Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Knight Unseated at DC's Brasserie Beck

It's not quite a tectonic shift, but it is at least a tremor.

Bill Catron, the beer 'sommelier' at Brasserie Beck in Washington, D.C. is no longer that. In a mutually agreed parting of the ways at the end of January, Catron has left, and his position not filled.

Brasserie Beck, at the eastern end of downtown Washington is the Belgian beer sibling of Marcel's, a more upscale wine-centric French fare eatery, at the western end of downtown.

At Beck, Catron helped develop a beer list of more than 130 bottled Belgian beers, and of about a dozen Belgians on draught. The list includes some exclusives to Beck.

Beck's current General Manager, Thor Cheston, has assumed the beer specialist duties, without taking the title.

Cheston is very familiar with that role. He was the original GM, and beer guru, at another D.C. good-beer hotspot when it opened a few years ago —Birreria Paradiso. For spring, he is planning a 'Beer vs. Wine' dinner with Dogfish Head owner Sam Calagione and wine educator Marni Old, co-authors of the book "He Said Beer, She Said Wine."

Catron is a knight of La Chevalerie du Fourquet des Brasseurs (Knights of the Brewers' Mash Fork), an honorary brewer's guild of several hundred years' vintage. He is only the 13th American member, and with Dave Alexander— owner of the venerable Brickskeller— the only other DC-area denizen so recognized.

UPDATE: After leaving Beck, Catron signed on as beer buyer for the DeVinos/D'Vines Wine Shops in Washington, D.C. And, as of September 2009, as Brand 'Ambassador' for Palm/Rodenbach brewery of Belgium.

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