flying Dog from Frederick, Maryland, Old Ox Brewery from Ashburn and D.C. breweries Atlas Brew Works and DC Brau. Tickets are now $35-45.
To help accommodate the large crowds expected for the event, police will be flocking off the southbound lanes of N. Fort Myer Drive for most of the day, directing traffic coming into Rosslyn via the Key Bridge to a detour that runs up Lee Highway.
In a press release, the police department warned of the following traffic impacts:
- “Southbound lanes of N. Fort Myer Drive between east and westbound Lee Highway will be closed from 10:00 a.m. to [midnight]. Detour signs will be posted.”
- “Heavy pedestrian traffic is anticipated between the hours of 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., be prepared for delays.”
- “DETOUR (coming from Key Bridge on N. Fort Myer Drive) around the event will be directed west on Lee Highway, then south on Scott Street, followed by Veitch Street.”
- “Street parking in the area may be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary ‘No Parking’ signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.”
Having a beer with friends has been taken to the next level with Arlington’s Backyard Beer Fest, coming to town September 19 and benefitting Turner Farm Events.
For the first time ever, Rosslyn will be hosting the festival overlooking the city–you might even say it’s in Arlington’s backyard. Festival goers can buy a ticket for the afternoon or evening slots, then tour stands from 35+ breweries, the area’s best food trucks and everyone’s favorite yard games and activities. Cornhole, anyone?
For a $45 VIP pass or a $35 general admission ticket, you can have hours of unlimited beer tasting of more than 60 beers, a souvenir tasting glass, plus access to the game zone, free live music and drinking with thousands of your neighbors.
Now’s the time to get tickets to the festival, happening September 19 at Gateway Park. Because who doesn’t want to amp up their weekend with a backyard party you don’t have to clean up after? Use promo code: “ARLNOW” and save 20 percent.
The preceding post was written by ARLnow.com and sponsored by Arlington’s Backyard Beer Fest.