It appears to be a time of self-congratulation in Washington, D.C. (not that that is uncommon).
Fritz Hahn, in the Washington Post, writes of three reasons why Washington D.C.'s beer scene is close to greatness, and provides examples. (If only DC Beer Week —this August 11-18— would finally live up to its potential.)
Also in the Washington Post, long-time area food entrepreneur Mark H. Furstenberg examines the local food culture, but in the negative: What’s missing from D.C.’s food scene? A lot.
In rebuttal, a writer for Washington City Paper, Jessica Sidman, writes: What’s So Great About D.C.’s Food Scene? A Lot.
I like what she has to say. But then, there's this: after praising D.C.'s restaurant situation, she postscripts:
Furstenberg's piece also conveniently excludes any mention of Washington's burgeoning beer scene. We've got three new production breweries—DC Brau, Chocolate City Beer, 3 Stars Brewing Company—plus a couple more on the way. (Not to mention brewpubs like Bluejacket, Right Proper, and Bardo.)
Fine ... except that NONE of those three brewpubs is actually open (though they will be soon). Why no mention of brewpubs that are actually brewing RIGHT NOW, such as the two Gordon-Biersch's —with masterful brewers Scott Lassiter, downtown, and Travis Tedrow at Navy Yard— and the District Chophouse, with long-time brewmaster Barret Lauer?
In writing about Washington, D.C.'s food culture, Ms. Sidman, to use her own words, has "conveniently" excluded any mention of Washington's extant brewpubs. In the process, she has weakened her own arguments and 'dissed' the brewers of the city. For shame.
- In this conversation, there is another brewpub that should be mentioned. Capitol City Brewing Company was the first brewpub to operate in Washington, D.C., post-Prohibition, opening in August 1992. As such, it was, arguably, the first brewery to operate in the city since the demise of the Christian Heurich Brewery, in 1956. Capitol City is still at the corner of 12th Street and New York Avenue, NW, thriving as a restaurant, but no longer brewing. All brewing operations now occur at the Arlington, Virginia, location, in Shirlington. Festivities are planned for next month to celebrate the brewpub's 21st birthday, the brewery's coming of legal drinking age.
- Blogging using a mobile platform is still not as carefree as using a computer. A Twitter follower kindly alerted me to a cut-and-paste major gaffe in my original draft. My subsequent attempts to correct it took on a Keystone Cops-in-the-21st-century aspect (new summer blockbuster?). Alles ist in Ordnung, now.