Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Washington, D.C.'s Father Christmas

Dave Alexander is the Big Dawg, the Papa Smurf, the Father Christmas of the good beer scene in Washington, D.C. He and his wife Diane run the Brickskeller Down Home Saloon in the city.

Oliver, Alexander, & Lauer
In 2007: Dave Alexander (c); Jason Oliver (l), of Devils Backbone Brewing (then of Gordon-Biersch); Barrett Lauer (r), District Chophouse.

In 1957, when the bar was opened by Diane's family (née Coja), the Brickskeller was the one place one could confidently go for a good beer. That remained true even into the early 1990s, when brewpubs and other beer emporia began appearing. Due to an interesting clause in the city's liquor laws, the Brickskeller was able to act as its own beer importer, and would often send a truck to other regions of the country to bring back otherwise unavailable microbrews. The Bricks didn't own a boat, but stocked many overseas beers not normally found in the D.C. region. The Brickskeller is in the Guinness Book of World Records for its beer list of over 1,200 beers. (A good ordering strategy is to ask for 1 of at least 5 beers: the Brickskeller's wide variety often lends itself to temporary out-of-stocks.)

Dave has, shall I say, an exuberant writing style. Here's his announcement (unusually brief, but not failing to emphatically punctuate) for the 21st running of the Christmas Beer Tasting, Thursday, 9 December.

Howdy Rowdies! And the warmest of non-denominationally specific winter seasonal greetings to all of youse. Happy Holidaze! The Multiple Guest Brewmaster Winter Holidaze Tasting Extravaganzee
is a’comin!

Thursday December 9 at the Brickskeller

This is the TWENTY-FIRST Anniversary of this wonderful and popular annual tasting! This tasting is always one of the staff’s best of the best favorites! We bring a whole bunch of the regions best brewmasters to our stage with their winter seasonals! For 21 years this has been the best, easiest, cheapest and funnest way to meet the area brewmasters, hear them speak and taste their great winter brews! Doors open at 6, we never start at 7!
[That's very true.]

The Brickskeller is a true mom and pop shop, family owned and operated since opening her doors October 7, 1957, at 1523 22nd St NW.

Tickets for this event can be had by surfing on over to and clicking the “events” tap handle.

1 comment:

  1. I hope this does not become part of the "Brickskeller epitaph thread. Anyway: among the beers they imported for many years was Cantillon. It is to their credit that the price they charged was incredibly reasonable, and by being reasonable it had a great effect in building the lambic beer market here. --RP


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