Thursday, October 07, 2010

Birthday in Beer: Greg Engert

Greg Engert is the Beer Director for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group of Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia. A past English lit major at Georgetown University, Engert oversees the beer selections for eight restaurants and one beer-and-wine retail shop.

The jewel in the mini-empire is beer-centric restaurant Birch & Barley, and —just up the stairwell— Churchkey, its accompanying beer bar. Engert arranges the list of 555 beers —500 in bottle, 50 on draught, and 5 served from cask via handpumps— by weight and flavor, a practice often thought (more for exclusive snobbery) exclusive to wine. His categories are "Crisp, Hop, Malt, Roast, Smoke, Fruit & Spice, Tart & Funky," with concise —often one-word descriptions— for individual beers within particular groups.

Food & Wine Magazine selected Engert as one of seven Sommeliers of the Year for 2010: the first time the magazine has brought beer on-board its list.

Today is Greg Engert's birthday. To paraphrase William Shakespeare (with apologies): "A blessing of your heart, you serve good ale."

Engert & Cizauskas
Greg Engert (l) and Tom Cizauskas (r)

  • More of my short list of Birthdays in Beer: here.
  • Follow the Brookston Beer Bulletin's more comprehensive calendar of beer birthdays. It's a marvelous resource for learning more about the folk who brew beer, deliver it, serve it, drink it, and write and talk about it.

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